Installed air shock on my Vintage

Discussion in 'Indian Chief Vintage' started by TheBru, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. TheBru

    TheBru Well-Known Member

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    About 3 months ago the wife and I test rode a RM. Really don't need a bike that big anymore and I really like the looks of my W/C Vintage. But the physical ride of the RM was just excellent!! I told her I had read you can put the RM shock on our Vintage. Now my wife doesn't insist on much with a bike--a backrest and floorboards are all, and they have to be on before I bring it home. But she insisted on the air shock. Who am I to argue? I started looking for a used one, no rush to find one. Finally found one for a price I was willing to pay-$218 delivered off a RM.
    Gotta say it's nice. Not that much different solo, the stock shock was set well for me. But 2 up is much better. No more "jolting" bumps that go right up your spine(old spines at that:)). Seem to feel the road better but the whole ride is just smoothed out way better. 1110171135.jpg
     
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  2. sidecarsam

    sidecarsam Gold Member
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    I
    Interesting. :)
     
  3. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    Excuse my ignorance, but is the rear shock in the vintage different than the one in the Chieftain?
     
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  4. Hwy 2

    Hwy 2 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had one on my Vintage for about a year and it works great. Just be sure to adjust the slack in the belt for a chieftain/roadmaster.
    Happy Trails
     
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  5. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    I mean, is the OEM rear shock different on the two models?
     
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  6. sidecarsam

    sidecarsam Gold Member
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    I think it's the same as the Chief Dark Horse - a regular type Motorcycle Rear Shock with the tension spring on the outside with Spring Tension Adjustment.
     
  7. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    I didn't realize that we didn't all have the same rear suspension. -SHOCKING-
     
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  8. sidecarsam

    sidecarsam Gold Member
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    o_O
     
  9. JayFL459

    JayFL459 Silver Member
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    Did well with Air Shocks on my Sportsters .. Usually Road King Shocks set at 10 PSI .. Could get them off Ebay for Peanuts ..
     
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  10. xrays

    xrays Well-Known Member
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    Thanks to your post, I'm inspired. I picked one up from ebay as well. I don't have a good work table or wheel chock, so I guess I'll have my dealer install it.
     
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  11. TheBru

    TheBru Well-Known Member

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    All I used was my good old Harbor Freight lift. Pretty standard hand tools. Patience.
    I also waxed everything 3 times while the parts were off, especially the fender. Even cleaned all the dust and grit from the inside of the fender. Looked new when I was done.
     
  12. Roll On

    Roll On Bronze Member
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    I used Rust-Oleum bed liner roll on application, for the inside of both front and rear fenders.
     
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  13. Roll On

    Roll On Bronze Member
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    IMG_0699.JPG IMG_0653.JPG
    I found this to be the biggest help in keeping down the dust and dirt off the front fender.
     
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  14. TheBru

    TheBru Well-Known Member

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    I would like to find the KM Indian caliper covers to fit the new bikes. I think those are the ones that are slotted.
     
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  15. Roll On

    Roll On Bronze Member
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    If KM style would fit, that would look pretty cool.
    If not, could you or a custom car shop, or maybe a metal shop that could notch out those vents?
     
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  16. sidecarsam

    sidecarsam Gold Member
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    Anything's Possible - "All it takes is Time and Money" :D
     
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  17. doublej

    doublej Bronze Member
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    Kind of late on this, but we too upgraded to the air adjustable Roadmaster shock (off of a trike build) early last year. Major difference when riding two up fully loaded.....really transforms the bike. Highly recommend for those that tour on their Vintage fully loaded. - John
     
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  18. TheBru

    TheBru Well-Known Member

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    Did you find much difference solo?? I find it a bit better but probably would not have done this if I rode strictly solo. The difference 2 up is fantastic though. The wife is much happier on the back now, and as we all know.................;)
     
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  19. doublej

    doublej Bronze Member
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    Full agreement! Accept even for solo riding with variable loads, it's much easier to change the preload setting with the air valve than it is to adjust the stinkin washer! - john
     
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  20. storskegg

    storskegg Member
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    Wow, resurrecting a dead thread, here, but I'm glad to see others have done this. It never takes me long to want to start fiddling with things on any toy I buy. It took two days for me to start wondering if I could fit the air shock from a Chieftain onto my Chief (2018). As with the general consensus, one-up is fine (but could be better during Wisconsin road construction season), but two up is really squishy.

    So, the takeaways are:
    1. Yes! Air shocks work great on the Indians fitted with the conventional, adjustable spring shock.
    2. Be sure to adjust the belt tension after installing the air-adjustable shock.
    3. Big improvements 2-up. Mixed improvements 1-up (probably depends on rider, load and roads)
    4. Enjoy the new, luxurious ride.
    I'm off to find me a new shock, and have the dealer put it on, and adjust the tension, because I don't have tools, yet.
     
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