How to Lower the Air Shocks for a Harley Road King


Harley-Davidson produced the 2014 FLHR Road King with a seat height of 26.7 inches laden and 28.2 inches unladen. Many riders prefer to lower the seat height farther for aesthetic or ergonomic reasons. Harley offers a low-profile rear shock kit that will lower the seat heights by 3/4 inch, while maintaining the proper clearances and support. You should never lower the bike by bleeding air from the shocks, as this can create a dangerous riding condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet
  • Allen-driver set
  • Six-point box-end wrench set
  • 10 mm wrench
  • Bike jack
  • Blocking or straps
  • No-loss air pump, part No. 54630-03A
  • Loctite 243 (blue), part No. 99642-97
  • Sealing tape
  • Foot-pound torque wrench
  • Remove the rear seat fastener, using a ratchet and Allen driver. Lift up on the rear of the seat, and pull the seat to the rear to disengage it from the frame. Hold the front of the seat up while moving it forward out of the passenger grab strap loop.

  • Using a 10 mm wrench, remove the negative battery cable retainer bolt from the negative battery post, and disconnect the cable. Postion the cable away from the battery to avoid accidental contact.

  • Lift the rear of the frame until the rear tire clears the ground, using a bike jack. Secure the bike with blocking or straps to stabilize it and prevent a rollover.

  • Open the saddlebags and locate the saddlebag quick-connect fasteners. Using the bail on the end of the fasteners, rotate them 1/4 -turn counter-clockwise to unlock them, then pull them out of their mounts. Lift the saddlebags off their supports.

  • Install the no-loss air pump onto the rear suspension Schrader valve. Add 3 to 5 psi to the system. Depress the bleeder valve on the pump until the rear suspension fully discharges.

  • Locate the quick-connect fittings on the rear shocks. Push down on the upper collar of the fitting, then pull the plastic air hose out of the fitting. Using a six-point, box-end wrench, remove the plastic air fittings from the old shocks. Wrap sealing tape around the threaded portion of the fittings, and install them in the new shocks just until secure.

  • Remove the upper and lower shock mounting hardware using a ratchet and socket. Remove the shocks from the bike.

  • Install the shock mounting hardware on the new shocks, and stick the bolt through the mount on the shock. Treat the threads on the bolts with two or three drops of blue Loctite. Torque the top bolts, then the bottom bolts, to 35 to 40 foot-pounds, using a foot-pound torque wrench and socket.

  • Insert the air hoses into their fittings on the shocks. Pump up the system and check for leaks at the fittings. Refer to your owner's manual for the proper air-pressure setting for the load and desired riding characteristics.

  • Set the saddlebags in place, with the bottom studs engaged in the isolation grommets. Insert the quick-connect fasteners and engage them with the frame. Rotate the fasteners 1/4-turn clockwise to lock them in place.

  • Install the negative battery cable and hardware on the negative battery post and tighten the bolt.

  • Thread the rear of the seat through the passenger grab strap loop. Push down on the front of the seat while pushing forward to engage the seat in the frame. Install the seat fastener. Lift up on the seat to ensure that the seat is properly mounted and cannot shift during use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Observe the order of the shock mounting hardware during disassembly and install it in the same order.
  • If the rear seat fastener is a chrome-plated acorn nut, use a properly sized, six-point, box-end wrench to prevent damaging the finish.
  • Do not exceed 50 psi when adding air to the system.
  • Do not over-tighten the plastic air fittings as they are easily stripped or broken.
  • Wipe any hand or fingerprints from the exhaust components to prevent the skin oils from etching the chrome when it heats up.

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