Jump to content

Aftermarket Works Shocks with ESA - vs Ohlins??


ElJefe

Recommended Posts

I saw the Works Performance application guide that they have ESA version available - shot a quick note to them & got a reply a couple days later that they DO have ESA adapted to fit th R1200RT.

 

So I got to thinking....are Works as good as Ohlins? Would it be better to get Works shocks with ESA interface & have the best of both worlds, or is a pair of Ohlins w/o ESA still better than Works??

Link to comment

Works and Ohlins have equivalent enough performance that one is essentially as good as the other. I don't know much about the Works ESA version, but if they are well executed this is a pretty exciting development... ESA adjustability in a quality rebuildable shock. If you have an ESA bike I'd definitely go with the Works.

Link to comment
Works and Ohlins have equivalent enough performance that one is essentially as good as the other.

 

Really? Which MotoGP teams use Works? grin.gif

Link to comment
John Bentall
Works and Ohlins have equivalent enough performance that one is essentially as good as the other.

 

Really? Which MotoGP teams use Works? grin.gif

 

Those teams that don't get freebies from Ohlins? dopeslap.gif

Link to comment

Yeah - here's what they said:

We just finished the ESA modd.The front will run you $469.00 plus $25.00 for

installation of the preloader and eyes.The rear will run you $649.00 plus

$75.00 for the installation. Yes these will be made just like we do all of our shocks.custom made for

rider weight and riding style.All we need is both of your OEM so we can use

the eyes and preloader off of them.

 

So does this mean my new R1200RT should have ESA?? smile.gif

Link to comment
Dave_zoom_zoom

It looks to me there 3 viable choices at this time for an ESA bike.

Replace the stock White Power shocks. confused.gif

 

Install the Works ESA shocks. confused.gif

 

Install the Ohlins (non ESA)shocks & try to rig the wiring so as not to cause computer problums. confused.gif

 

Please tell me, what am I missing or what do I not understand? confused.gifconfused.gifconfused.gif

 

Thank You!

Link to comment

Dont buy ESA= Run any shock set up you want hmmmmmm Oh yeah then you have to stop the bike, get off the bike turn a knob I see where the ESA is great I have been wondering about ESA can you make tweaks on the fly. I love my Ohlins dont think I would want to go without them as they can be so fine tuned. I never ran works so I cant speak on them but you cant beat a well set up Ohlin

Link to comment
It looks to me there 3 viable choices at this time for an ESA bike.

Replace the stock White Power shocks. confused.gif

 

Install the Works ESA shocks. confused.gif

 

Install the Ohlins (non ESA)shocks & try to rig the wiring so as not to cause computer problums. confused.gif

 

Please tell me, what am I missing or what do I not understand? confused.gifconfused.gifconfused.gif

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by option one, but otherwise those seem to be pretty much the choices right now. Most ESA owners don't seem to feel a need to replace them right away, but the issue remains as to what course of action to take when they wear out. Replacing ESA hardware with the stock components is no more cost efficient than replacing standard BMW OEM shocks with stockers, that is to say not cost/performance efficient at all. One could disable the ESA system and install Ohlins and get improved performance and rebuildability for much lower cost, or one can now (apparently) replace the stock shocks with Works replacements and have improved performance, rebuildability, and retain the ESA function. For a street rider there won't be any meaningful performance difference between Ohlins and Works. I don't know about MotoGP, Grand Prix, or whatever racing programs, or how these brands would compare under full race conditions, but that element could hardly be less related to the issue at hand.

Link to comment
Dont buy ESA= Run any shock set up you want hmmmmmm Oh yeah then you have to stop the bike, get off the bike turn a knob I see where the ESA is great I have been wondering about ESA can you make tweaks on the fly. I love my Ohlins dont think I would want to go without them as they can be so fine tuned. I never ran works so I cant speak on them but you cant beat a well set up Ohlin

 

+1

Link to comment
It looks to me there 3 viable choices at this time for an ESA bike.

Replace the stock White Power shocks. confused.gif

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by option one,

I think he means the stock shocks, which are manufactured under the trade name "White Power". An unbelievably poor combination of words for any manufacturer, as I would imagine the neo-nazi niche of riders is vanishingly small.

