How to Adjust Rear Shocks on a Harley Davidson Dyna

The suspension system plays a vital role in ensuring optimal performance and rider comfort on a Harley Davidson Dyna motorcycle. Among its various components, the rear shocks hold particular significance as they provide stability during your rides. To guarantee your safety and enhance your overall riding experience, it is essential to ensure that your bike’s suspension system is properly adjusted. In the following guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to adjust the rear shocks on your Harley Davidson Dyna, enabling you to optimize your bike’s suspension performance.
Note: This revised content focuses on the importance of suspension and provides a brief introduction to adjusting rear shocks on a Harley Davidson Dyna without any specific website references.

Why Is It Necessary to Adjust Your Harley’s Rear Shocks?

Having well-adjusted rear shocks is extremely important as they affect your
● maneuverability
● stability
● ability to brake
● comfort while riding


Harley Davidson Owner Manual
Manufacturers typically provide default suspension settings for motorcycles, recognizing that riders have unique preferences and needs. Since the suspension’s performance is largely influenced by the rider’s weight, adjustments need to be made accordingly. When purchasing a new bike, it is essential to fine-tune the rear shocks to suit your specific height and weight. Keep in mind that the optimal settings will vary based on both individual riders and any passengers they may have.
Similarly, if you acquire a pre-owned Harley Davidson Dyna, it’s important to note that the suspension settings were likely configured for the previous owner. Therefore, it becomes necessary to customize the settings to ensure your own comfort and riding experience.


An essential objective of rear shock absorbers is to effectively reduce the effects of uneven or rough road surfaces. Through my research, I discovered that by properly adjusting the rear shocks to match my body weight, I was able to experience a completely smooth ride without feeling any bumps along the way. This showcases the remarkable advancements in suspension technology that we witness today. However, it is worth noting that when the suspension settings are not tailored to your specific requirements, the ride can become uncomfortably bumpy for both you and your fellow passenger.


Optimizing your bike’s suspension to suit your specific requirements can greatly enhance its handling capabilities. The difference between a bike that effortlessly maneuvers and one that proves challenging to control can be attributed to the fine-tuning of its suspension system. Fortunately, advancements in modern technology have simplified the process of adjusting the rear shocks on your bike.
By customizing the suspension settings, you can unlock a world of improved handling and performance. Ensuring your bike’s suspension is tailored to your individual preferences allows for smoother rides, enhanced stability, and greater control. With the latest technological innovations, making adjustments to the rear shocks has become more accessible and user-friendly.
Investing time in understanding and optimizing your bike’s suspension system can have a significant impact on your overall riding experience. Take advantage of the current advancements to fine-tune your bike’s rear shocks and unlock the full potential of its handling capabilities.

How to Adjust the Rear Shocks on Your Harley Davidson Dyna

Harley Dyna Rear Shock Adjustment
When it comes to older motorcycles, modifying the suspension used to involve the laborious task of disassembling and reassembling components, sometimes requiring specialized tools. Thankfully, we no longer have to endure such an arduous process today. Whether you’re riding a two-wheeler or a three-wheeler, most contemporary motorcycles are equipped with adjustable suspensions that can be easily fine-tuned using knobs, screws, and bolts.
Now, let’s delve into the process of customizing the rear shocks on your Harley according to your preferences. Prior to making any adjustments, it is essential to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual.
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Optimizing Suspension Settings for Your Bike: Achieving the Perfect Balance
When it comes to your bike’s performance, the interlinked settings of sag and preload play a crucial role. Sag refers to the downward compression experienced when the rider sits on the bike, while preload determines how well the bike adjusts to the additional weight. Finding the right balance within a comfortable range is essential for optimal results. Let’s explore how you can determine and adjust the preload effectively.
Adjusting the damping settings
To begin, measure the bike’s height with the rear shock fully extended, lifting the rear end until the tire is off the ground. This initial measurement provides a baseline. Next, measure the height again while sitting on the bike, ensuring you have any items typically carried during your rides.
Several methods can be used to measure the preload value, with the percentage system being the most common. Simply put, measure the rear shock’s height when it’s at rest and divide it by the height when you’re seated on the bike. Ideally, the resulting value should hover around 30%. If it falls below 30%, reducing the preload is necessary. You can achieve this by turning the suspension collar upwards.
What if the value exceeds 30%? In that case, turning the collar in the opposite direction will increase the preload, helping you find the optimal setting for your bike’s suspension.
By fine-tuning these settings, you can ensure a smoother ride and enhance your bike’s overall performance. Take the time to measure and adjust the preload correctly, and you’ll experience a noticeable improvement in your riding experience.


