I finally got to test ride a Springer Front Fork equipped bike and was thoroughly disappointed with the suspension feel as opposed to my current downhill telescopic tubes. I was so bummed by it's pogo stick like action and no real way to adjust the compression and rebound dampening. Which is probably why they are no longer used today.
They still look so fricken cool and very nostalgic but I've decided to move to other customizing projects and leave the Springer idea behind...
I rode motorcycles all my life probably near 1,000,000 kms but I never tried the Harley Springer had a handful of opportunities but just never really knew how they handled compared to all the other bikes I have ridden I remember some guys saying they didn’t handle very well with the skinny front wheel. My new Cheetah has a suspension fork that is way different than my other bikes full suspension but I prefer the Cheetah even though the suspension is minimal it seems more satisfying than my full suspension bike right now riding on snow so things are quite soft spring will show me what the Cheetah suspension can really do.
The Cheetah is a very comfortable bike
Like you I have been riding motorcycles the past 60 plus years of my life and have had the opportunity to ride trailing and leading link front ends but never a hardtail equipped springer.
The Springer-Fork on this particular bike was a store bought unit very similar to what I had envisioned design wise. It featured twin large diameter progressively wound variable rate spring units under the middle tree and twin smaller straight wound springs above. It would simply pogo / bounce over small bumps and pavement slab joints with lots of flexing and vibration that could be felt through to the bars and I didn’t feel the need or desire to ride off the curb with these forks.
By comparison the downhill hydraulic unit is buttery smooth and soaks up big hits and small bumps equally well and they seem super stiff which gives me confidence and helps you maintain complete control. Another big plus is being much lighter.
So in the end my choice for a show bike without question would be the Springer-Front fork! It’s physical appearance is so iconic and timeless. Truly a thing of beauty.