Front air ride 101

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Torch

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3,105
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West MI
Hey guys I've got Marcs pistons and Gabriels my question is should the front hold air or is it normal for it to leak down after a few hours I haven't tried it yet just curious to weather I should leave pressure in it like over night or is it best to air it all the way out when I'm not riding it??

I have the same front/rear setup. I air it down every time I park no matter how long because I have a -2" short side stand and soon to have a cable operated center stand, both of which work while aired out.
 
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20
I'm planning on doing the front air ride on my 2012 Streetglide. I'm upgrading to a 23 with the factory fender lifted with the adapter brackets. What do you guys suggest and how low will it really sit?
 

Harleydewd

Member
Messages
7
Extremely new to this forum, have not had time to read through entire thread yet. Where are you purchasing the air pistons? I have a buddy that does motorcycle salvage and was going to see about getting a complete fork setup from him and modifying it like this. Any help would be great.
 

weedaoe

Well-Known Member
Messages
49
So a few questions and some info to get started.

I ride a M109 that I've bagged and raked with a 26. I'm looking to do a 30 but that's later. Right now the current project is to do front air. I already have rear air but no one's makes air for the front. I do have cartridges in the tubes. My forks measure about 56mm OD.

So my first searches tell me air pistons are the way to go but again, no one makes them. I can but 3" diameter aluminum and use a lathe but after reading this thread I wonder of this would be an easier solution.

So I know you guys and Harley's run smaller forks and the consensus here (after reading 50 pages) is the Bimba 124. That's gonna be a bit small diameter for my forks so do I do the same and add some custom bushings to keep them centered or go with a larger diameter actuator?

With it being cartridges, I'm guessing I run the actuators on top with a cut spring in the middle and a rod going from the bottom of the actuator through the spring to something on the bottom of the spring I can bolt through the bottom of the fork to hold it all in place?
 

F4iguy

Well-Known Member
Messages
154
Need some clarification. Running AS air pistons cause they came with my bolt on kit. 26" 2010 Street Glide. From reading this thread I've gathered I need 6 Oz of fork oil.... is that correct? Also AS for some reason didn't give new springs like they do in some kits when they ran this special so I have to cut my stock ones down. How long do they need to be? Misfit tech sheet says they cut the springs down 8" from stock from the least dense portion of the spring (looser coiled part) which I believe is normally at the top of the fork in the stock configuration, but then Misfit tells you to insert the cut side down. This would mean the fork spring is upside down from stock? Does that sound right?? Sorry if this was already covered in the thread, did some searching but this thread is giant.
 

Baggerbill

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1,059
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Birmingham, AL
Need some clarification. Running AS air pistons cause they came with my bolt on kit. 26" 2010 Street Glide. From reading this thread I've gathered I need 6 Oz of fork oil.... is that correct? Also AS for some reason didn't give new springs like they do in some kits when they ran this special so I have to cut my stock ones down. How long do they need to be? Misfit tech sheet says they cut the springs down 8" from stock from the least dense portion of the spring (looser coiled part) which I believe is normally at the top of the fork in the stock configuration, but then Misfit tells you to insert the cut side down. This would mean the fork spring is upside down from stock? Does that sound right?? Sorry if this was already covered in the thread, did some searching but this thread is giant.

10oz on bottom and 1oz on top. Springs should be 10" with the loose side up. That must be a misprint on Misfit's part. Go to the General Bagger section, and first sticky is front air pistons with pic. Good write up with pictures.
 

weedaoe

Well-Known Member
Messages
49
Guys I gotta a few questions

So from what I understand, some HD forks had cartridges and some did not. Those that did were converted to not have them right?

Those that did not have the cartridges in the bottom, what innards they have?

Its winter and Im down for the season. Time for upgrades and maintenance. One of the things I want to do is front air ride but the hiccup is I dont own a HD so nothing is "made" for my bike. I cannot use or have machined air pistons because my forks have a cartridge and from what I can tell, the only thing holding the upper and lower tube together is the fact that the lower end of the cartridge is bolted in place through the lower tube and the top of the cartridge is screwed into the bottom of the fork cap on top.

So........I get that normally the top fork cap gets drilled through with a push lock fitting on top and a threaded nipple on the bottom of it that screws into the top of the air cylinder and on the bottom of the ram rod is a custom shouldered collar or some use a nut and grade 8 heavy washer to sit on top of the spring and exert force on it, thus lifting the bike. Right?

So if my maximum length is limited by full extended length of the cartridge, I should be able to measure that length to get my max number, then find the total extended length of my cylinder, cut my spring accordingly so that the new spring length plus extended cylinder length equals the extended cartridge length then cut the rod on my cartridge, thread it and add an extension of my cylinders ram rod to screw onto the cartridge rod so that it is now a fully bolted together assembly and still bolts to the cap and lower fork leg. Does this sound right?
 

weedaoe

Well-Known Member
Messages
49
From what I can tell, AirFX has front air suspension kits for some gsxr sports bikes that also have cartridge style front ends.

http://www.tobefast.com/AirFX-Front-End-Air-Ride-Suspension-System-For-Suzuki-s-w-MICRO-Buttons.html

If the stock gsxr forks have cartridges with springs and pvc spacers just like my M109, I should be able to build my air susp just like I mentioned above and just like AirFX does. These guys look like they dont even use the stock springs anymore so im wondering if they still use oil or even if its still needed?

http://www.cheapcycleparts.com/oemparts/a/suz/508b08dff8700235307235ed/front-damper
 

weedaoe

Well-Known Member
Messages
49
My Pistons have unlimited travel and cost 20x's less.. $80


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The cartridge in the fork is mounted in place by the allen/socket bolt in the bottom of the fork and the rod of the cartridge screws into the bottom of the fork cap. The cartridge itself has a lock inside it to keep it together and will not come apart BUT once you remove the cartridge completely from the fork tube(s), all you have to do to separate the upper and lower fork tube is simply pull them apart. So the only thing to hold it all together internally and keep things from over extending and separating is the cartridge in side the fork. This is why I cannot use air pistons.

Here is a good video for reference if Im not making sense as Im not the best at trying to describe all of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14sSacYg1yA
 

weedaoe

Well-Known Member
Messages
49
The piston system is held with the FACTORY Damper tube.

lol. you know nothing about the forks on your bike.

Correct. I know nothing which is why I am here asking.

I looking at this thread and how it goes together and it doesnt look like my internals so im having a hard time seeing in my head how it goes together.

http://choppedbaggers.com/forums/showthread.php?12138-Step-by-step-air-piston-install-With-pics

Do you have some pics to help or can you better explain it to me?

 

Marc

""The Chopped Baggers Guy""
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ChoppedBaggers.com WORLD HEADQUARTERS.
The thread link is the most common front configuration.

You have a cartridge, garbage for air.

You need the damper tubes, rebound springs, main spring and the bolt with washer.

The damper tube holds it all together..


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

weedaoe

Well-Known Member
Messages
49
Right...........

but.....no one makes any of that for my bike so what do you suggest?

I was under the impression air cylinders would be my only viable option. Remember, I dont ride a Harley.
 
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