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Walter 08-03-2003 04:12 AM

shock length question
I have an '01 R1100S with the standard suspension. I am thinking of upgrading with some Ohlins shocks. Any recommendations as to stock length or the longer sport length shock. The bike came with an aftermarket shorter paralever torque arm (not on the bike at present). I gather there are four options: stock shock length w/o shorter arm, stock shock length w/ shorter arm, longer shocks w/o shorter arm, and longer shocks w/ shorter arm. Help!

ejfbmw 08-03-2003 06:03 AM
The above is an attempt to direct you to a previous post of mine.
What I have found works well is:
365mm Torque Arm
310mm Rear Shock
320 Front Shock
My Boxer Cup Edition had a 330mm front shock length (measured center to center, eye to eye). The ohlins is none adjustable and 10mm less. The steering is noticably quicker and stability has not been compromised. On the track I can grind my footpegs, (that's far enough) but do not feel I have lost any usable ground clearence. IMHO this set-up is good.

motoyoyo 08-03-2003 09:49 AM

Walter, most aftermarket shocks for the S have an adjustable length on the rear. The front shock length is best kept to the standard length IMO. The short paralever can be added at any time and basically serves to jack the rear end even higher for quicker turning. Once you get the shocks you can play around with the rear shock height adjustment to get it set up how you like it.

One note about the Ohlins. No matter what you request on riding style or rider weight, they will be set up for a 150-175 lb rider with mild riding skills. If that's right for you then you will be very satisfied. Otherwise, do some major checking around for the correct setup for your needs. I have new Ohlins and am still changing springs and damping, and am no where near satisfied yet. If I had to do it all over again I would seriously consider a set of Fox shocks instead. They seem to be set up nicely for aggressive riding, which is the main reason I would want to change shocks in the first place.

markjenn 08-03-2003 09:58 AM

As Scott said, the rear Ohlins will be ride-height adjustable from slightly longer than the stock non-sport length to longer than the sport length. Unless your racing, the standard length is about right in the front.

I'll also echo what Scott said about springs. My rear Ohlins was delivered with a spring supposedly for my weight (235 lbs - a 160) but was WAY too soft. I had Ohlins bump two more steps to a (180) and it's about right.

Since getting the shorter paralever and the Ohlins, I'm having a little problem getting the bike to offer neutral handling. It requires a little inside bar pressure to hold a lean angle in a turn. But all bets are off until I replace the front tires which is badly worn. It's probably just the tire. But if not, I'll go back to the longer paralever - I'll take neutral handling over quicker handling anyday.

- Mark

motoyoyo 08-03-2003 10:07 AM

Mark, do you still have the 5.7 kg/mm front spring? I have found that to be way too soft, especially with the stiffer rear spring. I had to set the front damping at about 33 out of 35 clicks just to keep the pogo-ing to a minimum. The 6.2 kg/mm is a better match for the 18.0 rear spring. I have the 17.0 rear/ 6.2 front now and am about the same weight as you. I'm going to look into the 18.0 rear and an even stiffer front if it's available.

markjenn 08-03-2003 04:26 PM

Scott, I'll probably go stiffer on the front at some point - I really like the rear now. But I need to get my tires swapped out before making any further evaluation.

- Mark

ejfbmw 08-04-2003 02:51 AM

Scott makes a good point about Fox. Now that I know what I know about suspension, I would go with Fox. IMHO a good suspension set-up is the best "performance" upgrade, with the added benefit of a safer ride through better handling (plus the fun/wow factor of aftermarket goodies).

Rapid Dog 08-04-2003 12:33 PM

I have found that to be way too soft, especially with the stiffer rear spring. I had to set the front damping at about 33 out of 35 clicks just to keep the pogo-ing to a minimum.
Mark, which adustment, preoad, compression or rebound are you referring to?:confused:

markjenn 08-04-2003 12:38 PM

Scott made the pogo comment, but I think he's referring to the rebound adjustment knob up in the cockpit area below the instruments. That's it on adjusments, other than removing the shock and setting preload with a spanner.

