Top 8 Best Motorcycle Shocks In 2020 Review

However much money you spend on your motorcycle, the sad fact is that the quality of the shocks rarely matches up to the rest of the bike. All too often, the bean-counting men in suits get their way, and the shocks and the quality of your ride are what suffer.

It shouldn’t be this way, but fortunately, it’s generally an easy and inexpensive fix. Therefore, we’ve compiled a lift of the best motorcycle shocks to make things right with your bike, and improve the quality of your ride, to how it was always supposed to be.

So, let’s take a closer look and find the perfect motorbike shocks for your ride…

Best Motorcycle Shocks

Top 8 Best Motorcycle Shocks On The Market Reviews


1 Progressive Suspension 412-4080B Shocks – Best Harley Davidson Motorcycle Shocks

There’s a lot to like about these shocks and a lot of reasons why they’re so popular. Progressive Suspension has a long history of making high-quality shocks specifically for Harley Davidson. You don’t have to have a Harley to use these shocks, but regardless you can be assured of their durability and build-quality.

They have a super-strong double steel-walled body that is as tough as they come. The valves are nitrogen charged with multi-staged sensitive valves that are designed to give you a consistent ride all of the time, every time.

The ultimate in choice…

There are plenty of choices for sizes and styles. They’ve even had shocks with show covers if that’s your thing. If you want it, then most probably they got it.

The Progressive Suspension shocks are an excellent upgrade over any stock shocks you’re likely to have on your bike. They make the ride smoother and handling easier. Plus, they can be fitted in minutes rather than hours.

But there’s more…

These shocks also allow you to dial in a setting dependant on your load. There are five options in all on the preloaded cam adjuster. If you’re riding light on you’re own or touring with company and bags, you can set the shocks to suit your riding, your size, and your style.

If you’re looking for an improved ride for an affordable price, then look no further.


Progressive Suspension 412-4080B Shock

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Strong dual steel springs.
  • Nitrogen gas-filled.
  • Five adjustable settings.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • No dampening adjustment.

2 ZXTDR 2PCS 13.75” 350mm Front Shock Absorber Shocker Suspension for Quad ATV Dune Go Kart – Best Quad ATV Shocks

The ZXTDR 2PCS 13.75” 350mm Front Shock Absorbers are designed for all sorts of four-wheeled motorcycles. They are made for quad bikes or go-karts, so they’re motorcycles in our eyes.

The shocks measure 13.75” and can take a maximum weight of 500lbs for each shock absorber. With four shock absorbers being able to take a load of 2,000lbs, that should be more than enough for a quad bike and rider.

How many do you need?

You can buy them individually, in twos or fours. Not surprisingly, the more you buy, the more you save. What is a little surprising is that you can buy just one. Not a very common occurrence, we would have thought.

The fit and finish and general quality of these shocks are good. The design is nice and simple, so there’s little to go wrong, which makes them durable. Compared to a lot of inexpensive Chinese made shocks, you’ll get a lot more miles out of these. The price may be a little higher, but we think you’ll get much better value for money in the longer term.

Dead center…

The overall ride quality is a balanced trade-off between not being too soft and not too hard. The fact that you get equal numbers of customers complaining about an overly soft or hard ride seems to confirm this. And for reference, you get around three inches of maximum travel.

The shocks only come in red, which is a shame. Most shocks, even from less expensive makes, offer at least a couple of alternatives. Consequently, this has to go into our moans and niggles section.


ZXTDR 2PCS 13.75'' 350mm Front Shock Absorber Shocker

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Good value.
  • Balanced ride.
  • Good quality.
  • High load capacity.

Cons

  • Only available in red.

3 GZYF 12.5″ 320mm Universal Shock Absorbers Rear Suspension Compatible with Honda CB Yamaha Gokart Black Silver – Most Versatile Motorcycle Shocks

These are a pair of round holed 320mm universal shock absorbers. If you’re working in old money, that’s the same as 12.5”. They will work with just about any vehicle. This includes Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki.

If you have an ATV, go-kart, or a dune buggy, that’s fine. They’ll fit on these too. Just make sure you follow with recommendations and manufacturer’s maximum limits, and all will be well.

Not for the front…

Looking briefly at those limits, the GZYF 12.5″ 320mm Universal Shock Absorbers have a maximum load of 200kg per shock absorber. That’s 400kgs at the rear. Remember not to put this at the front as they’re rear shocks only.

