Article And Photos By: Chris Callen
Originally Published In The November 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
While we were doing the Grease & Gears Garage Stage work in Sturgis, we had made arrangements to bring along Mark’s 2003 Sportster for a front end swap with one of Dana of Siouxicide Choppers Springers. At the same time we thoguht that it would be the perfect time to switch out his rear suspension as well. He had wanted to drop the bike down a bit without giving up actual performance. This is where Mike Alex and our friends at Suspension Technologies come into play. Mike and his crew have been working hard to bring real performance suspension alternatives to the V-Twin industry for quite a while now. When it came to the Sportster, they have one of the shortest shocks in the game. While the length was key, what we had an eye on was the actual performance of these NASCAR inspired shocks. The Black Hills Series monotube design utilizes fewer components than the factory design and reportedly gives greater fluid control.
That directly relates to improved ride and handling, as anyone who has ever had a tuned suspension on a motocross bike knows. They arrive stock and they are set to the mid level as far as preload goes but with a simple twist of the coil over the shock tube the rider can manipulate that setting without any special tools. It is strongly recommended that you ride the bike at the initial setting before making any adjustments. The shock absorber preload is adjusted for the weight the motorcycle is to carry. Increase preload to accommodate the total load on the motorcycle. Reduce the preload if carrying less weight. The Black Hills Series shocks are designed to adjust the preload without special tools. Firmly grip the spring cup and rotate it counterclockwise (Looking from the top of the shock) to add preload. The opposite direction reduces preload. As you can see from the photos on the left we lowered the bike about an inch and having ridden many bikes with these shocks I know the ride will be greatly improved at the same time. We have a few other models coming up, including an FXR, that we’ll be installing these products on and then doing extensive road testing. Stay tuned for more. Until then, check them out on line, it’s a good company with great products.
Our Initial Shock Height – 11 Inches
First Things First, Get It Up.
Simple And Easy – Old Shocks Off
Used The Stock Hardware To Install
Much Cooler Looking After.
Our Final Shock Height – 10-1/2 Inches