Jump to content

Speaking of Ohlins...


Recommended Posts

It's time for new shocks. My '00 R11RT has the OEM's with 57k. I ride like an old lady: fast in a semi-straight line and very technical in the twisties (no dragging parts, sparks flying, etc), hardly ever 2-up and low luggage weight (I'm 210). The $$ isn't an issue, but will my style benefit from Ohlins vs. OEM shocks? I know that Ohlins are the gold standard, but will I benefit from the increased performance and price compared to OEM's?

I know that other aftermarket shocks have their fans and detractors, like oil and tires, but I am somewhat familiar with Ohlins, so that is what I am curious about. Of course, any suggestions are welcome...

Link to comment
Jerry Duke

+1 with Selden. But if you don't get them setup for you and your riding style, they aren't any better than stock. Buying the Ohlins without the fine tuning is almost a waste of money.

Link to comment

I guess you need to ask youself how long you plan on owning the bike. Ohline are pricey, but they can be rebuilt, which saves tons of money over time.



Link to comment

Wilbers can also be rebuilt (ie: Ted Porter's BM'R shop)..be prepared to wait though, Ted's a busy boy.


The rear I purchased in '09, rode for about 8M in '10, noticed seal leak late '10. Sent back to Ted in late '10, kinda had to "pester" for him to get it repaired. (Front has been OK).


It's reinstalled, and hopefully will be fine with the rebuild. Perhaps the Germans used a Chinese seal? Will have to see how it goes, and if the rebuild holds.

Link to comment

Waste of money, IMO. If you're the fastest guy in the intermediate group at your local track you may need to be thinking about aftermarket suspension parts. Short of that, the stockers are fine. I would start looking around for a lightly used set of OEMs.


OTOH, lightly used OEMs are getting kinda hard to find. That may force you to the aftermarket.

Link to comment

I just pulled my Works Performance Suspension off of my 1100RT if you are thinking about buying something used. They have about 30k miles on them, but are still 10x better than the worn out stockers they replaced. I do ride pretty aggressively at times, but I think the biggest daily difference is how the front end soaks up bumps and uneven pavement. The bike stays much more planted in corners. With the stockers I used to get bump steer with the front and the back would overly compress when leaned over in a tight corner. It really made for some unnerving handling at times. They were set up from the Works factory with their heavy spring for me, and I'm about 230. If you're interested just shoot me a PM. If not, I'm going to throw them up on the classifieds here in the next day or so.

Link to comment
Öhlins are only as good as their settings


I put Ohlins on my 02RT about 2 years ago and they were a big change from stock. Never thought that they were a gift from the gods but thought they were good. At the MOA Rally in Redmond last year, I went by the Ohlins booth and asked about tweaking the settings. They had two guys work with me and changed all of my setup. The front shock damping was two clicks away from fully closed. No wonder the front end felt stiff. The bike felt so different after that. Setup is critical!

Link to comment

Well, I am planning on keeping the bike until it completely dies, or until it becomes too expensive to repair. I luv this RT! I have never been to a track day, so I don't have the skills to ride like the big guys do. But, I do recognize good stuff and if it makes Kate ride better, then I'm for it. Stock shocks are good if they last like these have. I just wonder if I would recognize the benefit from the expense over factory parts. I bought my RT new in 2000 and have ridden it all over the country, all solo with a little bit of luggage (I'm trying the minimalist approach to motopacking). I'm not cheap, but neither do I want to throw money at it hoping that Ohlins will fix any woes.

Link to comment
Clive Liddell

Hi Mitch,


The original equipment on our bikes is designed to cope with a large variation in loads and IMO does so rather well.


When you get specialised shocks, for example, they will be optimally tuned for the exact use you will be making of the bike so they will give very good performance at around that parameter. Load up your bags, top case and tank bag add a heavy passenger and you may need firmer springs for example.


If your shocks are not leaking and giving you an acceptible ride then IMO why change?

Link to comment

Just about to install a set of Ohlins on my 2000 R11RT, but as we looked at the shocks today we noticed that the spanner doesn't "exactly" fit the notches in the adjusting wheel on the front shock. In other words, if you hook either end of the wrench into one of the detents in the wheel, the hook on the other end of the wrench doesn't quite reach to the nearest detent. What up?

Link to comment

Your sig says you live in Lawrenceville, GA. Go talk with the folks at RPM of Georgia, who are only a few miles from you:


5185 Browns Bridge Rd

Cumming, GA 30041



Having access to a good suspension specialist is probably more important than the specific brand of shocks.

Link to comment

I will say when I dial my Ohlin shocks for plush riding they gobble up the big and little bumps way better than the OEMs ever did. That could be that the spring rate that was fitted to the Ohlins was a better match than OEM for me.


When I want to get after a curvy road I tend to try to keep my cornering speed up (a hold over from never having as much HP as the others from my more competitive riding days) and this is where the Ohlins shine for me. The OEM shocks were never able to eat up the ripples and bumps found in the apex points on many corners on the roads I ride on and there is nothing I find more unnerving than the side stepping my RT would do in that situation with the OEM shocks. I could never adjust the OEM shocks to get that last measure of compliance without becoming sloppy...That compromise has never been a problem with the Ohlins. In my case, for the style of riding I do, the pricey aftermarket shocks were worth it.


However, given what you say about your riding style, I think Jim and Keith have the two best solutions for you and should allow you to redeploy the save dollars to another farkle.



Link to comment


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

  • Create New...