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Thread: Please help;new trike rider ,old trike

  1. #1
    10+ Posts Ron60's Avatar
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    Default Please help;new trike rider ,old trike

    I have recently purchased a HD softail deluxe(2005) conv. with 2008 Lehman 04 Raider SO.16766. I have set the rear tires @ 20 psi and the front @ 37 psi.The rear shocks are set at the middle setting. I am @ 190 lbs. and mostly ride two-up with a 150 lbs passenger.The trike has 17k miles on it.The ride is harsh and I'm looking for help to make it smoother. Any advise on front fork oil,rear shock replacement,and servicing rear-end(grease) would be helpful. I have been happy with J&P shocks by Progressive on a Sportster but I dont kno if they would work on trike or which length/ part to try.Thank you for any advise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron60 View Post
    I have recently purchased a HD softail deluxe(2005) conv. with 2008 Lehman 04 Raider SO.16766. I have set the rear tires @ 20 psi and the front @ 37 psi.The rear shocks are set at the middle setting. I am @ 190 lbs. and mostly ride two-up with a 150 lbs passenger.The trike has 17k miles on it.The ride is harsh and I'm looking for help to make it smoother. Any advise on front fork oil,rear shock replacement,and servicing rear-end(grease) would be helpful. I have been happy with J&P shocks by Progressive on a Sportster but I dont kno if they would work on trike or which length/ part to try.Thank you for any advise.
    Ron,

    I just ran across your post and apologize for not seeing it earlier.

    Just looking at the picture, you own a Renegade model and you have some humongous tires on the rear.

    Even with 20 psi in the tires, they are going to ride very hard.

    Your picture also shows the trike sitting low.

    You should have 24 - 25 inches between the ground and the center wheel opening.

    Check the shock length.

    It should be 13 - 13.5 inches with a 130/170 spring on them.

    Jim Murphy
    Lehman Tech since 1998
    Champion Tech since 2005
    Lehman & Champion Dealer Owner Operator
    Iron Butt Rider 2001

    WHEN HELP IS OFFERED, A SIMPLE "THANK YOU" IS APPRECIATED.

  3. #3
    10+ Posts Ron60's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Jim

    Sorry I've been wrenching thru May and riding all summer. I'll give short recap of what I found; front fork seal installed up-side down..had flushed with ATF and refilled with Delray but blew seal soon after.So I rebuilt front forks(used H.D. racing fork oil) & added "Ride On" to the old tire. Found leaking rear shock and rear wheels only balanced on inside. Installed Heavy Duty(for extra weight) Progresive shocks for '17 Ultra in 18.5" length and had tires balanced with stick-ons just behind spokes(outside) and knock-ons on inside.Trike rides great now with 2-up ;40psi in front,20psi in rear,and middle shock setting.I want to say "thank you" to you and everyone at TT for the help with where I might need to look for solutions. I'm getting used to riding a trike and get lots of "Like Thats" on our travels. It has made life fun again after a stoke and finding my legs would never safely hold my '07 Heritage up. (I loved that bike but God had other plans) Now I'm looking at getting the "head shake" I'm having at low(25-30mph) speeds when I'm slow rolling or on un-smooth surfaces.I'm liking the H.D. Triglide set-up (side fork bracket to center frame bolt at crash bar mount)set-up but I have more rake out and fork bracket would mount too high for center frame bracket to make level damper set-up. I may try modifying these(they're only @ $40) or does someone make a clean looking, in-exspiencive set-up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron60 View Post
    Sorry I've been wrenching thru May and riding all summer. I'll give short recap of what I found; front fork seal installed up-side down..had flushed with ATF and refilled with Delray but blew seal soon after.So I rebuilt front forks(used H.D. racing fork oil) & added "Ride On" to the old tire. Found leaking rear shock and rear wheels only balanced on inside. Installed Heavy Duty(for extra weight) Progresive shocks for '17 Ultra in 18.5" length and had tires balanced with stick-ons just behind spokes(outside) and knock-ons on inside.Trike rides great now with 2-up ;40psi in front,20psi in rear,and middle shock setting.I want to say "thank you" to you and everyone at TT for the help with where I might need to look for solutions. I'm getting used to riding a trike and get lots of "Like Thats" on our travels. It has made life fun again after a stoke and finding my legs would never safely hold my '07 Heritage up. (I loved that bike but God had other plans) Now I'm looking at getting the "head shake" I'm having at low(25-30mph) speeds when I'm slow rolling or on un-smooth surfaces.I'm liking the H.D. Triglide set-up (side fork bracket to center frame bolt at crash bar mount)set-up but I have more rake out and fork bracket would mount too high for center frame bracket to make level damper set-up. I may try modifying these(they're only @ $40) or does someone make a clean looking, in-exspiencive set-up?
    You mean 13.5" shocks, correct ??

    Your avatar looks like the front end has been raked, has it ?
    Jim Murphy
    Lehman Tech since 1998
    Champion Tech since 2005
    Lehman & Champion Dealer Owner Operator
    Iron Butt Rider 2001

    WHEN HELP IS OFFERED, A SIMPLE "THANK YOU" IS APPRECIATED.

  5. #5
    500+ Posts CrystalPistol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron60 View Post
    Now I'm looking at getting the "head shake" I'm having at low(25-30mph) speeds when I'm slow rolling or on un-smooth surfaces.
    Please forgive my butting in here ….