Link to comment

Thank you Jeff for sharing this information clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

 

I have been researching replacement options when the OEM shocks wear out. So far they are going strong at 17000 miles.

 

I find the ESA a great option considering the adjusting on the fly of the front rebound and rear compression and rebound dampening. I didn't want to give up the flexibility offered to the rider this ESA affords.

 

As for the comment about Works not being used in Moto GP, while this is probably true, Wilbers are similarly not used in Moto GP yet they are considered excellent street shocks in the opinion of many good riders. I really don't see the relevance of Moto GP equipment usage and the choices for street riding. Works has had a good reputation for many years and they rebuild what they produce. The offering of a quality, customizable, and rebuildable ESA shocks is a revelation for us ESA owners. All of this at about half the cost of replacement non rebuildable OEM units is very good news.

 

The stock WP sourced ESA shocks are much better than the Showas in the non ESA bikes. The originals on my RT are still fine, but they will wear out in time. I know who I am calling when that happens. The fact that Works is in So Cal as opposed to WP in Netherlands is another plus when service and warranty issues arise.

 

Thanks again for sharing this news

thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

I think you need to Look up WP Suspension you would find WP stands for Wlm Peters, the founder of that company in the Netherlands. This company has no connection with the White Power name another poster mentioned. In fact WP is a much respected supplier for a number of well regarded motorcycle manufacturers and is heavily involved in off road racing.

 

Most of their products are rebuildable and considered to be of high quality. Problem is the BMW sourced WP shocks are not rebuildable according to a well regarded suspension specialist I have been talking to. He can't get rebuilding manuals or parts from WP due to restriction reportedly imposed by BMW.

 

I seem to recall a company in Orange County CA that specialized in off road motor cycle accessories that was named White Power Products. I think they are no longer in business. eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

Link to comment
I think you need to Look up WP Suspension you would find WP stands for Wlm Peters, the founder of that company in the Netherlands. This company has no connection with the White Power name another poster mentioned. In fact WP is a much respected supplier for a number of well regarded motorcycle manufacturers and is heavily involved in off road racing.

 

Most of their products are rebuildable and considered to be of high quality. Problem is the BMW sourced WP shocks are not rebuildable according to a well regarded suspension specialist I have been talking to. He can't get rebuilding manuals or parts from WP due to restriction reportedly imposed by BMW.

 

I seem to recall a company in Orange County CA that specialized in off road motor cycle accessories that was named White Power Products. I think they are no longer in business. eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

 

 

From http://www.wpsuspension.com/company/history.php

Right from the beginning, the springs that were used on WP shock absorbers were white, which became the typical WP colour. There’s a nice anecdote to the circumstances that led to the "choice" that was made for this colour. In the beginning the springs were coated by a company that produced hospital beds and white was the only possible colour for them (!). Although, nowadays the coating is done by special spring coating companies, the WP shock absorbers can still easily be recognised by the white springs. The white springs also introduced the original brand name of "White Power" which we are not using actively in the market anymore since 1991.
Link to comment

I've had stock and custom shocks (supposedly setup for my weight, my passenger's weight and my riding style) on my last three bikes. I had Wilbur's on my R1100RT. They were fine when riding solo, but bottomed out riding with a passenger (maybe they needed heavier springs, but they were supposedly made for my needs) I had Ohlin's on my R1150 RT and liked them though I felt they were too firm for comfortable riding (maybe they weren't setup properly, but again they were supposed to be made for my specific weight and riding style). I ordered my R1200RT with ESA and was happy with the handling except that the ride height was too high for me to have confidence. I worked with Darrel and Pierre @ Works Performance and using my stock ESA shocks they developed their ESA replacements. The shocks are shortened to lower my ride height 1" and they are more suited to my weight. I will know more by the time I return from a month long cross-country trip. At this time, I'm very pleased with the result and can feel an appreciable difference in the three damping settings ( I believe the stock settings were all too firm for me). My only criticism is the slot on the top of the front shock shaft in place of the hex head on the WP shock. I had to chase the threads prior to installation and had a difficult time holding the shaft while trying to tighten the nut to the specified torque. Time will tell, but this seems like a good fix for me and I like the idea of Works being able to rebuild these at a reasonable cost when necessary.

