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Rear shock


mickey05

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This is my first BMW, an 07 R1200RT the question I have to ask is about the rear suspension. Are these really just crappy shocks? there is very little rebound turned all the way up or do I have a bad shock? I have taken my time to adjust it and all the adjustment is out and still have too much pogo effect for my taste. Any help will be appreciated............

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Paul Mihalka

Depends what you mean by "adjustment is out". Just in case, for increased damping you turn the adjuster screw clock-wise.

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Oh,

I weigh 240 with gear. I asked the Ohlins rep to set my new shocks up for a firm ride. Bike is way more composed now compared to stock. The stock suspension was set up real soft and had a nice ride on the highway though.

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russell_bynum
Increased all the way in, no ESA and the bike is new. This might work better for a 180lb rider not someone thats 220lb.

 

The quality of the stock shocks is not very good.

 

AND (probably more importantly in this case), they are not sprung for a rider of your weight.

 

What's happening right now...you've had to max out the preload, and the damping can't cope with that. Even if you were within the design weight of the stock shocks, the damping isn't particularly good.

 

Get some Ohlins, Works, etc on there. Get them custom built for your weight range (you +/- luggage, passenger, etc) and riding style. Spend some time methodically getting it all setup.

 

You'll be very pleased with the results.

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russell_bynum
So how much better are the shocks on the bikes equipped with ESA?Are they up to handling a 200lb rider plus some gear?

 

They're not any better. They just let you perform the adjustments on the fly electronically.

 

The spring will still be too soft, and the damping is not as good as you'll get from good aftermarket units.

 

By the way...if ESA is something you've just got to have (or if your bike has it), Works Performance will take the ESA bits off of your stock ESA shocks, build you a set of custom shocks, and install the ESA bits. That would give you the quality and the "made to order" features of aftermarket shocks, with the ability to adjust them on the fly.

 

Personally...I'd just go with normal aftermarket shocks and forget about ESA, but that's just me. If ESA is important to you but you want good shocks anyway, Works Performance can make that happen.

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CoarsegoldKid

I think ESA shocks are fine for my riding with or without wife on back. You see I'm more of a sedate rider than most. Read slower, very little high speed riding. I wear out the sides quicker than the centers of my tires for some reason. Probably has something to do with the roads around here. Very twisty! clap.gif

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I think ESA shocks are fine for my riding with or without wife on back. You see I'm more of a sedate rider than most. Read slower, very little high speed riding. I wear out the sides quicker than the centers of my tires for some reason. Probably has something to do with the roads around here. Very twisty! clap.gif

 

I think you'd find that quality shocks are just as beneficial to the "sedate" rider as to the speedboys -- but they'd be even more beneficial to you since you spend lots of time on the edges of your tires. It's all about feeling "planted" with well-controlled damping at any load or cornering angle on any surface that makes good shocks so important.

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Thanks for the info. Fish oil filled junk shocks make the riding world go around. I guess thats why I will only buy a KTM or a Husqvarna for off road riding (good components). man I cant remember the last time I had to dump so much cash into a new bike. Bar risers, foot peg lowering kit, wind screen, and lets not forget the seat that makes you become best friends with your chiropractor and now suspension. It will get there sooner or later unless it starts to be an irritant then down the road she goes.

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Mickey:

 

I've got an '05 RT with non ESAs. I felt that the front shock was way too strong while the rear was a bit too floppy. I bought a Wilbers setup and it's better. If I were doing it over, I'd get Ohlins. I had them on my last two bikes and they were controlled yet more comfortable. I like that.

 

Know that my rear shock is a Sachs unit. It's possible that the shock or the shock internal damping settings have been changed by BMW since '05. It doesn't sound like it, but it's possible so take all this with a grain of salt.

 

The stock rear shock is not really bad if you set it right. I disagree that the rear spring is wimpy on it. It's actually quite strong and capable of supporting 2-up riding pretty well. A 220 lb rider should be no problem for it.