    Think of a trike as a tripod, pulling any leg affects the other two, and if the leg you pull on is a trike's rear wheel, it'll tend to pull the front that way. I have a paved, but not smooth driveway …. I make sure to control the handlebars firmly when entering/exiting my residence. Mine has a 6 degree fork tube rake (ie: if steering stem rake is 37 degrees, my tubes are at a 43 degree angle, which moved the tire forward and eliminated some trail …. but it still has some trail) Once on the road, as speed climbs and gyroscopic effects start, all tendency to shake goes away … but I always maintain control of the handlebars even then, though I can take one off to wave or signal.

    If you have some trail, even a little, you'll feel the shake or pull right and left on "un-smooth" surfaces. It's just how it is, too much trail and steering gets heavy, too little or no trail makes it too twitchy, and having lead (think opposite of trail where the tire contact patch on roadway is ahead of where an imaginary line through steering stem hits the road) is dangerous (front wheel will try to turn to left or right full fork stop as a caster does when pushed backwards.

    The damper you refer to might help dampen shake, but it'll likewise dull steering feel, maybe even just make it steer heavier. Might be better to just accept the feel at slow roll, un-smooth surfaces or keep both hands on firmly?

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    10+ Posts Ron60's Avatar
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    Default Head Shake

    Yeah Jim, I meant 13.5" shocks. My bad. And I moved the lower shock attachment point back @ 2" to another existing bolt hole. Trike height seems correct to your description now...pretty much level body without riders. As far as rake: Yes, I believe it has been.The H.D. factory tech that did the forks and the service writer said they had never seen the lower triple tree piece (not stock) and there appeared to be added rake and front fork length. Note: always check others work on your ride, my front brake caliper nearly fell off on 2nd ride after having front forks rebuilt! We heard top bolt hit the road and found bottom bolt backed out 1"! Thanks H.D. of Macon...you could've killed us!

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    10+ Posts Ron60's Avatar
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    Default Steering Damper

    Thanks CrystalPistal, I'm thankful for all feedback. My steering is very smooth and straight above @ 35mph. And yes, I'm learning to stay gripped to handle bars, esp. at lower speeds. I was expecting a little stiffer steering with a damper,just need a little help with head shake. I'm not as strong after stroke and tire out easier..was wondering if damper might help keep me in the wind..the head shake is part of triking, I was looking for feedback just like yours to see if it was possible,affordable,and user friendly. Thanks for chiming in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron60 View Post
    Yeah Jim, I meant 13.5" shocks. My bad. And I moved the lower shock attachment point back @ 2" to another existing bolt hole. Trike height seems correct to your description now...pretty much level body without riders. As far as rake: Yes, I believe it has been.The H.D. factory tech that did the forks and the service writer said they had never seen the lower triple tree piece (not stock) and there appeared to be added rake and front fork length. Note: always check others work on your ride, my front brake caliper nearly fell off on 2nd ride after having front forks rebuilt! We heard top bolt hit the road and found bottom bolt backed out 1"! Thanks H.D. of Macon...you could've killed us!
    That hole is designed for strapping down on a trailer and not an additional shock location.
    Jim Murphy
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    Lehman & Champion Dealer Owner Operator
    Iron Butt Rider 2001

    WHEN HELP IS OFFERED, A SIMPLE "THANK YOU" IS APPRECIATED.

  9. #9
    10+ Posts Ron60's Avatar
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    Yeah Jim, I figured that hole had another purpose than a shock mount; I probably should've ordered 13" shocks instead of 13.5". I'm aware of shocks should be mounted so they're in correct reference to suspension movement but I felt the trike was sitting a little too high in rear. It turned out good as the ride was smoother and the trike was level.I did notice the tie-down loops on the frame, I didn't know the holes were also for this purpose.I have noticed when lifting the trike it has more weight on the left side;probably from the belt drive/rear-end on that side: Do you have any info on balancing trike,does it effect ride? It seems the right side has more bounce....I thought of zip tying a heavy tool/road kit to the right side of trunk?Thanks for all the feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron60 View Post
    Yeah Jim, I figured that hole had another purpose than a shock mount; I probably should've ordered 13" shocks instead of 13.5". I'm aware of shocks should be mounted so they're in correct reference to suspension movement but I felt the trike was sitting a little too high in rear. It turned out good as the ride was smoother and the trike was level.I did notice the tie-down loops on the frame, I didn't know the holes were also for this purpose.I have noticed when lifting the trike it has more weight on the left side;probably from the belt drive/rear-end on that side: Do you have any info on balancing trike,does it effect ride? It seems the right side has more bounce....I thought of zip tying a heavy tool/road kit to the right side of trunk?Thanks for all the feedback.
    Ron, I have never noticed a ride difference due to the location of the differential.

    I suspect that there is a difference but it should be negligible.

    If it were an issue, all belt driven trikes would be suspect as well.

    I would check the ride on a flat road in decent shape, like the interstate.

    As long as both rear tires and wheels are the same sizes and air pressure is equal, both sides should react the same with good shocks.

    Remember, your trike weighs 2-300 pounds less than a dresser at least. You could put 2-300 pounds in the trunk and see how the ride improves.... just kidding.

    It is what it is.......
    Jim Murphy
    Lehman Tech since 1998
    Champion Tech since 2005
    Lehman & Champion Dealer Owner Operator
    Iron Butt Rider 2001

    WHEN HELP IS OFFERED, A SIMPLE "THANK YOU" IS APPRECIATED.

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