They are gas shocks with strong springs. The springs are 60mm wide and 7mm thick. They have a working stroke of 60mm and a stiffness rating of 110kgs.

Perfect adjustment…

The gas shocks have an adjustable air reservoir to help you set your preferred kind of ride. The factory air pressure is set at 0.4mpa. The maximum setting is 0.5mpa, and you can, of course, go as low as you like.

Happily, you get a choice of different color finishes to match your ride. We wish more manufacturers would take note and follow suit. The black and gold look pretty cool if you have a ride to match.


GZYF 12.5

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Fit most bikes.
  • Adjustable gas shocks.
  • Durable.
  • Good color selection.

Cons

  • Rear shocks only.
  • Price.

4 Newsmarts 2pcs Adjustable 320mm Motorbike Air Shock Absorbers – Best Choice of Colors for Motorcycle Shocks

These have close to identical ratings and technical specifications as the GZYF shock absorbers we’ve just reviewed. So, let’s start by taking a close look at the finer details and move on from there.

The Newmarts shocks are also rear shock absorbers. They have a total length of 350mm with an eye to eye core length of 320mm. The coils are 7mm thick and 60mm wide. The eye diameter, including the bush, is 16mm and with it removed, is 12mm.

This is all looking familiar…

The shocks can carry a maximum load of 200kgs and have a stiffness rating of 110kgs. The working stroke is 60mm, and the maximum tensile strength of the eye is 2,000Kgf.

The gas shocks have the same air adjustable system as you find on the GZYF shocks and also the same sized chambers. The factory set the shocks at 0.4mpa and rates the maximum at 0.5mpa.

These are suitable for just about any motorcycle or go gart or ATV with an engine size rated between 150cc to750cc. Unsurprisingly, you’ll get close to the same kind of ride that you will with the GZYF shocks. That is comfortable without being too soft.

So, is there anything different in comparison to the GZYF shocks?

Frankly, other than having a better selection of colors, there’s nothing between them. We advise you to go with whoever has the keenest price on the day. Unless Newsmarts has that special finish, you particularly like.


Newsmarts 2pcs Adjustable 320mm Motorbike Air Shock Absorbers

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Universal fit for most motorcycles.
  • Adjustable shocks.
  • Comprehensive color choice.
  • Good build quality.

Cons

  • Price.

5 Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT Ultra Touring Heavy Duty Shocks for Harley – Most Adjustable Motorcycle Shocks

These are super heavy hitters. They’re designed to carry a seriously heavy load on big Harleys. They fit the likes of Harley Electra Glides and Road Glides. Check out the manufactures’ guide for a rundown of all compatible years and models.

They are possibly the best shocks in the Progressive range as well as, unfortunately, also being one of the most expensive. The heavy-duty springs can support up to 350lbs. If you’re a big guy or girl and traveling two-up with bags, these are a first-rate option.

Adjust to exactly how you like it…

The shocks are designed to allow full travel up their entire length. Even better, the ride height gives you a full inch lower than you’ll find on standard shocks. An inch doesn’t sound much, but trust us, it is!

The major advantage of the lower ride height is that it increases ride stability when cornering. Together with all the other great features and rock-solid build quality, it results in supreme comfort and assured handling.

A little extra attitude…

Another big plus with a lower ride height is that it looks kick ass. There’s no doubt your bike being an inch lower to the ground gives your ride that little extra attitude. It’s subtle, but it’s there nevertheless.

That’s all good to know, but there’s even more to come.

The shocks have Innovative Sensing Technology built-in. This innovative and patented technology automatically detects the bumps and their severity as you ride. They then automatically adjust themselves to give you the best possible ride.

How cool is that?

One final great feature is that you can manually adjust your shocks but without the need for tools. Just use your hands, and you can adjust your ride in seconds.

That’s pretty cool too!


Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT Ultra Touring Heavy Duty Shocks for Harley

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Bulletproof build quality.
  • High weight limit.
  • Patented automatic sensing technology.
  • Hand adjustable.

Cons

  • Cost.

6 BURLY B28-1201B Black 10.5″ Slammer Shock – Best Low Slung Motorcycle Shocks

If you want to get your motorcycle down lower and improve your ride and comfort, these will do the trick. The BURLY B28-1201B shocks measure 10.5”. Installing these on your bike will lower its stance by around 2”.

