Progressive Suspension front fork springs

One thing I've never really liked about my Shadow was the soft fork springs. If you applied the front brakes very hard the front end would dive quite a bit. The soft springs make low speed handling mushy. I came upon some discussion at about Progressive Suspension replacement front fork springs. I decided to try a set.

I purchased the springs at, P/N 11-1126.

The kit is simple...springs, spacers, washers, and instructions.

The first step is too raise the front of the bike off the ground. I decided to do it right so I bought a motorcycle jack from Sears.

To access my front springs I had to remove the voltmeter and tach. I covered the gas tank 'just in case'.

The gauges are removed. Now I have a straight shot to the fork caps.

The fork caps are 15/16". They were tight so I used an impact wrench to break them loose. The caps will pop off due to the spring pressure so be prepared to catch them.

Remove the factory spacer...


...and springs.

The instructions call for spacers of 5.25" for the Spirit. After cutting a spacer I noticed a problem...there wasn't enough left over for the other spacer. I don't know if I got a short piece of spacer pipe or what. I ended up cutting the factory spacers to fit.

Reassemble in the reverse order...Progressive spring, Progressive supplied washer, and spacer. It's hard to screw the cap on against the spring pressure. I used the socket and an extension so I could push with one hand and turn with the other. Take it slow and don't cross thread the cap. The torque on the cap is 17 ft-lbs. You're done!

The new springs didn't disappoint. The bike felt more stable on my gravel driveway. No more fork dive with the front brakes. When I go to work 'the long way' I drive over a road with tons of patches. It's sooooo much smoother with the new springs. It handles better, too. To use a racing term, it doesn't feel as "loose".

E-mail me

Back to my 'Jack of All Trades' homepage