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Anyone install this set up yet? I am considering it... here is my story...

I bought a 2015 Road Glide Special.. and rode if for about 500 miles.. then started to trouble shoot and try to improve the handling... First thing I tried to eliminate was the fork dive in the front end... I put the progressive monotubes in ... it was an improvement... the monotubes eliminated the diving in the front end... but that is all it did... it offers no solution for rebound... and rebound is the most important function of the suspension... if you are looking for traction... so the monotubes help.. but you still have no real working front suspension... I also put a set of Ohlins shocks in the rear... from Howard... and now I have a functioning rear... overall.. the bike is better... but I wouldn't consider it good... just better than the horrible stock set up.... the stock rear suspension was so bad (I am only 170 pounds)... it basically would hop over bumps.. and if you did hit something big... it would blow through the stroke and bottom out... basically .. the only function the stock rear shocks served.. was to suspend the fender off of the rear wheel... it offered no real dampening or rebound...
I like the paint job on my bike.. and the radio.. and the saddlebags.. and all of the options you can readily buy... I know it is a touring bike.. and it works fine on the super slab in a straight line on a flat road... but I rode a BMW for 10 years.. and a Victory for 5 years... and the Harley is not in the same ball park as far as handling... overall the bike works... if you don't mind the extra risk associated with having a bike that doesn't handle...
I am considering putting the Kraus inverted front end on... as I feel like the rear is 'good enough'... the Kraus solution seems to attack the problems from a few angles... stronger triple trees... a functioning inverted fork (preload, rebound and compression adjustable) from reputable suspension manufacturers (Race Tech or Ohlins - you choose)... and it offers the option to upgrade the brakes to Beringers... I am actually fine with the stock Harley brakes.. with the exception of the linked braking.. which actually sends pressure to the front brake lever... occasionally... when you are applying the rear brake... something I can't believe the Harley engineers were OK with... since linked brakes have been used by many companies for a long time.. and it seems like only the Harley solution has this undesired side effect..
I sound like a complainer.. and in some odd sort of a way.. I actually like the Harley.. and the nostalgic feel of riding a bike with a primitive suspension... that makes you feel like you are riding a vintage bike... ironically.. I have a 2007 Springer soft tail.. and the springer front end.. is exponentially better than the fork set up...
my expectations set me up for disappointment.. as I thought with ABS.. and all of the luggage.. that I was buying a touring bike.. designed to be stable and safe on the road.. with a passenger and luggage.. weighing over 1200 pounds...
the engineering side of me.. believes this can be fixed... that maybe it is not the frame design.. and the motor vibration that is causing the problems.. but it is the non functioning forks...
Harley sells a CVO.. with paint upgrades... and radio upgrades.. and leather seat upgrades... and motor upgrades.. none of which interests me....
why doesn't Harley do what BMW does... BMW offers you a 3 series car for 40K.. and if you want a 3 series that performs well.. you buy an M3 for 80K.. and you get a hopped up motor, suspension, and brakes... I would buy an M series Road Glide.. I don't mind spending the money... but I want forks, triple trees, rear shocks, a stabilizer, and brakes... not better paint and more chrome... I haven't done a thing to my bike yet - motor wise.. no pipes, cam, tuner... nothing.. I will not spend a dollar trying to make the thing run better or faster... if I can't get it to ride or handle well...
if the solution to making the Harley suspension feel better.. is to buy a more comfortable seat.. and hold on.. while the bike is doing what it is going to do... I will give up soon..
I am considering spending the price of a new sportster... on forks, triple trees, and brakes....
if anyone has any experience with Kraus Motor Inverted forks.. I would love to hear your opinion...
overall I consider myself a happy person.. and I like my Harley.. with all of its faults... kind of like an abused dog you rescue from the pound... ugly, damaged, and broken... but still lovable in some sort of way
 

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Have you talked to Howard about the 30mm ohlins drop-ins for the 49mm front? I've heard those are amazing. Price makes my wallet curl up and hide in the corner, but hey, if I could I would.

Another thought, if you have an opportunity to go to a big rally, I'm sure legends will be on site. I've heard that thier drop-ins are just as much improvement over progressive that progressive is over stock. Maybe they would let you test ride to find out if thier product meets your expectations.

Sorry I don't have much more to give you. While I'm not 'happy' with the excessive fork dive and wallowing around the corners that the stock front fork gives, monetary considerations have kept me from upgrading. I will likely contact Howard and see what ohlins drop in cartridges will cost and see if that is doable, if not I'll try the legends. You are correct in that at our weight class (175# here), there is no rebound in the stock setup.
 

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Progressive is junk; don't bother with it.