Link to comment
markgoodrich
Yeah - here's what they said:

We just finished the ESA modd.The front will run you $469.00 plus $25.00 for

installation of the preloader and eyes.The rear will run you $649.00 plus

$75.00 for the installation. Yes these will be made just like we do all of our shocks.custom made for

rider weight and riding style.All we need is both of your OEM so we can use

the eyes and preloader off of them.

 

So does this mean my new R1200RT should have ESA?? smile.gif

 

Jeff, I ride two up a whole lot of the time, and also ride solo. I thought the ESA was a gimmick, but the used RT I bought came with it. I've learned to like the quick adjustment for the various types of riding I do. However, I got along just fine without ESA for decades. If I was buying a bike that would be used primarily solo OR two-up, I probably would skip the expense of the ESA.

 

[i don't know if it's ESA, or BMWs, or me, but I find the RT to be a little vague in harder cornering, no matter what the ESA setting, but I'm coming to the bike from a Goldwing (never did "harder cornering") and a couple of more precise bikes, a VFR and a CBR600 full on racer with full on race suspension. The BMW seems to be hunting for the right line when I ride with a little pressure.]

Link to comment
PhillyFlash
[i don't know if it's ESA, or BMWs, or me, but I find the RT to be a little vague in harder cornering, no matter what the ESA setting, but I'm coming to the bike from a Goldwing (never did "harder cornering") and a couple of more precise bikes, a VFR and a CBR600 full on racer with full on race suspension. The BMW seems to be hunting for the right line when I ride with a little pressure.]

 

I'd say it's the ESA. While it's a nice feature, it doesn't compare to aftermarket shocks. I've spoken to at least on person on the board who found switching from ESA to Ohlins made a world of a difference.

Link to comment
I'd say it's the ESA. While it's a nice feature, it doesn't compare to aftermarket shocks. I've spoken to at least on person on the board who found switching from ESA to Ohlins made a world of a difference.

 

From my research on this board, I'd agree:

-Everyone who had ESA loved it, as long as they never had Ohlins

-Everyone who's had Ohlins would never have anything else

 

So, that's why I'm interested in the best of both worlds - a good, custom shock with ESA adjustability on the fly - can't beat that! clap.gif

Link to comment
PhillyFlash
So, that's why I'm interested in the best of both worlds - a good, custom shock with ESA adjustability on the fly - can't beat that! clap.gif

 

And doesn't cost $2500 to rebuild/replace every year or two.

Link to comment
From my research on this board, I'd agree:

-Everyone who had ESA loved it, as long as they never had Ohlins

-Everyone who's had Ohlins would never have anything else

I would agree, as long as you use the word 'Ohlins' generically to mean any quality aftermarket shock, i.e. Ohlins, Wilbur, Works, Penske, Fox, etc. I think one would be very hard pressed to demonstrate any significant absolute performance difference between these quality brands for street use, and in many cases even on the track as well.
Link to comment
...I don't know if it's ESA, or BMWs, or me, but I find the RT to be a little vague in harder cornering, no matter what the ESA setting...

 

The stock BMW shocks and springs are awful, ESA or not. Poor rebound damping and wimpy springs. Ohlins or other decent aftermarket are the answer. There's a reason BMW offers Ohlins from the factory on the R1200S -- because the stockers stink.

Link to comment
Don_Eilenberger
Everyone who's had Ohlins would never have anything else
I would agree, as long as you use the word 'Ohlins' generically to mean any quality aftermarket shock, i.e. Ohlins, Wilbur, Works, Penske, Fox, etc. I think one would be very hard pressed to demonstrate any significant absolute performance difference between these quality brands for street use, and in many cases even on the track as well.
Having first hand experience with Works, Progressive, Ohlins, Wilbers and of course stock - I'd disagree. I had one of each on my K bike at some time or another.

 

In order of quality - and ride/handling/damping quality:

 

Low to high:

 

- Stock BMW shocks (including Boge, Showa) - they work after a fashion when new - but high-speed compression leaves something to be desired, giving a harsh feeling to sharp bumps. Low speed compression is generally OK.. but rebound tends to go away without too many miles (by 30k - it's quite noticeable.) The symptom is a floating queasy feeling on high-speed sweepers. I think this is what gave BMW's the Gummi-Kuh nickname (Rubber-Cow).

