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Discussion Starter #1
I've about convinced myself to have a Progressive 465 shock installed, the 1" lower version, to lower the seat after installing the commander II 170/80 rear tire, and to get the better ride. A lot of bad roads where I live. Reading other posts on this I see a major issue with installation is getting the sag set correctly. A local dealer will install the shock for about $150 after tax. I asked about setting the sag and they said they would get it set OK for my weight but once set, it would cost more to reset it if necessary. So, my question is, if they get it set reasonably, 3/4 - 7/8 perhaps, am I going to be happy with that? I guess I'm also wondering, why is it difficult to get it set "correctly", that is, what am I looking for to know it is set correctly, or perhaps I should say, optimally? What's the effect if it is not set correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Help with Progressive 465 shock preload adjustment

Thought I'd try one more time to get some help with this. I ordered the shock and will have a local shop install it. I want to make sure I get the preload set correctly and probably need to hound the tech during installation to get that done. With that in mind, I found the installation instructions online and pasted it in below. Makes sense for the most part but one question. The last section says, "Ride Sag is generally expected to be 1/3 of wheel travel." What "wheel" are they referring to?


Preload / Ride Sag

Preload is preset to an average setting, but should be adjusted to
produce the proper Ride Sag using the adjuster wrench included
(requires the use of a 3/8" rachet) - OR the Remote Adjustable Pre-Load
adjuster, if so equipped.

Pre-load adjustment controls the ride height or sag of your motorcycle.
To check your Ride Sag there are two key measurements, the first is
Extended Height the second is Ride Height, and both are ideally
measured from the center of the rear axle to an arbitrary point directly
above the axle (a fender bracket, for instance).

Extended Height is measured with the bike on a jack with the rear tire
just off the ground or off the stand and with a helper. While holding the
bike straight up have the helper solidly lift the rear end by the fender or
rack until you feel the shocks stop extending, or top out. Once you are
certain the suspension if fully extended, take your first measurement.

Ride Height is measured with the rider, or riders, and gear on the bike
(hands on the bars and feet on the pegs) and a helper or two supporting
it. A measurement is again taken using the same points as before.
Now subtract the second measurement - Ride Height - from the first
measurement - Extended height - and the difference between the two
measurements is the Ride Sag.

Ride Sag is generally expected to be 1/3 of the total wheel travel. If your
number is less, then the bike will require less preload, and if it is greater,
more preload is needed.
 

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Dont have a 900, but do have an 800 with the same shock. The hardest part about setting preload on mine is room to get to it, I end up taking shock off and doing it. If to soft, you may bottom out the tire and fender, and have a bouncy ride, bad for mid corner bumps. If too stiff ride will be uncomfortable, bumps will go right up your back.


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Discussion Starter #5
Dont have a 900, but do have an 800 with the same shock. The hardest part about setting preload on mine is room to get to it, I end up taking shock off and doing it. If to soft, you may bottom out the tire and fender, and have a bouncy ride, bad for mid corner bumps. If too stiff ride will be uncomfortable, bumps will go right up your back.


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Thanks Rick. So, is do you find you need to adjust the preload sometimes? Do you remember about how must sag you adjusted it too?
 

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When I got mine, I added about 3/8th" tighter than it was when it came. At that time, it was my only bike and I wanted it stiff enough to handle a load travelling 2up. After I got the Voyager, I set it back about were it was new, that was to soft, so now have it about a 1/4" tighter and seems just right for me. Solo, its firm but not harsh, and 2up its comfy. I remeber instructions saying to set sag at about 1/3 total travel under normal load. Never measured mine, just know it feels right.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I got mine, I added about 3/8th" tighter than it was when it came. At that time, it was my only bike and I wanted it stiff enough to handle a load travelling 2up. After I got the Voyager, I set it back about were it was new, that was to soft, so now have it about a 1/4" tighter and seems just right for me. Solo, its firm but not harsh, and 2up its comfy. I remeber instructions saying to set sag at about 1/3 total travel under normal load. Never measured mine, just know it feels right.
When you say, 3/8th" tighter, I assume you are talking about the preload ring on the shock, correct? Also, since you set it tighter than the way it shipped, it must be set to some optimal preload for the bike, and then you can add or subtract from that point, is that right?

I'm about 200 lbs and ride alone most of the time. Once in a while my wife, 100 lbs, will ride with me. Also, I ordered the 1" lower version of the shock. Not sure if that makes any difference. Anyway, do the instructions provide guidance on how to adjust the preload based on weight?
 

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We are about the same weight wise, but I ride mostly 2up, she's about my weight also. Cant remember being anything on weight and settings, and I do mean I tightened the spring. It is threaded about 4" up the shock and came about midway on the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A couple more questions.

Do you have to swap the bushings from the stock shock to the new one?

Also, is it possible to adjust the preload with the shock in the bike? It appears everyone says they remove it to adjust it. That's really my biggest concern because I'm planning on having a shop install it and set it but after that, I'll either have to pay them to set it differently, or do it myself. If that's the case it may make more sense to bite the bullet, buy a jack, some decent sockets, and just dig in. But again, with limited experience with this stuff I'm very hesitant to do that. Maybe I've bit off more than I can chew with this.
 

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Mine came with everything needed, even a spanner wrench to adjust. They can be a pain to remove and replace only because you have to remove a side cover to get to the top mounting bolt, at least on the 800. They really arent bad to do, 2 bolts to remove and replace for the shock. Its a snug fit getting in and out, but a little patience and it can be done be most anybody. Too bad you are so far away, I'd give a hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dont have a 900, but do have an 800 with the same shock. The hardest part about setting preload on mine is room to get to it, I end up taking shock off and doing it. If to soft, you may bottom out the tire and fender, and have a bouncy ride, bad for mid corner bumps. If too stiff ride will be uncomfortable, bumps will go right up your back.


