Burnout Cycles Bolt-On Motorcycle Lowering Kit

Drop That Bike

This kit contains parts for both shocks. The top set, unassembled, shows two Nylock nuts, two Pro-Thane bushings, two bushing washers, two flat washers, one mounting shaft, and one 12mm hex-head end bolt.

The bike was placed on a lift so we could measure the height of the fender. The distance between the tops of the belt guard to the bottom of the fender was 4 inches.

To get started, Chad placed a flat-jack under the bike to get the framerails up high enough to remove the stock shocks.

The shocks were removed from the bike, and the old bushings and washers were removed from the shocks' mounting post. They will be replaced with new ones from the kit.

After cleaning the threads on the stock shock, Chad used a small amount of blue thread locker on the mounting post before installing the lowering kit.

Next, he installed the longer Burnout threaded-shaft post onto the shock until both the Nylock nut and post were bottomed out; this will allow the now longer shock and new bushing to fit back into the mounting holes of the frame before the height is adjusted.

Here is a look at the shocks before they go back on the bike. The one on the top is stock length, just out of the bike, and the bottom one has the Burnout mounting shaft with the Nylock nut and bushing and is ready to go back into the frame.

After installing the kit on the remaining shock, Chad slid the post end into the frame mounts, then placed the other bushing and washer onto the post along with the Nylock nut onto the shaft. He did not tighten the nuts at this time.

A small block of wood was placed on the top of the flat-jack to help push the eyelet side of the now longer shock and bushing past the crossmember of the frame. This helps to compress the bushing to get it to clear the crossmember. Note that the Nylock nut needs to be threaded all the way down the shaft for clearance.

Chad used a bit of anti-seize on both the rear mounting bolts before installing them back onto the swingarm.

Then both the bolts were torqued to factory spec. Chad removed the flat-jack from under the bike to see just how low the bike was sitting.

He marked the tire with a tire crayon to see how low it was. The bike's fender was about 4 inches lower than before and bottomed out. So he adjusted the ride height to clear the tire and keep the belt from rubbing the top of the inner primary.

What do you mean, "drop that bike"? Well, the saying "slammed to the weeds" is just another way of saying "lowered." On most bikes the rear fender is mounted high on the frame, so that the rear wheel has enough room to travel up and down when the bike hits a bump without the tire rubbing the inside of the fender. It also allows the bike to carry a passenger with enough travel and comfortable feel. However, having the fender so high may not have the look you are after-lowering the bike gives it a much more custom look.

There are several ways to get that lowered look on your bike. Some solutions are as easy as a low-profile seat, while others involve a little more work and a lot more money, such as an adjustable air-ride system complete with an onboard compressor. Some of these systems can cost more than $2,000. Or you can get a set of adjustable shocks; there's a handful of different companies that you can pick from, but still this could cost up to $800. Another option would be a component designed to change the length of the stock shocks, such as the TC Softail Lowering Kit from Burnout Cycles in Victorville, CA.

Jeff Wells, the owner of Burnout Cycles, was looking for a way to lower a bike's profile without spending a ton of money. He's come up with a lowering kit that will lower the bike's ride height as much as 2.25 inches under stock. The kit is made from CNC-machined steel with "Pro-Thane" bushing material and high-grade Nylock hardware. This kit goes for just under $100 and can be installed in little time without disassembling the shock.

This kit is designed and intended to fit original Harley-Davidson Softail shocks for the Twin-Cam models. We stopped by Anaheim-Fullerton H-D, where service manger Colby Craddock let us borrow a lift and Chad Lipman (one of the service techs) to give us a hand with the install. Note: Handling will be affected by the reduction in ride height. Always consult your factory shop manual prior to performing these types of modifications.

After a few adjustments Chad had the height that he felt was right for the look of this bike, which ended up being 2-1/4 inches lower than stock. After the test ride he checked everything and made sure nothing was rubbing or bottoming out. The bike looks good lowered and has a custom look to it, but with the reduced wheel travel the bike will feel a bit stiffer and will have less ground clearance and reduced cornering.