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  1. #1
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    Default I wanna lower a Sportster front end...

    Hey, got a 99 Sportster 1200S recently and I want to lower the front end 2 inches... Can I do it by cutting my current springs? I know they make kits and all for a couple hundred bucks, but I want to do it sans kit. Anyone done it by cutting the springs? Thanks...

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    I’m sure this will get moved to the sportster section. But yes people have lowered forks by cutting springs. I did to my 02 sporty. But the S models have different forks don’t they? So might not be so easy.

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    nickey, the forknut on each fork is different (it has an adjuster nut for soft-hard) but I think it's just an upper proportioning valve. So, on your 02, how much did it lower? Like, when you cut the main spring an inch (as an example) did it lower your fork length by an inch? thanks by the way...

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    Please don't got cutting the springs on a S font end. Get a shorter damping rod and leave all of the other shit alone. I have some of the short ones that I'll send you for $40, Just pull your forks apart, measure the damping rod and then find a set that is -2"

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    OK, so the plan is for me to pull the forks apart measure the dampening rod's and then take a pic of the rod, send YOU the pic info and you think you have the length I need, is that correct sir?

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    or steps one and two and then search for what you need on the interweb? the other way is much more ghetto but you can cut your springs 2" and add a 2" spacer between the damping rod and the fork tube (making the damping rod shorter by 2") its just a damn shame to do that to a S fork in order to save $40

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    Quote Originally Posted by vegas View Post
    or steps one and two and then search for what you need on the interweb? the other way is much more ghetto but you can cut your springs 2" and add a 2" spacer between the damping rod and the fork tube (making the damping rod shorter by 2") its just a damn shame to do that to a S fork in order to save $40
    Well, I'd rather NOT do it ghetto-style, so I think I'll tear it all apart and see if your $40 dampener's are the ones I need. Looking at the dis-assembly procedure in the manual I have lists the 1200S forks separately and reads out very poorly to me. I've rebuilt a couple jap front ends before so I'm hoping the procedure is NOT as convoluted as this manual is making it seem... I will be in touch. Thanks!
    Last edited by rmill; 03-20-2018 at 5:11 PM. Reason: mispelt a werd...

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    Your forks should be almost identical to this with the exception of the fork caps as yours are preload adjustable


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    Look for dampers for a low. I just learned of a nice tool, Ronnie's HD offers a microphishe of the parts. I'm almost sure a low model is at least 2 inches shorter than a c, not sure about the s.

    You can always jack up the bike, loosen triple clamps, slide tubes up 2 inches, then retorque the triple clamps. That will work, and just cost a little time. Ideal situation would be for the frame to be parallel with the ground assuming you park that scooter on a level piece of ground.

    If you don't want the S front end you could probably sell it and put the length forks ( with damper you want) on for little or no money, maybe pocket some coin.

    I will look at my parts and see, I think I have some dampers for a low model. If I find them I will measure them and let you know. Then look on Ronnie's to verify.

    And if you are concerned about sliding the tubes up in the triples don't be. The inside parts work the same. I have close to 30k on my current daily set up like that, no problemo.

    Cotton1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotton1 View Post
    Look for dampers for a low. I just learned of a nice tool, Ronnie's HD offers a microphishe of the parts. I'm almost sure a low model is at least 2 inches shorter than a c, not sure about the s.

    You can always jack up the bike, loosen triple clamps, slide tubes up 2 inches, then retorque the triple clamps. That will work, and just cost a little time. Ideal situation would be for the frame to be parallel with the ground assuming you park that scooter on a level piece of ground.

    If you don't want the S front end you could probably sell it and put the length forks ( with damper you want) on for little or no money, maybe pocket some coin.

    I will look at my parts and see, I think I have some dampers for a low model. If I find them I will measure them and let you know. Then look on Ronnie's to verify.

    And if you are concerned about sliding the tubes up in the triples don't be. The inside parts work the same. I have close to 30k on my current daily set up like that, no problemo.