 

- Progressive Steel Tracker shock - about equal to new stock BMW shocks. Not rebuildable. Less money than new BMW shocks. A bargain-basement aftermarket shock.

 

- Works Performance - an adequate shock, unfortunately without much adjustment possible. The preload position is easy to change - but typically with increased load on the bike you also want increased rebound damping - and Works doesn't offer this AFAIK - it didn't on the several that I had. Mine seemed to need an annual rebuilding - they'd loose gas pressure. Cost for a rebuild was usually $100-150, and they always found I needed a new main shaft. I finally started rebuilding them myself (new mainshaft seal) and recharging them with a friends nitrogen kit for dirty bike shocks. My rebuilds lasted a long as the ones they did and cost about $12 for the seal. I did love their two stage spring arrangement on the K bike front ends - the crossover adjustment for soft/hard worked great even if it was a pain to initally setup (require fork disassembly to change..)

 

Have they improved since then? Dunno. Haven't owned one since then.. and then was about 6 years ago.

 

- Progressive 420 - a step up - with adjustable rebound damping. Used a PITA preload adjuster (threaded ring) - but setup properly was an improvement over stock (and IMHO - over Works.)

 

- Ohlins - a quantum step over the rest. Having both compression and rebound damping allowed one to really tune the shock for the bike, and the optional hydraulic preload adjuster also made for easy weight compensation (so you actually use it - which is why BMW has added it to the new bikes shocks..) Long life, good resale value, local dirt bike shops are very familiar with them, so easy to get rebuilt, and parts were generally identical with the dirt bike shocks - so the parts were easy go come by.

 

- Wilbers - as good as the Ohlins and then some. The high-low speed compression adjustments really DO work. It allows you to tune out harshness for fast impacts (potholes, curbs, etc) while giving excellent control for slower movements - giving a very stable and planted feeling. Most everyone I know who has tried the Wilbers has been delighted with them. I was.

 

Next on my list is HyperPro. I'm waiting for a set for the R1200R Roadster - and will report how they work.

 

Klaus is a personal friend, and considering how he was treated by Benny Wilbers - the Wilbers brand will not be on my new bike. I trust Klaus - and if he says the HyperPro are better - I believe him.

 

YMMV - and I'm sure it will. Some people never notice how the bike feels as far as suspension.. other people do. If you look at what most competition bikes are using, it's usually something along the line of Ohlins, Wilbers or Penske (which I haven't tried..)

 

Yeah - I'm a suspension weenie.. anything that increases my confidence in the bikes handling is a good thing.. gets me moving closer to the speed limit.. tongue.gif

 

I'll agree - with one minor change "Everyone who's had Ohlins would never have anything else" unless it's even a better high-end shock. It does make that much difference. I'm sure I'd be happy with the Ohlins on the Roadster - but bet I'll be even happier with the Hyperpro.

Link to comment
Works Performance - an adequate shock, unfortunately without much adjustment possible. The preload position is easy to change - but typically with increased load on the bike you also want increased rebound damping - and Works doesn't offer this AFAIK
Uh-oh... don't let my Works shocks know this... the rebound damping adjustment might disappear. wink.gif All of the Works models that cover ESA bike applications have full rebound adjustability, as do all oilhead/hexhead applications, as do most of the rest of their single-shock line for BMWs. Apparently there are exceptions for certain K-bike front shocks though.
Link to comment
Don_Eilenberger

As I noted - this was about 6 or more years ago. At that time - Works didn't have any external damping adjustments. All adjustments were done by sizing spring plates inside the shock that held ball-bearing check valves in place.

 

Just went and looked - is appears some of the oilhead shocks have a rebound damping adjustment. No sign I could see of adjustable compression damping adjustments - but perhaps I missed that?

 

While having rebound adjustment is a good thing - it's certainly not a huge step up from the stock shock for adjustability. My R1150RS shocks both had rebound damping adjustment, and the Roadster rear shock has it. It's still not the same level as having both directions adjustable.

 

Adjustable compression damping is just as important IMHO as rebound.

