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ESA suspension trouble


Dietrich

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Just got a used 2005 R1200RT with about 28000 miles on it. The rear suspension appears solid as a rock. Hardly any movement as if the shock is seized. The ESA adjustment makes no difference at all. Any ideas? Could it be anything else other than the shock itself. The bike had sat for a while. Any input is appreciated.

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Afternoon Dietrich

 

Before we can really help you we need to know IF the rear shock is adjusting (or trying to adjust) rear spring preload. (the PROPER way to do it is in your riders manual)

 

In any case, the engine MUST be running & the trans in neutral before it will adjust up or down. (even then it isn't quick)

 

The bad news is --IF your rear ESA is not working, & nothing stands out, there isn't much to do other than convert it to manual control as the shock & computer system to control it is not really supported by BMW.

 

Under warranty BMW converted the early rear shocks to the later model then updated the firmware to operate the later shock.

 

Hopefully your 05 bike had problems under warranty & is one of the converted ones.

 

So, first read your riders manual on ESA use, then let us know what the dash is doing as far as showing adjustment movement, then look at the top collar on the rear shock & see if it is actually moving the upper spring seat (let us know what it is doing)

 

 

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When you change ESA mode, you should feel the bike rising or lowering.

 

Is the shock leaking?

 

I had problems with my rear ESA strut last fall.

 

The settings would change on the display but the strut itself wasn't moving.

 

I ended up having to replace it. (90,000km)

 

The OEM Strut is very expensive ($2500.00 + installation)

 

I was able to find a used one in perfect condition and replaced it myself for a fraction of the price. ( You will need a GS-911 or a trip to the dealer to recalibrate the new one)

 

Some people dropped the ESA completely and replaced it with a manual one.

 

Wilber has an option ( they call it WESA ) where you send your OEM strut to them, They build you a new one (to your specs)and transfer the OEM electronics to it. ( You have to take care of the installation.)

 

I think you get both front and back done for around $1500.00

 

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Thanks guys, I will do some checks as recommended. If the shock is faulty I will go to aftermarket manually adjustable to save money and future trouble. Will let you know how I make out with it.

 

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Guest Kakugo
Thanks guys, I will do some checks as recommended. If the shock is faulty I will go to aftermarket manually adjustable to save money and future trouble. Will let you know how I make out with it.

 

You may want to try to contact a BMW dealer beforehand.

Some ESA preload adjusters were unfrozen by applying a jolt of 12V current, but it's something I've only heard BMW dealership do.

 

It's a very long shot and probably won't work, but still something to consider.

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So I took the shock out and it is the problem for sure, even though it is apparently uncommon for them to seize up like that. There is a place North of Peterborough here in Ontario who specializes in ESA shock repairs. Quoted about Can$470 to get it done. I will ship it to them on Monday. Www.acceltechracing.com

Asked them if they do ESA repair, answer: every day. Reviews are good.

Thanks again for all the input. Will let you know how it works out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have the ESA issue. I've been reading experiences with ESA issues. Is it primarily the hardware that fails? And, not the electronics. Mileage is about right with others talking about their failures. To me, the price to repair the whole thing is OUTRAGEOUS. It the electronics are OK, and the hardware is the problem, then the fix MAY be transparent. Maybe.

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