I just finished installing Progressive suspension Monotubes & rear shockers on my 2010 Street Glide, and thought I would go through some of the install steps and potential traps that are specific to bikes with batwing fairings.
Ok, a bit of background first. Since buying my bike I have always been disappointed in the standard Factory suspension, actually that would be an understatement, I think all it was put there for was to keep the wheels off the guards, but lets move on.
I had been looking, reading, researching for some time on the right set up, but finally decided on the Progressive Monotubes and the 13" 412 rear shocks, after lots of shopping around and comparing prices I purchased the whole lot from Riders Discount in the US for just under $700 Aud delivered. Riders Discount do free shipping to Oz on most items if the order is over US $400.
Right, let's get on with it.
First step make sure you have read through and watched on Youtube etc as much info as you can, have plenty of bench space available for putting down bits you are removing and have a good supply of clean rags.
Before jacking up your bike I suggest now is a good time to loosen the fork drain screws with an impact driver, don't take them out yet just loosen.
Once the bike is off the ground at your preferred working height you can then set too and start removing the brake calipers, front wheel and front guard.
This is now a good time to loosen the fork internals retaining screw at the bottom of the fork leg and remove the oil drain screws that were loosened earlier. Whilst the oil is draining you can start removing the screen and the front of the fairing. The fairing is only held on by 4 No 27 torx screws so you may need an assistant to help hold it whilst removing the screws and unplugging the headlight wires. Now you can see all the wires that will need to be unplugged from each other and from the back of the radio to get to the fork caps. These can all be marked with bits of masking tape or whatever method suits. the indicators, fork shroud and radio can all be removed now, noting that you will need a long handled ball head hex key to undo the radio screws.
After all that we can now get to the fork caps which need to be removed to allow the fork tubes to slide out. This is where I was at a bit of a loss as everything I read said to be careful removing the fork caps as they are under pressure from the fork springs, what none of the guides I had seen mentioned was that there is actually 2 caps per leg, 1 to hold the spring in and a shorter one on top of that that needs to be removed to get the fork leg out. This one that you can now see requires a 35mm ring spanner as a socket will not fit on unless you want to remove a heap more stuff to take off the handlebars. Once this cap is removed you can then loosen the pinch bolt that clamps the fork leg and with a twist the fork leg should release, I had to ease it open a bit with a large flat blade screwdriver. At this stage do not take the fork completely out yet just drop it far enough so as you can get to the second for cap with a large shifter and retighten the pinch bolt. This will allow you to loosen the fork cap whilst holding the fork leg securely (DO NOT REMOVE THE FORK CAP YET JUST LOOSEN). The pinch bolt can now be loosened off and the fork leg removed, just remember to remove the top cap in a controlled manner holding some weight on it whilst unscrewing.
At this point the Progressive install instructions are easy to follow but they basically involve removing all the factory components and replacing them with the kit supplied pieces. I used both of the supplied pre-load spacers. I also found that in the Progressive video they showed them adding the 5ozs/150ml of 10w fork oil by just pouring it into the lower leg from a jug, I found that it kept overflowing this way and ended up squirting in about 10ml at a time with an old syringe pumping the fork 2 or 3 times between.
Re-assembly is basically a reverse of the above remembering to torque up all bolts to factory specs especially brake calipers and axle bolt, although I had to guess at the fork cap bolts as I did not have a socket to fit the main one and the top one cannot be got at as noted above.
Also double check the wiring before re-fitting the fairing and check all electrics are operating.
The rear shocks were pretty simple I just released all the air from the shocks and push/released the airlines then unbolted the shocks making sure I was supporting the rear wheel when undoing the second shock letting it sit on some blocks I had placed there previously about 30mm lower. The lower mount on these shocks is offset and I mounted mine with the eye closer to the outside so as to give plenty of room for the panniers.
The shocks I bought are the 13" H/D which are 1" longer than the standard air shocks but give close to 2" more travel. Measuring the ride height before and after fitting I found that the rear of the bike sit approx 10mm higher than standard which is hardly noticeable. As I bought the heavy duty version of these shocks I have not had to add any preload to them yet, the bike drops about 10mm when I sit on it but I will see what it is like once they have a few hundred K's on them and have bedded in a bit. I am around 110kg kitted up ready to ride, so I think anyone under 100kg could get away with the standard Progressive shocks.
Well I think I have covered everything here but I will add that this is not as difficult as it might seem it's a great way to get to know your bike a little better and save some cash, just don't rush it. The only really specialty tools needed that the average home mechanic might not have are the 35mm ring spanner and a torque wrench and the amount you will save doing it yourself will more than compensate buying these anyway. I reckon I have saved at least $1000 on this job maybe more.
Sorry, Don't know what happened with this pic, it was right way up when I uploaded it, still gives an idea on how much has to be removed.
This is the fork cap with the 35mm nut that has to be removed to ge the fork leg out, note minimal clearance under handlebars.
These are the factory parts that the Monotube kit replaces, note the 2 fork caps on top the larger on is the one that holds the spring down.
Well done Meddy , great read , I,m sure your bike will handle a lot better now !!
Wow thats amazing. By my calculations taking into account the weak aussie dollar, if I were to buy the shocks from this guy in the states I save over $200 compared to an aussie seller for the same thing. Thanks for the info.