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I was just about to pull the trigger on some 444s and the drop-in fork kit from Progressive for my '01 FLTRSEI2. After talking to Jared from Progressive, I was surprised that he tried talking me out of the 11.5's and the drop in kit....explaining that 12s and the standard fork kit would suffice. I explained I was concerned that 1" wouldn't be enough drop for me...I'm 5'6", 210lb, with 30" inseam. I touch ground with both feet....barely....wanted some more "wiggle room", you know?

So after reading some more posts, the trending opinion appears that the progressive shocks aren't what they're cracked up to be and that Ohlin (at twice the price) is well worth the money.

So, now I ask....what are your thoughts? I want to lower the bike a little for my own vertically challenged comfort ;). I generally ride solo....sometimes take the kids for a ride...momma wants nothing to do with the bike :( I generally run with the tour pack attached.
1. Are the Ohlins truly worth the price?
2. Should I lower the front as well? If so, what would be the best option?
3. With my size, would lowering to 11.5 be too much?

Thanks guys! I thought doing shocks would be a no brainer but I see now there is quite a bit to consider and a lot of options. Thanks for the input!

Eric
 

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I have the 444's in the 11 1/2" length. I'm 5' 10" and shrinking with a 33" inseam. My legs are plenty bent on my '12 custom. Found them used for a good price or I would have went with 12" shocks. You lose travel the shorter they are, so that sweet spot you want to stay in gets pretty small. If 12"ers won't get you low enough, I would recommend having your seat worked. The 444's are better than stock air ride but I'm sure there are better shocks out there.
 

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I have Progressive 944-4002 Rear Shocks on my 2012 RGC with Progressive Monotubes -1 up front and I'm very happy with the ride and stance.
I'm 5-10 with a 32" inseam and sit flat footed on a stock RGC seat.
I know others have JRi and Ohlins and are very pleased but for the price I am very satisfied with Progressive.
Best of luck on your decision.
Mike U.
 

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You could also add a bit to the soles of your riding boots. It doesn't take much. Good luck.
 

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I was just about to pull the trigger on some 444s and the drop-in fork kit from Progressive for my '01 FLTRSEI2. After talking to Jared from Progressive, I was surprised that he tried talking me out of the 11.5's and the drop in kit....explaining that 12s and the standard fork kit would suffice. I explained I was concerned that 1" wouldn't be enough drop for me...I'm 5'6", 210lb, with 30" inseam. I touch ground with both feet....barely....wanted some more "wiggle room", you know?

So after reading some more posts, the trending opinion appears that the progressive shocks aren't what they're cracked up to be and that Ohlin (at twice the price) is well worth the money.


So, now I ask....what are your thoughts? I want to lower the bike a little for my own vertically challenged comfort ;). I generally ride solo....sometimes take the kids for a ride...momma wants nothing to do with the bike :( I generally run with the tour pack attached.
1. Are the Ohlins truly worth the price?
2. Should I lower the front as well? If so, what would be the best option?
3. With my size, would lowering to 11.5 be too much?

Thanks guys! I thought doing shocks would be a no brainer but I see now there is quite a bit to consider and a lot of options. Thanks for the input!

Eric
Yes ohlins are worth every penny. With your case i would suggest a set of 12" JRI'S. Once you set the sag, they will set like a 11" shock. I would also suggest doing a 1" drop on the front with some monotubes.
What ever shock you get, get something with a minium of a compression and rebound adjustment. This let the spring do it's job of holding the weight up and not controling it.
 

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Ohlins are hands down better than Progressive.
 

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Ohlins are hands down better than Progressive.
And so they should be for the price!! I have 444's and love them. I'm not carving canyons or doing laps on the race track so I just can't justify the cost of JRI's or Ohlins.

Depends on your riding style and your pocket book.
 

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Ohlins from Howard at MotorcycleMetal.com. They're expensive, but when you consider what you paid for your bike and what people are willing to pay for LED lighting, they're not overpriced considering they're excellent suspension that will outlast the bike.

Follow FrankieB's advice and drop in some Progressive Monotubes. Why go half way?
 

