A good Samaritan [not me, I'm more a long-winded adamant-horned road owner, apparently] posted this a while ago, and I saved it for future ref:
"You do not have to take off the rear wheel.
Removing the rear wheel is a waste of time, pure added work that just adds time to the job.
1. Be it a centre stand or blocks or axle stands, get the bike up so there is at least 3 inches from the tire to the floor.
2. Remove the left side foot bracket, with the gearshift linkage left intact. (this makes the subsequent work much easier, especially re the use of 1/2 inch drive extensions to allow ratchet or flex handle to be outboard of the swing arm re the lower shock cross bolt)
3. Remove the chain guard/rear hugger.
4. Loosen the remote reservoir clamping band.
5. Remove the little black electrical box that bolts to the frame just below the rear tank clamping arrangement. Just let it dangle so it is not later in the way re manipulating the remote reservoir out and down along the path of the shock body.
6. Remove the lower shock cross bolt.
7. Remove the upper shock cross bolt.
8. With one hand, draw the shock down and out, while using the other hand to manipulate the remote reservoir out along needed path.
It is a piece of cake, and I've done it a number of times.
Do not worry about replacing the special locking nuts for the upper and lower cross bolts - which is what the factory manual tells you to do. Instead, use some Loctite Blue (Medium Strength # 242) or equivalent.