Easy Steps for How to Remove Rear Shocks on a Harley Softail


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How To Remove Rear Shocks For Harley Softail

Are you looking for an easy way to replace the rear shocks on your Harley Softail? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This article will provide detailed instructions on how to remove rear shocks from your Harley Softail in a few easy steps. Read on to find out how you can get your shocks out and replaced with minimal effort. With this handy guide, you’ll be able to get your Harley Softail ready for a comfortable ride in no time!

To remove the rear shocks on a Harley Softail, start by gathering the necessary tools, such as a socket set and a torque wrench. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions provided in this article to safely and effectively remove the shocks. Be sure to support the bike properly before removing the shocks.

Overview of Rear Shocks on Harley-Davidson Softail

Harley-Davidson Softail is known for its classic retro styling and smooth, comfortable rides. One of the components that contribute to Softail’s smooth ride is the rear suspension system, specifically the rear shocks.

The rear shocks on a Softail play an important role in absorbing shock and offering a comfortable ride for both the rider and the passenger. The rear shocks work in tandem with the front suspension system for creating a smooth, stable ride. The rear shocks used in this bike are typically coil-over shocks, which means that they use a coil spring for absorbing shock and providing damping. The coil spring is compressed as the shock, will absorb the bumps and rebound to the original position.

The rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail can be adjusted easily for accommodating different riding styles and rider weights. Most Softail models actually come with adjustable shocks, which allow the rider to set the preload and adjust the compression and rebound damping.

Setting the preload on the rear shocks will be important to optimize the ride height and performance of the suspension. Preload refers to the amount of tension on the spring before the biker sits on the Harley. By adjusting the preload, the biker will be able to customize the height of the ride and make sure that the suspension is set up properly for their weight.

Compression and rebound damping is used for referring to the way the rear shock absorbs and releases energy. Compressing damping refers to the resistance of the shock to compression, whereas rebound damping refers to the resistance of the rear shocks to rebound. By adjusting these settings, you’ll be able to fine-tune the suspension to your riding style and get a more enjoyable ride.

Purpose of Removing the Rear Shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail

The rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail play a huge role in ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride on the bike. However, some bikers decide to remove the rear shocks, either for a more aesthetic look or for performance reasons, among other reasons.

It is important for any Harley-Davidson Softail owner to understand the importance of having rear shocks in their bike’s suspension system. The rear shocks essentially absorb the bump and vibrations of the road, which reduces the impact felt by the biker. Moreover, it also provides better control and stability. Removing the rear shocks entirely could drastically alter the ride quality while also making it less safe to ride, especially when you’re driving at high speeds or on rough terrains.

So, what would be the purpose of removing the rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail? Sometimes, the biker might want to achieve a lower, more streamlined look for their Harley-Davidson bike. By removing the rear shocks and lowering the frame, your bike will sit closer to the ground and have a much more aggressive stance. This look is quite popular among custom bike builders. It can be achieved easily by installing a lowered rear suspension kit or simply swapping out the rear shocks for shorter aftermarket options.

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Another reason for removing the rear shocks can be to improve the performance of your Harley-Davidson Softail. Without the added weight and friction of the rear shocks, the rear wheel will be able to move and perform much more freely. This can potentially improve acceleration and handling. However, it’ll be important to note that this modification can also make the motorcycle more difficult to control and less safe to ride. It will be even more difficult and dangerous for beginners or inexperienced riders.

Further, you should keep in mind that removing the rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail can be a rather time-consuming and challenging process. The rear shocks are typically mounted to the frame with bolts, which can be pretty difficult to access. Further, it will also require special tools and expertise for removing and replacing them.

Harley-Davidson Softail Rear Shocks

Preparations to Carry Out Before Removing the Rear Shocks

Removing the rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail can be quite a challenging task, but with the right tools and the basic knowledge of motorcycle mechanics, this can be easily accomplished by DIY enthusiasts. Before starting out, it will be necessary to make sure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment, including a torque wrench, a socket set, and a jack or lift for raising the rear of the bike. Further, you should also wear the necessary safety equipment so that you can carry out the entire process safely.

1. Gather the required tools

Before starting out, you will have to gather the required tools and materials. This way, you will be able to make sure you can carry out the entire task without any hiccups. Some of the tools and materials needed will include – 

  • A socket wrench set
  • A hex key set
  • A torque wrench
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Loctite
  • Replacement lowering kit or aftermarket rear shocks

2. Safety precautions and equipment

Aside from the necessary tools, you are also required to gather the necessary protective gear and equipment. It is recommended that you should wear protective gloves, eye protection, motorcycle chaps, a long-sleeve jacket, and more. Wearing the necessary equipment and following the safety precautions will allow you to remove the rear shocks and replace them safely and easily.

How to Remove Rear Shocks for Harley Softail

Removing the rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail is a significant modification that can easily alter the look and performance of the bike. While it is important that you should carefully consider the risks and drawbacks of this decision before you remove the rear shocks, there are a few benefits of doing this as well. If you belong to the latter category, then you will be glad to find this step-by-step guide on how to remove rear shocks for Harley Softail. So without further ado, let’s begin with the steps to remove the rear shocks of your bike.

Step 1: Prepare your motorcycle

First, you should prepare your Harley-Davidson Softail. Make sure that your bike is securely parked on a flat surface and then turn it off. Your bike needs to be properly supported and stable. Use a jack for lifting the rear of the Softail off the ground, and then use the wheel chocks or straps for preventing the bike from tipping over. You must place jack stands under the frame of your bike to support the bike’s weight. Also, make sure that you’ve gathered all the necessary tools, including a torque wrench, a socket wrench, Allen wrenches, and pliers. Moreover, you should also use proper safety precautions when you’re working with a Softail lifted off the ground to prevent any accidents.

