A lot of riders go straight for the power upgrades when they begin to modify their bikes. That’s understandable, we all want that perfect rumble and throw-you-back throttle response, but don’t forget how your bike rides. Stock shocks have gotten better over the years, yet they still are not comparable to the best aftermarket shocks like those from Progressive Suspension. If you really want to improve your Harley, you need to check out the Progressive Suspension 444 Series shocks to feel how your bike is supposed to ride.
At Progressive Suspension, they make shocks for everyone with options in different categories they refer to as Good, Better and Best. The 444 Series shocks are in The Best category and have all the tech and specs to back them up. When you put these shocks on your Harley, you can be confident that you will have a sweet riding machine.
The biggest feature that makes the 444’s so great is the Frequency Sensing Technology (FST), which is a type of valving that allows the shock to dynamically adjust damping as you go down the road. This process’s function is to help separate the movement of the wheel from the chassis or in other words, to prevent the movement of the wheel from moving the chassis (and you).
The FST technology creates a “sweet spot” in the shock by using deflective disc valving. During the compression and rebound of the shock, the valve will actually leak inside the shock so that it can still dampen while going over the small road imperfections like tar strips and small cracks. When you hit a larger bump, the valve system will close and force the oil to move from one side of the piston to the other to provide ultimate shock absorption. The shock will then rebound just as quickly as it compresses to keep the most possible tire contact on the ground.
Another key feature on the inside of the 444 shocks is that Progressive Suspension fills them with nitrogen instead of air and the nitrogen is completely separate from the oil. Air filled shocks can be affected by temperature as air will increase in pressure as it warms. Nitrogen will not and is ideal for having consistent performance in all conditions. The separation of the gas and oil is important because if the two can mix, the oil may become foamy and will not perform as well as it should.
The 444 Series shocks also feature the latest in construction methods. They are now an all-aluminum construction, aside from the spring and rod. The eyelet is no longer welded on as well. What you get is a set of shocks that are four pounds less than previous models and are a sleek design that is available in either black or chrome.
Installation of these shocks is fairly easy to do. They are a traditional shock so you won’t need to make any modifications to the motorcycle in order to install them. There are Heavy Duty Applications available to use for bikes that are operated at or near the manufacturer’s maximum load rating over 50% of the time.
Once you install the new shocks, it’s important to set the ride sag of the motorcycle’s suspension before going for a ride. Make sure that you set the sag according to the load that will be on the motorcycle when you are riding. If you sometimes ride with a passenger or with more luggage, you should adjust the pre-load of the shocks. Fortunately, adjusting the pre-load on the 444 Series shocks could not be easier. They feature an adjustable collar that can be turned easily by hand, eliminating the need for a spanner wrench.
So go ahead and make all those performance upgrades, but don’t forget about your suspension along the way. The Progressive Suspension 444 Series shocks will make your Harley feel like you are floating on clouds as you go down the road.
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