I'm debating on going with this for my Hammer to provide a little better ride and remove some of the hammering in the hammer
I've currently got 1.25" lowering links in place and like the height feel (I'm 5'10") but can get the occasional fender frame rub on the tire riding two-up. Wiring is all safely run along the side.
Does anyone know if I'm better going with a -1" on the 465 shock and returning to standard no drop shock links?
Or go with standard 465 shock length and leave the lowering links in place?
Pro's or Con's of these setups?
Spring rates being equal, the shorter shock will bottom out easier. It may allow the fender to bang the tire too.
The problem with the Hammer's wheel (aside from the handling issue due to width) is that it is heavier. That's known as unsprung mass. To deal with it, you need a beefier suspension than you would need with a smaller wheel. As a consequence, the shock that works wonderfully on the Kingpin (small rear tire) works less wonderfully on the Hammer.
The "strut" part of the shock works by dissipating energy from motion into heat. It's called damping. Is the 465's damping up to the job of controlling that massive wheel? Probably. You could get a coil with a stiffer spring rate to lower the amount of motion the strut has to damp, but then you'd lose the plush ride.
Personally, I would put the +1" shock on and sell the lowering bones on Ebay to a very short person. At 5'10", you shouldn't have any issue getting your feet on the ground at stop signs. The bike will handle better without the rear squatting too.
My experience with shocks is fairly extensive. I spent megabucks on getting the best shock set up on an Electra Glide I had.
What I found was there is no substitute for shock travel. The very best shock in the world cannot provide a decent ride without at least 3" of travel and preferably 4".
The stock 4" shock on both the Kingpin and the X bikes (probably the Vision too) is better than the best shocks available for the Electra Glide and any other bike with just 3" of travel.
I wouldn't have believed that just one inch of travel could make such a radical difference.
When someone lowers their bike, whether it's with links or shortening the shock(s); they will sacrifice ride comfort. Just no way around it.
So to answer your question; it doesn't really matter which way you go but if you can preserve the shock travel doing it one way over the other - that would be the better way to go. Continue using the lowering links, set the shock to being stiff so you won't bottom out with two up riding, and get the stock length shock.
It seems like a waste of money to me though. You won't get the benefit of the better dampening and rebound of the new shock if you have to set it to be so stiff it can't do its job unless you have a passenger.
One other thought occurred to me as I wrote this. How often do you have a passenger and is it usually spontaneous or is planned? If it is planned and not that often you can change the setting on the shock each time. Once you get it down it only takes a few minutes to take off the bracket on the right side of the bike to get to shock to adjust it.
One other option and probably the better one is to get a good quality air shock so you can simply adjust the shock on the fly with a push of a button. Yes. It is more expensive but you would be infinitely happier with it. You could also go with a 4" travel shock since you would be able to adjust it whenever you wanted to. You could even lower it all the way whenever you parked if you wanted.
There was one for sale on the club forum for a KP with an asking price of $650 but I don't see it there any more so it must have sold.