    Cotton1
    Thanks Cotton1! I did slide the forks up in the trees 2"to see how it would look / ride. Looks better, BUT I ain't had a chance to ride it because of the SNOW still hanging around! So, I'm kinda new to the Sportster world - what is a low? I've got an Evo e-glide and have built some japper-chops, so I ain't skeert to tear into it but the book makes it sound like a CHORE! We'll see, gonna tear into it soon.

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    Oh for the love of Christ! Just watched that video Vegas and that looks as easy as falling on top of a busty blonde! THANKS for finding that for me!

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    If you have enough tube left in the top tree, you are golden. Ride it, see what you think.

    Hope you get your scoot fixed to your taste!

    There is a version of the Sportster called the low. It is shorter in stance from the MoCo. For instance my daily started out as a low. Designated 1200L, an 06 model. I changed the internals of the front, added longer tubes and put Road King air shocks on the back. It rides real smooth. I will give you details if you want them.

    Cotton1
    Last edited by Cotton1; 03-21-2018 at 7:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vegas View Post
    Please don't got cutting the springs on a S font end. Get a shorter damping rod and leave all of the other shit alone. I have some of the short ones that I'll send you for $40, Just pull your forks apart, measure the damping rod and then find a set that is -2"
    OK Vegas, pulled one side down. The internals all came out as one piece, it is 31" overall length. What say you, sir? Here's a pic (the bottom got cut off in the pic frame, but it's just longer is all...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotton1 View Post
    If you have enough tube left in the top tree, you are golden. Ride it, see what you think.

    Hope you get your scoot fixed to your taste!

    There is a version of the Sportster called the low. It is shorter in stance from the MoCo. For instance my daily started out as a low. Designated 1200L, an 06 model. I changed the internals of the front, added longer tubes and put Road King air shocks on the back. It rides real smooth. I will give you details if you want them.

    Cotton1
    Thanks for the info Cotton1. Apparently there is QUITE bit of difference in the procedure for mod'ing the 1200S fork internals than the standard xl1200. Doesn't sound OR look like you just 'toss in' some shorter dampeners like I was hearing. *Sigh* Now that I got it tore down I can figure it out tho and be better informed for the next guy! Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmill View Post
    Hey, got a 99 Sportster 1200S recently and I want to lower the front end 2 inches... Can I do it by cutting my current springs? I know they make kits and all for a couple hundred bucks, but I want to do it sans kit. Anyone done it by cutting the springs? Thanks...
    Might be some ideas in this 2012 ChopCult thread;
    Thread: anybody ever put lowering springs in 1200s forks?
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16548

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Might be some ideas in this 2012 ChopCult thread;
    Thread: anybody ever put lowering springs in 1200s forks?
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16548
    Thanks for the tip TriNortchopz. Just went there and read thru that. It certainly doesn't bode well for me lowering this front end. It's all good tho, I'll get it figured out or chop
    and butcher the guts in this thing so bad it will have a RIGID front!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmill View Post
    ... I'll get it figured out or chop
    and butcher the guts in this thing so bad it will have a RIGID front!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'll need to see the bottom of the damping rod assembly, I never knew those were compression adjustable, I thought they were just preload adjustable, from the looks of things you're not going to be able to swap in the normal 39mm dampers

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    Is there some bizarre reason not to buy a used Hugger front end or set of forks without triple clamps (depending on price) then sell the S forks for a fat profit? Get a later set and you can run the much better later four piston caliper. You could use standard forks too. Whatever gets it done.

    Sometimes the best "mod" is a swap, especially if it makes money.

    Later sliders look like these (not mine) https://www.ebay.com/itm/03-HARLEY-D...lauRKM&vxp=mtr

    I'd ask at least 600 for the S forks on Ebay.

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    ^^^what he said^^^^^

    Sell the S front end , and make some cash to go with the new front end you want. I see the "regular" sporty front ends for sale on CL for less than 2 bills sometimes.

    BMI Karts- you can buy the factory length tubes with the lowers right now for like $100 brand new. You already have the triples..

    Cotton1

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