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Depending on the model, the rider can adjust preload through either a ramped collar, an under-seat hydraulic adjuster, or an external hydraulic adjustment knob.The new shock position and rear suspension geometry deliver a rear wheel travel to shock stroke ratio of about about 2:1, and the shock stroke has increased to 43mm, giving Showa more stroke to work with for handling bumps.So, the developers saw easy adjustment of the rear preload to be more than just a handling issue; it was a rider/passenger comfort issue.The new, under-seat location of the Showa monoshock makes it possible to easily adjust preload as required.The real world instances in which this set of conditions would occur are relatively rare, compared to other cornering scenarios.So, the real world increases in cornering clearance are more pronounced than the numbers would reflect.

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The redesigned Softail frame is 65% stiffer than the previous one, and if the stiffness is calculated from contact patch to contact patch, the resulting improvement is 35% – that’s after passing the forces through the steering head and the swingarm pivot.

To maximize the benefit, Harley made the preload adjustment capable of spanning a 240-lb.

range in passenger/cargo weights (which, in some cases, more than doubled the rated load the bike could carry).

For example, when the engineers designed the floorboard support brackets, they had strict foot placement and cornering clearance planes relative to the engine and chassis and required that the bracket supporting the floorboard fit within the wedge of space created by those three fixed planes. The dance between the designers and the engineers yielded organic-looking mounts that met their strength requirements by utilizing forged aluminum which also delivered a nice weight savings, too.

However, the changes to cornering clearance didn’t stop with the easiest places, like the pegs and floorboards.

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