Question about 2003 Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard

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06 Softail (standard) rear shocks…

I was wondering how to lower the bike a little IF there is a way in the rear. Yes, I know where the shocks are and I know how to turn a wrench, but I guess I'm a little weary of just doing certain things that I might not be able to fix, and I don't really wanna go to the dealer....for anything. If anybody has tinkered around under there, let me know. Does the bike have to be on a stand? Whatever you guys could throw me, hints, tips, whatever.... I'd appreciate it.

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Pick up an H-D service manual for your bike too. It'll get you through the unknown. And as for a lot of the special tools recommended (like the offset socket tool for the Softail shock rear bolts), I found that you can get by with standard hand tools most of the time. And if you run into any probs, just post up and we'll help. As RTD says, go for it.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

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Jun 02, 2011 | 2002 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

1 Answer

Need a picture of how its done im trying to install the longer rod for lowering the ride hight

Evidently, you are trying to lower a Softail bike. You must raise the bike so you can get at the shocks underneath. But, you must also block the rear wheel up so it doesn't fall when you disconnect the shocks.

Once you get the bike litke this, loosen the lock nuts towards the rear wheel. With those loose, take the bolts out that hold the pivot rods to the rear swing arm. Now, turn the adjuster nut so that the pivot rods are coming out of the adjuster nut. Once completely out, start your new longer rods back in the adjuster nuts. Don't forget to take the lock nut off the original pivot rods and put them on the new ones before you put them in the adjuster nuts. Do both shocks the same way. Adjust the rods to the same length and bolt them back to the swing arm. If the won't go, you may have to raise or lower the rear wheel so that the bolt holes line up with the pivot rods. Reinstall the bolts that hold the pivot rods to the swingarm and lock the lock nuts down. Your bike should be lowered at this point. If it's not like you want it, you'll have to adjust the shocks with the adjuster bolt.

Keep in mind that on the Softail, if you lower the bike too much, the top of the final drive belt may rub the underside of the inner primary cover underneath the starter and make a noise. If you hear a whining noise, this is probably what it is. Watch for that.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures.

Good Luck

Apr 09, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard...

1 Answer

I just went and bought new bearings for the front end,because their was a little play. the old ones were good,i bought bike used,and was wondering if their is supposed to be a spacer between triple...

I'm not sure what you mean by spacer but there is no spacer in there. The steering stem of the lower triple tree has the bearing on it. There is a thin dust shield that goes between the bearing and the triple tree. With the races installed in the frame, just slide the steering stem up into the frame and install the top bearing, dust shield, and retainer. Then the upper tree goes on.

Refer to this site for exploded views of your bike.

good luck

Nov 06, 2010 | 2002 Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard

1 Answer

Mushy rear end when turning corners

Regrettably, the Softail line of Harley machines are not the best handling bikes on the road. With the shocks being located on the bottom of the bike, it doesn't lend them to being adjustable like other designs. The only thing I can tell you to do is maybe go to a high performance shock setup. Just like with all the other bikes, there are people that make better shocks even for the Softail.

In my opinion, the best handling Big Twin that Harley-Davidson ever made was the FXR. It's unique frame design made the frame stiff and it's traditional suspension allowed for adjustment of the suspension pre-load. With the addition of a pair of high performance rear shocks and some tuning of the 39mm front end, the bike would corner as well as any Sportster on the road. Of course, the Sportster is no match for some of the sport bikes on the road today but Harley is in it's own class even if it is a slower class.

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Jun 10, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard

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1 Answer

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I lowered my 06 Street Glide 1 1/4" in the rear, using a bolt on, adjustable lowering kit that I purchased on Ebay. $100.00, including shipping. Took less than 30 minutes to install, and can be returned to stock, in about the same amount of time. It lowers Touring bikes either 1 1/4", or 2 1/2". If you ride 2-up, you'll have to keep some more air pressure in the rear shocks, to prevent bottoming. The SG shocks are 12" stock. The FLHTC/U has 13" shocks stock. The brand of lowering kit is R.U.B. Excellent quality, quick delivery. Hope this helps.

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