 

The reason I was getting a bouncy ride in back is because I had too much rear preload. I imagine you have the spring set 3/4 or more to the high side. Try this:

 

Leave the damper turned all the way clockwise.

 

Where ever you have the pre-load set, turn it one full turn counterclockwise and ride the bike. If it seems a little better, try another turn.

 

Eventually it will get harsh feeling, you don't want that.

 

I like the preload set just below where the bike starts bouncy. It's the most comfortable yet controlled in that spot. For me it's about 1/2 preload. "Normal"

 

One turn is a lot. Once you get close, turn it by 1/2 turns etc. The sweet spot is only maybe 1/2 turn from one end to the other. You're balancing available damping against spring preload. Because damping is limited, you just adjust the preload to fit the damping. At 220, you won't bottom this shock.

 

FYI: If you do change shocks, be sure to use a torque wrench on the lower support bolt. You can mess up the aluminum casting if you over-tighten this bolt. Ask me how I know.

 

-TB

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russell_bynum

The stock rear shock is not really bad if you set it right. I disagree that the rear spring is wimpy on it. It's actually quite strong and capable of supporting 2-up riding pretty well. A 220 lb rider should be no problem for it.

 

How did you arrive at that conclusion?

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I don't think there's anything wrong with the stock shock. I don't doubt that a Ohlins is better... otherwise they'd be out of business. It's better than most OEM shocks I've had. It seems much better than the shock on my ZX9R or F4i.

 

If anything the spring rate is too stiff for just a solo rider. Additonally wiht a OEM shock, you have ot find a compromise between performance, cost and comfort. Only a high performance shock with very expensive coating, tolerances, and high dollar valving can reach that compromise betwwen ride and handling similar to a $50k+ luxury sports sedan. I think the RT's shocks come close to meeting that compromise.

 

This is a 630lb touring bike, not a 400lb sportbike. I ride on the "comfort" setting on my ESA 90% of the time.. for ...well... comfort. It's a little floaty sometimes, but I don't ride too aggressively and at a 8/10ths pace, a smooth rider can compensate for too little dempening. If it's smooth pavement and I'm comfortable pushing it, I'll go to "sport mode".

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russell_bynum

It's better than most OEM shocks I've had. It seems much better than the shock on my ZX9R or F4i.

 

It doesn't even come close to the shock in my CBR600RR. The spring in both of them is too soft for my weight, but the CBR's still works considerably better...and you get adjustable compression damping instead of just preload and rebound.

 

If anything the spring rate is too stiff for just a solo rider.

 

How do you figure that? With my R1100RT, the stock spring was too soft for me (210lbs). I say that because when I got the rider sag set correctly, the static sag was way too small. 2-up, we couldn't even get the rider sag right.

 

 

Only a high performance shock with very expensive coating, tolerances, and high dollar valving can reach that compromise betwwen ride and handling similar to a $50k+ luxury sports sedan. I think the RT's shocks come close to meeting that compromise.

 

This is a 630lb touring bike, not a 400lb sportbike.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a BMW RT supposed to be the 2-wheeled equivalent of a high-end luxury sport sedan? And therefore, shouldn't it have the sort of suspension you'd expect on a vehicle of it's caliber?

 

It isn't like people buy RT's to save money. BMW is supposed to be a premium brand...with premium components...to justify the premium price.

 

I ride on the "comfort" setting on my ESA 90% of the time.. for ...well... comfort. It's a little floaty sometimes,

 

Personally, I don't find "floaty" to be comfortable at all.

 

but I don't ride too aggressively and at a 8/10thspace,

 

I suppose you never have to swerve agressively either?

 

 

a smooth rider can compensate for too little dempening.

 

Absolutely.

 

But when you're paying what people pay for a BMW, should you have to change your riding style to work around inferior components?

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1) BMW isn't going to improve the shock. In their opinions it's the optimum compromise for performance comfort and PRICE.

 

2) It meets my expectations. It works OK for me, for the amount of options, features, fit & finish and quality of matierals (have you seen the dash on a ST1300?). You can SEE where Honda trimmed the budget) the price is reasonable when you compare other bikes on the market.

