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Lowering an R1200RT with ESA - Chapter Two


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I spoke with Pierre in R & D @ Works Performance today. He says that he can control the new shortened shocks the same as the factory ESA. This is good news since the gist of the last conversation was that they could only control the preload. They are expecting me to ship my shocks on Monday. I started the process by taking careful measurements so that I can shorten the side and center stands properly. I then tried to test the preload and damping actuators prior to having them removed and reinstalled on the shortened Works shocks. I can feel the preload raise and lower the bike. I cannot tell if the damping is working. I’ve tried changing the settings to see if I can feel a difference while riding with no success. I’ve tried listening to and feeling the actuators for turning or vibration with no success. I know that there is a thread on this very topic with no resolution as to how to prove or disprove proper operation. I will call Jon @ Capitol BMW tomorrow to see if he can help. If anyone has any ideas, please reply.


After I get this sorted out I still have a bunch of challenges ahead:


1. Can I have both shocks removed at the same time? (I purchased a set of non-ESA shocks to use temporarily, but discovered that they are definitely not from an R1200RT). frown.gif

2. How do I remove the side (another thread with no resolution) and center stands? Is heat involved?

3. Is there a way that I can support the bike and have both shocks and both stands removed at the same time?

4. I am setting up an older PC to be the garage computer, but it doesn’t have a CD drive so I will have to see if I can copy the RepRom to the hard drive to guide me through this stuff.


If anyone has been through any of this before and has any advice, please reply. I have printed and read Greg’s Ohlins Installation parts 1 & 2.


Are we having fun yet?

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When working on the rear shock, I suspended the rear of th bike from above. Depends on what you have above, but it probably can be done. I also think a lift point could be found for the front, but I didn't look into it.


Again, I lowered the rear of my RT (w/ESA) by constructing an adapter that ties into the original rear shock mount, and raises the mounting point by about 3/4 of an inch. that's about all that can be done safely, I think.


I have not yet shortened either stand. I have to watch where I park the bike on the side stand, and putting it on the center stand is a bit more work, but I do manage.


Good Luck



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2. How do I remove the side (another thread with no resolution) and center stands? Is heat involved?


There is a bushing of some sort that captures the side stand to the frame lug.. It doesn't let the side stand off after the bolt is removed. I'm waiting on a new bushing to see how it comes out (in case it's a destructive type removal).. Will post when I get the parts and figurwe it out. I have shorten Ohlin's and the sidestand should be shorten about 3\8-3\4 of an inch..



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Took the bike in and Jon the Service Manager @ Capitol BMW tested the damping by putting the front tire against a curb and rocking the front and then the rear with the ignition off and then on. He could feel the difference and I could see the change in the speed of the downward stroke. He then put the bike on the computer, checked for faults and ran a diagnostic test. The printout showed that the changes were made and the end points verified. The shocks are coming off this weekend and being shipped to Works Performance where the actuator and "eye"s will be removed from the ESA units and installed on new Works units that are shortened to lower my ride height 1" plus 1/2" additional sag. Capitol is willing to shorten my stands when the bike goes in for its 6000 mile service. They know that I am changing out the shocks at home and offered to stop by after work if I ran into trouble. thumbsup.gif They're good people!

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Our congratulations for your excellent followup on lowering the 12RT with Works Performance assistance. thumbsup.gif

There are a number of us out here that will follow your lead once the details are ironed out.




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The shocks are removed and on their way to California. I don't have a bike anymore, just a bunch of parts taking up the whole shop and an ugly carcass hanging from the I beams. If you want an omelet,...

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I removed the sidestand this morning:

46 53 000 Replacing side stand









(+) Removing side stand

(-) Removing side stand


Disengage springs (1) with assembly/disassembly tool (No. 46 5 721) .



Remove circlip (5).



Remove washer (3).



Remove side-stand switch (2).



Remove screw (6).



Remove bushing (4).





(+) Lubricating side stand

(-) Lubricating side stand


Clean bearing bushing (4) and mount.



Grease and install the bearing bushing.





Staburags NBU 30 PTM

High-performance lubricating grease

07 55 9 056 992




(+) Installing side stand

(-) Installing side stand


Clean the tapped hole in the side stand.



Fit pin for side stand switch (2) in hole in side stand.



Hold the side stand in position.



Install new screw (6) and tighten.




Tightening torques

Side stand to pivot mount, M10 x 1-10.9


42 Nm




Place washer (3) in position and install circlip (5).



Engage springs (1) with hook (No. 46 5 721) .






The bushing slides down and out the bottom. There is a small hole on top of the sidestand that I think could be used to push it out, but I just inserted a very small screwdriver in the top threaded hole and caught the top edge of the bushing and with very little effort pushed the bushing out. At this time the bike is solidly supported with a lift under the engine, the center stand and tie down straps holding the front and rear up to the I beams. I have both shocks and the sidestand removed. The centerstand will have to wait until the front shock is reinstalled.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I received a call today from Works Performance saying that they had built my new shocks, installed the factory ESA controllers and shipped them so that I will receive them in time to put my bike back together this weekend. If interested please review this thread and the original thread titled “Lowering an R1200RT with ESA”. As of now Works Performance is able to take your original factory ESA shocks, disassemble them, build new shocks to your specs (riding style, weight and height) and install the ESA actuators so that you retain all of the original features. Another benefit to this is that when your factory ESA shocks wear out, you now have another option. You can replace them with factory replacements or have Works build you new shocks that retain the ESA and are now rebuildable for a modest fee. The only downside that I see is if the actuators fail. They are not available separately so I would suggest picking up an extra pair that were takeoffs for Ohlins or Wilbur replacements. As a matter of fact I should follow my own advice. If anyone has a pair of ESA take-offs in very good condition and you are not interested in the Works Performance modification, please PM me and I'd be happy to take them off your hands at a fair price. Our contact @ Works is:


Darrel Foust

Works Performance Products, Inc


Voice 818-701-1010 x33

Fax 818-701-9043 Attn Darrel


I have no connection or interest other than this:


I've been trying since February to lower my bike and retain the ESA functions and Works is the only company to step up and work with me on this.

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