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R1100RT Suspension: When to replace?


Santron

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I have a 2000 R1100RT-P that just turned over 62K mi. I have heard tell on this board about how suspensions on these bikes are done for after 30K mi. However, the bike feels fine to me and there is no leakage from any of the shocks. I just tightened the preload on the rear to 2/3 of the way to "hard", and then backed it off a little bit as it was too stiff. I've also adjusted the rebound rate screw at the back and tightened it up a bit. When I sit on the bike, it sags down about an inch or two. It feels fine to me, but how does one tell when you need to replace suspension parts?

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I don't have any first hand experience, as I just got my 1150rt with about 17,000 miles, but a mechanic I spoke to said "they all go" at about 24,000 miles. I find this hard to believe myself.

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1) Leak.

 

2) Preload no longer effective.

 

3) Rebound damping is anemic.*

 

*This is the primary symptom, typically. You'll feel it in two ways:

 

1) Going over a bump, rear will bounce past it's normal rider sag position and then settle back down.

 

2) In a corner, rear will skate out a bit on bumps.

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It feels fine to me, but how does one tell when you need to replace suspension parts?
There's no hard and fast answer to the question (unless the shock is leaking or physically damaged) since performance degredation is gradual and everyone's tolerance of the effects of less-than-optimal handling characterics varies. Generally, the negative effects of poor shock damping consist of undesireable chassis movement during cornering resulting in what is sometimes called a 'hinge in the middle' feeling in the bike and/or a feeling of overall instability.

 

That said, if you don't detect anything that you would call a problem then you might as well ride them until you do... although you would likely notice a pretty big handling improvement with a set of new aftermarket shocks.

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That's what happened to me. Bought the bike with 49K on it, thought all was fine, til I put Ohlins on it...Darn, what a ride improvement, wish I installed the sooner.

And I had no leaks on the OEM, the preload and dampner worked fine. uBt boy did I 'bob' around on the hwy.

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