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Top 8 Best Shocks for Harley Davidson (2020 Review)

Are you looking for the best shocks for Harley Sportster? If so, then our complete buyer’s guide has you covered. Here you’ll learn about the best Harley shocks, shocks of different types, how to choose, things to consider, and many more.

Best Shocks for Harley Sportster

Harley Davidson bikes are without a doubt among the coolest and high-quality bikes. And though a Harley has excellent built-in parts, you can upgrade your Harley shocks for an even smoother and bumpless ride.

Good quality Harley shocks give you flexibility, more control, comfort, and safety. Besides, they play a good part in enhancing your Harley’s look as well.
Though to discriminate, you need to learn about:

  • Bearing capacity
  • Stiffness
  • Adjustability
  • Mechanism
  • Brand
  • Price, etc

And in this guide, we’ve got all of the above covered with proper explanation. So let’s dig in and find out the best shocks for Harley Sportster that appeal to you the most.

Image
Product
Perfect design
BURLY Black 10.5" Slammer Shock
  • Dropped fork springs
  • Stubby shocks
  • 10.5 inches eye to eye
Better performance
Progressive 412-4080B Suspension
  • 12” in length
  • Black anodized finish
  • Cam style 5 position preload adjuster
Our Overall
Progressive 944-4020 UT Shocks
  • For 1984-2018 Touring bikes
  • Carries over 250 lbs
  • Frequency Sensing Technology (FST)
Factory Spec 04505 Stubby Shocks
  • 10.5” eye to eye distance
  • Preload adjustable
  • Chrome or black
Ohlins STX46 Rear Shocks for Harley
  • Monotube design
  • 46 mm pistons
  • High-pressure gas rebound
Burly B28-1201 Slammer Shock
  • Stubby design
  • 10.5” eye to eye
  • For Harley 2004-2011
Burly B28-1202 Slammer Shock
  • For Harley Dyna 1991-2011
  • Stubby design
  • 10.5” eye to eye
Legends Adjustable Revo-A Coil Suspensions
  • Revo suspension system
  • 6 external knobs
  • Coil suspension

#1 Shocks for Harley Sportster

Progressive Harley Shocks

Progressive Harley Shocks

We recommend the Progressive Harley shocks as the best overall shocks for different Harley models. These Ultra touring shocks are especially recommended for Harley 1984 — 2018 touring bikes.

So what’s so special about these shocks? What’s the hype?
First of all, they’ve got the immense bearing capacity. These shocks can easily carry up to 250 lbs. So if you’ve got a heavier build or you’re riding with another passenger, no need to hold back. Hit the road and get ready for a comfortable and smooth riding experience.

Additionally, it features an (FST) frequency sensing technology that senses the shock of a bump and adjusts the damping automatically, ensuring an excellent ride quality.

These shocks have a fairly simple design and the element of looks to them. So they boost your Harley’s look as well as performance.

Moreover, they’re easy to install. You should be able to mount them on your Harley within 3 hours. The progressive springs are specifically designed for touring. You can adjust the spring pre-load by hand as well.

And once you install it, you’ll notice a remarkable reduction in bumps and rebounds. No more back or chest pain. No splinters from stiffness as well.
Works on 1986 — 2018 Electra Glides, 1994 — 2018 Road Kings, 1998 — 2018 Road Glides, 2015 — 2018 Ultra Limiteds, 2006 — 2018 Street Glides.
Technical Specifications

  • OEM 944-4020UT
  • Brand: Progressive Suspension
  • Frequency Sensing Technology
  • Fits 1984 – 2018 touring bikes
  • For Street-Cruiser motorcycles

Pros

  • Can carry up to 250 lbs
  • Smooth, bumpless ride
  • No rebound
  • Reduces chest & back pain
  • Quick installation
  • Supports hand pre-load

Cons

  • Reduced effectiveness in case of two riders
  • Maybe stiffer than your stock ones

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The Best Shocks for Harley: Sportster, Touring, Street Glide, Dyna

Tired of waiting for the product list to show up? We understand and won’t keep you any longer. In the previous sections, we simply intended to let you know some essentials before you settle for a particular product.

And if you followed it, you won’t have any problem selecting the best shocks for your Harley Davidson from the following list.

