Comparison: Touring Rear Shocks

– By: Gordon, Customer

I’d like to share my experience swapping out the rear shocks on my 2015 Road Glide Special – from Stock to Progressive 944 Ultras to Legend Revo A‘s. It’s easy to get lost in parts catalogs; easy to be confused by conflicting opinions on the forums. The truth is that there is no “best shock”. There is however a best shock for the situation. I’m going to share with you my particular situation and what i’ve learned along the way.

A little about me… I’m a heavy 6’4 rider. I’m big, but by no means totally unusual in the Harley-Davidson community. My physical structure doesnt matter much to the lighting, or the audio, or the speed of my bike… but it does affect the suspension.

The stock suspension was ok enough for me. Not perfect, but not a problem either. It did however become an issue when I’d take passengers along on a ride with me. There wasn’t any way around it – in order to be comfortable with 2up riding, I needed different rear shocks. I definitely needed rear shocks with adjustable spring rates to be more specific. That’s the biggest hit that i’ll give the stock setup. Otherwise it’s totally comfortable and appropriate for most people.

So, after much debate, my first purchase was on a set of Progressive 944 Ultras with heavy duty springs. I had heard good things about these shocks for quite some time. The thing that put me over the edge though, to be honest, was an aggressive price discount. I figured why not? I was getting a great deal on them and they just had to be better than stock, right? Well, sorta. After I had them installed, I realized the improvements were negligible on the road. I was underwhelmed. Though solo riding was a little bit better, riding with a passenger was not. It turned incredibly stiff. These shocks are adjustable, but only in preload adjustments. I rode this way for one whole season. When the new riding season came along, I decided that it was time to mix things up again.

I went with the Legend Revo A with heavy duty springs. This time I paid a premium for it too, about $900 in parts, but it was worth it. The change was dramatic. The key difference here is that the Legends allow you to set rebounds independently. After I dialed in my needs for my particular riding style and body structure everything got better. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about going over a speed bump, or cruising through the simple nuances of a paved highway – every facet of road feel was improved. Most importantly, my wife is now a happier passenger. I love her, but she’s not a hardcore motorcycle rider. That why it speaks volumes for these shocks that she immediately noticed the difference that the Legends made. She doesn’t care one bit about the particulars of preload adjustments, or rebound settings, etc… but she does appreciate feeling. And though experts can debate the technical merits of Legend vs Progressive vs Stock all day long, there’s no technical substitute for sensation. The fact of the matter is that these Legend Revos feel better to us than anything else we’ve ever tested, and we’ll happily be customers for a long time to come.

Post any questions or comments you may have and i’ll be happy to respond!

 

 

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