One common installation error we often encounter, applicable to all models utilizing our air ride (excluding Softails), is the incorrect installation of air shocks, leading to a rolled air spring. When this occurs, the shocks may exhibit poor ride quality and potentially leak a small amount of air.
Identifying a rolled air spring involves comparing the length of each air spring (the rubber portion) of the shock when fully inflated. If one air spring is noticeably shorter than the other, it indicates that the shorter spring is the one that has rolled. This discrepancy in length serves as a clear indicator of the issue.
While less common, it's possible for both air springs to become rolled. In such cases, you can verify the proper seating of the air spring by measuring the exposed portion of the damper body below the air spring. When fully inflated, there should typically be around 3 inches of space between the bottom of the air spring and the bottom of the damper. This measurement serves as a reliable indicator of whether the air spring is properly seated.
If the measurement is about 4", then the spring is rolled and this is incorrect:
The rolling of air springs can occur due to two main installation errors: riding the bike in the fully lowered or deflated position, which we advise against, or installing the shocks while they are fully extended and deflated, then applying air before lowering the jack to sit the weight of the bike on the rear tire and compressing the shocks.
The correct installation procedure involves mounting the air shocks on the bike and then lowering the jack until the weight of the bike fully rests on the rear tire with the shocks deflated and fully compressed before adding air.
When air is applied to the shocks while they're fully extended and deflated, the aluminum cup can become hung up on the top of the damper body. This prevents the cup from properly seating around the damper body, leading to potential issues such as rolled air springs. Following the correct installation procedure ensures proper seating of the air springs and optimal performance of the shocks.
When air springs become rolled, it can significantly affect the ride quality by reducing the overall air volume in the spring. This often results in a firmer ride with harsh rebound characteristics, leading to a less comfortable and controlled experience.
If you discover that one or both of your air springs have become rolled, there's a relatively straightforward solution to fix the issue. Begin by releasing all air from the shocks, then try to manually reseat the aluminum cup. Once done, reapply air to the shocks while ensuring the weight of the bike rests on the rear tire. This should effectively reseat the aluminum cup and resolve the problem.
If the air springs remain rolled despite these efforts, you may need to take additional steps. Release all air from the shocks, jack up the rear tire off the ground, and then lower the jack to place the rear tire back on the ground. Ensure that the shocks are fully compressed and deflated before reapplying air once the weight of the bike is back on the rear wheel. This procedure aims to reseat the aluminum cup properly.
If you have any further questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help!