Howard offers a 25mm Ohlins cartridge insert and a 30mm Ohlins insert which requires some modifications to the tubes. Either will solve your problems. But there's nothing wrong with the trees. That issue was solved in 2014. You may also want to add a True-Track to fix the wobble issue.
 

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Anyone install this set up yet? I am considering it... here is my story...



I bought a 2015 Road Glide Special.. and rode if for about 500 miles.. then started to trouble shoot and try to improve the handling... First thing I tried to eliminate was the fork dive in the front end... I put the progressive monotubes in ... it was an improvement... the monotubes eliminated the diving in the front end... but that is all it did... it offers no solution for rebound... and rebound is the most important function of the suspension... if you are looking for traction... so the monotubes help.. but you still have no real working front suspension... I also put a set of Ohlins shocks in the rear... from Howard... and now I have a functioning rear... overall.. the bike is better... but I wouldn't consider it good... just better than the horrible stock set up.... the stock rear suspension was so bad (I am only 170 pounds)... it basically would hop over bumps.. and if you did hit something big... it would blow through the stroke and bottom out... basically .. the only function the stock rear shocks served.. was to suspend the fender off of the rear wheel... it offered no real dampening or rebound...

I like the paint job on my bike.. and the radio.. and the saddlebags.. and all of the options you can readily buy... I know it is a touring bike.. and it works fine on the super slab in a straight line on a flat road... but I rode a BMW for 10 years.. and a Victory for 5 years... and the Harley is not in the same ball park as far as handling... overall the bike works... if you don't mind the extra risk associated with having a bike that doesn't handle...

I am considering putting the Kraus inverted front end on... as I feel like the rear is 'good enough'... the Kraus solution seems to attack the problems from a few angles... stronger triple trees... a functioning inverted fork (preload, rebound and compression adjustable) from reputable suspension manufacturers (Race Tech or Ohlins - you choose)... and it offers the option to upgrade the brakes to Beringers... I am actually fine with the stock Harley brakes.. with the exception of the linked braking.. which actually sends pressure to the front brake lever... occasionally... when you are applying the rear brake... something I can't believe the Harley engineers were OK with... since linked brakes have been used by many companies for a long time.. and it seems like only the Harley solution has this undesired side effect..

I sound like a complainer.. and in some odd sort of a way.. I actually like the Harley.. and the nostalgic feel of riding a bike with a primitive suspension... that makes you feel like you are riding a vintage bike... ironically.. I have a 2007 Springer soft tail.. and the springer front end.. is exponentially better than the fork set up...

my expectations set me up for disappointment.. as I thought with ABS.. and all of the luggage.. that I was buying a touring bike.. designed to be stable and safe on the road.. with a passenger and luggage.. weighing over 1200 pounds...

the engineering side of me.. believes this can be fixed... that maybe it is not the frame design.. and the motor vibration that is causing the problems.. but it is the non functioning forks...

Harley sells a CVO.. with paint upgrades... and radio upgrades.. and leather seat upgrades... and motor upgrades.. none of which interests me....

why doesn't Harley do what BMW does... BMW offers you a 3 series car for 40K.. and if you want a 3 series that performs well.. you buy an M3 for 80K.. and you get a hopped up motor, suspension, and brakes... I would buy an M series Road Glide.. I don't mind spending the money... but I want forks, triple trees, rear shocks, a stabilizer, and brakes... not better paint and more chrome... I haven't done a thing to my bike yet - motor wise.. no pipes, cam, tuner... nothing.. I will not spend a dollar trying to make the thing run better or faster... if I can't get it to ride or handle well...

if the solution to making the Harley suspension feel better.. is to buy a more comfortable seat.. and hold on.. while the bike is doing what it is going to do... I will give up soon..

I am considering spending the price of a new sportster... on forks, triple trees, and brakes....

if anyone has any experience with Kraus Motor Inverted forks.. I would love to hear your opinion...

overall I consider myself a happy person.. and I like my Harley.. with all of its faults... kind of like an abused dog you rescue from the pound... ugly, damaged, and broken... but still lovable in some sort of way

Oh bless your heart! You NAILED it at nostalgia! But that's why most ride Harleys. Harley will only exceed the last Harley and Harley riders are ok with that. You go comparing Harley to any other motorcycle and you are setting yourself up for total disappointment! It's not as fast, doesn't handle as well, isn't as reliable, and costs more! F*** the $80k M3, you just paid $200 for a DVD player. That last paragraph of yours is the way we all feel. Lol! Congrats and welcome. Here's some advice: You will receive countless recommendations on how to spend thousands of dollars to make it better. You'll end up thousands of dollars poorer with a bike "better than it was". But that's ok. We love our Harleys!????