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I had the shock installed at the stock settings. It's a better ride from the bounce perspective, but I was jarred a bit on some bigger bumps. The "up your spine" feeling I think you mentioned. So, sounds like I need to loosen it up a bit, that is, raise the preload setting to allow more spring, is that correct?
 

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If you are not bottoming the shock, then would loosen just a little bit, maybe raise it a 1/4". May also try adjust the rebound on the bottom of the shock, should have an allen wrench with shock and have 5 setting for rebound. The higher the number, the less bound you get.
 

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olddave you are overthinking it all, DONT pay $150 to undo a couple of bolts, it is not rocket science, the preload is easy, the shock install is easy, just borrow someone's floor jack, that's all I use. Set the preload with a little bit less drop when you sit on it and you should be right 2 up, it wont bottom out, it wont be to soft, it wont be to hard. you wont ever have to play with the preload again. The soft hard part of the shock is the damper adjustment which is easy as, just turn a little screw. Set and forget.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
olddave you are overthinking it all, DONT pay $150 to undo a couple of bolts, it is not rocket science, the preload is easy, the shock install is easy, just borrow someone's floor jack, that's all I use. Set the preload with a little bit less drop when you sit on it and you should be right 2 up, it wont bottom out, it wont be to soft, it wont be to hard. you wont ever have to play with the preload again. The soft hard part of the shock is the damper adjustment which is easy as, just turn a little screw. Set and forget.
Well, first, it's already done so that's that. But, beyond that, while I know it's a no-brainer for most folks here, it's a bit more intimidating for those of us who don't regularly work on bikes. That said, I'm very sure if I took my time I could do the work. For me it's really a matter of convenience. I could do more of my own work on my cars as well if I really wanted to (and I use to) but for this one-off thing, it's just easier to let the shop do it. Regarding the adjustments, I can do those. Not a problem.

To be honest, the entire bike thing was (is) an experiment for me. I just got back into last year and I'm still deciding how far I want to go with it. (Maybe this needs a new thread?) I know most everyone on this forum is pretty hard-core into bikes. I do love to ride but I have some other things competing for my time and attention as well. So, we'll see.

Anyway, thanks for all the help on this. I'm pretty much alone locally when it comes to the bike so this forum is really my only resource for honest information. I really appreciate it.
 

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If the roads are bad where you live, then why would you go to shorter travel suspension, which will feel more harsh?

Also, Progressive Suspension is Kawasaki under a different name.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If the roads are bad where you live, then why would you go to shorter travel suspension, which will feel more harsh?

Also, Progressive Suspension is Kawasaki under a different name.
I went with the 1" lower shock to lower the seat after installing the taller 170/80B15 rear tire, in place of the stock size of 180/70B15. The taller tire reduces the rpms at a given speed and effectively "fixes" the speedo error. But to answer your question, yes, the shorter travel does not allow for as much room to move and is less effective than the full size, per the Progressive folks. Still, I was hoping it would be some improvement over the stock because of the better quality and adjustable dampener.

So far with the stock settings, the ride is much more bouncy than the stock shock. I don't seem to pogo-stick as much over bumps but I think I feel the bumps aobut the same, or maybe a bit softer than the stock. I had the preload on the stock shock set at 4. I probably need to try to increase the preload on the Progressive shock to reduce the bounce, but still trying to figure it out. Frankly, I wish I'd stayed with the stock tire size, the original shock, and just installed a Baron's front pulley to reduce the rpms. But, what's done is done. I probably won't go back now unless I can't get the new shock set to a point where the ride is acceptable.
 

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Once you get the progressive dialed in you'll like the ride. I found the spanner wrench nearly impossible to use, so I just removed the shock a couple times to make the adjustments and have it dialed in for both solo and 2-up. I made it a bit softer when riding 2-up and my wife loves it now, no more back jarring hits (unless I am not paying attention and hit a pot hole), then I get an ear full....

As mentioned using a jack makes it easy to drop the shock out through the bottom, and reverse for the install (2 bolts).
 

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Well, first, it's already done so that's that. But, beyond that, while I know it's a no-brainer for most folks here, it's a bit more intimidating for those of us who don't regularly work on bikes. That said, I'm very sure if I took my time I could do the work. For me it's really a matter of convenience. I could do more of my own work on my cars as well if I really wanted to (and I use to) but for this one-off thing, it's just easier to let the shop do it. Regarding the adjustments, I can do those. Not a problem.

To be honest, the entire bike thing was (is) an experiment for me. I just got back into last year and I'm still deciding how far I want to go with it. (Maybe this needs a new thread?) I know most everyone on this forum is pretty hard-core into bikes. I do love to ride but I have some other things competing for my time and attention as well. So, we'll see.

Anyway, thanks for all the help on this. I'm pretty much alone locally when it comes to the bike so this forum is really my only resource for honest information. I really appreciate it.
Olddave, Yeah I understand what your saying mate. I hope I didn't sound a bit harsh with the do it yourself thing. I was trying to inspire you to have a go at it yourself and save $150, but if money is not an issue ,then no worries.
Good on you for experimenting, just about everything I do is an experiment, some work and some don't, I have a brand new Baron rear pulley sitting here that cost me over $400 and its crap, I hate it, took it off after 1000Klms and its sitting in shed. But I do think the 170 tyre and the 1" lower progressive, for me, is the best thing I have done to this bike, oh and the Mustang seat, oh and the....
Im only on this forum to try and learn, be helped when needed and give back any info I have, and let people know things I have tried on this bike and share that.
Hope you end up happy with all your mods.
 
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