Low equals cool; at least, in our opinion. After test riding the Nightster (Vol. 39 No. 9), we kicked around a few ideas of how to achieve a similar look on our stock '06 XLC Sportster.
After perusing the Internet and various catalogs, we came to the conclusion that Progressive Suspension's new 812 Series shocks (MSRP: $349 per pair) would be the perfect fit for what we had in mind. The 812s are 11 inches as opposed to the 12-inch stock shocks, and feature a five position pre-load adjuster so that you can play around with the riding style you prefer. With just a couple of turns you can increase the pre-load for a more aggressive ride or decrease pre-load for a nice and spongy leisurely stroll. Plus, the chromed 812s are available in two different spring-can designs: Baloney-cut or Double-cut.
To complement the drop in the rear, we compensated by lowering the front forks about two inches with Progressive's Fork Lowering Kit (MSRP: $102) so that we would still be all right as far as ground clearance was concerned without grinding the pegs to a bare nub-at least not right away.
We brought the stock Sportster into Progressive's shop, and the install took roughly an hour and a half: The shocks about 20 minutes, and the fork legs about an hour. We were amazed at how simple the install was; even if you aren't playing with a full deck you still should have no trouble doing the same thing in your garage. Enjoy!