Progressive Shock Upgrade

New Suspenders

progressive bagger shocks

Making the move to Progressive was a good idea.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

The most important part of having a lowrider motorcycle is having it sit low. While there are several methods to lower the rear of motorcycle, the most common is the use of shortened shocks. Our project 1989 Electra Glide Sport FLHS has been running Burly Slammer rear shocks for more than two years without a single problem. The only downside to them is they are designed to be an inexpensive way to lower the bike, while still retaining some bit of suspension.

We found the limits of the Slammer Shocks after a few two-up rides and our asses seeing some daylight on some rough-and-tumble roads during the Hot Bike Tour.

To help regain some control, we decided to install Progressive Suspension’s 944 Series Ultra Touring shocks. They are available in two different lengths, including a 12.5-inch Ultra Low, which we chose.

Installation is extremely straightforward and could be accomplished by anyone using hand tools in a garage. The difference in ride quality is overwhelming and possibly one of the best investments you can make to your motorcycle. Gone are the bumps and jars, replaced with a much more controllable squat with substantially greater control.

Sources:

Progressive Suspension

944 Series Ultra Low Shocks

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progressive bagger shocks

Here’s our heavily modified 1989 Electra Glide Sport sitting low and pretty.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Tucked between the custom bags, you can see the Burly Slammer shocks that provided us with a couple of years of reliable shock duty.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

First we removed both bags to gain access to the shocks behind.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Before removing the shocks, we unloaded the pressure off the shocks using a jack underneath the frame.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Remove both shocks by removing the top and bottom bolts. Raise or lower the bike using the jack to make sure the shock springs are not under tension.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Shown here are the shocks side by side. You can see the new Progressive 944s (left) are only slightly longer than the super short Burly Slammers (right).

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Install the new shocks using the supplied hardware. Make sure and install them the correct side up according to the directions.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

You might need to raise the bike using the jack to correctly line up the bolt-holes.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Before reinstalling the bags, with the help of an additional person, check and set the sag by measuring how much the bike lowers with the rider sitting on it. Make adjustments as necessary as per factory recommendations.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Finally reinstall the bags back on the bike. Our bags were custom to the bike, so we had to make a few adjustments to the mounting brackets to allow for the longer shocks.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

progressive bagger shocks

Hidden away behind the bags, the new shocks are ready for duty. The longer shocks only raised the rear of the bike slightly, but the increase in handling was well worth it. New suspension designed specifically for your bike and the type of riding you do can be one of the best investments you can make.

Words and Photos: John Zamora