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Old 03-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
johnny415
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Default shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

So I know others have posted on this, And after reading thru most of them thought 12" shocks would be safe bet, not too low not too high. Found a pretty sweet set of works 12" shocks, raced home mounted them and got a lil worried that they might be too low....? Running an 18" rear so I am tripping that the lower frame rail is sitting 4" off the deck... I dont have my fork on yet but was planning on dropping my 39mm NGs by 2" with spring kit. Looking for feedback if I need to sell these shocks and go with 12.5" or even 13" I want it low but dont want a bike that wont corner, running OE mid controls off the primary and tranny btw.

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

I ran around for years with my 4 speed swingarm frame 4 inches off the ground,due to relocated shock mounts on the swingarm. LOVED it. I love boards, too, and used to scrap them in tight corners. I'm putting that swingarm on my wife's Shovel as it handled great!
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

you'll scrape the clutch cover with 12s. you won't know how much though until the bike is finished. if you don't weigh too much and keep the bike light you should be relativly ok with those shocks with their adjustable spring rate.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

You might have to adjust the preload on the springs
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Thanks guys, was getting bumn'd out... the bike will be as light as possible, kick only, jap brakes, minimal fender etc... your basic skinny shovel. building it for my uncle 170lbs... also not running outer primary cover. So I guess I will leave them alone for now and and reassess later in the build... if i have to i am pretty sure I can resale them for what i paid.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
Could see a problem with the chain rubbing the inner primary and starter housing when running tall trans sprockets...

May see a need for one of these...



VT No: 19-0415
Reinforced nylon inner primary case saver protects inner case and starter housing area which can be damaged by drive chain.
Fits:
FL 1965-1984
FX 1971-1984
UOM: 1 - EA
Country of Origin: USA

Could drop the trans sprocket to a 20 tooth and get back to tall gearing with a 43, 44, 45 tooth rear sprocket..
thanks I will pick on up...
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
I'm a bit

If no ele. starter and no OEM inner primary will be used...No need for the shoe.
I actually will be using part of the inner primary as a bearing support and alignment for belt. I am going to trim/cut it and the outer cover just leave enough to support for my shifter and peg (inspection cover)... hope that makes sense...
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

I run the same set-up, but with an OEM Goodyear 16" tire, stock offset Springer, 4.50X19" tall front tire...Yup, I scrape my kickstand in tight corners...wouldn't change it for nothin!

I also run an open clutch basket so I have a solid bar installed in that large hole on that crossbar leading behind the transmission. I think you can still buy that bar. It protects the clutch basket from scraping on the ground or hitting the dirt in a left spill...I wouldn't be without that either!

Hope your uncle doesn't plan on riding anuybody because he might just have to dampen that rear shock all the way down for stiffness or I'm afraid that taller rear tire could strike the underside of the rear fender...not pretty!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlingit View Post
I run the same set-up, but with an OEM Goodyear 16" tire, stock offset Springer, 4.50X19" tall front tire...Yup, I scrape my kickstand in tight corners...wouldn't change it for nothin!

I also run an open clutch basket so I have a solid bar installed in that large hole on that crossbar leading behind the transmission. I think you can still buy that bar. It protects the clutch basket from scraping on the ground or hitting the dirt in a left spill...I wouldn't be without that either!

Hope your uncle doesn't plan on riding anuybody because he might just have to dampen that rear shock all the way down for stiffness or I'm afraid that taller rear tire could strike the underside of the rear fender...not pretty!
some good stuff... like the idea on the fame sliders.. i have some axle sliders from my supermoto that could work.. dont wanna dick up that new primo clutch. as for the fender it will be real short and I will custom fit it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny415 View Post
dont wanna dick up that new primo clutch.
Yeah. Dragging a clutch basket does ding it up a bit...

tlingit, I'd like to see that bar setup if you have a pic.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

OK, Doc! I'll shoot a few pics off to your personal email. Give me a few hours, I'm at work supervising my workers right now!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

I ran this 72 FLH for years with 12" shocks. It would scrape the pipes on one side, the primary on the other, but that just let you know if you were riding hard enough to keep up.

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

By the way Johnny415, that build will be beautiful, I don't sense you are deterred in anyway, so keep going on your plan, but keep the updates and pics coming.

12" shocks is a good size for the round swingarm that normally wore 13/13.5" shocks!

And my stock length Springer is another 2" drop from the old hydraglide forks but I'm sitting just as low as a rigid frame bike only I have suspension for my 63 year old ass and back! I run the '58-64 drop seat frame too!
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

You should be fine with 12" shocks, that's what I have on my '77 FLH (stock) and I've only scraped a few times. Mine sits about the same height from the ground as yours, I've got a square swingarm though. I'm even planning on getting 11" rear shocks for mine, for what its worth.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Scraping in turns is one thing; if you're out messing around and you throw sparks once in a while, okay...it's controllable to some degree.

My concern with running too low is when the shit hits the fan and your'e already leaned over; a blind turn radius tightens up or for whatever reason you have to get more angle in a turn and you jack a wheel up on a bottomed-out frame. That's no good.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Well Doc, I guess that comes with not over-riding what you have, but you are right!! If you're zipping along on an unknown road and riding your max, you might want to think abit ahead and lay off the aggressiveness (if thats possible for some of you!).

Hell, my days of casting fate to the wind with keeping the throttle locked on "surprize corners" is in my past...I say that now, but I hope I've learned my lessons!

All about knowing your's AND the bike's limits!

Last edited by tlingit; 03-21-2013 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
Could see a problem with the chain rubbing the inner primary and starter housing when running tall trans sprockets...

May see a need for one of these...



VT No: 19-0415
Reinforced nylon inner primary case saver protects inner case and starter housing area which can be damaged by drive chain.
Fits:
FL 1965-1984
FX 1971-1984
UOM: 1 - EA
Country of Origin: USA

Could drop the trans sprocket to a 20 tooth and get back to tall gearing with a 43, 44, 45 tooth rear sprocket..
I installed one of those with 12" shocks and it didn't last through the first ride. POS.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

i picked my rear wheel off the ground one time in a hairy downhill left hander when the primary grounded out. i pooped a little...........
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

thanks guys digging jockey journal I will try to keep the build progress upto date on this thread: https://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=102634 built a rigid evo last year learned a lot but down to learn more.....
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: shovelhead shocks "?" is 12" too low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
These are made to plug into the frame and a tab to bolt on....



Comes Chrome
curious on this.... but pic doesnt display
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