Lowering your motorcycle by 2” will have two basic effects. The first is improving the handling and cornering. The second is making it look even cooler.

Corner like they’re on rails…

Getting any ride closer to the ground will ultimately give it better stability when cornering. Just think about any kind of racing car or racing motorcycle. They’re so low that they almost touch the ground. That low center of gravity helps them to corner like they’re on rails.

Being closer to the ground also gives your motorcycle a more aggressive and sporty stance. Although 2” doesn’t sound much, the visual difference can be quite marked.

Don’t bottom out…

Once installed, one word of caution is to be a little more careful over rough surfaces. Ensure you have enough clearance so as not to bottom out. The sound is more often a lot worse than any damage, but it’s an experience none of us want.

The shocks are suitable for all loads. The shocks are easily adjustable for the rider’s weight. Additionally, if you regularly tour or ride two-up, the adjustability will be equally as useful.

Are these the best value for the money motorcycle shocks you can buy?

Well, maybe? These are strong shocks and excellent value. In fact, compared to some of their competitors, they’re a bargain. As long as you are happy with black, you can’t go far wrong.

One final point is that the Burly sticker on the top of the shocks can be removed quite easily. It’s something that could put some people off as it’s quite loud and not to everyone’s’ taste. But honestly, you have nothing to worry about.


BURLY B28-1201B Black 10.5

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Lower’s your ride.
  • Improves handling.
  • Improves looks.
  • Adjustable according to the load.
  • Good value.

Cons

  • Potential to bottom out on very bad roads.

7 HD 159 Ohlins Shocks for ALL Harley Davidson FLH/FLT Touring Motorcycles 1998-Newer with FREE Preload Settings! – Most Comfortable Motorcycle Shocks

There’s no sugar-coating this. These are the most expensive motorcycle shocks on our list. They’re also one the most expensive you can buy, period. But if you want just about, if not, the best motorcycle shocks money can buy, dust off your credit card and get ordering.

So, what do you get for your money?

The quality of the HD 159 Ohlins Shocks is insane. Everything about them screams quality. These are genuinely built to last.

Firstly, and most importantly, they are effectively a one time purchase. This is because they’re not a disposable item. What? That’s right. The HD 159 Ohlins Shocks can be rebuilt when the time comes.

That’s incredible…

What’s also pretty amazing is that they come with a five years warranty. Name us another company manufacturing motorcycle shocks that can do this. You can’t? Thought so!

The shocks are 13.5” long and will fit all Harley Davidson FLH/FLT tourers from 1998 onwards. They are filled with pressurized gas and oil, so you never have an issue of losing air. This, therefore, guarantees a consistent and predictable ride at all times.

And what a ride that is!

The performance, comfort, and quality of the ride are incredible. The standard shocks aren’t that bad, but the HD 159 Ohlins Shocks are superior in every way to make them blush. The ride quality is addictive!

When you place your order, after those few tears about the price, you can console yourself with the fact that you can get the company to pre-set the shocks according to your specific needs. How’s that for service? If you want to subsequently adjust them for changing loads, you can easily do that too.


HD 159 Ohlins Shocks

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Premium quality.
  • They can be re-built.
  • Five years warranty.
  • Exceptional ride quality.
  • Pressurized oil and gas-filled.
  • Custom pre-set from the factory.

Cons

  • The price will make you cry.

8 BURLY B28-1201 Chrome Finish 10.5″ Slammer Shock – Best Budget Motorcycle Shocks

You can relax. Because once you get to the checkout, there’ll be very little pain with a pair of these fellas. The BURLY B28-1201 Chrome Finish shocks are very affordable and offer excellent value for money. However, a low price isn’t at the expense of quality.

Let’s see what you get for not a lot of money…

The main advantage of the BURLY B28-1201 Chrome Finish shocks is that they will lower your ride by 2”. There are plenty of good reasons to do this which we’ll take a look at now.

Firstly, if you’re a rider on the smaller side, lowering your ride can significantly help with balancing the weight when you’re stationary. It’s not something often talked about, but most Harley’s are heavy. Balancing them at a stoplight if you’re not tall can be a challenge. Giving yourself an extra 2” of breathing room may make all the difference.

