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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finally decided to invest in a better rear shock and went with the Penske 8975. Huge difference in the ride, all the harshness of the factory shock is gone. Rode as many rough roads, railroad crossings, and bad bridge joints as I could in 60 miles. Thanks to all in this forum who took the chance to improve the ride and reported the results. A pricy but extremely worthwhile upgrade. My shock arrived with all the settings in the middle of the range and so far it is perfect. No longer feeling pounded by bad roads.
 

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2006 Yamaha FJR 1300, 2014 Honda CTX700N-1967 Honda CT90 TrailBike
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Congratulations jdbrot, I also have noticed the same jolting punishment from the stock rear shock. My first attempt at a modification is the Air Hawk, which is an air filled seat pad strapped to the top of my stock seat. I also found a night and day difference in ride comfort, and the Air Hawk allowed me to ride much faster without worrying about the pain inflicted by road imperfections. Admittedly your new shock is a more elegant solution. For now I'll use the compromise of the Air Hawk and consider the Penske 8975 for a future upgrade. Once again congratulations for taking the plunge on this mod.
By the way, I live and ride in Northern California, my HQ is in Red Bluff CA.
 

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I can't believe that a shock would cost on the average of 20% of what the bike cost. I've owned a lot of bikes in my 71 yrs and will tell you the shock(s) on the CTX are the worst I've encountered. They must have tested them for someone that weighs in the neighborhood of 50 lbs. If offended anyone, I didn't mean too.
 

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I have 5 ruptured discs and spinal arthritis. The shock cost is a whole lot less than not being able to enjoy my ride and definitely less than one emergency room visit. Yes it is expensive but no more than the hard bags, top case, floorboards, etc. and the improved ride is worth it to me.
I honestly don't see how you can get on a bike with those conditions. Ride safe.
 

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You didn't state health related reasons in your first post. I would do the same thing. Because of arthritis I sold a Vstar 1300 and bought a Can Am Spyder. It was worth it so I can keep riding. I have my 700 to ride when my health is good. Glad you could figure something out to keep riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Considered it but the fork is tolerable to me, the jolting from the rear shock was not. Might put the emulators on when the fork seals need replacement to save on the labor. If they make as much difference as the shock it would be worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A little followup, so happy with the Penske shock. Should have done this sooner since the ride is so much better. Just came back from a 160 mile lunch ride feeling great and not beat up like before. This and the floorboards have totally improved the CTX. Now waiting for my adjustable brake lever and for the leaves to turn colors. Hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather.
 

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2006 Yamaha FJR 1300, 2014 Honda CTX700N-1967 Honda CT90 TrailBike
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Thanks jdbrot, that’s good news. I’ve ridden a couple of Yamaha FJR’s with a Wilbers rear shock. Very comfortable ride. Did you cross shop any other brand of rear shock for the CTX. Thanks 🎃.
 

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Thanks jdbrot, that’s good news. I’ve ridden a couple of Yamaha FJR’s with a Wilbers rear shock. Very comfortable ride. Did you cross shop any other brand of rear shock for the CTX. Thanks 🎃.
Several riders on this forum have installed Wilbers. I have the Type 640 Shock, plus their fork springs. Both comfort and handling are greatly improved. (The Road 5’s don’t hurt either.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a little follow-up. The shock has continued to be the best thing added so far. Heated grips, windshield, floorboards, tires and auxiliary lighting have made this a very comfortable ride. Still considering fork upgrade but undecided right now.
 

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Just a little follow-up. The shock has continued to be the best thing added so far. Heated grips, windshield, floorboards, tires and auxiliary lighting have made this a very comfortable ride. Still considering fork upgrade but undecided right now.
I have cartridge emulators now in both my street bikes (CTX & Royal Enfield 650). It's hard to describe the ride, in that it's the absence of the multitude of little jolts through the handle bars that disappear. If you use the CTX for simply utility, an inexpensive short run commuter say I would question spending the $ for the fork upgrade. Unlike the shock which cripples the CTX, the forks are tolerable. .IF. you do rides for distance and especially touring you will never question the worth.

I chose to use YSS and Brooks suspension suggested springs (Indonesia & Germany made combo). It was something of a roll your own solution though it mirrored my previous YSS install on the RE 650. I had added CB1100 adjustable fork caps, frankly they are unnecessary and a needless complication IMHO for a street cruiser. The fluid level I used was 140mm vs Factory set up of 110mm, and the preload spacer was 1/2" (left it level with the top so installing the caps added a touch of preload).

As an aside, my godson installed emulators on his HD Sportster (thrilled with the change). What is interesting is the HD has Showa forks in very close configuration of Honda's. He had a HD aftermarket shop install a genuine Race Tech kit for $500 complete...
Hand tool Nickel Automotive tire Tool Bicycle part


All that aside it is user doable with only hand tools, however its not as simple as a swap out like the shock....

 
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