Suspension Technologies

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Can I put 11” shocks on my Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic

#AskMikeAlex - Answer

YES, YOU CAN… The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic comes standard with 13-inch shocks.  At Suspension Technologies we have lowered hundreds of Ultra Classics.  The 11” Black Hills Series Shocks is your Ultra Classic Lowering Kit that provides plenty of travel with outstanding performance.

Since the shocks are at an angle, a 1” reduction is closer to 1 ¼”. It can be more or less depending upon the shock angle.   A two-inch drop is significant and provides more control when backing up the bike or standing it up.  This is our Ultra Classic Lowering Kit lowest option.  

Here’s a tip – When you lower the bike with 11” shocks, some aftermarket pipes might touch if you encounter a steep curb or transition while leaning aggressively.  For most riders, this is not an issue, but be aware of your clearance and use common sense. 

Selecting the Perfect Set of Shocks – Stock shocks are built as one-size-fits-all. Black Hills Series Shocks are hand assembled and adjusted based on how the bike is ridden 80% of the time. This includes the motorcycle platform and variables of weight, highway or in-town cruising, and single or two up riding.

The Way that Suspension Technologies Feel – Stock shocks on touring bikes from the factory often feel like riding in a 1950’s Cadillac; a vague and loose feel.   Our shocks provide more of a European BMW-style feel. Riders feel the undulations on the road but not the minor bumps.

The reason why riders and their passengers are so enthusiastic about the Black Hills Series Shocks is because of the technology inside. These shocks are true monotube design and are specifically engineered to provide better handling, control, and performance.

Consistently we hear enthusiasts say:

  • My bike feels like a new bike – I should’ve done this years ago.
  • I can go around corners faster with more control and confidence
  • I can feel the road but the harshness has been removed
  • I can’t believe how the touring bike goes into a corner and stays planted

What is the Suspension Technologies Experience – Late model touring bikes from the factory have a tendency to shudder or squirm in a corner. A set of Black Hills Series Shock is tuned for the touring platform and removes the vague feel and replaces it with control. We have riders tell us that our suspension is the one thing that transformed their bike into a more pleasurable riding experience.

About the Electra Glide Ultra Classic - The Electra Glide Ultra Classic is Harley’s two-up long-haul touring motorcycle. Classic style, greater comfort, and the passing power of the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine deliver a satisfying machine.

The entire platform got a retrofit in 2014 with Project Rushmore. Rushmore delivers performance, infotainment, and ergonomic improvements.  Harley introduced liquid cooling with radiators fitted into the fairing lowers to maintain a Harley-esque profile.

Updated in 2017, the revised Electra Glide Ultra Classic reduces the heat felt by rider and passenger for greater all-around comfort.

The Milwaukee-Eight – The Milwaukee-Eight engine platform is the 9th of the Big Twin, named after its city and number of valves. The engine offers faster throttle response, more torque, better sound, improved fuel economy and a smoother ride than the Twin Cam mill. 

At 3,250 rpm, the Milwaukee-Eight punches out a total of 111.4 pound-feet of torque; well into the power-tourer country even considering how much mass that grunt has to push around. This gives the Milwaukee-Eight engine a very strong, fifth-gear roll-on for making decisive passes at highway speeds. A standard clutch sends the power to the six-speed transmission where the top gear keeps highway revs relatively low.

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CARING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE

When on your motorcycle, consider a protective clothing, lid, proper eyewear, and insist your passenger wears protective gear. Note that riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs increases your chances of a negative outcome.

Ride within the limits of your abilities. Know your motorcycle. Read and understand your owner’s manual from cover to cover. Sign up for a training like the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy or another riding training class. Protect your privilege to ride by joining the American Motorcyclist Association. Visit www.ama-cycle.org for more information.

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