Product Name Eye to Eye Other Features
BURLY Black 10.5″ Slammer Shock 10.5”
  • For Sportster 2004-2011
  • Lowers bike height
  • Black body
Progressive 412-4080B Suspension 12”
  • Adjustable pre-load
  • Black-anodized
  • Double-wall steel body
Progressive 944-4020 UT Shocks 12”
  • 1984-2018 Touring Bikes
  • Carries up to 250 lbs
  • <3 hours installation
Factory Spec 04505 Stubby Shocks 10.5”
  • Adjustable pre-load
  • Short reach
  • Great looking
Ohlins STX46 Rear Shocks for Harley 12”
  • Monotube design
  • High-pressure gas
  • 46 mm pistons
Burly B28-1201 Slammer Shock 10.5”
  • Low design
  • Chrome polished
  • Harley 2004-2011
Burly B28-1202 Slammer Shock 10.5”
  • For Dyna 1991-2011
  • Stubby design
  • Chrome body
Legends Adjustable Revo-A Coil Suspensions 13”
  • 6 external knobs
  • Fine tunable
  • Coil suspension

The top best product [hide]

BURLY Black 10.5" Slammer Shock


BURLY Black 10.5

The Burly black slammer shock suspensions are our top recommendations. The design is so perfect that it makes them visually appealing. It also offers a fine balance between soft and stiff shocks. You just need to install it at the correct height.

However, for installing on low sitting bikes, you better check with your mechanic to prevent bottom out. And more weight means more softening for these shocks. As a heavy load increases softness, it also balances out for equal weighing people.

It also features a sticker on top, so if you want, you can easily remove it.

Buy on Amazon: BURLY Black 10.5″ Slammer Shock

Technical Specifications:
Dropped fork springs
Stubby shocks
10.5 inches eye to eye
For Harley Sportster 2004-2011
Black body
Pros
Great Harley Softail rear shocks
Lowers bike height
Elegant look
Cons
Softens up with weight
Possible bottom out

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Progressive 412-4080B Suspension


Progressive 412-4080B Suspension

The Progressive 412-4080B is a heavy-duty performance-boosting suspension. It has a sturdy double-wall steel body that can sustain a greater amount of shock and rebound. With the 5 position cam style adjuster, you can optimize the preload value as well.
These Progressive shocks have a good amount of reach. Eye to eye length is around 12”. So you can adjust as per your preference while preventing bottom out.

Technical Specifications:
12” in length
Black anodized finish
Cam style 5 position preload adjuster
Double-wall steel body
Pros
Durable build
Greater reach
Height adjustable
Cons
Relatively expensive
Limited compatibility

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Progressive 944-4020 UT Shocks


Progressive 944-4020 UT Shocks

We’ve already introduced these shocks as our best products. They’ve got the immense bearing capacity. These shocks can easily carry up to 250 lbs.
So if you’re a little bit on the chunky side or you’re riding with another passenger, no need to hold back. Hit the road and get ready for a comfortable and smooth riding experience.
The (FST) frequency sensing technology that senses the shock of a bump and adjusts the damping automatically, ensuring an excellent ride quality.
These shocks have a fairly simple design and the element of looks to them. So they boost your Harley’s look as well as performance.
Moreover, they’re easy to install. You should be able to mount them on your Harley within 3 hours. The progressive springs are specifically designed for touring. You can adjust the spring pre-load by hand as well.
Also serves as Harley Softail rear shocks, Harley Dyna rear shocks. Best rear shocks for Harley touring as well.

Technical Specifications:
For 1984-2018 Touring bikes
Carries over 250 lbs
Frequency Sensing Technology (FST)
Pros
Can carry up to 250 lbs
Smooth, bumpless ride
No rebound
Reduces chest & back pain
Cons
Reduced effectiveness in case of two riders
Maybe stiffer than your stock ones

buy on Amazon

Factory Spec 04505 Stubby Shocks


Factory Spec 04505 Stubby Shocks

These Factory Spec FS-04504 shocks are 10.5” from eye to eye. They’re quite sturdy and adjustable. While adjusting, you can also preload them. Simply use your wrenches to attain the desired height. Besides, these are excellent for shorter Harley rides.
They offer a much better reach and foothold than the other Harley shocks. Moreover, they also have a brilliant appearance. Helps your Harley look cool and stunning.
However, the low setup may lead to bottom out for your bike. Also, some users have been complaining about the stiffness as well. But overall, it’s a stylish shock absorber.

Technical Specifications:
10.5” eye to eye distance
Preload adjustable
Chrome or black
Wrench added
Pros
Shorter reach
Easier installation
Stunning look
Cons
Probability of bottom out
Stiffer than other competitive products

buy on Amazon

Ohlins STX46 Rear Shocks for Harley


Ohlins STX46 Rear Shocks for Harley

The Öhlins STX46 shock absorber offers a wide range of styles for your Harley. It features a well-known monotube design. And it’s basic work principle is based on high-pressure gas damping. Inside every shock tube, there’s a 46mm piston and a built-in gas reservoir. Supports fully adjustable compression alongside rebound damping.
Also, you can fit it with a hydraulic spring preloader as well. Though you have to buy it separately. With these suspensions equipped, you can smoothly drift through those tight corners. Glide through rough and bumpy roads like a hovercraft.