 

3) Feel free to call the shock a POS, throw it away and spend $1500 + installation (including removing ESA from the computer if you have it) on a set of Ohlins. I don't doubt it will make the bike handle better and offer a plush ride.

 

I will admit I haven't bothered ot measure sage on my bike... but I also haven't had problems with it bottoming or topping out. I figure it's pointless because I only have 3 preload adjustments anyway. Off hand, it feels a little stiff when I'm riding solo, but maybe I've gotten used to soft springs on my bikes and I'm only 175lbs, and my wife is about 135. (shes really 140... but don't tell anyone).

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... wiht a OEM shock, you have ot find a compromise between performance, cost and comfort.

 

ESA costs $800 extra and does not provide as much comfort as a true performance shock like Ohlins or Wilburs over all types of terrain. Ohlins from the BMW factory cost $690 on the R1200S.

 

This is a 630lb touring bike, not a 400lb sportbike. I ride on the "comfort" setting on my ESA 90% of the time.. for ...well... comfort. It's a little floaty sometimes, but I don't ride too aggressively and at a 8/10ths pace, a smooth rider can compensate for too little dempening. If it's smooth pavement and I'm comfortable pushing it, I'll go to "sport mode".

 

The RT is 505 lbs dry, the R1200S is 419, but you can get Ohlins from the factory on the S. If BMW can offer ESA for $800 on the RT, which is basically push-button powered preload adjustment of mediocre shocks, why can't they offer factory Ohlins on the RT for $690 like on the R1200S?

 

The advantage of Ohlins is that they are simultaneously on both "sport" mode and "comfort" mode at all times. My Ohlins are far more comfortable on the highway without being "floaty" than my ESA was. True comfort is being planted on the road without the frame shuddering when hitting bad pavement, yet a moment later taking swift curves without wallowing -- no adjustment necessary.

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... wiht a OEM shock, you have ot find a compromise between performance, cost and comfort.

 

ESA costs $800 extra and does not provide as much comfort as a true performance shock like Ohlins or Wilburs over all types of terrain. Ohlins from the BMW factory cost $690 on the R1200S.

 

This is a 630lb touring bike, not a 400lb sportbike. I ride on the "comfort" setting on my ESA 90% of the time.. for ...well... comfort. It's a little floaty sometimes, but I don't ride too aggressively and at a 8/10ths pace, a smooth rider can compensate for too little dempening. If it's smooth pavement and I'm comfortable pushing it, I'll go to "sport mode".

 

The RT is 505 lbs dry, the R1200S is 419, but you can get Ohlins from the factory on the S. If BMW can offer ESA for $800 on the RT, which is basically push-button powered preload adjustment of mediocre shocks, why can't they offer factory Ohlins on the RT for $690 like on the R1200S?

 

The advantage of Ohlins is that they are simultaneously on both "sport" mode and "comfort" mode at all times. My Ohlins are far more comfortable on the highway without being "floaty" than my ESA was. True comfort is being planted on the road without the frame shuddering when hitting bad pavement, yet a moment later taking swift curves without wallowing -- no adjustment necessary.

 

Did you have the ESA disabled at the dealer? Or does a warning light stay on? Or nothing happens if it's disconnected from the CanBus network?

 

I will likely get a set of Ohlins when my shocks wear out. I now realize that I was a complete retard for getting ESA... but I would be a fool to toss away a brand new shock that I already wasted $800 on. I'll never get approval from the wife for that. I had a hard enough time getting $200 for a windscreen... and it took some real convincing to get $19k for the bike.

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russell_bynum

I will admit I haven't bothered ot measure sage on my bike...

 

If you haven't measured sag then you don't have any idea if the spring is appropriate for your weight range.

 

but I also haven't had problems with it bottoming or topping out.

 

That doesn't necessarily mean anything. as you said, riding style can go a long way towards minimizing suspension travel to compensate for the wrong spring rate and/or poor damping.

 

I figure it's pointless because I only have 3 preload adjustments anyway.

