Might post some pictures later, but here's the results of this project...
Got the 11.5" shocks and front springs with 1" drop (more on this later) installed and rode the America to work yesterday with new configuration. Ride impression later in post.
Rear shocks took all of about 20 minutes to install with no issues at all. With just the rear shocks seat height was about 1 1/2" lower. But of course front end was still the same height so overall feel of the bike was even more chopper like. Not what we wanted!
Removal of front forks took about 30 minutes and was easier than I expected. Now the hard part, removal of the damper rod bolt to remove the damper rod. I had researched this extensively for the last few weeks and had all the tools and tricks I had learn via the internet ready to go.
Got the first fork setup in the vise put a 6" long allen socket on the impact wrench and gave it a go. Damper bolt and rod both just spin!
Ok, let's try the dowel/broom stick trick to keep the damper rod from spinning. Tapered a 1" dowel I had and stuck down the fork tube into the damper rod. Still a no go, bolt would not break loose.
Put the fork back together and compress the spring to see if this would hold the damper rod enough to free the bolt. Nope!
Try various other attempts over the next hour or so but that damper bolt would not bulge. Make the decision to take the forks to the dealer and have them free the bolt and install the kit with a 2" drop in front to level the bike as indicated by Progressive tech support.
Dropped them off on Saturday and they were going to do them on Tuesday morning. Got a call about mid-morning from the dealer with bad news. Even they could not get the bolt to break loose!
They were going to have to drill out the bolts and replace with new bolts and get them torque properly when reinstalled. BUT, they didn't have any bolts in stock and neither did Triumph America, would have to order bolts from UK, 7 to 10 days to arrive. Oh well, authorize the work and resigned to waiting for up to 2 week to get bike back together.
Mid-afternoon Tuesday got another call from dealer forks were ready to be picked up! They tried again before drilling out the bolts and were able to get the bolts loose.
Picked forks up Tuesday evening and would install on Wednesday. Take a look in the box the springs came in and what the...
There were still 2 damper rod springs in the box and for a 2" drop as I requested there should not have been any damper rod springs left!
Talked to the dealer on Wednesday morning and sure enough they didn't read the instructions correctly and just removed the stock damper rod spring and put two Progressive damper rod springs on instead of putting the two springs on IN ADDITION to the stock spring. Confirmed with the dealer that they did however put the correct length spacer in for a 2" drop. So now I have forks with spring for a 1" drop but the spacer length for a 2" drop. Dealer was very sorry and wanted to make it right.
However, before taking the shocks back in I called Progressive and discussed the issue and they indicated that the shorter than recommended spacer was not really a problem. Front damping would just be a bit on the 'soft' side and front would set just a small amount lower.
So it was decided to reinstall the forks just to see how this combination would be. Happy to say height of bike was just perfect for my wife and front end of bike was now sitting just about perfectly level.
So with dealer's approval and commitment to still fix if we wanted after getting a few miles on the bike we have decided to not have the 2" drop installed.
First off remember this is my wife's bike...
Installation has lower the bike an average of 1 1/2" at all points on the bike that I measured. This now allows my wife to flat foot the bike.
Rode around the block a few times Wednesday evening and initial impression was very good. Bike rode much better in my opinion with the front end lowering. Ground clearance definitely affected and I was able to bottom out the front with hard braking over a bump.
Rode to work on Thursday (7 miles city streets) and confirmed that I really like the ride and handling better with the lowering front end.
However, I do feel the front end is too 'soft' and I think I will put a longer spacer in. But this is not something that I will do right away. I weight just a bit more than the wife
so I think I'll let her get some miles on it first.
Overall very pleased with the results but will caution for anyone doing this ground clearance will be affected so be careful.