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Thread: Ohlins Worth it?

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    Rally Rat empeg9000's Avatar
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    Question Ohlins Worth it?

    I have an R1100S. I like to do spirited sport touring on it. I am not very fast as yet, sometimes I get into a good grove and go well. I have a chance to pick up a set of Ohlins that even happen to be set up for my weight already with about 1000 miles on them. They are a significant discount from the new price. Are they worth it even for a regular guy? I've heard they transform the bike and even make the ride better. In a way I feel I could probably learn to ride what I have better first but I know I will want them eventually. Can anyone relate any experiences with Ohlins and how you liked them?

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    I switched from my standard GSA shocks at 19K and despite being a cynic about the brand name shocks having that much improvement, I am happy to say that I was wrong. The bike does feel considerably different in terms of the feedback I get from the bike on the road or lane rides.

    If I can tell a difference on a flying outhouse like a GS (aerodynamics like a small building) you would surely see something on a racier machine as yours.

    I cannot truthfully say how much of what I feel is due to new shocks versus 19K stock OEM shocks, though I can say that the old ones operate well and do not leak at all and give me no reason to believe they were sagged out etc. Like you I had a deal that could not be refused and that is why I bought the Ohlins, and I have no buyer remorse.

  3. #3
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by empeg9000 View Post
    I have an R1100S. I like to do spirited sport touring on it. I am not very fast as yet, sometimes I get into a good grove and go well. I have a chance to pick up a set of Ohlins that even happen to be set up for my weight already with about 1000 miles on them. They are a significant discount from the new price. Are they worth it even for a regular guy? I've heard they transform the bike and even make the ride better. In a way I feel I could probably learn to ride what I have better first but I know I will want them eventually. Can anyone relate any experiences with Ohlins and how you liked them?

    i'll be interested in how people chime in here. i've never understood how a new set of shocks for my bike can cost north of 1500 dollars. i realize the build quality of the ohlins is beyond reproach and they are fully rebuildable and adjustable in every way. i also know its is probably the one area of my bike i REALLY need to improve because i'm at the point where i feel like i'm sometime pushing the limits of my stock showas with 36K miles on them. when i had my airhead, i bought a set of works performance shocks for the rear. the were $380 or so for the set and made quite a difference. i've been considering going that route with the S, although their modern shocks are a bit more expensive. i've always been one to spend the little bit of cash i have to devote to my hobby on riding, rallies and trips, my "upgrades" have been pretty minimal.

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    Rally Rat empeg9000's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    If I can tell a difference on a flying outhouse like a GS (aerodynamics like a small building) you would surely see something on a racier machine as yours.
    I hope so although my ride doesn't have a lot of miles. I only have 5K. I can however tell you it gets pretty wild riding hard on a bumpy road. On smooth tarmac its pretty good although I think its maybe a little under sprung for my girth.

    i've always been one to spend the little bit of cash i have to devote to my hobby on riding, rallies and trips, my "upgrades" have been pretty minimal.
    I am the same way although I am a gear hound. I can't resist. I think I have already talked myself 90% of the way into them, I just always have buyers remorse on big purchases BEFORE I even make the purchase. Usually it works out okay after I spent the money and then I feel better.

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    Bubba I don't know that the Ohlins are better than the Works really other than they (Ohlins) are a marketing machine. IThere were some other threads on this stuff last year or so, and it was kind of like an oil thread...lol. As I said I hav no remorse, and then again since I am not a pro-circuit rider with a need to rebuild the shocks regularly, perhaps any of the other aftermarket brands may perform similar for me too...who knows? I am sure that someone in the forum will have tried them all at certain times.

  6. #6
    Registered User kwazimoto's Avatar
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    I put a set on my 97 RT at 40k.It was absolutely the best aftermarket accessory I have ever bought. My stockers were shot,and I couldn`t believe the difference in ride quality. I got a deal on mine too.Even my wife(passenger only)noticed the better ride,and she is not mechanically minded at all.When she notices something like this it`s a big deal!
    Knees in da breeze is my only disease

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    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empeg9000 View Post
    I have an R1100S. I like to do spirited sport touring on it. I am not very fast as yet, sometimes I get into a good grove and go well. I have a chance to pick up a set of Ohlins that even happen to be set up for my weight already with about 1000 miles on them. They are a significant discount from the new price. Are they worth it even for a regular guy? I've heard they transform the bike and even make the ride better. In a way I feel I could probably learn to ride what I have better first but I know I will want them eventually. Can anyone relate any experiences with Ohlins and how you liked them?
    Yes.

