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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to be fitting the Progressive 465-1171, 1" lower rear shock and the 11-1145 front springs when they arrive. Now I have looked everywhere and cant seem to find much info on installing instructions or videos on fitting the front ones. Rear is no problem.
Even on Progressives web site it doesn't list instructions specifically for the VN900.

I mainly want to know the length the spacer needs to be to drop the front 1" as well.
Do the springs come with the spacers? or do you have to make them?

Does anyone know of video or pictures showing the progressive front spring install and spacer adjustment for height for VN900?
 

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The instructions I received really didn't deal with the actual installation, but the set up. I used the service manual and would expect the same for the front. As for the spacers (if they are not included) there (Progressive) tech support should be able to assist you. I found them to be knowledgeable and quick to respond to my inquiries.

When installed would like to hear your thoughts on the front suspension upgrade. Good luck
 

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For my 800, I used a Clymer for instruction. The springs came with a 1" pc of PVC you have to cut to length, they have a chart with the springs that tells you how long to cut it for stock height. Simply cut it about 1" shorter should give you a 1" drop. Its a 12" long pc., enough to cut 2 spacers.


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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice above.


will you elaborate on how, and if, your ride "smoothed out" instead of "handling curves, and potholes"? thanks!
Yes I will. I am really hoping the ride does smooth out. The roads where I live are quite rough, beautiful scenery but rough roads, so if I can sit on the bike and ride without the constant little bounces, jarring, pogo sticking, to sort of float over the unevenness of the road it will be worth the money. It already handles well with stock springs and shocks but the ride seems to be getting harsher or more jarring over bumps, just is not soaking up the jarring as much as I would like.
On smooth roads I don't think I would bother changing anything as the stock springs and shocks are fine.
Hope that's what you mean by smoothed out?
If I can I might do a bit of a tutorial when I do the front springs and rear shock fitting. At least take some photos of before and after height. I only want to drop an 1" as I have increased the height about that with Mustang seat and 170 rear tyre.
 

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will you elaborate on how, and if, your ride "smoothed out" instead of "handling curves, and potholes"? thanks!
I just got back from a ride out to Julian, CA. Hwy 79 has a long stretch that is constant tar snakes. With the new rear shock it was a very pleasant and smoother ride (no pogo stick).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just got back from a ride out to Julian, CA. Hwy 79 has a long stretch that is constant tar snakes. With the new rear shock it was a very pleasant and smoother ride (no pogo stick).
That's good to hear. I am really hoping they do smooth it out. Have you done or are you going to do, or not going to bother with doing the front progressive springs as well?

I have the fronts coming as well because I have to get everything from USA, so I got both at once to try and cut down on freight costs to Australia. I am doing my bit for the American economy anyway.
 

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That's good to hear. I am really hoping they do smooth it out. Have you done or are you going to do, or not going to bother with doing the front progressive springs as well?

I have the fronts coming as well because I have to get everything from USA, so I got both at once to try and cut down on freight costs to Australia. I am doing my bit for the American economy anyway.
I was not thinking of the front forks, but looking forward to your report on installation and ride quality. Front forks have always given me pause to work on. Don't know why, just have. Post pics of the upgrade. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok. I just spent a couple of days fitting the front springs and rear shock, playing with preload, rebounds and ride heights.
And I just cant believe this is the same bike, the difference in ride is amazing.

BLACKFEATHER, its is smooth, on all the small to medium washboard type corrugations, and the roads where I live are washboards, it is so smooth you don't even feel them, and I mean it you don't feel them.
That for me would have been enough, but you also get no pogostick flick off the seat on the big bumps and a lot less back jar on the big sharp ugly ones.
You also get no front fork dive under brakes( well it feels like none) which results in better control of bike and more ground clearance when braking into a corner.
But the best thing of all for me was the benefit of what the 1" lower front and rear has done to the bike in shifting the weight lower, seat lower and the whole bike just looks the goods now. The 1" lower has made the bike sit better on side stand and when you hop on bike it now requires NO effort to move bike from side stand to vertical.
It honestly feels like a different bike to ride 1" lower with this suspension. I don't think it could be any better.
I have not noticed any decrease in ground clearance through the twisties, probably because the front doesn't dive as much.

I ended up setting the preload on back shock to 33mm from shock fully extended (back wheel off ground) to bike back on ground sitting on the bike, that's about 1/3 of suspension travel and what progressive recommend. I tried a couple of other preloads but it wasn't as good.
Rebound I have ended up on 2. That gives me the best ride over the roads I ride on and suits my weight.

