Declaring Victory - Although I had hoped for more.
Now for the real-world stuff.
Surprise discovery (minor):
- rear swing-arm is limited how far the wheel can extend, about 1/8" less than the 13.5" shocks want to go, I had to use the spring compressors to get them on, ok, no problem. Slightly less travel than I hoped for but still in the ballpark of much better. Also means a 14" shock will not fit this bike. You can't raise the rear much over stock, maybe 1/2" tops, but that's a half inch, glad to have it.
The amount of travel and other theory-craft numbers seem to be accurate, fantastic.
So it went on, see the pic, I put the collars on, but they are likely going to come off, right now one has a collar, and one doesn't.
The ride reports:
First ride (40 mi round-trip to work, my commute route, has some nasty bumps at 70 mph):
- 70/120 springs maximum preload - The numbers I had been given by Progressive support lead me to believe this was about the right place to start. This was a very harsh ride, my back was not thanking me. I had to stand up on bumps, same as my adv bike, but worse, much worse. The bike is otherwise nice, bigger engine than I am used to, love the SE pipes, etc., but I'll stay on subject here.
Second ride (same 40 mi trip):
- 70/120 springs, minimum preload (1/4" more SAG than recommended, this is not a problem). Ride was much better, still harsher than the adv bike, but my back could tolerate it nicely, until I hit a big bump on the freeway at 70mph, ouch, big ouch. I suspect I bottomed it out, but don't know for sure.
Third ride (short neighborhood jaunt over nasty bumps), also minimum pre-load:
- to test the theory I had bottomed the suspension, I did the trick of moving the rubber stop down the post until it contacts the body. It will be pushed up only as far as the maximum suspension travel used on the ride, rode around over some big bumps at 30-45 mph (my local streets leave a bit to be desired, useful for the test).
I used all but 1" of travel, this is perfect, looks like this is the sweet spot for me, I may not have bottomed out after all.
At this point I am declaring victory, I get a noticably softer ride than the stock or the 412 std spring. Most or all of the suspension travel is being used. The downside is this bike still has a harsh ride by my aging back's standards, but I made it a lot better.
So, if you are in the 160ish or lower range (with gear), the Progressive 12 series 13.5" shock with the 70/120 springs is an economical way to soften the ride a bit.
Last edited by Kurt; 11-12-2017 at 11:49 PM.