Secondly…

Having your motorcycle closer to the ground can significantly improve it’s handling and ride comfort. Cornering is likely to become much more of an involving and connected experience. It will feel altogether less like a boat.

Thirdly, a lowered stance gives your ride an altogether meaner and cooler look. The Burly shocks are about a lot more than looks, but we’re certainly not complaining. The aggressive look is something we can wholeheartedly get behind.

Quick as a flash…

This durable and quality pair of shocks work well regardless of the load. You can easily adjust them, in seconds, according to the load you’re carrying. An important, if not essential, feature for Harley shocks.

The shocks come in a high-quality chrome finish that’s likely to set off the look of any bike.


BURLY B28-1201 Chrome Finish 10.5 Slammer Shock

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • 2” lowered stance.
  • Improved comfort.
  • Improved handling.
  • Good quality.
  • Adjustable according to load.

Cons

  • Not compatible with some newer Harley’s.

Best Motorcycle Shocks Buying Guide

Best Motorcycle Shocks Review

Comfort

Standard shocks, especially on a Harley, can lead to a fairly stiff ride. If you’re riding a more sports-oriented motorcycle, this might be exactly what you want. However, for most Harley riders, and a lot of other riders beside, comfort is the name of the game.

A hard ride, particularly as we get older, can be annoying at least and downright painful at worst. If we’re riding and touring over long distances, then comfort becomes even more important. It may be that a small amount of performance has to be sacrificed, but this isn’t always the case.

Quality shocks can smooth out the bumps without losing the feeling of being connected to the road. For the very best of comfort, the…

HD 159 Ohlins Shocks

…are a tough one to beat. They give smooth riding and performance in spades.

Adjustability

All the shocks can be adjusted to cater to your specific riding requirements. The load each individual is likely to carry at any one time can vary enormously. When you also take into consideration the range of different rider’s weights, the load range becomes even greater.

Altering your shocks level is an easy job. With virtually no mechanical expertise at all, it’s something that can be quickly done in minutes. However, the…

Progressive Suspension 944-4020UT Shocks

…take the prize of being the easiest to adjust.

They can be adjusted by hand and without the use of any tools.

How cool is that?

Silk sashes and tiaras all round.

Slammer Shocks

Slammer shocks get your ride down low and are designed to keep it there. A lower stance will make the motorcycle easier to control when stationary for shorter riders since they can put more of their feet on the ground.

Other benefits include improved handling as well as making the bike look more aggressive. Most bikers would agree that this is a much better look than a bike at a stock ride height.

Burly make high quality and affordable slammer shocks. But before you go out and immediately buy a set, there’s one thing you should be aware of. That’s the increased chance of bottoming out.

So, let’s take a look at that…

Bottoming Out

Bottoming out occurs when your motorcycle’s underneath makes contact with the ground. When you have a traditional set-up, the likelihood of this happening is small. However, if you choose to use slammer shocks, or significantly adjust your standard shocks, it’s a real possibility.

If you do lower your ride, you’ll need to take it easy to find where the limits of your motorcycle are. Be aware that the faster you go and the bumpier the road, the more likely you are to bottom out. It won’t necessarily cause any damage, but it’s something to be avoided whenever you can.

Looking for more superb Motorcycle accessories?

Then check out our informative review of the Best Fender Eliminator, the Best Motorcycle Rain Gear, and the Best Motorcycle Tank Bags you can buy.

For your storage, maintenance, and safety needs, take a look at our reviews of the Best Motorcycle Storage Sheds, our Best Motorcycle Covers Review, the Best Motorcycle GPS Trackers, as well as the Best Motorcycle Cleaners on the market in 2020.

So, what are the Best Motorcycle Shocks?

So, there you have it. A good range of high-quality shocks for most sizes of motorcycles and most budgets too. We hope you found something on our list that can help to improve your motorcycle’s ride and comfort.

The ten best motorcycle shocks are all great alternatives to the stock shocks fitted to most bikes when they leave the factory. However, the…

HD 159 Ohlins Shocks

…offer so much that they are naturally our top pick

We readily admit that they’re premium priced, but they have a premium quality to match. What’s more, they also have class-leading ride comfort, incredible durability, a rebuildable design, and a full five years warranty.

That’s a hard package to beat.

Happy rides.

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