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Ohlins Installation


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Hello All,


I'm in the process of installing Ohlins on my 1100RT.


The Range that Ohlins speficies in the manual are:


Without Rider:

10-20mm for the Rear

15-30mm for the Front


With Rider:

25-40mm for the Rear

35-50mm for the Front


I'll like to know what those of you have installed Ohlins have set them at. This seems like a pretty wide range. I was sort of thinking of seting the preload at the low end of the scale, then when I'm fulley loaded I would have a little to spare. I don't do any track days, but do ocassionaly do some spirited riding in the mountains, so I'm not sure how I should set the preload!


The rear is a pain to get to, have to pretty much take it off the bike to adjust the preload on the spring, anyone have any idea how much movement (turns or mm) when adjusting the spring preload will produce in sag. I guess it is sort of a hit and miss method, but there has been such good advise given on the board, I thought I'd ask before I had to try to figure it out myself!


I've found a few threads on Ohlins Installation, but most were for the mechanical installation or set up on a GS, I have not been able to find anything specifically for a RT.


Thanks to all



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Really don't want to change the ride height, the ride height has pretty much stayed the same after putting the shocks on as they came from the suppler, I'm just at maximum travel for the sag with and without the rider. I figured the way to adjust was to change the preload on the springs.



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I'm just at maximum travel for the sag with and without the rider. I figured the way to adjust was to change the preload on the springs.


That would be correct but as you increase the pre-load the ride height will also increase and the steering becomes quicker...(if adjusting front at same time)


At least that is the way I understand the "magic of suspension tuning"


Just experiment untill you get what you want or set everything to "nominal/mean" and go with it.

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A few years back I added a rear Ohlins to my R1100RT and love it; however, it does need to be set up correctly. I ride and tour 2 up quite often, and when I bought the shock I also could not get the preload height adjusted correctly with the stock spring. I was at the maximum end of the range with just me on the bike, empty bags, and preload on max.


It appears that the stock springs are set up for a very

thin rider riding solo. NOT my situation, and also kind of strange for a sport tourer. I e-mailed Ohlins and they were extrememly helpful. I gave them all the info they asked for: our riding weights, approx. bag weights, and riding style. They said that I needed a different spring and gave me the part number to order. I ordered the spring, shipped them the shock and they put it on for free. (This was a few years ago and I forgot the cost of the spring) The shock came back, and the bike has been transformed. I'm very happy with the results.


One strange thing. At the time you could not order the "custom" spring when you ordered the shock. Ohlins only sold "stock" shocks through their distributors and then you had to go through what I did. I'm betting there are a lot of people out there whose bikes could be much better with the correct spring rating. Hopefully, they now offer a range of springs at the time of purchase.

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Just a couple of minor points regarding preload adjustments and maybe alter some misconceptions. When adjusting shocks, as with most adjustments, make only one adjustment at a time.

Preload is usually the first thing you should set on your bike's shock. It does effect "ride height" slightly; however, that is a bi-product and not the purpose of the adjustment. Preload adjustment is to help keep the shock within it's correct working range. Too much sag (too little pre-load) can cause the shock to bottom out during compression. Too little sag (too much preload) can cause the shock to run out of room on rebound and hit maximum extension or bang out on top. Keeping these within the shock's working range keep the bike and rider happy.

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Thanks all for the responses. I've solved my problem, I called Ohlins tech support and they were very helpful. Basically I have springs that are too weak, I'm shipping the shocks to Ohlins and they are going to replace the springs with ones that are 1 step up from what I have.



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