QUOTE: Now I'm thinking that my bike is sitting lower due to rear suspension sag. I have 17,000 miles on my bike, he has 8,000. I'm at a loss (and my back hurts). If the next generation wasn't a year away, I would trade it in for a 2006 with an electric centerstand.
That may be the give away that your shock is going out. It is impossible to say how long a stock shock will last. Even Ohlin's recommends rebuild at approximately 25,000 miles. Variables like how much do you weigh, do you ride one up or two up most of the time. What kind of roads do you ride on (backroads or interstate) riding style (laid back or bal$% to the walls). The main spring on the back shock may have lost some of its lift based on the variables as well. I replaced a new 03 LT with Ohlin's, even compared to new OEM shocks, the ease in which it took to pop the LT up on its centerstand was like day and night. I also put Ohlin's on a brand new 05 and even with the power lift I could tell how much easier it was to get it on the centerstand. The shocks are matched to my weight, other specs and makes the LT sit higher than stock. Check the preload system to see if it is working, it should give you a little extra height unless it is already jacked all the way up. Look around the shock to see if there are any obvious leaks. To me it sounds like you may need new shocks
May we never find the end of the road!
Perry Ridgway .