Issue with Progressive 440's


.020 Over
Dec 10, 2007
Yorba Linda, CA
Just a heads-up for anybody thinking about going to these shocks.

On the good side, they improved the ride dramatically over the OEM shocks. The Progressive's are great shocks. Getting rid or the OEM shocks was the first thing I did with the bike, and it made all the difference in the world on both short and long rides.

On the down side, the seal on the left side shock blew out in about 3 months (sprayed fluid all over my rear wheel and rear of the bike). I took them back to Progressive (conveniently they just moved down the street from me to Buena Park, CA) and they rebuilt the shock at no cost (I think the shocks have a lifetime warranty on the internals). Progressive rebuilt it in one day (very nice!).

The guy at Progressive told me what caused the problem. With heavier bikes, if they are parked for too long on one side (kick-stand), the seal can blow out. There was a little more to it than that, but thats the basic story. I had parked the bike for about 3 weeks when it happened. The solution is simple. You have to park the bike on a center stand or in a wheel chock so it is parked straight up. Eliminates the problem. Keep that in mind if you get the shocks because although Progressive will rebuild them, taking them on and off is a pain.
Good information....huh.....

That's all well and good except the Rocket don't have a center stand as standard equipment and to park the bike with a chock under the sidestand to hold the bike vertically is insane.

I thinhk there is more to the seal failure. No other manufacturer seems to have that problem.

I have a great idea. Why don't you chock your sidestand to park the bike vertically and post about it in 6 months if it fell over or not.
side stand parking?

I'm with flip on this....

Answer one question: how come I've never heard of this with the stock shocks? (Or any other brand for that matter)

Or IMO, you've just been fed a bunch of smoke and mirrors, better known as BS.
I have them on my Rocket and my Valkyrie. They've been on the Valk for several years, it's always parked on the sidestand, and I've never had a problem.
Tough crowd! You guys may be right, he may been full of BS and it was just a defective shock. But, when I brought the shocks in, he asked immediately if the blown one was from the sidestand side. He said that they had done a bunch of them with them blowing out on the kickstand side. Obviously it could have been a simple guess, but I'm not sure what his motivation would be to lie since he fixed it almost immediately anyway and its got a lifetime warranty.

On a side note, the two links below are for wheel chocks that are supposedly made to hold up large bikes (transport, working on them, etc.).

Not going to vouch for either becuase I haven't bought one, but supposedly they will hold the bike. Thought I'd pass it along.
shock blowout on sidestand side


Think about it! With the bike on the sidestand BOTH shocks are canted over at the IDENTICAL angle off of perpendicular. Thus, why would it matter if the shock was mounted on the side stand side or opposite side stand side?
Darron, the tech guy didn't say it had anything to do with the angle the bike was leaning at. He said it was caused by the one shock (kickstand side) sitting in a partially compressed position for a long period of time. He had a technical explanation (few months back so I don't remember it all) that basically said that the fluid in the shock drains down blah, blah, blah... when the shock stays in the compressed position while parked for awhile (the other side isn't compressed so theretically that was why it wasn't affected). He said that if you have to park it on its sidestand, then roll the bike upright, bounce the bike a bit (to re-lubricate the inards in both shocks) and then that should help before taking off on a drive.

He didn't say it would happen every time, but more that they (Progressive) had had quite a few that had had that problem (probably still a very small percentage of all that they sold) and had already rebuilt quite a few. You guys bring up good points though.