One adjustment that often gets overlooked is the Harley monoshock adjustment on M8 Softail models. Harley Davidson Softail models were completely redesigned and there are many obvious visual differences but possibly the most notable are the new M8 motor and a completely different style chassis.
Softail models have always had two shocks located at the bottom of the motorcycle. These two shocks were attached to the frame in the front and to the swingarm in the rear. Adjusting these two shocks has never been an easy task for the average rider. Impossible for some. In fact, it can be challenging for a seasoned tech if the shock adjustment points are frozen. Sometimes, these shocks actually need to be removed from the motorcycle and adjusted in a vise on a workbench.
The M8 Softail models were changed over to a Harley monoshock assembly. Mono, obviously, meaning one. A single shock absorber linking the frame and swingarm assembly. The Harley monoshock is much easier to access and adjust. There have been a few different style monoshocks. How to adjust the Harley monoshock on your ride will depend on your year & model.
One style Halrey monoshock has a screw style adjustment. Another needs to be adjusted with a spanner wrench, and there are also monoshocks that can be easily adjusted by simply turning a large adjusting knob like the Softail in our video.
The factory service manual should be referenced to help determine a correct Halrey monoshock preload setting. This adjustment setting will depend on an estimate of the rider’s weight including passenger and/or cargo. It is good to experiment with shock adjustment. Performance on the street can be enhanced with the correct adjustment. Try to get a feel for both extremes to determine what feels best for you.