Technical Specifications:
Monotube design
46 mm pistons
High-pressure gas rebound
Pros
Compact design
Gas-spring composite suspension
Chrome exterior
Sturdy build
Cons
You have to purchase the preloader separately

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Burly B28-1201 Slammer Shock


Burly B28-1201 Slammer Shock

The Burly B28-1201 chrome slammer shock suspensions are great for Harley 2004-2011 models. The chrome design is excellent, making them visually appealing. They also offer a fine balance between soft and stiff shocks. You just need to install it at the correct height.
Though the shocks are a bit compact. Just about 10.5” from eye to eye. So, while installing on low sitting bikes, you better check with your mechanic to prevent bottom out. And more weight means more softening for these shocks. As a heavy load increases softness, it also balances out for equal weighing people.
But overall these compact shocks with stunning metallic finish will add an aesthetic look to your Harley.

Technical Specifications:
Stubby design
10.5” eye to eye
For Harley 2004-2011
Chrome polished exterior
Pros
Low sitting design
Comfortable mount and control
Adjustable
Improves performance and looks
Stubby, durable design
Cons
May cause bottoming out
Not for people who prefer more height

buy on Amazon

Burly B28-1202 Slammer Shock


Burly B28-1202 Slammer Shock

Similar to the prior, the Burly B28-1202 slammer shock suspensions have a chrome exterior. Great rear shocks for Harley Dyna 1991-2011 models. Also has a visually appealing outer coating that enhances your Harley’s looks. They also offer a fine balance between soft and stiff shocks. Maintain a proper height while installing.
These shocks are also compact like the previous. Around 10.5” from eye to eye. So, check with your mechanic to prevent bottom out while installing on low sitting bikes. Also, more weight means more softening for these shocks. So be mindful of you and your companion’s weight before going on a long ride.
Overall these compact shocks with stunning metallic finish will add an aesthetic look to your Harley. Equip sufficiently stiff rear shocks to prevent bottoming out.

Technical Specifications:
For Harley Dyna 1991-2011
Stubby design
10.5” eye to eye
Chrome exterior
Pros
Harley Dyna rear shocks
Low sitting, stubby design
Comfortable mount and control
Adjustable
Improves performance and looks
Cons
May cause bottoming out
Not for people who prefer more height

buy on Amazon

Legends Adjustable Revo-A Coil Suspensions


Legends Adjustable Revo-A Coil Suspensions

The Legends suspensions are another set of high-quality shocks for your Harley Davidson. These are premium quality coil suspensions, available in a clear anodized finish.
These Legend shocks for Harley Davidson have moderate length. About 13” from eye to eye. Although you can easily adjust the height according to your preference. There are 6 external knobs with each suspension. With these knobs, you can fine-tune the shocks and optimize the rebound absorbance.
Also, high-quality coil suspensions provide a smoother riding experience. Roll through those rough and bumpy roads in style. No matter what your weight is, you can simply fine-tune and hit the road with these suspensions. Supports as much as 500 lbs or more total rider weight.

Technical Specifications:
Revo suspension system
6 external knobs
Coil suspension
Adjustable fine-tuning
13 in eye to eye
Pros
You can fine-tune these suspensions
Height adjustable
Supports 500 lbs+ weight
Aesthetic anodized look
Cons
Very expensive compared to competitive products
Performance improvement may not be as expected

buy on Amazon

Shocks for Harley Sportster — Buying Guide

When making any kind of purchase, we want to make sure our money is well spent, right? Similarly, you can make the best out of your Harley Shock purchase if you can make sure of a few things.

So in this section, we aim to let you know about some essentials and factors that may help you choose the best product. We’ll be talking about the benefits of using shock absorbers, types of shock absorbers, how the number of passengers matter, etc.

We’ll also be talking about weight capacity, height adjustments, stiffness, comfort, and other decisive factors.

Benefits of Shock Absorbers for Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson is without a doubt one of the coolest & smoothest bikes to roll on the street with. And the smoothness mostly comes from a good-quality shock absorber.

As you may already know, a shock absorber has a spring or suspension system that dampens the incoming shock or bump. And a good pair of shocks ensure comfort, safety, & stability.

