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R1200RT Ohlins Installation Part 1


Limecreek

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Ohlins Installation R1200RT

 

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Part 2 will be published after I square away a problem I am having with the front shock. The threaded stud on the front shock was not installed properly and is 1/2" too long. More on that later--looks to be a minor and an easy fix anyway. The rear shock was very easy to do taking no more than an hour from start to finish.

 

Part 1—ESA Rear Shock Removal and Ohlin Shock Installation

 

Gather your tools:

 

• Torx T-35, T-45, T-50, T-20, T-15 and the T-50 key out of your BMW kit

• 3/8 Drive Ratchet

• Ratchet extension – short one will do

• 15mm socket

• 15 mm offset wrench

• 6 mm hex wrench

• 5 mm hex wrench

• Torque wrench

• Tie clippers

• Blue loctite

• Torch (if smoking cigar)

• Cutter (if smoking cigar)

• Scissor jack

• Short board

• Flashlight

 

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Read the BMW manual prior to attempting the installation on your own and refer to it as needed during the process. If you have any doubt as to your ability, spend the money and take it to your dealer or better still, suck up to one of your buddies that does this stuff in his or her sleep and ask them to do you a favor. thumbsup.gif

 

Ok, here we go:

 

Removing the Rear ESA Shock

 

1. Remove the seats.

2. Remove the silencer—you’ll need a T-45 torx for the bolt to the frame and a 15 mm wrench to release the exhaust clamp.

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3. Remove the rear wheel—you’ll need a T-50 torx, a ratchet and extension.

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4. Remove the lower inner mud guard—look for the cable on the right hand side and remove it.

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5. Follow the cable from the rear shock up the right hand side of the motorcycle. Cut the zip tie holding the harness and find all three plugs and disconnect them, being careful to squeeze them while pulling them apart. Pull the plugs apart not the wires.

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6. Support the swing arm with the scissor jack.

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7. Remove the lower bolt—T-50 torx.

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8. Remove the top bolt—T-50 torx key and 15 mm wrench or socket.

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9. Pull the shock out the bottom being careful to route all the wires out with the shock.

 

The rear ESA shock weighs 12 pounds—sheesh.

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Installing the Ohlin Rear Shock

 

1. Install the rear Ohlin shock passing it up through the center of the swing arm.

2. Align the preload cable to the left and pass the preload adjuster up and over the frame and down and out the left side of the motorcycle—you’ll mount that later.

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3. Insert the bolt at the top of the shock.

4. Insert and thread in the bottom bolt—blue loctite the bottom bolt.

5. Tighten the bottom bolt to 20 Nm, and then finish by tightening to 58 Nm.

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6. BMW want you to replace the nut for the top bolt. I didn’t, but plan to purchase a new nut and will install it at a later date.

7. Tighten the top nut to 50 Nm.

8. Attach the preload adjuster to the outside of the frame. Actually, you could attach it under the seat somewhere if you don’t want it on the outside—up to you.

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9. Install the lower mudguard.

10. Install the rear wheel—tighten in a diagonal pattern and to a final torque of 60 Nm.

11. Install the silencer, align the clamp and torque to 55 Nm and torque the frame attachment to 19 Nm.

 

Part 2 out in a couple of days--the front shock.

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Nice work.

 

Out of curiosity and since I haven't really had my seat off that much, can someone tell me what that do-hickey is in the third picture from the bottom, center below the shock mount and to the left of the brake fluid fill cap. It appears to have an adjustment knob on it? Square on one side and round on the side with the knob.

 

I may just have to got look at my bike now. :D

--russ

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Very nice write up!

 

Questions...

 

Did you make the adjuster bracket yourself, or is that an Ohlins part?

 

Now that the ESA shock is gone, how does your ZFE and display modules behave? Any displayed errors?

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The bracket is an Ohlins part. The ESA display is unchanged. I can toggle through all of my adjustment choices like I could before I pulled the shocks. No errors--so far.

 

I need a way to cap all of the ESA plugs on the bike to avoid corrosion. If anyone has a suggestion I am all ears.

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Cut the connections off the shock, tape the ends, and plug 'em back into the bike connectors.

Am interested in the ride campario to the ESA shocks.

Bill

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I want to keep the ESA shocks functional in case a future owner wants to return the bike back to stock so cutting the plugs off is not an option.

 

I'm still sorting out my front shock problem with Ohlins so it may be next week before I get out for a test ride.