    Yes.

    and Yes.

    Ohlins will absolutely transform your bike. When you are deep into a turn and the pavement gets a little bumpy you will notice a huge improvement as the front end will be much less prone to skip to the outside of the turn.

    I have owned an R11RS, R11S and a K11LT all of which were transformed and greatly improved by adding Ohlins.

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    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Yes.

    Yes.

    and Yes.

    Ohlins will absolutely transform your bike. When you are deep into a turn and the pavement gets a little bumpy you will notice a huge improvement as the front end will be much less prone to skip to the outside of the turn.

    I have owned an R11RS, R11S and a K11LT all of which were transformed and greatly improved by adding Ohlins.
    +1

    I've had two sets on our RS (don't ask ), a set on my R11S and one on the rear of my VFR. I WILL have a pair on the RT. They extend the bandwidth of the suspension so that it damps large chassis oscillations in one cycle and just eliminates the little stuff. Additionally, they can absorb a sharp impact that would knock you out of the seat with stock shocks.

    On the RS, it feels like you're moving in a straight trajectory through space and the bike is reaching down to grab the road. It's absolutely amazing and well worth the money.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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    Ohlins worth it?

    I had an R1150GS with stock shocks for about a year, with low miles during ownership. Then I bought an R1150GS with Ohlins. The difference was great and amazed me. The ride was plush and soft and at the same time gave good support and feed back over rough roads and smooth roads. I felt like I had more control over the bike that had Ohlins. If my pillion shut her eyes she would have trouble tellng when we ran over a speed bump. I have not read the Ohlins manual, but I have heard others say Ohlins suggests the shocks should be rebuilt fairly frequently. I put about 10k on the Ohlins and didn't notice any deterioration in the Ohlins shocks.

  10. #10
    OUTBACKUFO
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    the main problem with Ohlins is not the actual shock... if you have any problems with them durning warranty or after... the people at ohilins in the can ber very non-custormer service way of doing things... heard too many horror stories over on Advrider.com...


    I would go with Wilber shocks if you have a choose...

  11. #11
    Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft FredRydr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwazimoto View Post
    I put a set on my 97 RT at 40k.It was absolutely the best aftermarket accessory I have ever bought.
    This is my impression, too, every time I ride! They've given the best return for my money to improve my ride experience. Well, new sticky tires are up there, too.

    There are shock choices which might appear a better value, but think resale. Ohlins are the ones in demand when swapped out before trade-in. For good reason.

    Note the naysayers only have "stories," while the enthusiasts have Ohlins. Cool, eh? Go for it.

    Fred
    '02 R1150R w/ Ohlins front and rear

  12. #12
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTBACKUFO View Post
    the main problem with Ohlins is not the actual shock... if you have any problems with them durning warranty or after... the people at ohilins in the can ber very non-custormer service way of doing things... heard too many horror stories over on Advrider.com...

    I would go with Wilber shocks if you have a choose...

    well, my experience was completely different. when i did something stupid with a wrench, i called ohlins usa, spoke with a knowledgeable motorcycle specialist, got the part I needed (well, not at a price i wanted...).

    however, after listening to many a friends' experience, i would definitely consider a wilbers product.

    i just wish that they still imported the shock model i need for my 86 g/spd... it's a pain that it's available in europe but you can't get it shipped here. so i went with a fox.

    ian
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  13. #13
    OUTBACKUFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    well, my experience was completely different. when i did something stupid with a wrench, i called ohlins usa, spoke with a knowledgeable motorcycle specialist, got the part I needed (well, not at a price i wanted...).

    however, after listening to many a friends' experience, i would definitely consider a wilbers product.

    i just wish that they still imported the shock model i need for my 86 g/spd... it's a pain that it's available in europe but you can't get it shipped here. so i went with a fox.

    ian
    When i was looking for a new rear for my 1150GS and started to do my home work.... i was not impressed with the custormer service i got when i started asking questions about warranties when i called ohlins... YEs they make a great shock, but the service and answers to my questions were not a problem when got to Klaus at Run-n-Lites who does the Wilbers in the US... This debate has gone on a few other sites for a while now... and a friend here where i lived dealt with there custormer service with a warranty issue and for the most part was just ignored...

    I have nothing but good from my wilber... my orginal rear lasted 70K on a lot of rough roads with loads... the Wilber comes with a 5 yr warranty... had a small mounting part crack two years ago while up in YT and Klaus had a new mounting bracket waiting for me when i got home... could have had it sent to me up north but did not want to wait around not riding...

    the prices of Ohlins and Wilbers are compairable...

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