you guys ever give a sniff to old shock oil? n-n-n-n-nasty!
you guys ever give a sniff to old shock oil? n-n-n-n-nasty!
To this comment, "Im far from a shock expert, but, I am confident in saying that until a seal is leaking or a piston is damaged, or the internal oil is heated and its molecular structure is altered, a shock is not going to fail."
True and not true. True, if that the shock has not blown the seal and evac'd the oil it is not "failed". NOT true in that a shock, especially a factory stock shock, DOES fail all damping in less than 30,000 miles. Sooner if consistently loaded more than a single rider. Shocks/springs, in stock form are one of the biggest compromises all OEMs put on these bikes, regardless fo brand name.
If you plan to keep the bike and enjoy it for many years, I would spend a bit more money and get custom, quality, rebuildable shocks, set up to operate in their mid-range, for YOUR weight, YOUR loading and YOUR riding style. With the shock properly tuned to operate in its mid-range for your conditions, you can easily fine tune it to your preferences.
Sure, some are quite expensive, like Ohlins and Wilbers (to metheir worth every penny), bot others like Hagon, Fox, and others offer more reasonable cost while still giving you the optimum operating range. I wouldn't spend much money on stock shocks myself. They just wont last as long.
Just noticed that OldAndSlow and I are both from a place called the Show-Me-State. Somebody wants to make me believe shocks wear out quickly on street bikes they will meed to Show-Me....[/QUOTE]
That's what some here are trying to do. Your choice if you want to ignore/discount the experience of others.
At the same time, some people don't ride their bikes in a manner which enables them to appreciate the difference between good and bad shocks. Doens't make them a bad person. Myself, and others, I can feel the difference in ride quality when I'm cruising down the highway.
Well, I'm a bad person :laugh and I have an '96 1100RT shock that has the oil spewing out of it with less than 20K miles on the clock! :p
I can take a picture of it for "show me" guys upon request. :stick
Now bear in mind it's 16 years old too. There is a lot of real world experience here on the forum indicating that BMW stock shocks are middle of the road at best. Motorcycle shocks just wear out a lot faster than car shocks do is another fact to consider.
Back to my question..yes I have found a place that will replace my spring with the proper rate. Thanks for the help..
And, as a bonus, we discussed for two pages and not once was motor oil mentioned!:laugh
[QUOTE=Happy Wanderer;835323].... There is a lot of real world experience here on the forum indicating that BMW stock shocks are middle of the road at best. Motorcycle shocks just wear out a lot faster than car shocks do is another fact to consider.[/QUOTE][/I]
I wonder if that could be due to us overloading the stock springs, causing the piston to be always too far into the stroke, thus working the seals and valves too hard for too long?
How many of us have ever really paid attention to the sag settings...and if we do, there is rarely a way to adjust it! For that, the expensive after market shocks get my vote because of their adjustable collars.
I have been watching this thread.
I do not agree that shocks are automatically junk after X miles.
3 years ago, I bought a 2000 R1100RT with 101,000 miles on it. I saw all the records it had never had the shocks replaced.
I pulled the front shock off because the sag was more than I wanted. I think it was 55mm.
I removed the spring from the shock.
I pushed the shock in and out holding it in the position it was on the bike. I could feel no air or cavitation until the very end of the up stroke. It offered consistent resistance through the stroke. This told me the shock was still full of oil.
I pushed the shock in and it would extend on its own to full length. This told me it was still nitrogen charged.
I added a shim to adjust the preload and put the spring back on. Ride height or sag still was not what I was looking for so I added another shim. Total of 8mm. (5/16")
Sag was what I wanted for a while, I could feel the difference. It then changed, so I bought a take off shock with spring. This one had a ring of oil on the rod. I pulled the spring off and worked the shock. It was toast, it did not extend on its own. I put the spring on my shock with one 3mm (1/8")shim. Sag was what I wanted. Bike rode as I expected. No bouncing in a corner, no wollowing or pogoing. I rode with the rest of the guys in a lot of places.
Its been 3 years and 35,000 more miles. That shock still works sag is the same. Total 137,000 miles on the bike. Ymmv yadda yadda.
Say what you will. But from my direct experience with the SAME bike on the SAME roads with the SAME loads, with the SAME tire pressures, and with three different brands of tires: with the old crapped out shocks I had no damping and my front tire would cup severely, wear unevenly, and be shot by 8,000 miles.
With the new Wilbers shocks, almost NO cupping at all, even tire wear, and I easily get 14,000 miles from the tires, regardless of brand.