  • Comfort: Shock absorbers ensure maximum comfort while riding. their work, separated from giving vehicle soundness, is to guarantee the comfort of all travelers. They diminish the size of vibratory movements due to the unevenness of the street. Providing you with a smooth and comfortable ride.
  • Safety: Your Harley Davidson shocks can keep you safe from strong impacts and repulses. Those road bumps can generate painful repulses. Such strong impacts can create bone injuries and muscle sprains. The shocks also keep your back and chest safe by minimizing vibrations. Also, you’ll be safe from any sudden impacts or rebounds.
  • Stability: With shocks installed, you can expect a much more stable vehicle. They increase friction between your bike tires and the road. Since the streets and highways aren’t perfectly flat, some unevenness or even potholes can force your wheel to move up and down. If not for the shocks, the vibrations in the wheel could be distributed throughout your Harley’s body, making it harder to control.

So simply put, the Harley Davidson Shocks stabilizes your vehicle, dampens rebounds and impacts, ensuring a smoother, and safer ride. They improve your handling and let you maintain a low-stance throughout the ride.

Types of Shock Absorbers for Harley

Now that you know the benefits of having shock absorbers on your Harley, it’s time to learn about the different types of absorbers and find out the best one for your bike.

Shock absorbers are mainly classified based on their working principles and build. Different shocks have different damping/absorption methods, which are crucial as they determine the shock’s possible applications.

Harley motorcycles use 3 different types of shocks.

Harley Air Shocks

For the touring models, adjustable for changing passenger and cargo weight. These shocks can lift your rear wheel off the ground. To prevent it, you need to install a no-lift air pump for these shocks. They are also known as Harley Touring Shocks. See the Harley touring shocks review to learn more.

Harley Spring-over Shocks

The spring over shocks are used in Harley FX & XL models. They are adjusted with an external spring ring for preloading.

Harley Softail Shocks

These shocks come with internal springs for impact absorption. They provide enough stiffness, safety, and comfort.

With or Without Passenger

Your riding comfort depends on the number of passengers on the bike. If you have a second person with you, he/she will play a crucial role in choosing a suitable shock for your motorcycle.

Because an extra person means extra weight. This eventually results in more strain on your Harley shocks. And in case if you’re rolling on poor road conditions, this problem becomes much severe.

Road bumps and unevenness add extra strain on the shocks. And sometimes, the extra weight combined with the impact from the road can cause your shocks to fail.
For this purpose, you can select shocks with a high weight limit. Consider some heavy-duty Harley rear shocks as well to support the heavy rear load. Especially if you ride mostly with additional passengers.

So once again, it’s important to evenly distribute the strains on your bike and reduce rebound as much as possible. Don’t overload your shock absorbers and adopt rear shocks for extra safety.

Weight Capacity

Impact absorption and weight carriage capacity are crucial for a Harley shock. Poor capacity shocks often produce improper load distribution. They give in under additional stress or become too stiff to reduce vibrations.

So make sure that your shocks can carry sufficient weight while nullifying rebound effects. Consider your routine, weight, and work type before finalizing the purchase.

Stiffness

The stiffness of a shock is yet another decisive factor. Shocks are usually soft or stiff. Consider carefully which one to adopt.

On rough and bumpy roads, soft shocks are better suited. They can take a lot of rebounds. Soft shocks dampen a bump or impact to a greater degree, only allowing a minimal portion to reach you. And on uneven roads, they perform way better than stiffer ones.

On the other hand, stiffer shocks provide much better integrity and strength for you Harley. On smooth roads, they’ll ensure much better transmission, stability, and speed.

But there’s a balanced way to bring out the best outcome. Most Harley users prefer softer shocks at the front and stiffer shocks at the rear. The soft frontal shocks ensure better comfort for the driver while the Harley rear shocks assist in passenger carrying.

Height Adjustment

You can also adjust your Harley shocks by up to a few inches. Shock height has to do with reach and comfort. A lot of the users prefer a lower height than the one provided by factory shocks. Because shocks with lower heights make it easier to mount and descend your Harley.

An optimized height improves control and balance as well. With a low setting, you may find it easier to control while maintaining top-notch balance. And in the process, you may gain a confidence uplift as well.

But make sure the shocks aren’t set too low. Then you’ll have to deal with ‘bottoming out’ which we discussed in the next segment.

Bottom Out

First of all, what is a bottom out? Well, a bottom out is a term used when the lower part of your Harley hits or touches the pavement continuously. This may happen when you set your shocks way too low.

Sure the low shock settings are practical, but setting the bar too low may end up damaging your bike’s rear. In such a case, stiffer rear shocks are better suited. You can install them low, but they won’t cause bottoming out very often.