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Thanks for the great write-up, and I'm looking forward to the front installation. You are removing a significant veil of mystery for me, extremely clear. Please include your address so I can hang around your garage!

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  • 1 month later...

Does the installtion of front and rear Ohlins raise the ride height? I am considering them but don't want the bike any taller than it already is.

 

Thanks

Fran

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Does the installtion of front and rear Ohlins raise the ride height? I am considering them but don't want the bike any taller than it already is.

 

Thanks

Fran

 

Ohlins do not alter the ride height.

It is possible to get shorter shocks for the 1100 and 1150 from Hagon and Works (or is it Wilburs?), they may well do so for the 1200 as well.

 

Andy

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Good install. I relocated the preload to under the seat for a clean look.

My front was a real bitch to install. Not much room up there. I had the rear wheel off and with the centerstand strapped was able to jack the front of the bike up enough to just get the shock in. The old one almost fell out.

I also didn't have the ESA so there might be some diff.

What ever it is a great improvement to make.

Maybe Ohlins will make a plug and play ESA replacement for the RT . Now that would be the best for those who have it.

Good luck on the front.

Oh, by the way looking at the rug, are you doing this in the dining room? Does the SO know.? The rug really adds some class thumbsup.gif

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The rear ESA shock weighs 12 pounds—sheesh.

 

Out of curiousity, how much does the Ohlins one weigh??

 

On a general note, on a per-capita basis for bikes, sold, BMW owners must buy more shocks than anyone else, esp Ohlins.......must cheer up Yamaha no end ( the owners of Ohlins........)

 

John M

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I don't know about that. When I had a VFR Ohlins shocks where a pretty common addition along with new springs and valves for the forks. The problem is that OEM suspension on all brands just doesn't last as long as its should. One of my VFR's started to get saggy and loose with a little over 20,000kms (about 12,000 miles). I was not too impressed.

 

 

On a general note, on a per-capita basis for bikes, sold, BMW owners must buy more shocks than anyone else, esp Ohlins.......must cheer up Yamaha no end ( the owners of Ohlins........)

 

John M

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  • 2 weeks later...

I purchased a set of ohlins for my bike, but my dealer refused to install them. The BMW rep told the dealer that disconnecting the ESA sensors does affect the ECU and that if I installed the Ohlins they would not honor my warranty. According to the dealer, BMW has a program to "disarm" the ESA system, but are refusing to release it. Has anybody had any experience with any of this? Are you still not showing any faults or anything? I would like to install the shocks, but am not excited about voiding my warranty. Pretty pissed at BMW about this.

 

Mike

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I purchased a set of ohlins for my bike, but my dealer refused to install them. The BMW rep told the dealer that disconnecting the ESA sensors does affect the ECU and that if I installed the Ohlins they would not honor my warranty. According to the dealer, BMW has a program to "disarm" the ESA system, but are refusing to release it. Has anybody had any experience with any of this? Are you still not showing any faults or anything? I would like to install the shocks, but am not excited about voiding my warranty. Pretty pissed at BMW about this.

 

Mike

Void your warranty of what? The ESA you just took off? Well, uh, okay... do your worst mister dealer.

 

Void your warranty of the whole bike? No way would that ever stand up if challenged.

 

I'd say your dealer is smoking something, then blowing it.

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How will it affect the ECU? I'm coming up on my 12,000 mile service, most of it is done by yours truly, but I always have my dealer perform a leak down test (brakes system) and run codes. I'll let you know what they say at the end of Sept.

 

I wouldn't out right dismiss what your dealer is telling you, but I would challenge him. Ask the why, how, when, where questions...he'll cave.

 

Install the shocks--the world will keep turning.

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The BMW rep told the dealer that they can't be sure how the ECU will react to not having the ESA inputs and, because the ECU is involved in almost every aspect of the bike, the warranty on the whole bike would be voided. I know - I was incredulous when I heard that. You've done 12,000 on the Ohlins? Did you ever put the front one on?

 

Mike

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Great writeup! You should do tech manuals for the aftermarket crowd. thumbsup.gif

 

I'm extremely jealous! I really want a set of Ohlins, but will have to wait a while longer. Do you mind sharing how much you paid for these babies?

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I just finished installing an Ohlins on the rear. I didn't have ESA to deal with. I also didn't have to remove the rear wheel or the inner mud guard. All in all, the rear was a snap. Now on to the front! Thanks for the great write up and photos!

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