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Thanks VenturaHwy for mentioning. Its actually called adjusting the shock preload and mentioned quite a lot here on the forum. Many of us have questioned the wisdom of leaving this extremely important resource out of the owners manual.
 

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How do you do it? Any videos or instructions out there?
YouTube has many tutorials on how to adjust the shock preload on a Honda Pro-Link rear suspension. You will need a spanner wrench or motorcycle shock adjustment tool sold at any motorcycle shop or dealer. The cost will be around $20.


Without making this too complicated, basic preload will be determined by how much the bike squats when you sit on it. You can easily determine this by measuring a fixed point on the rear of the bike and the ground using a measuring tape. The bike needs to be standing up without any rider weight on it so its best to have a second person do the measuring. Measure again with you sitting on the bike in the normal riding position. 30mm or 1" is the optimum amount of squat for the CTX.


To make the adjustment to the shock, you will need to find the top of the shock. You should see 2 rings and a threaded portion. Loosen the top locking ring counter clockwise.. Then turn the lower ring clockwise to about midway. Sit on the bike and bounce up and down to determine how the bike feels. Too firm, loosen the ring. Not firm enough, continue tightening in small increments or 2 threads at a time. Recheck the feel after each adjustment. Once you think the bike feels good, tighten the upper ring and take it for a ride. If satisfied, your done. If not, reloosen the lock ring and continue making adjustments.


One thing to remember. Big bumps are still big bumps so no amount of preload adjustment will make them go away. You can make the preload too firm. This is usually indicated when normal surface irregularities or cracks in the pavement becoming annoying. Added weight such as another person or accessories ( loaded bags) may throw off the adjustment requiring additional adjustment to the preload.
 

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It still doesn't address the issue that for larger people/heavier loads, that the shock dampening isn't very good. By cranking up the preload the spring for me even more overwhelms the dampening. I have a terrible issue with the bike pogo'ing in sweeping turns unless I am riding very sedately. There is clearly a lack of rebound dampening and increasing the preload just makes it worse. In straight line riding it isn't as noticeable but it is still there.
It is what it is. Lets be frank, its a $6000 - 8000.00 dollar cruiser that actually handles better than any other bike in its class. You've really got to get into the $12,000 - 16,000 dollar range sport touring bike to get a premium, fully adjustable shock with good dampening. The CTX is a lot of fun to ride in the twisties but its just not designed to nor intended too be ridden in the type of riding your probably used to.


Most people are looking for additional comfort over rough surfaces or the occasional hard bump. Adjusting the preload or even performing the Gonzo mod for heavier riders usually helps quite a bit. When compared to the Kawasaki S or HD Street 750, the CTX outshines them both by a huge margin. Try taking either one into some hard curves or over some rough, wavy roads and you'll see what I mean.
 
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