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Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable

Once your bike is in place, you need to disconnect the negative side of the battery cable. This way, your bike won’t give you sudden shocks or accidentally start when you’re working with it. 

Step 3: Remove the rear seat

After that, you need to remove the rear seat from your Harley-Davidson Softail. You can easily do this by unscrewing a single bolt or clip located at the front of the seat. Once it is removed, you will have to lift the seat up and off your Softail.

Step 4: Raise the rear of your Harley-Davidson Softail

Using a jack or lift, you should raise the rear of your Harley-Davidson Softail until the rear wheel of your bike is off the ground. It’ll be important to make sure that the bike is supported securely and stable before you proceed.

Step 5: Remove the rear fender strut bolts

Locate the bolts that are connecting the rear fender struts to the frame of your Harley-Davidson Softail. There are generally two bolts on each side, which can be easily removed with the help of a socket set. You must take care that you do not lose any washer or spacer that might be present.

Step 6: Remove the rear shocks bolts

Once you have removed the fender struts, you will be in a position to remove the rear shock bolts. Start off by removing the bolts that are attaching the top of the rear shocks to the frame. You will be able to access these bolts from the top of the shocks and remove them using a socket set.

Next up, you should remove the bolts that attach the bottom of the rear shocks to the swingarm. These bolts can be easily found near the rear wheel of your Softail. You can remove these bolts using a socket set.

Step 7: Remove the shocks

Once the pins or bolts are moved, you will be able to slide the shocks off the mounting points easily. In case the shocks are stuck, make use of a rubber mallet for gently tapping them off.

Step 8: Inspect the area and clean it

Once you have removed the shocks, you will be able to access the mounting points and other areas of your Harley-Davidson Softail. You must take this opportunity to clean the working area thoroughly. Moreover, you should inspect the mounting points for potential signs of damage or wear.

Additionally, when you are replacing the shocks, you should store the old shocks in a safe place. If you intend to reuse them, remember to clean them and store them in a clean and dry place.

Tips to Keep in Mind When Removing Rear Shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail

Installing new rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail can be quite a significant upgrade to your Softail’s suspension system. It’ll help improve both comfort and handling on your bike. However, it is important that you follow the proper safety guidelines when installing new rear shocks to ensure a smooth and safe ride. Here are some of the tips to follow when removing old rear shocks and installing new shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail – 

1. Choose the right rear shocks

When you are installing new rear shocks on a Harley-Davidson Softail, it’ll be an important decision to choose the right rear shocks for your Softail in the first place. You must consider factors like weight, riding style, and desired ride height for finding the best fit for your needs. Moreover, you should consult a professional mechanic or do your own research to find suitable options for your Softail.

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2. Maintain the new shocks after installing them

To make sure that your new rear shocks last as long as possible, it’ll be important that you maintain them properly. Further, you should also get your Harley serviced at a nearby service center while also giving your bike regular maintenance checks.

3. Check for the clearance

After you have installed the new rear shocks, you need to check for the clearance between the shocks and other parts of your Softail. You must ensure that the rear shocks aren’t touching any wires or other components and that they’ve got enough clearance for full suspension travel.

4. Use high-quality tools

When you are performing the installation, you should make sure that you have the necessary tools and equipment on hand. These tools need to be high quality and authentic. The tools that you’ll have to gather include wrenches, a torque wrench, sockets, a jack, and a stand for lifting the bike.

5. Test ride your Harley

Before you take your Harley-Davidson Softail out on the road, you must take it for a test drive to make sure that the new rear shocks are installed correctly and functioning properly. You must pay close attention to your motorcycle’s handling, ride comfort, and any vibrations or unusual sounds. This way, you’ll also be able to make any adjustments if needed for the shocks.

6. Never over-tighten the bolts

Once you have removed the old shocks, you must install the new shocks in their place. Then, make use of mounting bolts for securing the rear shocks in place. Further, you must be careful that you never over-tighten the bolts. You should use a torque wrench to make sure that the bolts are tightened according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Conclusion: The Final Verdict

Removing the rear shocks on your Harley-Davidson Softail can be a daunting task. However, it is necessary to do so if you have to replace or upgrade the rear shocks. This entire process is basic, all that you’ll need to do is gather the necessary tools and supplies, disconnect the negative battery cable, remove the rear seat, raise the rear of your bike, remove the rear fender strut bolts, remove the rear shocks, remove the shock bolts, remove the shocks, and clean the area once the process is complete. Moreover, make sure that you are following the necessary safety protocols when removing the rear shocks.


What tools are needed to remove rear shocks from a Harley Softail?

To remove the rear shocks from a Harley Softail, you will need a set of metric wrenches, a ratchet and socket set, an Allen wrench set, a torque wrench, and a spring compressor. It is also important to have the correct size sockets and wrenches, as the bolts and nuts may be difficult to access.

What are the steps to remove the rear shocks from a Harley Softail?

The steps to remove the rear shocks from a Harley Softail are as follows: 1) Secure the bike on a lift or jack, 2) Disconnect the shocks from the bike frame, 3) Remove the rear shock mounting bolts and nuts, 4) Compress the shock springs with a spring compressor, 5) Remove the shocks from the bike, 6) Replace the shocks with new ones, 7) Reinstall the shocks and mounting bolts and nuts, and 8) Tighten the bolts and nuts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque.

What safety precautions should I take when removing rear shocks from a Harley Softail?

It is important to take safety precautions when removing rear shocks from a Harley Softail. Make sure that the bike is securely supported and that all tools are.

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