I finally got the chance to put the Low Rider through its MOT and get it back on the road again today, and any concerns about the ride height on the shorter Ikon 7610 shocks with their SP15 adjustment collars have proved to be unfounded.
Despite dropping an inch before I park my backside in the saddle – and probably at least as much again when I do – there is no evidence of cornering clearance issues on the urban streets that used to trouble Harley’s own slammed Low Riders in the mid-noughties. Better than that, the compliant springing deals with the pock-marked, pot-holed streets with ease and far better than the taller, stiffer oem shocks.
After putting some serious miles on my Buell in recent months, the Low Rider was always going to feel odd on its way to the MOT station, but I didn’t expect to forget that I’d fitted the lower shocks until chatting to a friend before heading for home. That’s when a few things dropped into place regarding the steering – which, counter-intuitively, felt lighter with the increased trail – and a smoother ride, and after taxing it on-line I took it for a quick blast round town to test it more thoroughly.
I am delighted to report that I don’t think it has ever ridden better – including when I first got the bike, then fitted with a pair of stock height Ikon 7610 shocks with the standard SP8 Sportster-like style. That has lead me to think that the changes in the steering geometry have done it a favour, although that is possibly coupled with taking a softly-softly approach with the preload, trusting the damping to control things rather than cranking it up in an attempt to keep things taut at the back. I’m now going to revisit the forks before going much further, which now feel underdamped, but that will initially be experimenting with oil because they are already running Progressive springs.
It’ll be interesting to see how it all copes with some good open-road riding at the weekend: off to see HDRCGB Region 29 at their small rally between Whitchurch and Telford on Saturday, and then down to Arrow Mill at Alcester to see Gil and Jude from Thunder Road at their Victory and Indian open day.
In case you missed the news and tech pieces in the magazine, you might want to know that the Australian-made Ikon Suspension is being handled by the equally iconic Norman Hyde through www.ikonshocks.co.uk