How To Adjust Air Shocks On Harley Davidson: The Complete Guide

Do you have a Harley Davidson and find that your bike isn’t handling as well as you’d like it to? Chances are, you need to adjust the air shocks on your bike.

In this guide, we will walk you through the complete process of how to adjust air shocks on Harley Davidson motorcycles.

We’ll cover everything from identifying the problem to completing the repair. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, this guide has got you covered!


What are air shocks, and why do they need to be adjusted?

Air shocks are a type of shock absorber that uses air pressure to adjust the ride height of your motorcycle. They are typically found on larger bikes like Harley-Davidsons.

The main reason why you might need to adjust your air shocks is that they can settle over time. This can happen for a number of reasons, including riding over bumps or potholes, going through a car wash, or even just sitting in your garage for an extended period.

When the air shocks settle, it can cause your bike to sag in the rear. This can make it harder to handle and can also put extra strain on other parts of the bike, like the tires and suspension.

How to identify that your bike needs air shocks adjusted?

You can tell that your bike’s air shocks need to be adjusted in a few different ways. One of the most obvious signs is if you notice that your motorcycle is sagging in the rear.

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If you look at the air shocks themselves, you may also notice that they are no longer level with each other. This is another indication that they need to be adjusted.

Another way to tell if your air shocks need to be adjusted is, by the way, the bike rides. If you find that the ride is bouncier than usual or that the bike is harder to handle, those are both signs that the air shocks need to be adjusted.

How to adjust the air shocks on a Harley Davidson motorcycle?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the signs that your bike’s air shocks need to be adjusted let’s talk about how to adjust them.

The first thing you’ll need to do is locate the air valve on the shock. It will usually be located near the bottom of the shock, and it may have a cover over it.

Once you’ve located the air valve, you’ll need to use an air pump to add or release air from the shocks. If your bike is sagging in the rear, you’ll need to add air to the shocks.

Conversely, if your bike’s ride is too bouncy, you’ll need to release some air from the shocks. It’s important to note that you should only add or release a small amount of air at a time.

You’ll want to test ride your bike after each adjustment to see how it feels. Once you’ve found the perfect setting, be sure to write down the pressure so that you can replicate it in the future.

How do troubleshoot problems with the adjustment process?

If you’re having trouble adjusting your air shocks, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem.

First, make sure you’re using an air pump designed for motorcycle tires. If you’re using a regular household air pump, it might not have enough pressure to properly adjust the shocks.

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Another thing you can check is the air valve itself. Sometimes, the air valve can become clogged, preventing air from flowing into or out of the shocks. If this is the case, you’ll need to clean the air valve before proceeding.

Common Issues

A few common issues can occur when adjusting air shocks on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. One of the most common is that the bike will continue to sag in the rear, even after you’ve added air to the shocks.

If this happens, there is likely a leak in one of the shocks. You’ll need to take your bike to a mechanic so they can replace the leaking shock.

Another common issue is that the bike’s ride will be too bouncy after you’ve adjusted the air shocks. If this happens, you’ve likely added too much air to the shocks.

You’ll need to release some of the air until the ride is comfortable again. It’s important to remember that you should only add or release a small amount of air at a time so that you can fine-tune the setting.

As long as you take your time and follow these steps, you should be able to adjust the air shocks on your Harley Davidson motorcycle successfully. Just remember to write down the pressure setting so you can replicate it in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much air do I put in my Harley shocks?

The amount of air you’ll need to add to your shocks will depend on how much your bike is sagging. You should only add a small amount of air at a time and test ride the bike after each adjustment.

How do you adjust the rear shocks on a Harley Davidson?

You’ll need to know a few things before you start adjusting your shocks. First, you’ll need to know what type of shocks your Harley has. Two types of shocks are commonly used on Harley Davidson motorcycles: coil-over and air-assisted. Coil-over shocks are the traditional type of shock absorber, which uses a spring to provide suspension. Air-assisted shocks use compressed air to provide suspension.

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Second, you’ll need to know the weight of your motorcycle. This information can be found in your owner’s manual. Once you know the weight of your motorcycle, you can begin adjusting your shocks.

If you have coil-over shocks, you’ll need to adjust the pre-load. Pre-load is the amount of tension that is on the spring. You’ll need to turn the adjusting collar clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the pre-load. If you turn the adjusting collar clockwise, you’ll increase the pre-load. This will make your shocks stiffer and better able to handle a heavier load. If you turn the adjusting collar counterclockwise, you’ll decrease the pre-load. This will make your shocks softer and better able to absorb bumps.

If you have air-assisted shocks, you’ll need to adjust the air pressure as we already covered in this article.

How do I adjust the Softail shocks on my Harley?

To adjust the Softail shocks on your Harley, you will need to remove the saddlebags. Once the saddlebags are removed, you will see four nuts that hold the shocks in place. Unscrew these nuts and remove the shocks.

To adjust the shocks, you will need to use a shock pump. Pump up the shocks until they are firm but not too hard. You may need to experiment with the amount of air in the shocks to find the perfect setting for your ride. Once the shocks are adjusted, put the saddlebags back on and enjoy your ride.

How does the suspension work on a Harley Softail?

Harley-Davidson Softail models have a rear suspension that utilizes air shocks to provide a smooth ride. The shocks are adjustable, allowing you to change the air pressure in the shocks to accommodate your weight and preferences.

How often do I need to adjust my air shocks?

You’ll need to adjust your air shocks every time you change the weight of your motorcycle. This includes adding or removing passengers, as well as adding or removing cargo. You should also adjust your shocks if you notice that your ride isn’t as smooth as it used to be.

How much does it cost to replace air shocks on a Harley?

If you need to replace your air shocks, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for the parts and labor. This price will vary depending on the make and model of your motorcycle.

Final Words

We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any questions about adjusting air shocks on Harley Davidson, feel free to leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. Thanks for reading!

By Jacob - The Rider

Hi, my name is Jacob. I'm the founder of Backyard Rider Mag - a blog about motorcycles. I've studied engineering in college but decided to make blogging my career because it really aligned with what I wanted to do creatively - talk about bikes! I've been riding for 16 years now- everything from sportbikes to cruisers, dirtbikes or even dual sports. And after all these years on the road, there are still new bikes that excite me just as much as when I first started riding.

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