Now fitting the front springs is very easy to do and I highly recommend doing it.
I did not remove the forks, I did not remove my handle bars as I have 4" riser and didn't need to, you would have to if you have stock bars and risers on a classic, just undo the 2 nuts on bottom of risers and lay bars back.
All I had to do was,
Jack up front wheel off ground.
Pop the 2 chrome caps at top of forks, prised them off with a sharp pick.
Push down on spring retainer, it only goes down a few mm, prise out the retainng ring with the same pick you used for the caps.
Lift out springs.
At this point you can suction out fork oil with a hand suction pump with a long piece of tube, the tube does go to bottom of forks, you just have to jiggle it through a hole about half way down, suck out the oil and it does get all off it, maybe leaves a couple of CCs, who cares it saves pulling the whole front of bike to bits and you get 99% of oil out.
To fill with fork oil,(I used 10W) drop jack and lower front right down till forks bottom out (with NO springs Installed in tubes) fill each tube to 160mm from top of fork, give or take a few. That's it.
Jack front back up so wheel is off ground.
Put new springs in, washer supplied from progressive is next, then the PVC spacer. Now if you want stock height at front, put the PVC in tube and scribe a line around PVC at top edge of fork tube and cut 2 at that length, 1 for each fork tube. That's for stock height.
If you want front an 1" lower cut another 1" off each one of the PVC pipes.

When I removed the chrome fork caps I found water has been getting in there and rust was starting to form, not bad but I wouldn't like to see what could happen in there after a few years. I cleaned it all out, and when I finished with front springs and height adjustments I filled top of fork tube with petroleum grease and put chrome cap on, that should stop water getting in and sitting in there causing rust.

Hoped this helped.
 

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Nice write up. Did you have issues using the spanner tool supplied? I just can't seem to get the wrench to reach well enough to grab the adjusting rings. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice write up. Did you have issues using the spanner tool supplied? I just can't seem to get the wrench to reach well enough to grab the adjusting rings. Thanks.
I did not even try to use it Bosco. I just took the shock of each time as it was only three bolts and I wanted to grease all the pivot bearings etc.
I thought that tool looked pretty useless.

Im thinking of renaming this bike to" Vulcan Low Glide FRPS"

Its Lower, Glides over bumps, Front & Rear Progressive Suspension.
 

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greyhairhoon....that is excellent info....thanks for the detailed explanation....when the $$ come around for me, that will be what I do...good to know about the smooth ride....it will be better for my sciatica! Thanks again for the progressive update!
 

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I did not even try to use it Bosco. I just took the shock of each time as it was only three bolts and I wanted to grease all the pivot bearings etc.
I thought that tool looked pretty useless.
Thanks. I ended up doing the same thing, removing the shock and making the adjustment. Took 3 times, but it was easier. Thought maybe you found a trick to adjust while in the bike.
 

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Geez just when you think you have it all, here comes another upgrade. LOL

Now I am going to have to plan for this expense as both the wife and I have bad backs and this seems to be a great idea. I found both the front springs and rear shock on Amazon for under $450. Not a bad deal, the progressive website was gonna charge $590 for the same items. Now when i get them i have to decide if i am going to do it myself or have the shop install them. thinking I can do the shock easy enough, but don't really wanna mess with the front springs. Are they even worth it? Or would the rear shock be enough of an improvement you think? heard some good things about the springs though too.
 

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On my 800 with around 70k miles, the springs were definetly worth it.
I just rolled over 17K on mine, so relatively low miles still. My wife's health is definitely worse off than mine, and she gets the brunt of the bumps being on the back. Me being centered on bike helps out much. but she really pays for it when we get onto those bad roads with the sissy bar pad pounding at her back.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just rolled over 17K on mine, so relatively low miles still. My wife's health is definitely worse off than mine, and she gets the brunt of the bumps being on the back. Me being centered on bike helps out much. but she really pays for it when we get onto those bad roads with the sissy bar pad pounding at her back.
For your wifes sake do the rear shock, she will thank you for it and you will notice massive difference as well. I did notice a big difference with front springs, like less dive under brakes etc, but I mainly like being able to quickly adjust the ride height of the front with the simple pvc spacer to get the bike looking nice and level and a bit lower. I think the front springs sagged a bit after a few months and I just made a slightly longer spacer to lift them a bit and all good now. Probably wont touch them again.
What I do love about 1" lower bike is how low the weight of bike shifts, and when on side stand it almost straightens itself up when you sit on the bike. There is just no effort at all.
I don't think the front springs are essential to do for comfort, but the rear one is.
 

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For your wifes sake do the rear shock, she will thank you for it and you will notice massive difference as well. I did notice a big difference with front springs, like less dive under brakes etc, but I mainly like being able to quickly adjust the ride height of the front with the simple pvc spacer to get the bike looking nice and level and a bit lower. I think the front springs sagged a bit after a few months and I just made a slightly longer spacer to lift them a bit and all good now. Probably wont touch them again.
What I do love about 1" lower bike is how low the weight of bike shifts, and when on side stand it almost straightens itself up when you sit on the bike. There is just no effort at all.
I don't think the front springs are essential to do for comfort, but the rear one is.
Rear shock is in the budget now. And I am going to have to install it myself for that kind of coin. But I prefer that anyways. Get that done 1st and eventually do the front springs as well. Thanks Hoon!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rear shock is in the budget now. And I am going to have to install it myself for that kind of coin. But I prefer that anyways. Get that done 1st and eventually do the front springs as well. Thanks Hoon!
DL, Good one. Its easy to fit mate, and you know it will be done properly, if I cant do something myself, it doesn't get done. No one loves your bike more than you do.
 
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