Harley Davidson motorcycles have been an American mainstay since 1903. Enthusiasts love the style and the ride, but it can be made even better with the best motorcycle shocks. Whether you want the best rear shocks for Harley Davidson Touring or the best lowering shocks for Harley Touring, we can help you navigate the top choices.


Preview

Model

Shock Type

Height Adjustment

Check Price

Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT Ultra...

Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT

Gas-filled monotube

Lowers up to an inch

BURLY B28-1201B Black 10.5' Slammer Shock

BURLY B28-1201B

Monotube

Lowers up to 2.5”

Factory Spec, FS-04505, Stubby Shocks...

Factory Spec, FS-04505

Monotube

Lowers up to 2.5”

Ohlins HD 022 Shocks for 1998-Newer...

Ohlins HD 022

Monotube

standard

Progressive Suspension 422-4002C Chrome...

Progressive Suspension 422-4002C

Monotube

Lowers up to 2”

Progressive Suspension 412-4003B Black 13.5'...

Progressive Suspension 412-4003B

Twin-tube

Stock


Benefits of Shock Absorbers on a Harley

Why would you want to install motorcycle shocks for Harley Davidson? There are several reasons. First, Harley air shocks for sale allow you to adjust the ride height. You can also obtain adjustable firmness and a better overall ride. Your passengers will be more comfortable during long trips. Plus, air ride shocks for Harley Davidson can also create a whole new appearance to your bike. For the cost, this is a simple upgrade that changes the entire feel of your bike.


Buying Considerations for Harley Bike Shocks

Fitment & Compatibility – Front or Rear Wheel?

Harley has created a lot of models, and your shocks must be compatible. The best shocks for Harley Road Glide might not be the same as the best shocks for Harley Dyna. In addition, the front and rear shocks are different. In the front, there is a cartridge fork design with an internal valving system. The rear shocks often feature a coil-over spring suspension instead.

Weight Capacity

You want to ensure that the shocks are equipped to handle the weight that is on them. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the manufacturer’s recommended maximum total weight for your Harley, and it differs by model. When you choose aftermarket shocks for Harley Davidson, it must accommodate the GVWR.

With or Without Passenger

Having a passenger on your bike can completely change which shocks are considered the best for your Harley motorcycle. More weight adds more strain to the shocks, but can also increase the chance of bottoming out. If you regularly have a passenger on your bike, make sure you pay special attention to choosing adjustable rear shocks for Harley Davidson.

Height Adjustments

If you want the best riding experience, you must pay attention to the height of your bike. It’s ideal for letting your foot step on the ground when coming to a stop or going through a bend. With adjustable air ride shocks for Harley, you can make quick adjustments based on the weight on your bike and the road terrain.

Stiff or Soft

The softness and stiffness of the shocks heavily influence the fun you have on your Harley. If you plan to use your bike for off-road activities or you carry a passenger, you want stiff rear shocks. For the most part, it makes more sense to have a soft front shock to provide better absorption during the ride.

Comfort

The fewer bumps you experience, the more enjoyable the ride becomes. If your shocks create a rough ride, all you are left with is a sore back after a long ride. Instead, upgrade to shocks that are going to increase the comfort level during your rides and decrease the jarring, uneasy feeling that occurs over bumps.

Ease of Installation

If you are comfortable making minor repairs on your Harley, replacing the air shocks for Harley Touring won’t be a big deal. Read through the customer reviews to find out how much time it took to install the particular shocks you are looking at. You also want to make sure you don’t need specialized tools to complete the job.

Bottom Out

No one wants the bottom of the motorcycle to touch or scrape the road. Otherwise, it could mean unnecessary motorcycle repairs that cost more money. You can counteract this problem by adding shocks with more height. There’s also the possibility of simply adjusting your current shocks to raise the level.

Value For Money

We all want to find the best shocks for Harley Road King at the lowest price, but there's more to consider than just the cost. Evaluate the customer reviews to ensure satisfaction, analyze the brand to ensure a good reputation, and investigate the warranty to make sure you are covered against defects. All of these factors guarantee you find the best shocks for the money.


6 Best Shocks for Harley Davidson Reviewed

1. Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT

Best Shocks For Harley Street Glide

Shock Type

Gas-filled monotube

Load Limit

250-350 lbs

Fitment

1986-2018 Electra Glides, 1998-2018 Road Glides, 1994-2018 Road Kings, 2006-2018 Street Glides, 2015-2018 Ultra Limiteds

Height Adjustment

Lowers up to an inch

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

By adding a heavy-duty set of rear shocks to your Harley, you ensure a smoother ride than ever before. This option from Progressive fits several 1984-2018 Touring bikes and is meant for heavy-duty applications. It effectively fits 1986-2018 Electra Glides, 1998-2018 Road Glides, 1994-2018 Road Kings, 2006-2018 Street Glides, 2015-2018 Ultra Limiteds.