 

<Insert #4 from my list of reasons ESA sucks here: Adjustment is not granular enough.>

 

Off hand, it feels a little stiff when I'm riding solo, but maybe I've gotten used to soft springs on my bikes and I'm only 175lbs, and my wife is about 135. (shes really 140... but don't tell anyone).

 

Well, you're a good 35lbs lighter than me (and 45lbs lighter than the OP.) The spring may or may not be too stoft/stiff for you (you don't know until you measure sag) but even if it is right for you, that doesn't mean it will be right for someone who weighs 45lbs more than you.

 

I haven't measured sag on an R1200, but I know for a fact that the spring on my 1100 was a little too soft for solo and way too soft for 2-up. And lest anyone think I'm just bashing BMW's shocks...spring rate has nothing to do with the quality of the shock. I could ride Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP bike with it's suspension that probably costs more than my house...the suspension wouldn't work worth a sh*t because the spring rate would be wrong because I have socks that weigh more than Casey does. smirk.gif

 

IMO, the damping on the BMW shocks is also not up to par with the good aftermarket units, but first thing's first...get the spring rate right. Until you have the right spring, all you can do is use damping to try to compensate. (and since the damping on the stock BMW shocks isn't that good....)

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Has anybody heard if Ohlins or Wilbers are planning to produce an ESA compatible replacement shock? I think push button adjustement is awesome and very useful for a touring bike that undergoes huge variations in weight and riding conditions. Can't they design a shock that uses the BMW ESA motor to adjust dampening and preload?

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russell_bynum
Has anybody heard if Ohlins or Wilbers are planning to produce an ESA compatible replacement shock? I think push button adjustement is awesome and very useful for a touring bike that undergoes huge variations in weight and riding conditions. Can't they design a shock that uses the BMW ESA motor to adjust dampening and preload?

 

See my earlier post in this topic.

 

Works Performance will take your ESA shocks, remove the electronic adjusters, and fit them to a set of custom-built Works Performance Shocks. The result would be:

 

1. The correct spring rate for your weight

2. Shocks custom-built for your riding style/conditions

3. High quality shocks that work much better than the stock ESA shocks

4. Shocks that are rebuildable

5. You would retain the electronic adjustablility.

 

Personally...I wouldn't want to lose the granular control that you get with normal (non-aftermarket) shocks, but if that's worth it to you to be able to quickly adjust for changing loads (there's really not much reason to adjust for changing conditions since a good shock will work well across a broad range of conditions) then give Works a call.

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Russell,

 

Man, I gotta agree with nearly everything you say. I said "nearly" because there musta been something you said I don't agree with somewhere about suspension. I just haven't found it, yet. lmao.gif

 

Here's my anecdotal take on the suspension issue. There are two types of riders, those that don't rider aggressively enough to explore the limitations of their suspension and those that are happily ignorant about how suspension should function. What kills me is how indignant the less aggressive or knowledgeable riders become defending BMW. I don't understand why everybody who thinks their suspension is wonderful needs me to think the same way. I enjoy riding my RT, but know I would enjoy it more with better suspension action.

 

I had an older 1100 RT and can speak with some authority that its suspension was junk; softly sprung in the back, way soft in the front and damping better suited to...to...heck I can't think of anything. Aftermarket shocks cured those problems.

 

I gambled and bought the ESA option on my new RT. I'm happy and sad at the same time about my choice. No doubt about it, the suspension is badly set up for all-out riding. I'd never take this bike to a track day as others have. There's way too much wheel patter at full tilt boogie - besides it's kind of a touring bike.

 

I don't think all is lost, though. I lookked long and hard at the suspension before I bought the bike. I'm nearly convinced the shocks can be taken apart and revalved. I'm just gonna wait till I'm out of the 25K mile suspension warranty (is that the right mileage) before I tinker. I keep waiting for my dealer to take in some blown ESA units, but no luck so far. I'm pretty sure we ESA'ers could have our cake and eat it to with a little perseverance.

