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spacewrench's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 102
Aftermarket Shocks for a Newbie

I've been riding for 40 years, but I've never replaced shocks on a bike -- closest I ever came was installing Gold Valves on a Honda VTR1000. And I've never had a bike that I thought "this thing is unrideable, and it's because of the damn shocks!" (I did notice that the VTR rode much smoother when I was commuting as a student, with about 15 pounds of books in a tail bag; and I was surprised riding a new-to-me 748s through Idaho that I could feel each individual tar snake through the bars, whereas if I'd been riding the VTR, I would have expected just a general mushy slide while leaned over and hitting snakes. And a Burgman 650 I had tended to be wallowy when pushed hard. Those are the sum total of my suspension-related observations the whole time I've been riding.)

So I'm not a razor's-edge rider, and I'm not looking to shave another quarter second off my lap times, but EVERYBODY seems to rave about upgraded suspensions, and I can finally afford to do something to my R1100S (a bike I consider a keeper), so...

I have a short commute most of the year, longer day rides occasionally, and a week or two on the road when I can manage it. I'd like the longer trips to be more comfortable, and would be glad if I could adjust between commuting settings (not much extra weight) and distance settings (20-30 pounds in the bags & top box). I weigh probably 175-180 in my 'Stich, helmet & boots.

What should I be looking for in new suspenders?

Old 06-29-2020, 04:52 PM
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sgoodwin's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: wpbfl
Posts: 2,461
Ohlins make it ride like on a cloud all while keeping all that wheel movement in control. Along with complete tunability for whatever ride you want. Be sure to get the remote preload for the rear. Only downside is $$$.
Old 06-30-2020, 05:03 AM
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Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 43
Get with Ted Porter and the Beemer Shop (San Francisco area I think). There are several options for shocks. I put Wilbers on mine. Ohlins were my first choice but they dodn't make a shock for the rear any more. The Wilbers have been a VAST improvement over the stockers. I had backed all the adjustments off to their stops and they were still too damn harsh, like the compression damping was locked up. The ride with Wilbers is cushy and controlled.

'17 R1200RS, '03 R1100S BCR, '85 K100/1100RS
'16 R1200RS (gone) '11 R1200RT (gone) '05 R1200ST (gone) '99 R1100S (gone)
'96 Ducati 900SS/SP (gone)
35 years, 500,000+ BMW miles
Old 06-30-2020, 05:39 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 1,192
Call Ted. He'll ask you about your riding style, etc and make a suggestion. If you' re not up to setting suspensions, go to a local shop, one with some racing experience, and pay them to set the bike up for you. That will transform the bike.

Old 06-30-2020, 02:48 PM
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