The stock shock only has spring tension settings. I tried multiple different settings and found that the ride was jarring on higher more firm settings. The shock bottomed out on dips in the road. The new shock with it's air cushion compresses when loaded and stops the shock from bottoming out. I have left it on the factory settings so far and will wait until next month to see how it acts when the bike is fully loaded on a long distance tour. In the meantime, although the ride is slightly more stiff, it's very comfortable and I haven't been able to bottom the shock yet.