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ESA shock replacement.


walton66

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Finished pulling the shocks off my 13 today. They're going to be replaced with Wilburs. Man there is a bunch of extra stuff that has to come off to get them off, no special tools however.. There are some connectors for the cables that hide behind that right piece of rear body work that were impossible to separate without removing it. The big preload motor on the rear shock necessitated the removal of part of the inner mudguard. What would have surprised me, had it not been for a thread on this forum, was the need to remove the alternator belt cover to get just enough room for the front. On the left side , just the muffler came off other that the front fairing sections. Lots of zip ties to replace that hold the cables . Most of the steps are detailed in a clymers manual. Possibly didn't need to remove all of the plastic up front but it's only 15 minutes. Total time was about 2 hours. Hope to have the new ones installed New Years weekend.

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First time I took off the shock, I spent a century removing the rear bodywork to get to the connectors.

 

Second time I secured the services of a relative with small hands for the connectors. I reckon it saved me over two hours: removing and installing the luggage rack is a nightmare pure and simple.

 

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Did a rebuild on one of my first RT's with ESA but I didn't have to remove the front alt cover. At first thought I was going to have to but with some elaborate maneuvering which included lifting and lowering the front in the process, got it out.

And those rear ESA connections, yeah! GRRRRRR. They don't make it easy!

 

They are on my upgrade list. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Back together and off for a ride back to the Florida Keys. Cold, for me 40f, some rain on the way early. Via slab, 360 miles, via the back roads down the middle of the state, 500, so it's back roads for me.

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Did a rebuild on one of my first RT's with ESA but I didn't have to remove the front alt cover. At first thought I was going to have to but with some elaborate maneuvering which included lifting and lowering the front in the process, got it out.

 

I found the trick to wiggling the shock out (and in) fairly easily without removing the alt cover is to lift the bike with a jack under the engine high enough to let the front end hang down to its max extension.

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30k. There is a road nearby, one of the few wiggly bits in the area that I ride regularly. There are two curves in particular that dip at the apex and have a washboard nature . Over the years, these sections have produced a feeling of decreased control. This year I have a trip up hw16 in WV and back planned, as well as a trip out to NM and CO. It seemed like a good time to change them.

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I would compare it to brand new tires vs a set with 8k but it's hard to be objective about something new, right. Especially on a long ride on mostly straight interspersed wth a few wiggles now and then, it's hard to compare. On those wiggles however, it always felt planted, even on the comfort setting, didn't try the sport setting. I upgraded for the Spring and Fall rides up north more than the riding down here.

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Enjoy your trip on RT16 thru West Virginia. That is one of my favorite roads. Make sure that you ride the "Back of the Dragon"

from Marion Virginia to Tazwell Virginia. If you are camping Hungry Mother State park in Marion Virginia is a good place to camp.

 

Roger L

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Thanks for the advice Roger. I've heard it's a great ride but that was from a sports car club. it's nice to hear it on this forum. I will look up those recommendations in basecamp tonight

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  • 3 weeks later...

On my '06, I found the Wilburs (ESA) imparted more road feel through the seat. This was a bit unsettling at first, as I was now feeling minor road surface changes/imperfections that were previously masked or dampened. The other major change I noticed was when I ride no handed. The bike now tracks straighter with less effort. Before the Wilburs, there was always a pronounced/continuous (torque?) pull to the right.

 

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  • 3 months later...

I just removed mine a few days back. Not as bad as I thought, but the front required me to have a friend help wiggle the top out of the wishbone while i leaned the bike back from the rear and push the front wheel up off the ground.

 

Now i'm waiting for Ted Porter at the beemershop to call me when my new Tractive ESA Front/rear shocks are in, then i can send him just my rear with ESA and have it built for my weight and riding style. The front comes with the ESA pre installed so sending the front in is not necessary. I'll post a report of how they handle when i get them installed.

 

 

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