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Harley sportster hill climber

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:56 pm
by kyker5
I was curious if I could get information on suspension that you can use in place of stock sportster forks and rear shocks for hill climbing or what other alternatives might be available.

Re: Harley sportster hill climber

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:51 pm
by Motoman
Steering head specs are remarkably standardized...there's a decent chance that a front end from any given MX bike might just go on - but it would really throw off the geometry of the bike because they'd be so much longer, and you'd certainly have a totally different rake/trail on the Sportster frame than what was intended on the MX frame.

Realistically if you want to be "serious" about hillclimbing your Sportster, the path of least resistance is to get a MX bike of some sort, and do a motor transplant...then mod it's suspension and swingarm length to taste.

If you don't want to do something like that, probably your best bet is to get your existing suspension to a proper suspension shop and have them do what they can with them. Assuming you extend the swingarm, the rear shock will need a new spring and valving...and granted that you're going to be getting more air than the typical Sportster is intended for, the same thing will apply to your forks so they can respond to jumps on the hills.

Re: Harley sportster hill climber

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:46 pm
by kyker5
Thank you for your response. I was thinking about the transplant in a motocross frame but wasn't sure if there was a good suspension you could use on the stock sporty frame

Re: Harley sportster hill climber

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:55 am
by Motoman
You could try getting a front end from like a sportsbike, like an R6 or something...would be a lot beefier than the stock Sporty stuff, but you'd still have the same issue of not much travel. And you'd still have to get the springs and valving changed. Naturally there's any number of aftermarket shocks for the Sporty as well...but same thing. You'd still have to get custom spring/valving done. And still have not much travel.

So if you really want to leave the Sporty pretty much intact...just mode the stuff you already have. If you're looking to get a "serious" hillclimber built, realistically the transplant to a modern MX chassis is the only reasonable starting point.