Optimizing the damping settings for your bike’s suspension is a subjective process that differs from calculating preload values. Effectively managing damping minimizes the suspension’s movement and regulates its re-extension speed after encountering bumps.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieve optimal damping:
1. Record your current settings as a reference point.
2. Take note of the number of “clicks” on the adjustment screw.
3. Count the clicks while turning the screw clockwise, and then count them counterclockwise.
4. Set the screw to the center position by dividing the total number of clicks in half. This will help you understand the desired rebound.
5. Take a test ride to assess whether the rebound feels too rough or too loose.
6. Avoid excessive adjustments to the knob. Even a couple of clicks can bring significant changes to the suspension.
7. If the rebound feels too loose on your Harley, turn the knob clockwise. Conversely, turn it counterclockwise if it feels too tight.
Remember to optimize your bike’s damping settings cautiously, as it plays a crucial role in enhancing your riding experience.


Changing the compression settings helps you change how the bike deals with brakes and bumps. Not all bikes have compression adjustments, but the Harley Davidson does.

You tweak the compression settings the same way you do those for damping.

  1. Count the total amount of clicks to determine the center.
  2. Use that number as a starting point to adjust the compression settings.
  3. If your bike brakes too hard or has a “rear-wheel hop,” you will need to turn the screw counter-clockwise.
  4. If your bike feels too loose while braking, turn the screw clockwise to strengthen the compression.


When preparing to adjust the height, it’s crucial to ensure that you have completed all preceding steps. It is imperative not to proceed without doing so.
The final stage in modifying the suspension involves fine-tuning the height. The ride height is a critical parameter that significantly impacts the bike’s handling and steering. To attain the ideal height, it is necessary to make adjustments to the rear suspension. Utilizing an adjustable shock, you can customize the height of your bike seat according to your preferences.
Lowering the seat will enhance the stability of your Harley, providing a more grounded sensation. Conversely, raising the seat will yield the opposite effect, making the bike less stable and more challenging to maneuver. It’s worth noting that certain bikes feature a “locking nut” within their suspension system. If this applies to your bike, you must remove the screw, carry out the required adjustments, and then reinstall it.
In my personal opinion, having more controlled steering can contribute to a reduced risk of accidents. However, the ultimate decision rests with you. It’s essential to do what makes you feel comfortable.
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What You Should Do When Adjusting Your Rear Shocks


When it comes to adjusting the rear shocks on your Harley motorcycle, it can be a challenging task, especially if you’re tackling it solo. To ensure a smoother process and more accurate results, it is highly recommended to enlist the assistance of a few friends. Collaborating as a group not only speeds up the task but also allows for better accessibility to all the necessary components of the bike.
One significant advantage of having a team by your side is the ability to assign someone the task of taking notes. This becomes particularly useful when you sit on the bike to measure the sag, as having an extra person recording the measurements ensures greater precision in your calculations.
By working together, you can optimize the rear shock adjustment for your Harley motorcycle in a more efficient and effective manner. With increased accessibility and accurate note-taking, you’ll be able to fine-tune the adjustments with greater confidence and achieve the desired results for a smoother and more comfortable ride.
Remember, when undertaking any adjustments to your motorcycle, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.


Note-taking is a crucial practice that should not be underestimated. However, it is equally vital to utilize and reference these notes for future use. It may seem that once you have achieved the perfect suspension settings, there would be no need to readjust the rear shocks. However, it is essential to reconsider this assumption. As circumstances change, there may arise a need to revise these settings accordingly.

For instance, if you are embarking on a journey where you will be traversing unfamiliar terrain, it becomes necessary to make adjustments to your rear shock settings to ensure a suitable ride.

The significance of maintaining detailed notes cannot be overstated. By documenting your current settings, you can accurately assess them and comprehend any modifications you previously made. Furthermore, your notes serve as a valuable resource to revert to the exact settings that align with your personal preferences.


When conducting payload and sag testing, it is crucial to utilize all necessary equipment. Even the smallest details can significantly impact your calculations. For instance, if you commute to the office with a bag, it is advisable to wear the bag while making adjustments to the rear shocks. It is important to wear your regular biking attire, including appropriate clothing, footwear, helmet, and outerwear. Neglecting to do so may result in undesired suspension settings.

After making any adjustments or replacing components on your bike, it is essential to take a test ride. It is recommended to choose a low-traffic road for this purpose. By doing so, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your modifications without compromising your safety.


Optimizing the rear shocks of your Harley is crucial for both a comfortable ride and ensuring your safety. Neglecting to adjust the suspension settings according to your needs can lead to potentially dangerous situations.
Although the process may seem challenging and time-consuming, prioritizing your well-being and riding comfort is of utmost importance. Dedicate some time, gather a group of friends, and fine-tune the rear shocks of your Harley.
By undertaking this adjustment, you can significantly enhance your riding experience while guaranteeing a safer journey.

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