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We are an Ohlin dealer and we just installed the Ohlins on the front and back of both shop bikes. All I can say is wow. The rear are the HD772's Black Line set up and are perfect. The front Ohlin cartridge setup with the Ohlin oil is a piece of art. I've never ridden a touring bike that rides the small imperfections in the road and the large bumps and such with such ease. Also, when you enter a sweeping curve with some real speed, the bikes are like they are on rails. No correcting what so ever thru out the curve and it just digs in a rides a true line the whole curve. It's nice to have that confidence when really getting after it.
 

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We are an Ohlin dealer and we just installed the Ohlins on the front and back of both shop bikes. All I can say is wow. The rear are the HD772's Black Line set up and are perfect. The front Ohlin cartridge setup with the Ohlin oil is a piece of art. I've never ridden a touring bike that rides the small imperfections in the road and the large bumps and such with such ease. Also, when you enter a sweeping curve with some real speed, the bikes are like they are on rails. No correcting what so ever thru out the curve and it just digs in a rides a true line the whole curve. It's nice to have that confidence when really getting after it.
Just curious as to cost. Say I or anyone who is somewhat mechanically inclined and could do all the work themselves what would the parts cost to do what you did to your shop bikes?
 

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Just curious as to cost. Say I or anyone who is somewhat mechanically inclined and could do all the work themselves what would the parts cost to do what you did to your shop bikes?
You would be looking at close to a grand total. PM me your phone number and I could give you the details and what it takes to install them. By the way, these are a work of art for sure.
 

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I'm next for ohlins and possible the Kraus ohlins internals with new trees (not out yet)
- 300miles on my 2016 Road Glide today man i love it but damn does it handle like dog shit! I have to get it handling good. I'm 175 # and got tossed all over today.
Didn't really budget to redo suspension right away. Guess pipes and tune are going on the back burner.

As funds are tight right now would you suggest upgrading the rears or the front first.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The aftermarket is responding quickly... To the 'performance' bagger suspension needs... The Harley setup is so bad... There is now interest from enough people... To put together a quality workable solution and offer a fix...
Suspension is expensive... But in my mind... It is reasonable... A good set of front forks for a sport bike...or a dirt bike... Is $3500.... Triples about $1,000.... Rear $800 to $1500.... These are well established price points across all disciplines... Road race... Off-road... Or road... It seems to be the cost of quality... To get a good functioning, adjustable and serviceable suspension...
You can buy a Yamaha R-1... And then spend $5,000 on suspension if you plan on racing... Or you can buy an Aprilia RSV4 Factory.... And you get all ohlins suspension... And you just need the right springs... And you set the sag... And are a few clicks away from it working...
You can buy a Honda CRF 250... And then spend a ton of money on suspension... Or you can buy a KTM or Husqvarna... And get a fully working and serviceable WP front and rear set up... It is always less expensive to buy the bike with the working set up... Rather than rely on the aftermarket ... That is why the Aprilia, KTM, Husky... Are actually cheaper than the Japanese bike... If you are going to race... And need the bike to work...
And there in lies the rub... The Harley is more expensive... And the suspension is inferior (non-functioning)... To the Victory or BMW or Goldwing... The Victory suspension actually works... Even a basic fork... With no adjustable rebound or compression... Basic in nature... But it works well enough for what you need on a touring bike... And the rear suspension... Has air adjustable preload... So you can set it up for one rider, two riders, two riders plus your pack... Whatever...
I don't need race bike quality suspension on my bagger... I need working suspension... But if you are going to change it or upgrade... I am glad to see high quality upgrades coming available...
$5,000 is a lot of money ... But not really.. Considering the additional cost of a CVO.. Or a cam, pipes, tuner... Or thousands to upgrade the stereo... Or a custom paint job... It all depends on what you value...
I like the comfort features of the Harley... The bags, radio, and navigation... The cigarette lighter (my favorite feature of the bike... I wish it had an ash tray too)... The compartments... If I have to pay... To get KTM or Aprilia quality suspension... I will...
I just wish Harley would sell real performance/handling upgrades...
I don't want my MTV... I want Race Tech, Ohlins, Penske and Hyper Pro for Harley...
 

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49mm & Inverted fork

I have been doing inverted front forks with steering stem behind the forks for 11 years now. I watched the joke video about how to make a lighter handling inverted fork with steering stem in front of the forks (like your 1986~current) FLT triple trees are. It cannot, as the whole idea of why HD designed those trees is for the friction of the front tire pushing the forks straight and self-centering. You purchased a cruising bike for long distance riding where constant input is not a good thing. Try a Switchback for long range riding that requires much more feedback. Just think about it.

The bike you see has some of the very first Penske Bagger shocks we ever created. This time line is (I believe) 2006. For you baseball fans who is that guy who pitched for the 1999 World Series?