- Mark

roger albert 08-04-2003 01:33 PM

Careful about jacking the front rate up too much folks. The reason the telelever is so nice is that it divorces steering and suspending, which means that unlike a telescopic, you don't have to design/spec a too stiff for bump tracking rate of spring, to keep from having too much dive. With telescopics, it's always some sort of (often poor) compromise. The telever allows a spring soft enough to track well (thus the great real world handling) since it doesn't have to prevent dive. I'm sure the 6.2 is good for the folks that have to go up 3 full sizes to 18 to be happy, but for many, it will do more harm than good. I had a chance to futz with some higher rates, and even ballasting to keep rider/spring rate matched, the front end tracking over bumpy roads was much poorer. Didn't seem like a telever at all other than less dive (i.e. it tracked as poorly as an average-ish telescopic, but just wasn't as nose down while doing so)

The front could use a bit, but not nearly as much as the rear. Bigger/more isn't always better. Change those rates judiciously, especially up front

Mike900 08-05-2003 07:50 AM

I agree with Roger. I'm using a 170 in the back and the standard 5.7 in the front with just a slight bump in pre-load. I weigh about 230. I will agree that if I took the bike to the track for day the front (and the rear for that matter) might be a little soft but thats because I would be willing to push the front under much heavier braking so much more on the track. At PACE speeds in the mountains the front is great at giving me very consistent tracking and feedback, the very supple feel of the telelever. I would hate to give that up for a little more control under heavy braking, which I generally don't do on the street.

How you ride the bike will have a lot to do with proper spring rates

Rapid Dog 08-05-2003 09:02 AM


I have a 700X350 (350 lbs) front spring on my Fox.
I've been told that may be too heavy for the front spring.
The tech at Fox sugggested that I try backing off the preload.
It helped but I can't help but wonder if I could get a more supple (less pogo-ing) ride with the next step lighter spring.
Your thoughts...

acidburn 08-05-2003 09:05 AM

Ohlins only sends out one spring, end of story, that is confirmed.
If you guys want to it right, at least us left coast guys,
Call Jim Lindeman in Cambel Ca, Lindeman Engineering and have jim spec and set up your shocks, he is one of the best in the country.
Jim will have my shocks on my -S- anf fully set up with me on the bike by the end of next week, it will be prefect and totally sexy, just the way a propelry set up suspension should be,
i try to get him to raise prices he will not, very inexpensive for the guy who sets up some of the top race bikes in the country,,, guys get a clue, its well worth what littel he charges......duh.

Rapid Dog 08-05-2003 09:05 AM

By the way, in comparson, I recently road a buddies 2003 R1150R Roadster and another friend's R1150RS (RS with Bitubos), both bikes seemed to ride much smoother up front.

acidburn 08-05-2003 09:31 AM

i have the billet sport length arm, great mod, perfection,
the full ohlins set up will go on for my weight and proffesionally set up by Lindeman Eng in cambell Ca next week, should be prefection and total sex.
includes the ohlins steering stabalizer,
next 5.5 rear and 180 rubber.
do it right and dont screw around trying to reengineer something.

Rapid Dog 08-05-2003 09:48 AM

...and that is how much?

motoyoyo 08-05-2003 09:54 AM

acidburn, is Lindeman going to make his own spring for your setup or is he going to spec alternate Ohlins springs? Will he be altering the internal valve stacks or just adjusting the damping knobs? Keep us posted on the results, thanks.

Keep in mind guys, when talking a stiffer spring up front it is not needed to overcome any kind of dive under braking. The Telelever takes care of that just fine. A too soft spring up front causes excessive travel and too much dive under abrupt throttle changes. I do aggree with Roger that it would probably be easy to go too stiff up front which is why I'll probably stick with the 6.2kg/mm. It seems to be pretty good for me so far. I think I saw a post one time that said the 6.2 spring rate is very similar to the stock sport spring rate, which might be another reason why it feels better.

acidburn 08-05-2003 11:30 AM

The rear sping is the main issue according the jim lindy, he specs that but does the changes himslef, he has delas with Ohlins, he does bulk buys, actually is doing the custom shocks for sanjose bmw, gee fancy that!!!
valveing is per jimmy lindy specs, i know his work and had my 02 gsxr doem by him, its perfection
he is doing m 1100-S, my K-Rs and the 03 gasr-1000, i would not dream of any other suspension aproach, and i can do the work myslef, thats how good he is.

acidburn 08-05-2003 11:32 AM

Lindemen, charges 75 bucks per end, installed and set up, fianl set up with you on the bike included.
Shocks, if you order the set, 10% discount.
takes 2 days to get the shocks, scheduel the bike and your visits, depends on how custom, he then orders the springs as needed but has tons in stock.

roger albert 08-05-2003 05:06 PM

I've used his stuff for ducs. Very nice.

Randy, Pogo-ing is primarily a damping issue. Overspringing will contribute to it too, but not with large amplitude (since the heavy rate limits the excursion in the first place)

Shame Íhlins just has the single spring avail stock up front. No matter, you can always buy a different one of their springs and slap one on yourself. They are definitely available.

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