If you want to know “how to adjust air shocks on Harley Davidson”, this article will give you the right way to do it. By reading this post you will know –

What are Air Shocks?Why Do You Need to Adjust Air Shocks?How to Adjust Air Shocks on Harley Davidson Manually / With a Tool

What are Air Shocks?

Air shocks are basically shock absorbers and work as a part of the suspension system of a vehicle. They are used to endure any type of pressure and reverse-bounces of the springs. They make the vehicle run smoothly and be in touch with the ground.

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Historically, air shocks were only implemented in heavy trucks. However, nowadays, for having a revolutionary transformation in design and technology, they have been shifted in cars, bikes, and other forms of commercial vehicles.

Why Do You Need to Adjust Air Shocks?

While taking additional weight and accelerating or decelerating, a vehicle and its shocks’ capacity will be tested. In the conventional coil spring suspension system, the overall pressure taking, and adjustment were all taken care of by the springs, or an integral knob can be used to adjust it manually. However, with the air shocks, we need to adjust the air pressure according to the load we are about to put on the vehicle.

How To Adjust Air Shocks On Harley Davidson


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source: hdforums.com

Two among many other adjectives that can describe Harley Davidson motorcycles are: phenomenal and unique. They are pervasive and the brand never makes two look-alike models. That’s why the customization process for their bikes varies from model to model.

For some models, the air-shock adjustment will require tools like an air-pump. Some models will allow manual adjustment also. In this article, we will narrate both systems.

#1. Manual Adjustment

To demonstrate the process of how to adjust air shocks on Harley Davidson manually, we have used a “2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide” model.

Step 1 – Removing the Saddlebag

Between the two saddlebags, the left one should be chosen for removal. Because the only air shock adjuster is located under the left saddlebag. To remove it, one needs to open the lid of the saddlebag. Once opened, two-quarter pins will appear which stick the bag to the rear motorcycle body.

One has to just kick those quarter pins anticlockwise. It will untie the bag from the body. Now the saddlebag can be removed.

Step 2 – Locating the Adjustment Knob

After removing the saddlebag, one should look carefully to find the adjustment knob. For the 2014 Street Glide, the adjustment knob will be a preloaded one. There will be some lines, a Low and a High determiner delineated on the upper side of the knob. They will represent the current air pressure in the shocks.

Step-3 – Rotating the Knob to the Lower Limit

After carefully locating the knob, you have to rotate the knob anticlockwise. It will make the knob get to a lower state gradually. Keep rotating until it reaches the end. That means you should continue rotating till the knob cannot go down any further.

Step-4 – Rotating it Back to the Right Position

Now before doing so, we need to do a little calculation. We need to estimate the load we are about to put on the bike. According to the 2104 Street Glide manual, the lowest value of the shock covers 220 lb weight. Then for every clockwise rotation, the amount of weight rises 10 lb. That means if you rotate the knob one time clockwise, it will be set for 230 lb.

After getting the right estimation of the load to weight, you have to just rotate the knob clockwise for the required times. The process has been made easier as the knob makes a clicking sound for each full rotation. All you need is to count the click sounds and stop when it gets to the right position.

However, starting click needs to be tackled with more care as it only tells that knob ready to make the serious rotation movement, and further advancement needs to be counted.

The last step is to set back the saddleback where it was. Be attentive while placing the bag and make sure it has fitted rigidly.

#2. Adjustment with a Tool

Well, for this article, we will take an earlier model, and that is “Lurch’s 2008 Harley Davidson Street Glide.”

There are many companies that manufacture air sock adjustment tools. However, the one we are suggesting here is a small and mobile air pump that is manufactured by Harley Davidson. It is the Harley Davidson Touring Suspension-Air-Pump 5463003A. Bagger Werx version of an air pump will also work, and bikers who want a cheaper air pump can go for this one.

An air pump basically has five parts in common. They are

A Pressure GaugeA swivel hose to join with a valve more effectivelyA Handle to pump air inside the shockA relief valve to release pressure out of shocks

Once you introduce yourself with all the parts of an air-pump, the rest of the process to adjust shocks is not take much time.

Like the 2014 version, 2008 Street Glide also has its shocks underneath the left saddlebag. So, following the same process narrated above, you need to remove the left saddlebag first. Then locate the shock, and there you will notice a valve instead of a knob.

Now, join the hose of the air pump to that valve. It will move the determiner of its gauge, and it will show the current psi. If more psi is needed, you need to just pump air into the shock. For getting less psi, just use the release valve to lessen air pressure in the shock.

The only caution that should be taken while choosing an air pump is not to use an air compressor for adjusting the shocks. It is greatly dangerous and highly disapproved by victim bikers. Using an air compressor will destroy the overall suspension system of the bike as these compressors are highly powerful.

Another checking factor is the precise calculation of acquired psi and the load weight. The metric below is a standard and recommended pressure amount.

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Total Weigh

Required PSI

up to 160 lbs

0-5 psi (0-35 kPa)

160-200 lbs

0-10 psi (0-69 kPa)

Over 200 lbs

5-10 psi (35-69 kPa)

up to 150 lbs

20-30 psi (138-207 kPa)

over 150 lbs

25-35 psi (172-241 kPa)

There are some other facts that everyone needs to know while adjusting the air shocks. Though there are two sir shocks, adjusting one will suffice for both. No matter how easy the overall adjustment process may sound, we should be careful all the way.