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Discussion Starter #1
I’m making this post to help others in the market searching for Ohlins suspension upgrades to their bike. I’m not here to trash anyone’s business. I’m a longtime rider. I have three Harleys currently. One being a shovelhead I’ve owned for 24 years. I do all my own wrenching and none of my bikes have ever been in a dealership for anything other than recalls and machinist type work I can’t do. I don’t post on the forum, I've been a member since 2016 and usually lurk, read, and get information if I’m stuck on something. I say that for those who will get on here to defend someone or perhaps attack me as being a NOOB. I am no suspension expert, back in the day I would be happy to just get progressives, or maybe Franks forks.

Here is my advice and its very clear.

KNOW EXACTLY WHAT SHOCK YOU ARE GETTING. SPECIFICALLY THE OHLINS PART NUMBER.

I researched on here and on the Ohlins website before making my purchase. I chose who to buy from based on the forum members recommendations I found reading posts. I went to the ohlins website and decided on the silver shocks with the adjustable rebound clicker, HD159 is the only shock that meets that description on the Ohlins website with an MSRP $875.

I then went to the vendor website, filled out the very detailed form to make the order. It was never said directly, but from the look of the website, from what I’d read on the forum, and the amount of information I was required to fill out, I thought the shocks were being custom built for my specific set up. The information on the site about the shocks leaves a little to be desired, no part numbers that you can find on Ohlins website, just #1, #2, #3 numbering system. I called and spoke with the guy and explained what I wanted and paid him. He listed the shock for over $900 on his site, on the invoice the price was $877, and gave me a forum discount which brought the price to $780 shipped, good deal. He was very informative and detailed with almost too much information. He then emailed me a very detailed install guide and said to read it and “not even look at the documentation that comes with the shock, it’ll just confuse me”. I get the shocks, do the install and he is very helpful throughout the process. I’m happy with the shock and all is well.

Fast forward to now, a little over a year later. I’m searching for the front-end shocks. I go back to the ohlins site and notice that the HD159 rear shocks showed adjustable eyelets. So, I took my bags off and mine don’t have them. I thought that was strange. I go to my attic where I had saved the box. There is a little sticker on the box that says my shock is an HD136, I also found this to be strange. So back to the internet. This particular shock is not even on the Ohlins website. I could find virtually no info about it online. I contacted Ohlins about the shock and was told that it is their entry level unit with an MSRP around $600-$750. The rep told me they don’t sell them anymore. Then he looked and was shocked that they actually do have some in stock, that apparently someone is still selling them. I was also told by the Ohlins rep that vendors are not allowed to modify the shocks in anyway, and they are not custom built. All the questions you are being asked like how much you weigh, your wife weighs, your luggage weight, is only pertinent to your setting up the shock after purchase. Questions like that also lead you to believe the shock is being custom built for you, but it is not.

The shock itself performs well and over all I’m happy with the ride. It just doesn’t sit well that I got sold a lesser quality shock that is being built by Ohlins specifically for this vendor, and that no information about its existence is on the Ohlins website.

I have to chalk some of this up to my ignorance, not doing my due diligence to make sure what I was getting. That is where my advice comes to you. I was trusting of the seller and feel like a victim of a deceptive marketing tactic by him. I spoke with him and his response was “you filled out the build sheet and got what you wanted.” That is true, I did fill out the build sheet. As far as getting what I wanted, or thought I was getting, that is another story. I know for a fact that I didn’t want to pay MSRP for a shock that is not even on the ohlinsusa website listed as a shock for my bike. I also thought I was receiving a discount for being a forum member which I was not because I paid MSRP. I also did not receive a shock custom set up for me. Take a lesson from my experience.

AGAIN, just here to help any buyers searching to make sure they get what they think they are buying. Be careful making your purchases.

If anyone feels the desire to attack me for making this post, go ahead and show us all the kind of person you are. Feel free to call me a dumbass, because I absolutely feel like one. I’m just trying to help someone else not feel like one. I’m not saying don’t buy from this seller, I’m not saying he isn’t knowledgeable, because I'm certain he is. Just make sure you know what you are getting and what it should actually cost.
 

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From one Shovelhead rider/wrencher to another.....that seems like fair warning without any malice. No one could object to that. I'm actually shopping for shocks right now for my 19 which won't arrive for another couple of months down here.....points taken. Ta.
 

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I know who you're talking about as I'm sure most people do. And I will say this, if you look around on these Harley forums you will notice that people tend to nut swing a LOT. By that I mean they jump on whatever set of nuts every one else that don't know what they are talking about either are swinging on. It's even worse when you start talking speakers and amps....:grin:
 

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Thanks for sharing. I think it is only fair to vent your feelings on it. I think anyone at anytime wants to make sure they know what they are getting. I think you stated it the best you could. I definitely research what I buy and alot of times do what others are not. And I may end up ahead sometimes and sometimes not but it is always my decision. I think ohlins still has a good product and your post doesn't say otherwise. Again thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I found it very informative and I’m sure many will find it useful when they decide to upgrade their horrible Harley suspension. Ohlins might even find it useful to know that a vendor is claiming to alter their product that clearly, according to someone, doesn’t perform sufficiently shipped straight from the manufacturer of the product.
 

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Thank you for sharing. I too called Ohlins when I first started researching shocks and was told a very similar story. They do not feel that their shocks should be, nor do they need, modified before the end user receives them. They have a multitude of engineers (with actual degrees) that design the shocks for our specific use.

They did recommend a place for me to buy their shocks from, and that person was Carol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To be clear, the person never said they were altering the shocks. It was something that could be "assumed" by the photos on the site, the degree of questions being asked, and the build sheet. IMHO a build sheet implies something is being built for you. But, like the saying goes, you know what they say about assume.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for sharing. I too called Ohlins when I first started researching shocks and was told a very similar story. They do not feel that their shocks should be, nor do they need, modified before the end user receives them. They have a multitude of engineers (with actual degrees) that design the shocks for our specific use.

They did recommend a place for me to buy their shocks from, and that person was Carol.
Who is Carol? I am interested in the doing the forks. Have you worked with him?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Correct me if I am wrong but Carol is smarty on here.

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I think I’ve seen some posts about him. Does he have a website?
 

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I think I’ve seen some posts about him. Does he have a website?
Not sure. Someone may know. Otherwise lookup any ohlins topics in suspension section. Scroll through and find smarty. Just pm him.

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Hell no, like you i would be angry as well, and also beating myself up, especially for that kind of $$$$

You have every right to inform others, and share your experience, that is exactly why forums exist, and if people think your a noob for that, screw em.
 
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Thank you for sharing. I too called Ohlins when I first started researching shocks and was told a very similar story. They do not feel that their shocks should be, nor do they need, modified before the end user receives them. They have a multitude of engineers (with actual degrees) that design the shocks for our specific use.

They did recommend a place for me to buy their shocks from, and that person was Carol.


Interesting - I too buy from Smarty , waiting on the new front cartridges to be released
 

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Discussion Starter #19

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Smarty, AKA Carol:

(479)268-4232
[email protected]
I second this recommendation to contact Carol.

I met Carol aka Smarty at the Cherokee Sharkweek. Ohlins had a team at Sharkweek installing shocks on Roadglides. I talked with them about the choices and watched them do installs. When it came time to buy I knew I wanted the 772 blacklines. Carol took the time (while on a motorcycle trip with friends) to talk with me about which shock and length would best meet my needs. After the order, the shocks were drop shipped from Ohlins USA. Then Carol talked with me on the phone about the install.
 
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