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It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with. If you put the preload on its highest setting you will feel every bump. If you leave it on it’s lowest setting, your back end will slide out too easily if you ride hard at all.

I’ve heard from many that the piggy back shocks make a pretty big difference, but those are getting difficult to locate. I have the back rest on mine also, and when I lean back and ride, the bumps kind of go right up into the spine- not great. If you are a shorter person with the stock bars and lean more forward when you ride, it’s much better.

Ironically, my dad has a Road King with the air shocks, so I’m familiar with those as well. The Road King gets down the road smoother, provided you have air in those things. The Octane really isn’t designed for comfort or long rides, in general. Much more challenging for me is the wind pull on my body and helmet at Interstate speeds.

Having said all of that, I’ve done a 1200 mile weekend on my Octane and loved every second.
 
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