This set of Harley shocks utilizes Frequency Sensing Technology (FST) to allow for automatic adjustment of the damping for a superior ride. You can also adjust the spring preload without any special tools. These high-pressure gas-charged shocks provide you with the consistent performance you are hoping for. You can deliver a smooth ride with up to an inch lower of stance.

Now, you are going to pay more for this option as the best rear shocks for Harley Touring, but the cost is well worth it; just look at what the existing customers say. Plus, the installation is simple, and you receive a limited lifetime warranty for more peace of mind. You can trust Progressive Suspension because it is a leader in high-performance motorcycle shocks. With a brand such as Progressive Suspension handling the curves and the bumps of the road, all that is left to do is enjoy the ride ahead.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty
  • Frequency Sensing Technology
  • Easy to adjust
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

2. BURLY B28-1201B

Best Shocks For Harley Sportster

Shock Type

Monotube

Load Limit

unknown

Fitment

2004-2011 Harley Sportster

Height Adjustment

Lowers up to 2.5”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

If you ride a 2004-2011 Harley Sportster, you can’t go wrong with these rear shocks. The Burly shocks for Harley Davidson offer a combination of stubby shocks and dropped forked springs, but you don’t need to disassemble the forks for installation. As the best rear shocks for Harley Sportster, you can expect these to outperform most other options on the market, but without an overly excessive price.

The black Slammer shocks from Burly only measure 10.5 inches, which means that most rides are also dropped by up to 2.5-inches. With the lower ride and firm rear end, you gain a better ride. Plus, these shocks drop the center of gravity to make the overall handling and turning better than before. Enjoy the preloaded adjustability that allows you to tune it to the rider’s weight.

Installation is simple and only requires you to bolt-on the new shocks in place of the worn-out equipment. While the price is low on these shocks and the reviews are high, we aren’t pleased with the one-year warranty coverage. We feel the company could have offered more. However, there don’t seem to be a lot of durability or manufacturing complaints, so there’s probably nothing to worry about.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Drops up to 2.5”
  • Bolt-on installation
  • Preloaded adjustability

Cons

  • Only 1-year warranty

3. Factory Spec FS-04505

Best Lowering Shocks For Harley Touring

Shock Type

Monotube

Load Limit

stock

Fitment

2004-2020 Harley Sportster, including the 2007 Harley XL50 Sportster 50th Anniversary

Height Adjustment

Lowers up to 2.5”

Warranty

Unknown

If you want to take your Harley Sportster to new heights, then check out the low-cost shocks from Nallows. This particular pair of rear shocks work with the 2004-2020 Harley Sportster, including the 2007 Harley XL50 Sportster 50th Anniversary model. Considering the 10-1/2” shocks are smaller than most, you can expect up to 2.5” of lowering adjustment, allowing for the perfect style and ride.

With this set, you will receive two black shocks, four ½" flanged spacers and four ½" spacers for a complete installation. Plus, you don't need special equipment, and the customer reviews suggest that an inexperienced DIY mechanic could handle the install.

Of course, this brand isn’t as known as some of the top choices. You could view purchasing from Nallows as a risk, but the reviews speak highly of the shocks, and customers don’t seem concerned about the quality. On the other hand, there’s also no information available about the warranty.

While it’s likely that the company offers a one-year guarantee, there’s no data to back that assumption up. Still, you can save a lot of money with this set, if you are willing to take on the risk. Replace your OEM shocks with ease and keep more money in your pocket.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Drops height up to 2.5”
  • Simple installation
  • Includes everything needed

Cons

  • May bottom out without adjustments

4. Ohlins HD 022

Best Harley Davidson Shocks For Smooth Ride

Shock Type

Monotube

Load Limit

unknown

Fitment

1998-2020 Harley Touring bikes, except for the 2006-2014 Street Glides

Height Adjustment

standard

Warranty

Yes, 5-year

Ohlins is a leader in the shock industry and can be trusted with your precious Harley bike. This particular set of 13” shocks works with the 1998-2020 Harley Touring bikes, except for the 2006-2014 Street Glides, which require a 12-inch shock. These heavy-duty shocks are pressurized with oil and gas to reduce air loss that is present with other brands.

If you want to increase the handling of your Harley, an Ohlins suspension gives you the benefit you deserve. This particular shock type provides exceptional comfort and improved performance for every ride. The preload adjustability gives all riders a dynamic response, and the shocks are created to be re-buildable. With this in mind, it could be the last set of bike shocks you purchase. 

