TECH: Progressive Suspension 944 Ultra Tour Shocks (Intro)

Progressive 944 Ultra Tour Install

Here’s our 2005 Electra Glide (sans saddlebags) on a bike jack with its rear section lifted just enough to take the bike’s weight off the rear shocks. We’ll show you how to do the left side, which is the same as the right except for the air line valve we’re going to remove.

Captions and photos by Chris Maida

Our 2005 Electra Glide had already received 1-inch lower than stock Progressive Suspension monotubes, so this go-round we’re installing 1-inch shorter rear shocks to keep the bike’s stance, and, therefore, its rake and trail, the same as stock.

We took our 2005 Electra Glide over to Bayside Harley-Davidson in Portsmouth, Virginia, to complete the full suspension makeover. It’s impossible to over stress the advantages of a performance suspension system, and it’s become one of the upgrades Harley owners do when the stock units are worn-out. In the case of our Electra Glide, one of the taller offerings from The Motor Company, many owners choose to lower it for improved confidence on the road and while stopped. In fact, this is such a popular change, H-D introduced Low versions of the Ultra Classic and the Limited.

For most of us, buying a new motorcycle for that reason isn’t exactly in the cards. But new front suspension and rear shocks probably are, and can definitely lead to a better-performing bike at the same time. And that’s exactly why we turned to Progressive Suspension, which offers kits for both the front and rear. We installed the 1-inch lower monotube cartridges last month, while this month, we’re going with a pair of Progressive’s 13-inch 944 Ultra Ultra-Touring shocks with heavy heavy-duty springs (#944-4020UT/$759). But wait, you might ask yourself, aren’t the stock shocks 13 inches? They are, but Progressive has designed the 944 to sit 1-inch lower than the stock air shocks while retaining the same amount of travel. The Progressive spring design gives the bike a 1-inch lower stance not only when loaded, but also when sitting on the sidestand and it uses the company’s Frequency Sensing Technology (FST) for a smooth ride. Progressive also has an Ultra-Low version of the 944, which is a 12-1/2-inch shock that sits at 11-inches.

With this front and rear suspension package, our Electra Glide sits just as it did when it came from the factory, without one end higher than the other. But now, it has the added advantage of a lower stance combined with a higher level of performance. As he did with the front, Service Technician Jesse Dietz at Bayside Harley-Davidson did the step-by-step install.

Progressive Ultra Tour 944 Install

Jesse secures the top of the new Progressive Suspension rear shock to the frame using a 3/4″ socket and blue Loctite. He leaves this bolt just snug for now.


Bayside Harley-Davidson

Progressive Suspension

Like what you see? The full article with all the steps, tips, tricks, and tools needed is in American Iron Magazine issue # 332! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit
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Pro-One Harley Billet Saddlebag Latch Covers

Pro-One’s new Billet Saddlebag Latch Covers are now available in Smooth or Ball Milled style for ’93 and later Touring Models.

> CNC machined from solid Billet Aluminum.
> Your choice of show-chrome or durable Black Anodized finish.
> Your choice of Smooth or Ball Milled style.
> Includes chrome mounting hardware.
> Fits 1993 and later Touring Models.
> Easy to install.

Saddlemen Signature Motorcycle Seat By Todd’s Cycles

Saddlemen enlisted custom bike builder Todd Silicato, founder of Todd’s Cycles to apply his unique styling sense to create the ultimate low-profile bagger seat that’s also great for touring. Keeping Saddlemen technology and quality at the center of this new saddle, Todd sculpted the seat to drop down into the bike for a low riding position. As with the standard Pro Tour seat, the Todd’s Cycles version is made with Saddlemen’s famous combination of progressive density foam and patented SaddleGelTM.

Features include: a lowered riding position which helps the rider touch the ground with added confidence. A slim, supportive bucket seat and contoured passenger section with contrasting carbon fiber and SaddleHydeTM cover. And a progressive density foam and SaddleGelTM interior to ease tailbone pressure and increase comfort.
Available at your local Drag Specialties dealer. Visit or more information.