In 2006 the 49mm fork came out on the Dynas. They were already out on a V-Rod since 2002. I was designing a set of 25mm Triumph Öhlins fully adjustable cartridges at OhlinsUSA as I had access to all parts so I could see and measure myself. After much reflection and investigation of the 41mm fork I scrapped the whole idea of making a new top tree that clamped onto the fork tube and required thinner walled fork tubes to allow the 25mm cartridge to fit into it. Longer fork tubes were required to fit into the new top triple tree. The OEM 41mm (actually is 1 5/8”) flexed like spaghetti while underway. With all of these negatives I scraped that Band-Aid fix for one that would be an improvement with just purchasing new 49mm sliders and a few cheap internal parts. Remember this is 2006. I wrote many posts on another site long before HD ever came out with its current design.

I have developed a new set of trees that converts a 1986~2013 FLT into using 49mm fork tubes which is a direct replacement for the OEM trees and stock 2014~current forks. You do not have those forks in your 1986~2013 FLT so you have to buy them which adds to the price of the conversion thus making it more expensive obviously. Now you have a bike that will handle like a 2014 which is nowhere good. Add a set of 30mm Öhlins adjustable cartridges into any 49mm fork now you have the absolute ultimate in HD suspension. There are any customers who have done this and if you will go to Shark Week you can talk and meet with them. They have been running them for 2 years to make sure they work before you ever get them.

When I designed my triple trees I made allowances for a design to use the same triple trees but can also be made at our machine shop to fit inverted forks. The reason why presently I have not marketing this to the general public is because they will be patented and unscrupulous other motorcycle hucksters cannot be purchased and knocked off as has my Dyna/Sportster/FXR/Softail inverted forks the designed years ago. I have a friend’s son who is a lawyer who works for the same company that represents NIKI and does have experience with the counterfeit knock-off industries. Once my design is protected they will be offered for sale to the general public.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am not sure I understand what you wrote...
Do you sell inverted front forks for 2015 road glide? Do you sell triple trees for 2015? Or just a custom cartridge insert solution to be installed by a machinist?
I don't want to permanently modify my front end to do a custom install of cartridges... I have lowered dirt bike suspensions in the past... And I seem to be the guy who has no luck when the machinist takes out the grinder and starts cutting and milling the internals of the suspension... I have been unimpressed with results in the past... Not to say that would be the case if I pursued your solution... Just saying I have been burned a bit...
Seems simpler to put inverted forks on... Fully adjustable externally...and sell my stock forks to someone who crashed their bike... To defer costs... I can install a new front end in just a few hours... And I will never be without a running motorcycle... no down time...
 

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Required Change

I am not sure I understand what you wrote...
Do you sell inverted front forks for 2015 road glide? Do you sell triple trees for 2015? Or just a custom cartridge insert solution to be installed by a machinist?
I don't want to permanently modify my front end to do a custom install of cartridges... I have lowered dirt bike suspensions in the past... And I seem to be the guy who has no luck when the machinist takes out the grinder and starts cutting and milling the internals of the suspension... I have been unimpressed with results in the past... Not to say that would be the case if I pursued your solution... Just saying I have been burned a bit...
Seems simpler to put inverted forks on... Fully adjustable externally...and sell my stock forks to someone who crashed their bike... To defer costs... I can install a new front end in just a few hours... And I will never be without a running motorcycle... no down time...
I have been doing 49mm Dynas and 2014~ current FLT's for some time and all you have to do is search on this or other forums for those who have them.

2014 ~ current: I have to create a new mould to work on the new models unlike the OEM slab poor designed bottom triple tree but my top tree should work with changing some of the machined surfaces. My present system is a direct replacement for 1986 ~ 2013. I started designing these trees long before HD ever did. Just search the "Other" forum in the history.

I modify the fork tubes only and use what little is there and put the rest in a box. In many cases when I open up forks many times the fork tubes have the hard chrome already worn off and reduced to junk due to the bushings & fork oil not being changed when it was suppose to be and not what HD recommends which is absolutely incorrect. Do not believe me than open up your forks and examine (15K mi or more) and look for a shinny spot. Hard chrome can not shine so this means that your hard chrome is worn away and your bushing is polishing the soft mild steel fork tube.

I have stated this before, I do not sell fork tubes and you can do what you like. Either it is is is not, now you know.
 

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Have you ever been on another type of bike? I think the OP's problem with the handling stems from the fact that he has been on so many other bikes that handle so much better than HD touring.


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Yes, many over the last 30 years. German, Japanese, British, and American. Is my road glide the BEST handling bike out there? Obviously not. But it is FAR from being "non-functional." Is there room for improvement? Yes, but so far the bike has flawlessly done everything I've asked of it, with no trace of wobbling, loss of control, or "oh shit" moments LOL. *shrug*
 
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