The weekend culminated in a little time fitting the Hagon shock with a buddy. I'm quite new to the motorcycle world so 2 heads is better than one and even then we had a little mishap (bonus points to those who spot it from the photos).
Accessing the necessary bolts was a little more difficult than I thought and we needed to move the swingarm to help line things up but this could possibly be down to the redneck bike lift we employed but needs must.
Side panels and airbox covers off
A bit of wiggling and jiggling and the stock shock was out. There is a huge difference in the heft between the two with the Hagon looking and feeling like the real deal and the OEM feeling a little budget in comparison.
Reverse jiggling and wiggling to put the new one in.
Artsy photo of my favourite detail
As for the review of the ride, I will admit it is not what I was expecting. Bearing in mind I'm well over the standard rider weight that the stock shock is supposedly set for, my first ride on the Hagon felt much stiffer in comparison, however I expect this is down to the pre-load being set correctly for my weight and probably more in line with the OEM feel for the majority of riders. Having spent a bit more time on it now, there are lots of smaller road imperfections smoothed out by the Hagon and the ride feels a little more controlled but not quite as plush as I expected (almost definitely set my expectations way too high), I've been bounced around a little bit by hard jolts (crappy English roads) and am still bracing for impact on some sections.
I'm going to give it a few more days riding to see whether I'm just expecting too much before I start thinking about making any adjustments and will document every change I make until I'm a little more satisfied.
Overall though, definitely a better quality piece of hardware, the customer service was fantastic and I'm really pleased I've now got something I can tweak to suit me.