Since 1987, Saddlemen has been a leader in motorcycle accessories by offering comfort solutions to motorcyclists. Saddlemen continues to offer products born from the latest designs, combined with the features and value that have set the industry standard. All Saddlemen seats are made in the U.S.A.

Build Your Own Captain America Bike

Paughco, the provider of many parts used on the original “Captain America” bike, is now offering a select number of beautifully reproduced pieces that provide the basis for building an exact reproduction of the historical chopper. The parts shown here are all available, as pictured, directly from Paughco and provide the unmistakable look unique to the Captain America bike featured in the Easy Rider movie. Paughco’s amazing, fully chromed, Wishbone frame features 3” stretch  in the downtubes, 0 in the backbone and 37 degrees of rake.  The beautifully finished frame retails for $3,179.95. A precise reflection of the original, Paughco’s Captain America Mustang tank, retail $849.95, is flawlessly finished as shown and ready to install. Captain America style button tuffed seat bolts directly to the frame and retails for $820.95 and chrome Cross Tube for the risers retails for just $57.95. Paughco also offers a 5-speed version for updating to a Softail driveline with electric start and a collection of reproduction Captain America accessories to complete your project.

Source: Paughco –  call 775-246-5738 or visit them at

Bendee Motorcycle Handlebars

Twist these Harley handlebars any which-way you like.

Ever wanted to swap out your stock handlebars with a custom set, but couldn’t decide which style to go with? Maybe the cost has been prohibitive, or your bike’s setup won’t accommodate the bars you really want. Problem solved; use the new Bendee Barz handlebar kit from ACME Products. This revolutionary bar design will allow anyone to add a custom set of bars to his ride with minimal effort, and even more minimal financial investment. Here’s how it works: each section of Bendee Barz stainless-steel tubing shrouds a pliable, but durable, ceramic core. Using the included handlebar template and measuring guide, you simply coil the tubing in ACME’s special bar-baking tray, then heat for roughly 20 minutes at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once heated, the tubing can then be shaped, twisted, knotted, etc., until it hardens into the desired bar configuration. From flowing beach bars to low-slung broomsticks to sky-high apes, Bendee Barz can give you any bar style you can imagine, and then some. And Bendee Barz can be reheated and reshaped continuously without compromising the integrity of the steel tubing or ceramic core, allowing you
to change handlebar styles as often as you like.

Bendee Barz are available in precut lengths of 2′, 3′, and 4′, with custom lengths by request. Two finishes are offered (chrome or custom black powdercoat), with prices starting at $29.95 per foot. And best of all, every section of Bendee Barz tubing is backed by ACME Products’ limited lifetime warranty. How’s that for a no-risk deal?

So, if you can dream up a cool handlebar design for your cycle, and know how to turn your oven up to 225 degrees, you can have the kick-a$$est set of custom bars on the block. Just remember that your friends at AIM tipped you off to this great, and affordable, way to add a touch of custom to that special two-wheeled treasure. No foolin’. AIM
–Adam Williams

ACME Products

Harley-Davidson Zeppelin Motorcycle Seat Review

Harley-Davidson Zeppelin Motorcycle Seat

I must have extra nerves in my &$$! No matter what seat I try, after riding for about an hour or so, my butt is killing me and I’m looking for some relief! Thankfully, I found it when I borrowed a friend’s Electra Glide, which was fitted with H-D’s Zeppelin seat. The Zeppelin has several strategically placed air bladders, which allow you, at the touch of a button, to redistribute your weight once you start feeling uncomfortable. It’s hard to believe that inflating one set of bladders and releasing some air from others can make such a difference. And yet I’ve been able to extend my saddle time by several hours without any discomfort. When pain starts to set in, I just readjust the seat and I’m good to go.

Installation takes about 15 minutes. Just swap the rear mounting bracket from the old seat to the new, plug in the bike’s accessory plug, and install the Zeppelin just like the stocker. When you first turn on the ignition switch, you’ll hear the air compressor (enclosed in the seat) filling the reservoir. Once that’s done, the pump shuts down and you’re free to adjust as needed.

As for riders shorter than 5’10”, you’ll be on your tiptoes when stopped, so let the air out when around town. AIM
–Fred Maida – as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company