Notices
Touring Models Road King, Road King Custom, Road King Classic, Road Glide, Street Glide, Electra Glide, Electra Glide Classic, and Electra Glide Ultra Classic bikes.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Air ride vs ohlins

 
  #1  
Old 05-03-2019, 04:32 PM
Drtumolo's Avatar
Drtumolo
Drtumolo is online now
Senior Rider
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sunbury, PA
Posts: 459
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 11 Posts
Default Air ride vs ohlins

I currently has Xotic air ride on my streetglide but am thinking of replacing. I only weigh 125lbs and I need something that provides a quality ride. I am thinking of trying ohlins or a higher end air ride shock. Can any air ride compete with ohlins for good ride?
 
  #2  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:04 PM
Bafflingbs's Avatar
Bafflingbs
Bafflingbs is offline
Club Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,599
Received 254 Likes on 182 Posts
Default

While both have adjustable pre-load’s and sag adjustment (air is tied into pre-load), you can set the rebound rate on the emulsion type shocks (at least on the Íhlins HD159’s) You also don’t have to worry, as much, about leaks. At least, that’s the way I understand it. The HD 159’s, also have a height adjustment that doesn’t effect the ride quality. Again, that’s how I understand the differences. I could be wrong
 
  #3  
Old 05-04-2019, 05:53 AM
Drtumolo's Avatar
Drtumolo
Drtumolo is online now
Senior Rider
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sunbury, PA
Posts: 459
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 11 Posts
Default

I am not to worried about air leaks since I have about 40,000 miles on air ride and never had a leak. I am just tired of the rough ride. Just to clarify the air rides better for my light weight then the OEM hand adjust shocks did but I still get a very rough ride.
 
  #4  
Old 05-04-2019, 07:07 AM
kero's Avatar
kero
kero is offline
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Posts: 82
Received 15 Likes on 15 Posts
Default

My father's triglide has platinum air shocks...(sorry to say this but they are BS) very rough ride, very bumpy... In fact my mother don't want to ride it. So I decided to contact Howard and buy #3#3...WOW now the tri-glide have SHOCKS, before only has a pair of valves with some air in it... Night and day fellas, now the tri-glide is smooth like butter and the bumps doesn't exist...My father always say: bumps? whats bumps?
 
  #5  
Old 05-04-2019, 07:25 AM
ratpick's Avatar
ratpick
ratpick is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Looney Left Coast
Posts: 301
Received 49 Likes on 37 Posts
Default

At your weight, I'd definitely go with a shock from vendor that will install custom rate springs for you--especially if you mostly ride solo. Don't know of any air ride options in that regard since it's just air pressure... To be fair I'm quite a bit heavier than you but my experience might still be helpful. I had a Triumph R3 in another lifetime, which had absolutely god awful factory shocks (you think Harley isn't good...) and I installed some Works Performance (now defunct, unfortunately) shocks with a low rate spring and they were heavenly--super plush but still good non-sloppy or -bouncy feel--as long as I didn't have a passenger, at which point they just didn't have enough oomph and would bottom out too often. I ended up having them re-sprung (free service!) so I could more easily take passenger, but as little as I rode 2 up I always regretted doing that--they were SO nice to ride solo.

Everyone's favorite Ohlin's vendor on here (see above) will take your weight into account when springing shocks (I have some of his I like)--I don't know if solo at 125 lbs is within operating range of his lighter springs but would certainly be worth a call at motorcyclemetal.com Also DK custom's Bitubo shocks recently had a good review on here and I believe they set up shocks for your weight--not sure how many spring options they have but might be worth checking w/them as well. Those just two I know of--sure there's more.
 

Last edited by ratpick; 05-04-2019 at 07:34 AM.
  #6  
Old 05-04-2019, 07:47 AM
todd-67's Avatar
todd-67
todd-67 is offline
Elite HDF Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Ridgeville OH
Posts: 4,158
Received 374 Likes on 309 Posts
Default

I don't agree that "everyone" has the same favorite Ohlin's vendor.
I do agree that at 125# the only hope for a decent ride is going to be a custom shock. Not only sprung for your weight but also valved. Most Harley shocks are generally set up for a 180-240# rider and possibly 120-150# passenger. They will be way to stiff off the shelf.

I know it's a bit of a haul for you but you are only 3 hours and change away from George at Pro Action. Might be worth a road trip over there to talk directly to someone that builds shocks and has a long history with suspensions.

Ohlin's, Pro Action, Legend, Bitubo and others are great shocks but they have to be set up correctly. This entails some trial and error on the setup tailored to the individual. If you are not inclined to spend the time to adjust them you may not see the benefit.
 
The following users liked this post:
Tony P (05-28-2019)
  #7  
Old 05-04-2019, 07:47 AM
Drtumolo's Avatar
Drtumolo
Drtumolo is online now
Senior Rider
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sunbury, PA
Posts: 459
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 11 Posts
Default

Thanks for the info. I ride 90% solo and 10% with my wife. She has a very bad back so she doesn't ride often. What really made me go to the air ride is I am only 5'4" and a 29 inseam so reach has always been an issue. It just really surprises me that nobody can do an air ride with a quality valved shock.
 
  #8  
Old 05-04-2019, 08:04 AM
Notgrownup's Avatar
Notgrownup
Notgrownup is offline
Extreme HDF Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Snow Hill, NC
Posts: 15,950
Received 711 Likes on 568 Posts
Default

I think a good quality Coil over shock will give you a better ride than air, me if I would do it again I would go with a little higher end than HD159 (#2-2b) , I would go to the #3-3 from Ohlins ...If you can get it built for your specific weight if makes it better for you out the gate so pick one that can be built.
I currently have the HD159 on mine but I am 275 lbs 6’1”...still it’s hell of a better ride than I had.
 
  #9  
Old 05-04-2019, 09:01 AM
Drtumolo's Avatar
Drtumolo
Drtumolo is online now
Senior Rider
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sunbury, PA
Posts: 459
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 11 Posts
Default

Thanks for the additional info. I was looking at the 2-2a but maybe the 2-2 adj. I also was looking at the dirty air aluminum touring shock. .
 
  #10  
Old 05-05-2019, 04:30 AM
ratpick's Avatar
ratpick
ratpick is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Looney Left Coast
Posts: 301
Received 49 Likes on 37 Posts
Default

At 125# you might get by perfectly fine with a "short, low" 12" version of conventional spring shock fitted w/proper rate springs to get nice low(er) seating position, comfortable ride, and not have much issue with shorter travel. That said it's probably very unlikely the same setup would have enough adjustment to comfortably ride a passenger, esp one w/bad back that may not tolerate much bottoming out. I'd discuss your specific wants and concerns with every custom shock vendor you can find before making a decision.

Incidentally, todd-67, I'm well aware that "everyone's favorite ohlin's vendor" is not everyone's favorite, and was using the expression at least somewhat tongue in cheek. However, I think even his detractors would admit he's quite knowledgeable and any research on shock options for a challenging HD touring fitment would be incomplete without his input and that he may be able to provide a very nice option for OP.
 

Last edited by ratpick; 05-05-2019 at 04:33 AM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: