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I may have found the answer to lowering an R1200RT with ESA


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As most of you know, I have been trying to come up with a solution to lower my R1200RT and retain the ESA functions. I really wanted WP to modify the shocks but they can't or won't. I was ready to replace them with shorter Ohlins and give up the ESA, but the factory and at least the Ohlins authorized shops that I contacted won't modify them for liability reasons. I know that someone on this board is running lowered Ohlins, but I haven't had any luck. I just spoke to Daryll @ Works Performance and he informed me that they make two modified sets of shocks that will lower the ride height of an R1200RT either 1" or 2". Now the good news - If I send them my stock ESA shocks, they will remove and install the actuators on the new shocks and the new lowered shocks will retain the ESA features. clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

Now I need to find a set of shocks to temporarily replace the ESA shocks so that the bike isn't sitting ripped apart for a couple of weeks. I'm going to check with Jon @ Capitol BMW to see if he has a set of take offs that I can use. If he doesn't, does anybody have a set that they would like to sell?

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That's very interesting.


If I'm understanding you correctly...Works is going to give you new Works Performance shocks, and install the BMW ESA Actuators on the Works Shocks. So...you'll get quality aftermarket shocks with the ESA feature. The fact that they're quality aftermarket shocks that have been lowered for your needs makes them even better.


Did I get that right?

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Exactly. I have run into some speedbumps before in this process with stories changing. For example a specialty suspension shop that said they could lower my factory shocks but changed their mind when I tried to setup an appointment saying that their chief technician really doesn't like working on WP shocks... Hopefully this will pan out and I will keep you posted.

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Wow, if it pans out that that will indeed be an interesting development in the ESA world. Quality performance shocks, lowered if desired, ESA adjustability, and best of all, easily rebuildable. Please keep us informed...

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Wow, if it pans out that that will indeed be an interesting development in the ESA world. Quality performance shocks, lowered if desired, ESA adjustability, and best of all, easily rebuildable. Please keep us informed...




That's a fantastic development, if it works out.


Then you'd get the best of both worlds...good shocks that are custom made for your weight and riding style that provide a much better ride than the stock pieces of crap without all the constant tweaking...and when you make a drastic load change like going from solo to 2-up, you're a button push away from being set and ready to roll.


This would be THE hot ticket for everyone who's currently stuck with ESA.


And Works will rebuild them for a fraction of the cost of replacing the stock crappy ESA shocks with new stock crappy ESA shocks.


If this works, you'll get the Hero of the Year award. cool.gif

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Sign me up, too. I want to hear about this in greater detail. At 5'11, I'm still on my tip toes and that bugs me no end. I've always been hesitant to buy the lower seat because I was afraid what it would do to the ergos and a peg lowering adjustment just seemed to compound the problem. This could, indeed be the answer.


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If this is for real, that will be fabulous. Works is a well run company, they make good shocks, and they are pretty solid on customer service. That is especially good news for us local LA folks since they are in the valley. I would double check before I sent my shocks into them just to be sure - sometimes the sales guys get ahead of themselves and management backs off.

Please keep us posted.

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Any information with regard to the front? Will they also need to be adjusted / modified? Side Stand and Center Stand? I'm very interested in the possibilities!! clap.gif

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sometimes the sales guys get ahead of themselves and management backs off.
That would be a concern. But OTOH, if they do come up with such a product they may end up with a big seller. It seems that most BMWs are sold with ESA these days, and when the ESA shocks wear out, and when the owners are faced with the subsequent sticker shock for replacements, a good aftermarket option is going to look pretty attractive to what will eventually be a pretty big market.
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Two steps forward - one step back. I have attached a copy of my e-mail to works Performance and their short, rather incomplete reply:



I just spoke with Pierre in Engineering and he said we can on use ESA Preloader only, it will only work for ride height and preload on are shock, but not the Rebound Dampening,

He said he is working on the that so it will be available very soon.Sorry for the confusion.Thank you




Darrel Foust

Works Performance Products,Inc


Voice 818-701-1010 x33

Fax 818-701-9043 Attn Darrel




----- Original Message -----

From: Chris Rappl

To: sales@worksperformance.com

Cc: chrisrappl@nc.rr.com

Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 3:55 AM

Subject: Please forward to Daryl in Sales





I spoke with you yesterday regarding lowering a 2006 BMW R1200RT with ESA suspension. I posted a message here:




It looks like there is a lot of interest in lowering the ride height and retaining the ESA features.


I believe that there also will be a lot of interest in your product when it comes time to replace the factory ESA shocks due to wear.


I am very happy to have found a solution. Let me repeat what I understand from our conversation to make sure that there is no misunderstanding on my part:


I remove and send in my front and rear ESA shocks.


I give you weight and riding style information and whether I want the ride height lowered 1" or 2" (or possibly somewhere in between).


My preference is to order the 1" reduced ride height shocks and have them setup to allow for an additional 1/2" of sag. Unless this is not advisable for some reason.


You build a set of shortened shocks the proper length to result in the requested ride height with springs and valving setup for my weight (and my passenger's weight for when we ride two up) and riding style and then you remove the ESA actuators from my factory shocks and install them to control the new custom shocks. When I reinstall them they will work like the factory shocks (maybe better) and I will retain the original preload and dampening adjustments.


Did I misunderstand anything?


How much shorter will the shocks be?


How much will the shock travel be reduced?


Other than reduced ground clearance, are there any other interference considerations? e.g. driveshaft housing hitting right passenger peg?


I will modify my side and center stands while the shocks are being fabricated. I could use some guidance or advice as to how much to take off of each.


How much lead time do you need?


Can I reserve a date and send in the shocks so that they arrive just before that date?


Are there any options that I should consider?


What are the costs?


Do you have any objections to me posting your response to the thread above?



Thank you very much,



Christopher C. Rappl

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That's what I figured. They already know how to retrofit the stock non-ESA hydraulic preload collars to their shocks, so it makes sense that they could do the same with the ESA collars. The damping adjustment would be a bit more complicated, but probably not completely out of their reach given some development time.

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I too am very interested in this development. I love my ESA though it is a trade-off for a properly setup shock. I will purchase ESA on my GT as well but will certainly be looking forward to some nice replacements if they can retain the ESA functions.


I hope Works has stopped by to see the interest here. This will likely spread like wildfire from the conversations I've heard. clap.gif

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This lowering method sounds like Utopia.

Really looking forward to the final results as to what is available to the rest of us 1200RT owners.

Thanks for the initial input.


Bob & Dianne Danks,


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