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Has anybody heard if Ohlins or Wilbers are planning to produce an ESA compatible replacement shock? I think push button adjustement is awesome and very useful for a touring bike that undergoes huge variations in weight and riding conditions. Can't they design a shock that uses the BMW ESA motor to adjust dampening and preload?

 

See my earlier post in this topic.

 

Works Performance will take your ESA shocks, remove the electronic adjusters, and fit them to a set of custom-built Works Performance Shocks. The result would be:

 

1. The correct spring rate for your weight

2. Shocks custom-built for your riding style/conditions

3. High quality shocks that work much better than the stock ESA shocks

4. Shocks that are rebuildable

5. You would retain the electronic adjustablility.

 

Personally...I wouldn't want to lose the granular control that you get with normal (non-aftermarket) shocks, but if that's worth it to you to be able to quickly adjust for changing loads (there's really not much reason to adjust for changing conditions since a good shock will work well across a broad range of conditions) then give Works a call.

 

I must have missed this... sounds liek a good compromise. Cool! I'll still wait until 10,000 miles... then tell my wife the shocks are worn out and MUST be replaced... and go this route.

 

3 settings for preload isn't too bad, but I think about 8 settings would be perfectl... that were identified by a percentage of weight capacity starting at about 30% and increasing by 10% each.

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russell_bynum

I gambled and bought the ESA option on my new RT. I'm happy and sad at the same time about my choice. No doubt about it, the suspension is badly set up for all-out riding. I'd never take this bike to a track day as others have. There's way too much wheel patter at full tilt boogie - besides it's kind of a touring bike.

 

Absolutely. But I don't buy the idea that only agressive riders can benefit from good suspension. Personally, I just really like the smooth, controlled ride I get from good aftermarket shocks. It isn't about track days and flat-out riding, it's about control. Hitting a bump on the freeway and feeling the shock efficiently absorb the bump instead of jarring my teeth out or floating/wallowing over it. It's about making steering corrections mid-turn to deal with an oncomming vehicle who's strayed a bit into my lane and having the bike swoop to the new line with no drama at all. Yeah...when you start pushing, you REALLY get the benefit from good shocks (Though it's quite possible to be fast on crappy worn-out stock shocks...I know at least 2 guys who'd ride circles around me no matter what shocks I had and they were both on worn-out stock shocks.) but I enjoy the improved ride and control at a more sedate pace as well.

 

I feel the same about cars, btw. The difference in the 65mph freeway ride between Lisa's 5-series and a Toyota Camry is quite noticable. When you start to push, the Camry comes apart and the BMW thrives, but you feel the difference even before that.

 

One thing I think is a really common problem that we encounter here...a large number of RT buyers don't really have much recent experience. That's not to say that everyone is like that, but that's just BMW's demographic for bikes like the RT...you get returning riders. People who rode bikes back in the 70's and early 80's then gave it up for 20-30 years to have a family.

 

Now they're back. Maybe their last experience was on a CB750 or something like that. Maybe they re-entered the sport on a cruiser or a cheap entry-level bike (which I think is a good idea, btw). But one thing that seems to be fairly constant is that VERY few of the people who rave about BMW's stock suspension (including ESA) actually have any recent experience with good aftermarket shocks. They love the stock suspension because they don't know any better.

 

I certainly fit into that category, btw. I started street riding with a Suzuki Bandit (terrible suspension). When I bought my RT, I thought I was in heaven. Yeah, it would wallow a bit when I really pushed it, and you needed to adjust things to stiffen it up before you got into the twisties, then back it off before you get back to the freeway, but I figured that's just how suspension was.

 

When my stock shocks wore out, I replaced them with Works Performance shocks...mostly because they're rebuildable so in the long run it would be cheaper to use aftermarket shocks.

 

I expected a modest increase in suspension performance and feel, but not really anything to write home about.

 

I was freaking blown away.

