Which rear shocks do you recommend for my bike?
When it comes to determining which Legend Suspensions product you should go with, there are a few questions you must answer first to get going in the right direction to suit your needs.
Regarding the rear suspension, the first question you will need to ask yourself is do I want a coil spring shock in the rear or an air spring shock? If you are not leaning one way or another, and need help determining which design will work best for your needs, it comes down to two main factors: Do you seek the ease of adjustment, or do you need to lower the bike significantly, or both? The benefit of our air ride over our coil shocks is that our air shocks will allow you to change your seat height by roughly 3” from fully inflated to completely deflated. This results in a significant amount of seat height change that will allow for a better footing to aid in parking, pulling up to stop signs, etc. for our shorter riders. The onboard compressor and handlebar control allow for ease of adjustment, by allowing you to make “on the fly” adjustments to spring preload (air pressure) and allows for ease of adjustment when adding additional weight to the bike (luggage/passengers).
The air shocks we offer for the FL Touring models, V-Rods, Sportsters, Dyna’s, and Tri-glide models are the Standard AIR shock and the AIR-A shock. For the Softail models, we offer the AIR-ST9 for the 1989-1999 Softails, AIR-ST3 for the 2000-2017 Softails, and the AIR-A Mono shock for the 2018 and newer Softails with a mono-shock design.
The difference between the Standard AIR shock and the AIR-A shock is purely the amount of adjustment the rider has in regard to rebound. The AIR-A shock has a six-position rebound adjustment knob on the lower damper body of the shocks, that will allow the rider to adjust primarily rebound (or how fast the shock returns to its fully extended length after being compressed). This adjustment is not available on the Standard AIR shock, or on the AIR-ST shock product line for the 1989-2017 Softail models. When it comes to determining if the AIR-A model is right for you, you will have to determine how much adjustability you are looking for and if the rebound adjustment is something you would like the ability to manipulate.
A lot of our riders aren’t looking to necessarily lower the bike drastically, or just don’t want an air ride system, and are just looking to improve their ride quality. That is where our coil spring shocks may be best suited for you. There are a few different factors that go into determining which coil product line to go with, as well as determining the spring rate and length you should choose.
To start, the different coil shock product lines we offer are the REVO, REVO-A, and REVO ARC (Remote Reservoir). All these product lines will be a drastic improvement to your stock suspension, and the difference between each product is the price point and amount of adjustability each shock will offer. The standard REVO comes in at our lowest price point of $799.95 USD and will be your basic shock, which is preload adjustable but does not have any additional adjustment options for rebound or compression. This is a great shock for those riders who don’t see themselves adjusting rebound or compression to changing road conditions, riding configurations, etc. This shock will give you the satisfaction of improved ride quality while keeping it simple.
The next coil shock worth discussing is our REVO-A shock, which retails at $999.95 USD. This is essentially the same shock as the standard REVO; however, this shock offers rebound adjustment much like the AIR-A in the form of a six-position rebound adjustment knob on the lower damper body of each shock. The rebound adjustment knob will allow the rider to manipulate how much the shock rebounds (or how fast the shock returns to the fully extended length after being compressed). Positioning "one" on the knob will offer more rebound, less damping, and will soften the ride slightly. Position "six" on the other end of the spectrum will offer more damping, less rebound, and stiffen the ride slightly. This additional adjustment on the REVO-A is great for changing road conditions or changes in rider/passenger weight configurations. An example would be highway cruising, the rider may like a lower rebound setting to achieve a plush ride for cruising, but when riding a road requiring an abundance of cornering, the rider may want to increase their rebound setting to a higher number to increase damping and the performance feel for this type of road condition.
The last coil product line we offer is the REVO-ARC with Remote Reservoir for FL Touring Models and Piggyback for FXR, Dyna, and Sportster. This shock retails for $1295.95 - $1415.95 USD depending on the model of the bike and is the top-tier coil suspension that we offer. These shocks offer rebound adjustment much like the REVO-A, but in addition to rebound adjustment, you also gain compression adjustment with this suspension which allows you to stiffen or soften the ride. One other aspect worth mentioning is unlike the REVO-A which offers six rebound settings, the REVO-ARC offers seven rebound settings and seven compression settings. This means more adjustment, and the ability to really dial in your ride. These shocks are perfect for those riders looking to satisfy every need with their suspension (performance, ride quality, and adjustability).
The next thing to get into is how to determine which length of shocks to go with. We offer a 12” and 13” shock in our REVO and REVO-A product lines, and a 13” and 14” length in our REVO ARC product line. These lengths are the unloaded static lengths, and all of our shocks are designed to be ridden with a specified amount of sag depending on the length of the shock. Sag is a predetermined amount of travel allocated to allow for “top out clearance” (or clearance on the top side of the shock stroke when fully extended). This prevents the shock from being extended to its fully extended length after rebounding, which would result in metal-to-metal contact if not accounted for. For our 12” REVO or REVO-A shocks, we recommend ½” of sag, so this means the shocks will measure 11.5” when the rider or rider/passenger weight is on the bike. With our 13” REVO or REVO-A shock, we recommend 1” of sag, so these shocks will measure 12” when the rider or rider/passenger weight is on the bike. When it comes to our REVO ARC line, we recommend ¾” to 1 ¼” of sag, so the REVO ARC shock will measure anywhere from 11 ¾” to 12 ¼” on the 13” REVO ARC when the rider or rider/passenger weight is on the bike, or 12 ¾” to 13 ¼” on the 14” REVO ARC when the rider or rider/passenger weight is on the bike. Rider preference and inseam length will determine which length of shocks to go with. In most cases, we recommend the 13” shock (if your inseam allows for it), as this shock will provide an additional inch of travel over the 12” shock. The best way to determine if a certain shock length we offer will work for you is to measure the shocks currently on your bike between the upper and lower mounting bolts with your weight on the bike, and then compare that measurement to our shock lengths listed above after the sag has been set. This process will let you know how much your seat height will change by going with one of our particular lengths of shock.
The last option to consider with our coil shocks is to determine which spring rate you need, whether that is Standard Duty or Heavy Duty. On the FL models, we recommend the Heavy Duty spring if the weight on the bike whether one-up and loaded or two-up is consistently over 500 lbs. On the Dyna models if the weight on the bike, one-up or two-up is consistently over 250 lbs. we recommend going with the Heavy Duty spring rate. There are a lot of scenarios where our riders are close to that 500 lb. or 250 lb. weight threshold, but maybe just below it. In these instances, you may want to discuss your situation further with us so that we can get a better understanding of your situation and give you our best recommendation. One thing to mention is that these weight thresholds are a basic guideline and not gospel. Meaning, our springs will cover a wide variety of weight ranges and still offer a comfortable ride, due to the design of the spring we use. We run a longer coil spring that is lighter than a lot of other springs on the market, which means that we have some wiggle room when it comes to rider weights. In other words, you may be a 350 or 400lbs. rider, and even though you are below the HD weight recommendation, you will still have a comfortable ride with our HD spring.
If you are still having a hard time deciding which suspension best suits your needs, please follow the BLUE link below and complete our suspension recommendation form and one of our representatives will provide you with a couple of options.
Suspension Recommendation Form
I hope this helps you make an educated decision on your shock purchase, and for part numbers and prices for your particular motorcycle, please refer to our website: www.legendsuspensions.com