As with our top choice, you will expect to pay more with this set than with a stock replacement. Stock shocks are cheap and won’t provide the ride you want. By investing a little extra in your Harley shocks, you receive an improved ride that makes every journey more enjoyable. Plus, Ohlins provides a five-year warranty for exceptional peace of mind. In addition, you will find that this set is simple to install and doesn’t require any specialized equipment.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty
  • Oil and gas-pressurized
  • Re-buildable
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Progressive Suspension 422-4002C

Best Shocks For Harley Softail

Shock Type

Monotube

Load Limit

unknown

Fitment

1989-2017 Harley Softail

Height Adjustment

Lowers up to 2”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

Back to Progressive, because this company is a leader in the industry. This particular set of shocks works for the 1989-2017 Harley Softail. You can use this set to gain the stock ride height up to achieving a two-inch adjustment. The dual coil shock system is chrome finished for maximum protection and upgraded style. Plus, it features a separate adjustable preload system for enhanced performance.

The high-pressure gas-charged monotube shocks offer a consistent damping ride for a variety of experiences, whether you ride for an hour or a day. With this set, it’s simple to accommodate a variety of loads and rider weights. In addition, with the premium looking finish on these shocks, you can upgrade your bike to stand out and look classy. Gain more attention on the road with this high-quality set.

The installation of these shocks is simple and doesn’t require specialized tools. You don’t need to be a master mechanic to get the job done. The only complaint we have is the one-year warranty. We wish that Progressive Suspension would offer a larger term length to ensure higher customer satisfaction. It isn’t that these shocks won’t hold up, so it only makes sense that the company would put a better guarantee on the components.

Pros

  • Reputable company
  • Adjustable ride
  • Chrome finish
  • Simple install

Cons

  • Only 1-year warranty

6. Progressive Suspension 412-4003B

Best Rear Shocks For Harley

Shock Type

Twin-tube

Load Limit

Stock

Fitment

1994-2005 Road King, 1983-2005 Electra Glide, 1981-1995 Tour Glide, 1996-2018 Sportster, among others

Height Adjustment

Stock

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

To round out the list, we will look at another option from Progressive Suspension. This particular set of heavy-duty rear suspension shocks fits the 1994-2005 Road King, 1983-2005 Electra Glide, 1981-1995 Tour Glide, 1996-2018 Sportster, among others. These high-pressure gas-charged shocks offer a consistent damping performance.

You will see a lower price on these shocks versus some of the others from this brand. The lower cost is due to the twin-tube design that is slightly less durable than the monotube construction. However, this set still has a double-wall steel body construction and features a nitrogen-charged multi-staged velocity sensitive valve for smooth damping. Plus, the five-position cam-style comes with a preloaded adjuster so you can adjust the ride based on weight.

This OEM replacement offers the stock height you have grown accustomed to but does increase the ride quality. You will be able to install them with ease and won't need any special tools. However, the company only puts a one-year warranty on this set, so you don't have a longer guarantee as with some of the premium shocks. If you want to save a little money and are okay with the twin-tube design, this is your best bet.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Adjustable ride
  • Quick install
  • Multi-staged velocity sensitive valve

Cons

  • Only 1-year warranty

When to Change Harley Davidson Shocks

Many motorcycle shocks will last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. There’s no reason to change the Harley shocks until you notice trouble with the existing equipment. Symptoms of bad motorcycle shocks could include broken components, poor handling, and bottoming out. If the shocks simply need oil, you might notice a pogo effect instead. 


How to Install Shocks on a Harley

Before you install your Harley shocks, you want to read the detailed instructions that come with your equipment. Putting on the shocks incorrectly can lead to leaks and bottoming out. For the most part, you could follow these steps.

  1. 1
    Place the motorcycle on a lift to bring up the height.
  2. 2
    Remove the bolts holding on the shock.
  3. 3
    Remove the shock and replace it with the new one.
  4. 4
    Adjust the shocks if needed.
  5. 5
    Lower the bike and take it for a test ride.

Here’s an example of how to replace a rear shock on a Harley.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which brand of shocks are best for Harleys?

There are many quality brands available on the market. We prefer to look at options from Progressive Suspension, Burly, and Ohlins.

What are progressive motorcycle shocks?

Progressive shocks, otherwise known as dual-rate springs, are wound closer at one end than the other. The initial force meets with less resistance and increases as the force rises.

What is the difference between progressive and linear springs?

While the progressive shocks are wound differently at each end, the linear-rate spring is wound evenly from the top to the bottom. This allows the force from braking and bumps to remain the same in all situations.

What kind of accessories are needed for the setup of shocks on a Harley?

Several accessories can make changing the Harley shocks easier. We recommend a motorcycle lift, a wheel chock, and a breaker bar.  

When I service my shock, do I need to service other parts of my bike?

Whenever you replace the motorcycle shocks, we also recommend looking over the entire suspension to ensure that nothing else is damaged or failing. Now is also the best time to adjust the height of the air shock pressure for Harley Davidson.


Conclusion

The Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT is ideal for a variety of bike models and offers the heavy-duty support you desire. Whether you are looking for the best rear shocks for Harley Road King or the best rear shocks for Harley Ultra, this set offers more than what you could imagine.