 

First of all...having the right spring on there, and having the valving customized for my weight and riding style was huge. And the shocks just freaking worked. I couldn't MAKE the bike bottom out, even if I threw it hard into a turn while 2-up. I did get it to wallow...but that was on a bumpy sweeper 2-up at about 115mph. And it only wallowed a tiny little bit. grin.gif

 

In the case of the OP on this thread, the spring is too soft for his weight. The very best shocks (which BMW's stock shocks are not) will never perform to their potential with the wrong spring.

 

I don't think all is lost, though. I lookked long and hard at the suspension before I bought the bike. I'm nearly convinced the shocks can be taken apart and revalved. I'm just gonna wait till I'm out of the 25K mile suspension warranty (is that the right mileage) before I tinker. I keep waiting for my dealer to take in some blown ESA units, but no luck so far. I'm pretty sure we ESA'ers could have our cake and eat it to with a little perseverance.

 

Welll...like I said, Works is now offering a service to put ESA adjusters on their shocks. Personally, I think that's the best way to go. I have a feeling that even if you found a suspension guru who could/would revalve and re-spring the ESA shocks, you'd probably wind up not too much cheaper than getting Works shocks. Looking at the stock shocks and ANY good aftermarket shocks side by side will show a fairly substantial difference in quality.

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russell_bynum

3 settings for preload isn't too bad, but I think about 8 settings would be perfectl... that were identified by a percentage of weight capacity starting at about 30% and increasing by 10% each.

 

FWIW...the Works rear shock I have uses their "ARS", which is basically a soft spring and a stiffer spring stacked on top of each other, with an indexed cup at the bottom that you could rotate to one of three positions to determine how far the soft spring could compress. Once the soft spring bottomed out against the indexed cup, you'd start compressing the stiffer spring. It's sort of like having progressive-rate springs, but being able to adjust the rate.

 

It was a compromise (everything with suspension is a compromise), but IMO it worked pretty well.

 

They set the three positions on the indexed cup based on what I told them about my weight range. I had them set:

1. Solo

2. Solo with luggage

3. 2-up with luggage

 

And I gave them the specific weight of myself, my passenger, and a full load of luggage.

 

The result was very good.

 

So...I believe that IF Works can customize where those three preload positions are, then three could be fine. If they can't customize those settings (I don't know if they can or not with the ESA retrofit) then it's more of a crap shoot. (But still better than stock.)

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One thing I think is a really common problem that we encounter here...a large number of RT buyers don't really have much recent experience. That's not to say that everyone is like that, but that's just BMW's demographic for bikes like the RT...you get returning riders. People who rode bikes back in the 70's and early 80's then gave it up for 20-30 years to have a family.

 

Now they're back. Maybe their last experience was on a CB750 or something like that. Maybe they re-entered the sport on a cruiser or a cheap entry-level bike (which I think is a good idea, btw). But one thing that seems to be fairly constant is that VERY few of the people who rave about BMW's stock suspension (including ESA) actually have any recent experience with good aftermarket shocks. They love the stock suspension because they don't know any better.

 

[...] Looking at the stock shocks and ANY good aftermarket shocks side by side will show a fairly substantial difference in quality.

You're hit at least one nail squarely on the head with your comment about BMW demographics. I too am a returning "boomer". However, I have a couple of good-handling bikes in my past so I have at least a vague memory of that grin.gif.

 

I have tried to be as egoless as I can as I ease back into 2-wheeled bliss. I am putting as many miles as possible on my new RT and have scheduled a session at a local MSF ERC. In time, I will become entitled to an opinion about the strengths and weaknesses of my ride. Then, and only then, will I be in a position to choose whether or not to customize.

 

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis.

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The difference in the 65mph freeway ride between Lisa's 5-series and a Toyota Camry is quite noticable. When you start to push, the Camry comes apart and the BMW thrives, but you feel the difference even before that.

 

When have you ever driven my 5-series as slow as 65 on the freeway? grin.gifdopeslap.gif

 

[/hijack]

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russell_bynum
When have you ever driven my 5-series as slow as 65 on the freeway? grin.gifdopeslap.gif

 

[/hijack]

 

That one time...when we were behind a cop.

