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Works ESA Shocks


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I am about to replace the OEM shocks on my ESA equipped 2006 RT. After 36000 miles their dampening is worn and the handling is compromised. I liked them when they were fresh. They are not re-buildable due to an agreement between BMW and WP who supplied them. Replacement is way expensive, over $2400.00.

I have been researching premium shocks from Ohlins, Wilburs, and Hyper Pro. All appear to be excellent choices and re-buildable. None have the ESA functionality.

Works Performance offers a custom shock set using a street tracker front and Ultra sports rear that functions with the ESA using the actuators from the original shocks. These are re-buildable shocks so this is a long term decision.

I am looking for owner experience with the Works ESA as far as quality of build, ride and handling. I know many have replaced ESA systems with non-ESA shocks and understand that option. I am looking for feedback from anyone who purchased the Works ESA. All of these shock packages are very close in cost. I wouldn’t want to pay Ohlins prices to find the Works are not in the same league.


Thanks for your input.



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Here's a good thread on the subject:




I have about 15K miles on the WP ESA shocks and have been content with the decision. The installation was straight forward although the front requires removal of lots hardware. I used these threads to help with install:






I have never used Ohlins, so can't speak to the difference.


Oh, I did have trouble getting the shocks from WP due to parts inventory. They told me they had parts but were missing something that held up fabrication. Nice folks and we worked it out. My install was plug and play...no problems with adjusting the ESA through normal control.


Hope this helps. Perfect time to be thinking about this purchase because you must send in your shocks to build in ESA compatibility.

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Thanks for the quick and thoughtful reply. You answered exactly what I was concerned about. The fact you now have 15000 Mi and still like them is good news. I appreciate the links, they were right on topic too.


Did your shocks come properly setup in terms of your weight and riding style?


I figure I will be sending in the OEM shocks in January so I can enjoy them this summer. I have several big rides planned.



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As far as setup, I had to adjust the preload on the rear.


I would check with them regarding parts availability and fabrication readiness before you send them your old shocks. This is common practice and they will understand.


By the way, I had about 45K miles on my bike before the change and probably waited a few k too long. Sounds like your on the right track regarding milage for the replacement. Good luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance.



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From what I have come to understand with just having the rear shock replaced under warranty, the shock needs to be calibrated when replaced.


How is this accomplished on an aftermarket shock?

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This might be true on a new replacement, but using the old actuators I might slide by simply reconnecting. I will ask Works not to change the pre-load position from the setting I send in. I have talked to several riders that had a plug and play experience with the works ESA set-up. Worse come to worse I will have the BMW Dealer do a calibration.


Thanks for the heads up.

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