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I would go with the ohlins/jri's but I would avoid the drop in the front end.

my last bike was an 09 ultra classic, I had sg shocks (12") and the progressive drop kit in it with ricors, the bike was freaking horrible!!! way too rough, I changed the 12" to 13" JRI's and it got a lot better in the back but the front was still way to harsh for me.

I transferred the JRI's to the 13 RGU and left the front end and I am as happy as a clam! And I have no problem reaching the ground. I am 5'7.5" with a 30" inseam.

I won't get into the JRI vs Ohlin debate, and they have since changed the JRI's from when I got mine, but I would go with Howard for sure.
 

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To clarify, I didn't lower my front end.
 

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If you want to lower the front end do it the right way. Don't use Progressive drop in, use Progressive Monotubes set to -1". Even at -1" they handle noticeably better that the stock front end.

I have Ohlin 3-3s from Howard on the back.

This set up lowered my bike 1" front and rear (I have a 29" inseam) and improved the the handling and ride quality of the bike hugely. :D
 

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I have the Progressive 970 shocks. At first I wasn't very happy with them. My best friend (a mechanic at my Harley Dealership) installed them with me. He has the same shocks and swore by them. I found the suspension to be too loose and my bike wobbled and bounced too much. I finally realized that he set the spring tension the same as his bike. He easily weighs 100 lbs more than I do. I readjusted the shocks and now I love them. I don't have experience with Ohlins but I'm an aggressive rider and I feel a huge improvement over the stock CVO shocks that came with my bike. I would recommend these shocks to anyone without reservation. Bottom line, no shock will work well if it's not properly adjusted.
 

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call Howard at motorcyclemetals , get the Ohlins 2-2A , 12" shocks , when you set the sag thety will be under 11" , they have I believe a 83mm stroke , with Forum discount they run about $550-$575
 

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I added 13" ohlins from Howard on my streetglide. They were nice and worth the price. I sold them for about what I paid for them when I traded the bike. The only drawback is it is a bit of a pain to change the preload from rider to rider+passenger and back. I like the convenience of the stock ultra shocks and the work fine for the wife and I. I would buy boots with thicker soles and modify my seat, no way would I shorten the suspension after riding a streetglide for 4 years (lowered front for a 21" wheel).
 

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First of all get a good seat that will set you a bit lower, I have a 30 inch inseam and my feet are flat on the ground and my knees are bent and my bike has the same frame and wheel size as your bike.
I use the HD leather low profile seat.
I also run progressive 13 inch 440 shocks and monotubes and I kept my bike at stock height.
The bikes ride is great and the handling is great too.
So save some cash and go with Progressive.
Lowering the bike will affect ride and handling characteristics so avoid that if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
WOW!!!!! Thank you all for all of the feedback, it never ceases to amaze me how much experience and technical knowledge there is on this forum!! I am still back and forth between Ohlin and Progressive, a lot of good points for either side. As for ride comfort, I have never had any problems with the stock setup....made a trip to San Diego and back (northern Iowa) and averaged 700 miles a day without back problems or feeling worn out....so I am primarily focused on that extra secure feeling of being able to plant both feet and bend the knees :)

I had not considered a lower seat or thicker soles on my boots. That will probably be cheaper so I will try this first.....if that doesn't resolve the issue I will give Howard a jingle. Thanks very much for all of the options to consider!
 

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Trust me when I tell you I have ran on my bikes Progressive 940's (the earlier version of the 944's) , I've ran Ricors , JRi B's , Ohlins #3-#3 and Ohlins #6's . I doubt many people have tried the amount of different shocks as I have. The Progressive shocks are not even in the same class as the Ohlins , are they better than stock ? Yes , much better , but for the price Ohlins are easily the best ride and value out there.
 

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Decided on the Ohlins. Where is the best place/price to get a set?
 

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I recently called Howard about the Ohlin's and the JRI's. He's not even recommending the JRIs' anymore. He says they have started making them in China. I'm probably going with the Ohlin's. gotta save my back as much as I can.
 
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