 

Of course the majority of people riding - probably don't have any idea of how to properly setup a shock/suspension, so perhaps adjustments are simply a frill for them. They can hope the manufacturer gets it close enough to be at least OK.

Link to comment
As I noted - this was about 6 or more years ago. At that time - Works didn't have any external damping adjustments.
The Ultrasport series (intended for the oilhead/hexhead applications, all of them, and most single-shock K-bike rears) have had externally-adjustable rebound since their inception about 11 years ago. That's when I bought mine. Have needed to have them rebuilt only once in that time period, FWIW.

 

No compression adjustment though, drat. But neither do the Ohlins for oilhead applications last time I looked. I think you have to pony up for the Wilburs and above to get that feature (although maybe this is my chance to be incorrect.)

 

For the purpose of this thread (ESA replacements) none of this matters that much though, at least until such time as Ohlins or Wilbur or anyone else besides Works offers an ESA-compatible shock.

Link to comment
ESchwab855
So, that's why I'm interested in the best of both worlds - a good, custom shock with ESA adjustability on the fly - can't beat that! clap.gif

 

And doesn't cost $2500 to rebuild/replace every year or two.

2500 what cost 2500 my ohlins cost 1100.00 new and should go 30K and 3Bills to rebuild. less if I do it myself
Link to comment

my question is , where did you and where can I buy a pair of Ohlins for $1100. The best price I have been given is $1229 + shipping.

Link to comment
ESchwab855

not to worry about where i got them the fact is I did. Same way I got a new X eleven for 380.00 when they first came out and offered them here at that price but I the wisdom of this group is we dont do group buys. ADV board just did a group buy on ohlins for GS's and saved tons. Oh yeah I have worked in the cycle biz thats how i got them cheap less markup

Link to comment
From my research on this board, I'd agree:

-Everyone who had ESA loved it, as long as they never had Ohlins

-Everyone who's had Ohlins would never have anything else

I would agree, as long as you use the word 'Ohlins' generically to mean any quality aftermarket shock, i.e. Ohlins, Wilbur, Works, Penske, Fox, etc. I think one would be very hard pressed to demonstrate any significant absolute performance difference between these quality brands for street use, and in many cases even on the track as well.

 

Like Don, I've tried a bunch on different bikes. The worst I had was a Progressive 1600 which I would rate a 1 on a 1-10 scale. Stock on my K1100RS was about a 3. Works was a 4 or 5. Fox a 7 or 8. Ohlins a 9, could be a 10 if the compression damping was a touch less progressive or had separate low and high speed compression adjusters.

 

You don't have to ride at 10/10ths to appreciate a smooth running engine with good throttle response. It's the same with suspensions. Good suspension is not just for racers, almost anybody can notice the difference and you don't have to be riding at the limit to appreciate it.

 

Dave

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

Any updates on the ESA Works conversion?? Did you get them put on?? How do they work?? Were you able to maintain all of the original ESA functions??

 

Thanks for any input,

Andy

Link to comment
Works and Ohlins have equivalent enough performance that one is essentially as good as the other. I don't know much about the Works ESA version, but if they are well executed this is a pretty exciting development... ESA adjustability in a quality rebuildable shock. If you have an ESA bike I'd definitely go with the Works.

My experience with the Works shock I installed on my K100RT is nothing like that. The triple spring concept they use in my particular shock (3 springs stacked on top of each other) is fundamentally flawed from a design concept viewpoint. The shock body had such crappy plating, it was rusting less than a year after it was installed. The resevoir hose was braided stainless but the fittings at each end were cheap zinc plated ones that also are now completely rusted. The springs are separated by plastic "go betweens" that are supposed to slide over the outside of the shock body as the shock compresses, but have the worst case of stiction I have ever seen. I have to spray oil on the OUTSIDE of the shock (!) to eliminate the jerkiness and noise when the shock is compressed. The damn things even leaked oil through a porous weld the day I got them!

 

From my point point view (that of a mechanical engineer) these are a dumb design, badly executed.

 

So, equivalent to Ohlins? I don't think so!

Link to comment
From my point point view (that of a mechanical engineer) these are a dumb design, badly executed.
Sigh. As has been noted previously the shocks for your K100 are of a totally different design as those for the oilheads. But even if you don't tire of going over this again and again I do, so... you win.
Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...