Upgrading your soggy OEM suspension needn’t cost an arm and two legs. Although some high-end aftermarket shocks cost upward of a thousand bucks, there are some real deals out there, particularly in the Hagon catalog.
Case in point: The Hagon fork springs and rear shocks we installed on my Triumph Scrambler for this issue’s How To article. While the Triumph has a good chassis, it suffers from what can best be described as a wooden suspension. The rear shocks have virtually no damping in either direction, and the springs are as stiff as day-old whiskey. Essentially what you have is a bike with a lot of unlocked potential in the handling department, a situation that obviously isn’t confined only to Triumph.
Although we could have gone with Hagon’s top of the line shocks, we wanted to see what could be had at a real world price, so we requested the no-frills, spring preload-adjustable-only Road Shocks. The results were a real eye opener. Installing the progressively wound fork springs and shocks resolved every handling issue I had with the Scrambler. Both ends became more compliant, hard edged bumps no longer toss the Scrambler’s rear wheel into the air, and the fork isn’t nearly as stiff on the compression stroke or dead-feeling on the rebound as it was when delivered. In short, handling and comfort levels have improved tenfold.
Despite the low price, the components are nicely finished, the paint and chrome being first rate. If you want to upgrade the finish, several options, including chrome bodies and polished stainless steel shrouds are available, though it does up the ante.
Each shock is equipped with progressive springs and assembled to order based on your weight and riding style, so you can be reasonably certain the spring rate will be on the money. The rear shocks come fully assembled, so it’s a straightforward plug-and-play. The fork spring kit uses the stock preload spacers, so no surprises there either.
There is one qualification; although the shocks and fork springs are sold separately, and lots of guys install only one or the other with positive results, my recommendation is to install them as a matched set. That way, both ends of the bike work in concert. Of course, good results can be had by mixing components, but using paired springs and shocks eliminates a lot of guesswork when it comes to suspension tuning.
Overall, I can’t find a single thing to carp about. The Hagons were priced right, made a substantial improvement and are nicely made. They also come with a 2 year/unlimited mileage warranty. You can’t ask for more than that. —
Hagon Fork Springs
Price: $89/$99 (with a quart of oil)
Hagon Road Shocks
Price: $199.00 (pair)