THAT too me says a LOT about what the controlled, consistent damping action of quality, properly valved shocks do for you and your bike. You do what you believe. But I KNOW from direct experience what my results are. No speculation.
I should also add that I rode on the stock shocks until my bike had 120,000 miles on it. I thought, what diff can shocks make? They weren't leaking, no nasty noises. But I did get really crappy tire performance and I noticed over time that I wasn't as "sharp or controlled" in the twisties like I used to be. I put it up to many miles on the same bike and my years of familiarity on the same bike. New shocks and my whole world changed! Well, not entirely, my hair was still thinning and graying. But my tire issues were gone, and I had that good ol' twisties "vigor" again. No pills needed!
[QUOTE=BC1100S;835293].... Your choice if you want to ignore/discount the experience of others.
What I have been trying to do is determine the experience of others.
"DO THIS BECAUSE I SAY SO." is not the experience of others.
It's valuable information if it comes from Kevin Camron, Smokey Yunick (Dec.), or Erv Kanemoto and they could certainly back it up with their experience if needed and they've paid their dues to be believable.
Happy Wanderer shared his experience with one shock, the mode of failure, mileage, an age. Thank you. That tells me about one shock anyway.
The rest has been really suspect.
The shock is worn out because the spring sags.
OK then change it because the oil in it really stinks.
And finally "Ignore anyone who questions us because the're obviously stuck riding in the minibike class."
I have spent a great deal of my working career self employed and have always valued leisure time. Therefore I have adjusted my productivity to earn enough to pay for what I need and want. Do I want to work enough to buy $850 worth of suspension parts for each end of my ride? Dunno. I think most people with expensive toys are locked into a certain income and make purchasing decisions based on "I have X amount of money to spend this month. Do I want to spend it on suspension for the bike or choice 2 or choice 3? Either lifestyle is fine if it's what you want but it certainly shapes your spending choices.
We grew up reading books, magazines and newspapers which were generally credible so we have a mindset that if it's written it's probably true. Then the internet comes along. Now anyone can be an authority, some quite convincing, but I've learned to question it and frequently find gaping holes. I think the number one culprit is "I spent big bucks for it so I can really FEEL THE DIFFERENCE." That is so much better than "I spent big bucks on it and I don't know if it made any difference or worse, I REALLY GOT SCREWED".
I remember the shock sales displays in gas stations with two shocks, new and old, with handles mounted on top of a blue barrel. Feel the difference. You bet you could and when the mechanic pulled your old shocks they better feel like the worn out ones. If my shocks aren't leaking or pogo-ing I would at least take the springs off and give them the '60's blue barrel test.
[QUOTE=Happy Wanderer;835323]Well, I'm a bad person :laugh and I have an '96 1100RT shock that has the oil spewing out of it with less than 20K miles on the clock! :p
You're a bad person? Tell me something I didn't already know. :laugh
I just today got a front shock, rebuilt and revalved, back from Accelerated Technologies. I would have brought it to the meeting if I hadn't forgotten what day it was and thought the meeting was tomorrow night. :banghead
Anyways, drop me a line if you want to see it. Won't be putting it in for awhile so there's no rush.
And I'd forgotten about ANDYVH's experience with tire wear. Proof positive that "good shocks save...tires". :D
Skipped the meeting to go see Stevie Winwood tonight. Always wanted to see him live and it was worth the 44 years I had to wait since I bought the Blind Faith album! :ear
I guess I should mention that on my current '00 RT I bit the bullet and sprung for a set of barely used Wilber shocks. The OEM shocks were still working at 17K miles but I drank the shock Kool Aid when a nice set from an identical RT came up for sale. They transformed the ride of my bike but not until the right spring was installed and I learned how to set them up properly. Preload and shock rebound rate make all the difference. Wilbers and Ohlins have both.
- Price wise a spring should only set you back around a hundred bucks and obviously Wilbers and Ohlins etc. are a large chunk more.
- Stock shocks have preload adjust but do not have rebound rate adjust. This is an important setting for how the bike handles the road.
- There is apparently one shop that rebuilds the OEM Showa shocks but both Ohlins and Wilbers are designed to be rebuilt and as such will last a very long time.
- Used OEM shocks have a very low resale value whereas shocks like Ohlins and Wilbers are highly sought after and command a hefty resale price. So when it's time to de-farkle there is still value there.
- According to AndyVH tires last longer with high quality shocks. I'm still chewing on a set so time will tell but I sure hope I see this benefit also! I wear out two sets a year so there could be some hidden benefits there also.