Goals: Turn the 919 into the best commuter/weekend back road bike I can.
Background: I picked up my 919 about 1.5 yrs ago and the first thing I noticed was a lack of suspension. In particular the suspension had a super sharp "edge" to it. Any crease or hole in the road felt like I was I was hitting it with a flat tire (read: rim to ground)
It was definitely expected notice since the bike had 40k on the clock.
Over the winter I rebuilt the forks using springs for my weight and the standard oil. Huge improvement, but still had that hard edge. Only thing left was the rear spring.
I waited too long to pull the trigger on a Progressive 420 in the Spring and didn't have the money for anything more costly.
By mid-Summer I had it with the bike, so after a lot of research I was set on a Hagon. When I called Hagon, I was told 6 weeks (fair enough) but while I was searching by part numbers online I came across a Progssv 420.
I pulled the trigger and could not be happier!
I kept reading over and over about not using a "progressive" rate spring (not the company) and that linear is the only way to go. My issue with that argument is and was 2 fold.
1) The 919 has a direct mount shock, so there is nothing to add "dimension" to the suspension during it's action. Unlike most other bikes that use a multi-linkage suspension, where all those little triangles change leverage ratios through out the travel turning a "linear" spring into a progressive setup.
2)The 919 was designed to be a do-it-all warrior, not a cut-throat race machine. IE: Like a CBR 900rr-1000rr.
Either way, I was still nervous. Did I just waste $350? Will I still be happy with my non-adj forks? Etc...
So now to the review.
Yesterday was a 400 mile ride smorgasbord! Sun, rain, cool - hot, small town to highway to mountain roads, rough pavement, no pavement, to freshly laid; and let me say, not one time did I think, damn, I wish I was on another bike!
In fact, on Friday I was convinced on buying an R1 today. Now, not so much. Everything I throw at the bike, it took.
Is this a magic bullet shock? No. Could I win at Daytona on the 919? No.
Does it provide great feedback? Yes. Smooth, responsive, No bounce? Yes
Again, from rough to smooth and wet to dry, the bike was never upset by it's acceleration, braking, etc.
The one weakness I noticed now are my front brakes. I'll be working on that soon...
Progressive 420, From the box:
~Rebound: 3 or 5
~Preload: 1/4 way down threads (didn't count)
~190, 200 geared up
~About 80k worth of experience on a motorcycle
~Riding 20 yrs (taking the last 6 of 10 yrs off)
Preload: Spot on from box
Rebound: 4 of 5
During after ride, didn't need to change a thing!
For anyone interested: The is one left on Amazon.com for $330.
~RaceTech .95 Springs (factory recommended oil height and weight)
~Progressive 420 Rear shock
~Renthal Streetfighter bars
~Givi Speed Screen