Replacement of Harley Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers usually stay functional for a long time. But depending on your usage and preference, you can change/replace them with a better pair of shocks. Especially if you’re still running on your stock pair, you should consider a replacement.

An upgrade pair will give you much more flexibility and comfort than the stock pair. You’ll have much better comfort and reduced pain in comparison. Besides, you can customize them to your preferred height and stiffness as well.

Typically, you can install a new pair of shocks within 2-3 hours. For the best professional installation, you should take your Harley to a nearby workshop. However, you can do it by yourself by following any simple installation guide.

Our Overall
OEM 944-4020UT
Brand: Progressive Suspension
Frequency Sensing Technology
Fits 1984 – 2018 touring bikes
For Street-Cruiser motorcycles

Here’s How to Install

  1. Raise your Harley with a bike lift
  2. Place the lift near the rear of the bike to attain better balance
  3. Clean shock eye and frame hole
  4. Place properly, apply torque to manufacturer’s specs
  5. Align the swing arm by adjusting tire height
  6. Bolt securely in place
  7. Repeat for the others as well

Just keep in mind that better clarification will improve your installation quality. So, here’s a guided video to assist you with the installation.

The Brand Shocks for Harley Sportster

When you’re shopping for the best shocks for your Harley, brand plays a crucial role. Your shocks’ capacity, durability, sturdiness, stiffness, efficiency, etc depends more or less on the brand. So we’ll briefly talk about a few leading shock brands and the advantages of using them.

OHLINS Shocks for Harley

Shocks for Harley Davidson

The Ohlins suspensions or shock systems designed for Harley-Davidson can dramatically improve your handling. Provides even greater handling and stability than your stock suspensions. Whether you want a swift & comfortable long ride, or simply a firm suspension for mountain corners and curves.

The Ohlin shocks Harley are mostly available in 12” and 13” lengths. Available in different spring rates. With the Ohlins suspension, your riding experience will ascend to another level. As each shock is tested to sustain a huge amount of load. The individually loaded springs will meet your expectations on those tough rides.

Official site:  ohlins.com

Burly Shocks for Harley

Shocks for Harley Davidson burlybrand

The Burly slammer shocks are yet another great pair of shocks for your Harley Davidson. These shocks have solid builds to withstand extended amounts of rebound forces. Most of these shocks consist of central damper cylinders and wrap-around spring coils. You can choose between 13” to 15” variants for Sportster models and 12.5” to 13.5” variants for Dyna models.

Official site:  burlybrand.com

Progressive Suspension Shocks for Harley

Shocks for Harley Davidson progressive

The Progressive shocks for Harley are very popular at the moment. For the Sportster, Dyna, and other Harley models, these shocks are well suited. They boost performance, stabilize your bike, and bring you comfort by effectively damping incoming rebounds. Most of the Progressive shocks can easily bear 250 lbs+ weight. And they’re infused with FST for performing even better.

Official site:  progressivesuspension.com

Bitubo Shocks for Harley

Shocks for Harley Davidson bitubo

Bitubo shocks Harley are also quite popular. Their gas-charged shock systems fused with chrome mechanical springs offer smooth dampening. Boost your performance, aesthetics, & comfort with these solid suspensions.

Official site:  bitubo.com

Shocks for Harley - FAQs

How to adjust Harley Shocks?

Lift your Harley with a motorcycle lift/ hydraulic jack. Then Use your spanner wrench to adjust both rear shocks to the same pre-load. You can watch this for better clarity.

How much air pressure in Harley Shocks?

Up to 35 psi for Touring models. For FLHX & FLHRS, up to 50 psi.

How to adjust rear shocks on Harley Davidson Sportster?

You need to lift your bike and may require a spanner wrench. Learn about the detailed process from here.

Which shocks can I adjust?

For regular shocks, you can only adjust the pre-load. But if you want to adjust the spring rate, you need the ‘Adjustable’ shocks.

How to adjust rear shocks on Harley Davidson Dyna?

Similar to the prior, lift and use spanner for adjustment.

Verdict

Custom Harley shocks can dramatically improve your riding experience. Especially as most of them have better build quality and shock absorbance than stock Harley suspensions. However, whether or not you chose the right shocks will reflect on your bike’s performance.

Too soft or low shocks can cause bottoming out, damaging the lower part of your bike. Where else stiffer shocks will take the rebound straight to your bones. So try to maintain a good balance between front and rear shocks for the optimum rolling experience. Softer front shocks and stiffer rear shocks yield the best results in general.