Progressive shock HD verses standard? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Progressive shock HD verses standard?

My shocks are feeling worn out and I may buy new ones. Problem is this I'm about 190 lbs but I ride with my wife a lot which comes to around 330 plus gear. When I ride with my wife it tends to be longer trips as well. Single rider is usually just around town.



Anyone have an opinion on going with heavy duty shocks? I'm thinking with two people the HD's are a good idea but I don't want the bike to feel like a hard tail with just me riding it.



Looks like progressive 412 11 1/2 inch shocks are right for a 99 VT1100C. From what I read 11 1/2 is actually smaller than the stock shocks but their rebound makes up for the distance lost. I have no problem touching the ground with both feet flat footed so I'm wondering if I should go up to a 12-inch shock to give me a little travel on the shock?



Standard shock with 12 inch length? 11 1/2 with HD? 11 1/2 with standard? I don't know which way to go here.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CoreyP View Post
My shocks are feeling worn out and I may buy new ones. Problem is this I'm about 190 lbs but I ride with my wife a lot which comes to around 330 plus gear. When I ride with my wife it tends to be longer trips as well. Single rider is usually just around town.



Anyone have an opinion on going with heavy duty shocks? I'm thinking with two people the HD's are a good idea but I don't want the bike to feel like a hard tail with just me riding it.



Looks like progressive 412 11 1/2 inch shocks are right for a 99 VT1100C. From what I read 11 1/2 is actually smaller than the stock shocks but their rebound makes up for the distance lost. I have no problem touching the ground with both feet flat footed so I'm wondering if I should go up to a 12-inch shock to give me a little travel on the shock?



Standard shock with 12 inch length? 11 1/2 with HD? 11 1/2 with standard? I don't know which way to go here.

I'm confused about what this means.... "the rebound makes up for distance lost." How does rebound affect the length?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 06:15 PM
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you definitely do not want the HD's. I had them on my Sabre and weighed 60 lbs more then you and it was nasty hard ride. Unless you need the extra length I would go with the 11 1/2 shocks.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:28 PM
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I had the 412 11" on my bike when I got it.
I was 375 lbs and it rode rough, felt every bump. Even worse with my 130 lb daughter on the back.
I have the 430 HD on it now (11.5"). Ride is so much better now with my fat butt (now 315 lbs) alone, and decent with my daughter on the back.
This is on setting 2 (1 soft, 5 firm). 3 is a touch stiff when I am alone, but is perfect 2 up.

I would agree with the regular springs and the 11.5" shock. you can set at 2-3 for alone riding, then up to 5 for 2 up. They are pretty easy to adjust. I think HD shocks and you alone would just be too firm, even on the softest setting.
If you find you just don't like them, you can upgrade to HD springs for $100.

And if you compare to stock OEM shocks, well, there is no comparison.

1994 VT1100C
Darkside 185/65/15 rear tire
Perilli Route MT66 110/90/19 front tire
Progressive 430HD Rear Shocks



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chuck_Michigan View Post
I'm confused about what this means.... "the rebound makes up for distance lost." How does rebound affect the length?

You can have a shock that has better dampening so it can be shorter than a longer shock with less dampening ending up with the same results.



Short guys tend to do this. They want to lower the bike so they can get their feet on the ground but want the exact same performance. A shorter shock with the same dampening as the orginal shock will be harsher riding then the orginal shock. If you can get a shorter shock with better dampening you should end up with your orginal or better ride performance.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blupupher View Post
I had the 412 11" on my bike when I got it.
I was 375 lbs and it rode rough, felt every bump. Even worse with my 130 lb daughter on the back.
I have the 430 HD on it now (11.5"). Ride is so much better now with my fat butt (now 315 lbs) alone, and decent with my daughter on the back.
This is on setting 2 (1 soft, 5 firm). 3 is a touch stiff when I am alone, but is perfect 2 up.

I would agree with the regular springs and the 11.5" shock. you can set at 2-3 for alone riding, then up to 5 for 2 up. They are pretty easy to adjust. I think HD shocks and you alone would just be too firm, even on the softest setting.
If you find you just don't like them, you can upgrade to HD springs for $100.

And if you compare to stock OEM shocks, well, there is no comparison.

I'm thinking I better stick to the standard shock and just dial in the preload for what I want to do. 11 1/2 inches.



Think those 430's are worth the extra money? They're $200 more than the 412's. I do like the toolless adjustment feature on the 430'sbut not $200 worth.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 08:54 AM
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I'd suggest any brand other than Progressive. I don't put down a product but these are very sub par shocks as far as longevity and/or delivering the a comfortable ride. Damn brutal and that was the standard 412. They started to leak within 2 mos. There's seems to be the same consensus on the Valk forum also. Their air shock line, good but expensive. I would search for low mileage/used Showa's. (OEM)




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Last edited by h13man; 04-04-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:19 AM
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The 430's are a better shock.

My original plan was to get some HD springs for my current 412's, till I found out I had the 11", which they don't make a HD spring for. So I was having to buy new shocks anyway.
I was close to just buying some 412HD, but have read several negative reviews of the 412's poor ride (which I agree with, but I thought it was due to me running them overloaded all the time) and longevity (no idea, bike had 7500 miles when I got it, no ideal how long the 412's had been on it).
I found a really good deal on the 430HD on e-bay. They were listed for $450, had a 15% off e-bay code, and for some reason the seller had an additional 10% off that weekend, so my total cost was $344.
The 430's seem to have better reviews and with the price I got them for, it was a no brainier for me.

@h13man , I do find it odd that for a bike that was for sale for 20 years and sold very well that there really is not a lot of shock options out there. It is basically OEM or Progressive for bolt on replacement, or custom if you want to spend the cash for that.

1994 VT1100C
Darkside 185/65/15 rear tire
Perilli Route MT66 110/90/19 front tire
Progressive 430HD Rear Shocks



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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I'm finding out there really aren't many options. I don't think a cruising bike needs a custom built shock. Those are about $1200 and up. I paid $1200 for the bike and it's worth maybe $1500 -$2000 tops. Not worth doubling the price for new shocks.



As far as longevity the bike now has progressive fork springs and progressive 412 shocks installed May, 2011. The fork is fine but the back seems to riding on the springs more than anything else. I'm at a disadvantage because I really don't know what a Shadow with good shocks should feel like. As compared to a sport bike my Shadow is bouncy and doesn't feel all that planted. Nothing scary but I don't really like it that way. There is a country road I go down where the bike seems to bounce all the way alog it, lots of pavement cracks, dips, small potholes. That's really why I'm thinking of changing out the shocks. The guy who owned the bike before me was 150 Lbs if that and didn't put many miles on the bike. I would assume the shocks should be still in good shape? Maybe they are worse than I think?



I'm not in a hurry so I'm still looking around, doing some research along the way.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 09:04 AM
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06' 1100 Spirit (sold 6/23/13)
71' CL 100 "Lil' Sista"
99' Valkyrie "Adele"
05' 1600 Vulcan "Ludabelle"

Ride Bell by "Yoman"

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