13" to 13.5" rear suspension anyone ? - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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13" to 13.5" rear suspension anyone ?

Like the title says, anyone switch out (on an Ultra RG) their 13" rear shocks for a 13.5" ? If so, what do you think? Anyone have any thoughts on this that knows a lot about these types of things? Would you gain cornering clearance at all? Guessing this set up would slightly quicken up the steering in the twisties? Thanks for any thoughts....
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Freaky View Post
Like the title says, anyone switch out (on an Ultra RG) their 13" rear shocks for a 13.5" ? If so, what do you think? Anyone have any thoughts on this that knows a lot about these types of things? Would you gain cornering clearance at all? Guessing this set up would slightly quicken up the steering in the twisties? Thanks for any thoughts....
Comparing apples to apples you won't tell any difference in my opinion. Now if you are going from an oem 13" to a coil over 13.5" that would be different

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 11:32 AM
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I disagree with FrankieB. I would think the extra 1/2" would you give more ground clearance and travel resulting in a better ride. It seems most Harley guys don't want to sit higher, only lower. I'd do 13.5 on my bike as I prefer better handling and more shock travel to how it looks when it is sitting still.

I am aware that I am in the minority and could care less. I am hoping to get something going with ventura65 and this could certainly be an option for me. I ran 13.5 shocks on my T Sport and the additional ground clearance and handling characteristics were quite noticeable over a shorter 12" shock. But the question is you do want to look cool or carve canyons like a bandit?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 12:04 PM
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I disagree with FrankieB. I would think the extra 1/2" would you give more ground clearance and travel resulting in a better ride. It seems most Harley guys don't want to sit higher, only lower. I'd do 13.5 on my bike as I prefer better handling and more shock travel to how it looks when it is sitting still.

I am aware that I am in the minority and could care less. I am hoping to get something going with ventura65 and this could certainly be an option for me. I ran 13.5 shocks on my T Sport and the additional ground clearance and handling characteristics were quite noticeable over a shorter 12" shock. But the question is you do want to look cool or carve canyons like a bandit?

Drew
The example you used is a 1.5" difference, with that amount yes the handling and additional travel could be noticed. With just a half inch increase, i don't see it proving any different. On top of that, depending on how much compression is used, would determine if you will actually get that half inch of extra travel once you consider sag.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 12:27 PM
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Very true. It could be set so that it sits at 13" with a 13.5" shock. I tend to think taller is better regardless which no one else here tends to agree with. Maybe we can get a response from Works Performance, our new suspension vendor? Ross?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 01:44 PM
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I am also in the minority as I prefer a longer shock like Drew. Sure, sitting low looks cool, but when it comes to ride quality I prefer a longer shock.

I run the Monroe Corvette shocks at the moment which are 14"L aired up (not sure about sag though). It's a definite improvement of the 13"L stockers but as FrankieB pointed out, apples to oranges. I do however feel that the lean angle is increased but maybe that's just in my head...

While I like the Monroes and do recommend them for a budget suspension upgrade (and coolness factor ), I will likely go with a set of Ohlin #2 in 13"+ if I ever have to replace them... just to get away from air suspension entirely.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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So, yeah, to clarify, I am looking to change out my oem 13" shocks on my 09 RG to a 13.5" coil style shock.
And, I too am in the minority, as I want a ride that I dont have to tip toe through the corners on.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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And am I wrong in thinking that by going to the 13.5" from the 13", it wont really be noticeable? From a 12" to a 13.5" I would think may be noticeable, but I am guessing I wont visually even notice that extra 1/2".??
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 03:31 PM
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There are several threads discussing this already on the forum. But, that said, if you change from the air pre-load OEM shock, to a coil-over style shock, your final ride height will be determined by how you set the pre-load on the coil spring. That will also determine the amount of travel left for compression damping. Theoretically, the longer the shock, the more travel for damping. But you are not changing the fork length, so you will change the rake of the bike too. Then you have the damping of the compression and rebound to consider (if it's adjustible)!

I changed from the OEM to Coil-Over and like the difference, keep the stock shock length, don't go messing with the ride geometry. Just my opinion. KISS (keep it simple stupid) my favorite methodology.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 04:13 PM
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Apples to apples?

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Originally Posted by Freaky View Post
And am I wrong in thinking that by going to the 13.5" from the 13", it wont really be noticeable? From a 12" to a 13.5" I would think may be noticeable, but I am guessing I wont visually even notice that extra 1/2".??
If you get a same length shock that has a longer stroke v/s the exact same stroke, only the rake and trail is effected which on these bikes is minimal. If you raise up the frame and get more air under it the lean angle can increase. If you take a 13" OEM air shock with 3" of stroke and minimal sag (1/8"~1/16") and which means no rebound, including a very inferior design and parts, FrankieB is correct. Not much difference on a 1/2".

The OP stated that he was going to change technologies, than the performance upgrade would be which shock technology was used, which tuner built it, and how well the end user knows how to adjust the valving & spring pre-load/sag.

This is your OEM air shock, notice that this is a twin tube design and there is no air valving. The air only sets the spring pre-load on both shocks. Look to see how it works.



The same shock but I put a 46mm Penske piston (aqua arrow) under the 20mm OEM air shock piston. The piston is what controls the swingarm/wheel from the frame.



A shock that is not gas charged produces air bubbles when the shock internals move. This can be seen when rowing a boat where you squeeze the air out of the water when rowing. Cavitation makes the shock not work properly.

The whole idea is making a shock support the bike & movement than making the spring value to just equal gravitational pull, lets the wheel go over the road irregularities while the frame stays stationary. You can not make a shock/wheel adhere to the road if there is so much stiction that the frame must move which slows down the shock action and lets the wheel float. When the frame is moving the ride is rough and the rider is unhappy.

In this race bike a small camera is attached and watch the swingarm/wheel move but the treeline and frame does not.



Bottom line is to just to increase the length of the shock will have little benefit but to install a superior shock would increase riders satisfaction and comfort depending on how the shock was built.
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