A few years ago I finally decided to change the shocks on my Road King. The Progressive 444 shocks combined with the Progressive Tour Link were probably one of the most noticeable improvements I have made to the bike. I couldn't believe the improvement in rear wheel stability and how much better she stuck to the road in the corners. It was so much better, I thought for sure it was confirmation bias or some kind of placebo effect until Sue, who was riding behind me at the time, asked what I was doing differently. It obviously wasn't just in my mind, but the improvement I was feeling was real.
At that point, I decided that a shock upgrade would be a standard practice on any new bike, particularly a Harley. I've noticed that the stock Harley shock is passable if you've never experienced what a really good shock should feel like, so when I picked up the Sporty, a new pair of shocks was immediately put on my list of things to upgrade.
Installation is pretty straightforward—it only took 20-30 minutes to get the previous shocks swapped for the new Progressive 412s. I'd been looking at my options for several weeks, so when these shocks went on sale, I caveat emptor-ed the opportunity to purchase what turned out to be a great set of shocks at a very reasonable price. These are an incredible bang for the buck upgrade that your keester will thank you for.
I was originally thinking a set of piggy-back shocks would look awesome on the bike, but I'm not a racer (I'm a geeser), and just couldn't justify dropping nearly $2,000 on a pair of sexy piggy-backs. I buzz around town on the Sporty and like to blast up one of the nearby canyon roads, but I'm not dragging the pegs on the twisties, so the 412s just made sense for me.
I'm 6'1" and around 208 or 209 pounds, so although I'm not huge, I'm not a small guy. That being said, I bought the standard rather than the heavy duty shock. I've removed the passenger peg mounts and put on a solo seat because I don't intend to ride this bike two up (if I want to add a pillion, I take the King). I'm not disappointed, they seem to be plenty of shock for me.
Like their big brothers on the Road King, they soak up the bumps and give me a more positive connection to the road. I don't know if this officially makes me a Progressive guy, but if it does, I'm OK with that.
Am I happy with the shocks? Yes.
Would I buy them again? Yes.
Am I a Progressive fan boy? It would appear that way. Feel free to take that into consideration if you're considering a rear shock upgrade for yourself.
I'm convinced this is one of the Harley upgrades you will feel the most.