 

 

thumbsup.gif

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"Absolutely. But I don't buy the idea that only aggressive riders can benefit from good suspension."

 

You are absolutely right!!!! I was being lazy in my explanation for requiring a suspension upgrade because of aggressiveness. I think everyone can benefit from the superior control offered by proper functioning units. It just seems to me it's much harder to convince someone who is already happy with things to see a need for change without hurting their feelings.

 

I also think ESA'ers don't necessarily have to buy new components to get an improvement. I called Works and they apparently reuse both the electronic preloader AND the damping needle adjusters. I'm awaiting a call back from their engineer as I type this. My plan is to be my own suspension guru and upgrade/adjust the stockers as much as possible. I've been rebuilding/revalving suspension for years. It's what I do for giggles.

 

"I know at least 2 guys who'd ride circles around me no matter what shocks I had and they were both on worn-out stock shocks, but I enjoy the improved ride and control at a more sedate pace as well."

 

Which makes you the best advocate of all!

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russell_bynum
My plan is to be my own suspension guru and upgrade/adjust the stockers as much as possible. I've been rebuilding/revalving suspension for years. It's what I do for giggles.

 

Ah...cool.

 

In that case, I'd be really interested to hear your results.

 

<hijack>Is that you in your avatar gettin' down with your bad self motard-style? The SuperMotard thing looks insanely fun, but I'm not ready to give up my CBR600RR track bike yet and I can't justify a dedicated motard. I'm thinking motard hoops with a big front brake rotor might be a fun addition to my DRZ400 dualsport, though. grin.gif </hijack>

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Holy Crap did this go way south. Bottom line the shock sucks! I went full soft and worked my way up slowly. I found a spot that is not bad but when I pushed it the nice lack of dampening effect I do not desire comes to rear its ugly head. Anyone out there that thinks the spring rate and weight of rider is not an issue is selling them self's short by a long long mile. Every Enduro bike I have owned the first thing to be changed were the springs in the forks and one on the rear shock as well as valving. With out these changes the stock shock (front&back) springs when the sage is set with my weight will blow through the stroke in a heartbeat and in the woods after the first 10 miles you will know the change is needed. I just wanted someone who might have some insight to help me with my question not start a shock argument.I bought my RT to run the piss out of it and have fun! If I wanted to tour very slowly I would have kept my HD Street Glide. It was evil and you want to talk about dismal suspension? I can hit the same corners I did on it at 60 mph hanging on for dear life at 85 to 90 on my RT just starting to push it. It is a very good platform for Touring but in large it cannot fit every rider's needs or comfort levels. It is just a shame the suspension components are not a better grade or able to rebuild them. So Please Take no offense to this but lets put this to pasture. I just need more thats it!

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In that case, I'd be really interested to hear your results.

 

I'd be glad to post my results when I get past the "suspension" warranty or when I just can't stand the stockers any longer and have to do shock surgery. Spoke with the Works engineer today and I'm encouraged by his ESA transplant stuff. I didn't think much of Works years ago, but I got a good feeling about his approach to the ESA connundrum.

 

<hijack>Is that you in your avatar gettin' down with your bad self motard-style? The SuperMotard thing looks insanely fun, but I'm not ready to give up my CBR600RR track bike yet and I can't justify a dedicated motard. I'm thinking motard hoops with a big front brake rotor might be a fun addition to my DRZ400 dualsport, though. grin.gif </hijack>

 

Yep. That's me a couple of years back. Now it seems middle age is trying to slow me down some. Don't get me wrong, I still try, but maybe I'm trying a little bit more cautiously these days. Last bike I had at Streets was the KTM 950 a few months back. Surprised a few folks that day. thumbsup.gif

 

The bike in the Avatar was a friend's DRZ set up just the way you're talking. Damned good fun. On some tracks you could beat yourself (can I say that here?) on your CBR; Streets comes to mind. When I get the jing, I'd like to fix up my old ATK for some motard action, too.

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Holy Crap did this go way south. Bottom line the shock sucks!.......... I just need more thats it!

