Rear suspension on a motorcycle is a subjective experience. That is, the "best" shocks for a 300-pound buddy aren't likely to meet the demands of your 105-pound girlfriend. Or what about the difference in feel between riding solo around town and packed to the hilt for a weeklong trip? Other than swapping out your shocks to meet your changing riding demands, another way to go is with an adjustable air-ride suspension system that allows the air pressure to be varied to suit specific riding conditions.
To satisfy each of the various editors here at HOT BIKE, we contacted Big Dog Motorcycles (BDM) about suspension possibilities for the '06 Mastiff that'll reside in our stable for the next year. BDM's kit (part No. 133-000020-00) includes shocks, compressor, air-pressure gauge, air line, bracket, and all mounting hardware. Big Dog did its homework on this system by having the wires and controls for the air ride already engineered into the stock wiring harness.
We took the Mastiff down to V-Twin City in Santa Ana, CA, and had Dave Donato take us through the install.