 

Now that's succinct discontent! Now why didn't I think of voicing myself the same way? Hmm. I mean, I paid $800 for ESA shocks that don't work right. Now I gotta shell out more for Ohlins? Not if I can help it. I think you should buy new shocks right away because nothing else will improve a Showa suspended bike, ESA WP's bikes maybe, but not Showa ones. I feel your pain, one bump at a time. lmao.gif

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russell_bynum

The bike in the Avatar was a friend's DRZ set up just the way you're talking. Damned good fun. On some tracks you could beat yourself (can I say that here?) on your CBR; Streets comes to mind. When I get the jing, I'd like to fix up my old ATK for some motard action, too.

 

A couple of years ago, I was at Streets and there were a couple of guys on Kawi MX bikes done up as Motards. Those two lunatics were running around sideways, doing wheelies out of the corners, and making me feel like I was riding a 50cc Scooter at a MotoGP race. grin.gif

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Did you have the ESA disabled at the dealer? Or does a warning light stay on? Or nothing happens if it's disconnected from the CanBus network?

 

When I installed Ohlins on my used RT there was no issue of disabling ESA, no warning light, and no CanBus problem. I suppose if a dealer ran a diagnostic, the lack of ESA shocks would show up. I'm keeping my 1500mi ESA shocks so I can put them back on when I sell the bike. I'll move the Ohlins to the next RT I buy... maybe an '08, if they make a black one.

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Did you have the ESA disabled at the dealer? Or does a warning light stay on? Or nothing happens if it's disconnected from the CanBus network?

 

When I installed Ohlins on my used RT there was no issue of disabling ESA, no warning light, and no CanBus problem. I suppose if a dealer ran a diagnostic, the lack of ESA shocks would show up. I'm keeping my 1500mi ESA shocks so I can put them back on when I sell the bike. I'll move the Ohlins to the next RT I buy... maybe an '08, if they make a black one.

 

Just for Sh*** and Grins do you change the ESA Mode to match you're riding style on a particular road. It might give you that mental edge. thumbsup.gifdopeslap.gif

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Just for Sh*** and Grins do you change the ESA Mode to match you're riding style on a particular road. It might give you that mental edge. thumbsup.gifdopeslap.gif

 

My mental edge went long ago. I do play with the ESA switch occasionally just to keep it exercised, even though the display is lying to me when I do. wink.gif

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You could test the quality of your BMW service department the next time your in for regular service and tell them the ESA isn't working. Get a stop watch, if it takes them more than 2 minutes to find the "problem", it's time for a new dealer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I rode a friend's Gold Wing and read the forums. Before I ever rode my new bike, I had the dealer install Traxxion Dynamics front forks and rear shock/spring (like on my RT). The bike handles well because of the modern suspension, not the 1950s vintage Honda OEM system.

 

I will call Ohlin Monday and order the proper shocks for the RT, which I have yet to ride. I am not BMW's standard German rider. I am at 215# shower weight and about 230# with the Kevlar on. Plus I am about 5'6' with a 29" inseam, so I am at the limits for reach when stopped. I have modified suspension on both H-D and the Gold Wing and am glad I did. This, and other BMW forums, have provided the information to make the correct suspension decision, for me.

 

Thanks for all the input.

 

YMMV

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The stock rear shock is not really bad if you set it right. I disagree that the rear spring is wimpy on it. It's actually quite strong and capable of supporting 2-up riding pretty well. A 220 lb rider should be no problem for it.

 

How did you arrive at that conclusion?

 

Russel: I don't have ESA. The stock non-ESA Sachs shock is pretty good if you don't set the spring too high. If you do, the rebound damping isn't enough for the spring and you get that see-saw thing. Not enough spring and the ride is too harsh. Remember that the shock is what makes the ride harsh, not the spring.

 

I weigh 190. I just set the damping up to 1/4 from full on and adjust the spring until it all feels just right. If I weighed 220, I'd just set the damping 1/8th turn stiffer and adjust the spring a little higher. You can't do that with ESA.

 

-TB

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