Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: A stupid question about getting shocks.

  1. #1
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N. Dallas 'burb
    Posts
    778

    A stupid question about getting shocks.

    How do you know when you need them?

    It sounds silly, but that's my question. My 12GS turned 50,000 miles last week and I'm still on the stock shocks that came with the bike. If they've gone bad then its been so gradual that I haven't noticed it. They seem okay, but I may just be ignorant as how they ought to feel. And if they're okay, then I've no desire to run out and spend money.

    The facts & stats:
    • I weigh 280 pounds
    • more than 90% of my riding is urban highway commuting
    • Offroad is fairly rare, and when I am offroad it tends to be on maintained dirt or gravel.
    • Like I said, the bike is an '05 12GS with 50,500 miles on it.

    So, is there any way to test them? Or inspect them? Sorry if the question seems stupid, but I don't know any other way to ask.
    Last edited by mistercindy; 01-19-2009 at 10:56 PM.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  2. #2
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,211
    Hey buddy:

    Just so you don't get in too much hot water for not searching, here is a recent question just like yours.
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...ferrerid=31621

    I think your question is not well answered in the above thread so hopefully they will have a second kick at it, I have the same stupid question.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  3. #3
    Registered User trident74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    northeast Pa
    Posts
    47
    I went thru the same thing that you are. I wouldn't beleive my shocks were gone on my 03 K12rs. I thought that the shocks felt OK. But shocks don't go bad overnight, and you start to compensate for the ride that you fell. Beleive me your shocks are not doing the job that should be doing. Stock shocks will cost just about the same as after market shocks.
    Good luck

    Val
    NEPA

  4. #4
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N. Dallas 'burb
    Posts
    778
    Quote Originally Posted by MotorradMike View Post
    Hey buddy:

    Just so you don't get in too much hot water for not searching, here is a recent question just like yours.
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...ferrerid=31621

    I think your question is not well answered in the above thread so hopefully they will have a second kick at it, I have the same stupid question.
    I did a couple of searches in the Gear forum (which is where I figured this belongs) using couple of key words, and I looked at the titles that came up. None seemed to fit.

    Thanks for the posting that thread, but its in the Oilhead forum (mine's a hexhead) which I didn't try. And you're right: a couple of answers touch on it by saying X miles and they're shot, etc..., but that's about it. Those mileage answers are somewhat helpful, but I'd like to know their riding conditions (highway, offroad, gravel, hard core dirt). I'm assuming it makes a difference. Other than my weight, I assume that my style of riding is relatively mellow as it pertains to shocks.

    What I really want to hear is if there's a test or something that I can do (ie., stand flat footed and let myself fall on the seat and notice how the bike reacts, etc...) to tell me if they're shot. My guess is there isn't one.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  5. #5
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N. Dallas 'burb
    Posts
    778
    Quote Originally Posted by trident74 View Post
    I went thru the same thing that you are. I wouldn't beleive my shocks were gone on my 03 K12rs. I thought that the shocks felt OK. But shocks don't go bad overnight, and you start to compensate for the ride that you fell. Beleive me your shocks are not doing the job that should be doing.
    That's my hunch. I plan on riding it another 50,000 miles so if I need them its worth the investment.





    Quote Originally Posted by trident74 View Post
    Stock shocks will cost just about the same as after market shocks.
    Is that right? I assumed that high end Ohlins, Wilbers, and the like were a lot more expensive than OEM. If they cost the same why would you ever replace OEM shocks with more OEM shocks when there are better alternatives?
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Front Range, CO
    Posts
    6,327
    Quote Originally Posted by mistercindy View Post
    That's my hunch. I plan on riding it another 50,000 miles so if I need them its worth the investment.






    Is that right? I assumed that high end Ohlins, Wilbers, and the like were a lot more expensive than OEM. If they cost the same why would you ever replace OEM shocks with more OEM shocks when there are better alternatives?
    $944 retail for the rear, $755 from Chicago BMW. That's real close to the cost of an Ohlins (last i heard was around $1700 the pair). Once the difference is that slight... absolutely upgrade!

    why don't people make the automatic upgrade? good question. some think OEM has to be the best, without realizing that suspension is the place where EVERY company will play around to reach their price point. remember- BMW does not make shocks, never has. They market that out to shock specialists- they tell them what they want, and what they're willing to pay.
    Ollies, Penske and Wilbers are all highly rated (i have an Ohlins rear and Wilbers fornt on mine)- see what you can find, make the switch, and you will never assess suspension the same way again.
    i pull shocks early- mine came off my 11S at 14,000. they were still in fine shape- i just hated the ride they offered. at 50K, yours are, at the best, close to done.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #7
    Manfred
    Guest
    Upon returning to motorcycles, 5 years ago, after a 15 year break, I noticed how crumby stock suspension was once I started riding the good roads. I upgraded both ends of two vintage Yamahas and was amazed at the difference - particularly the rear.

    When I got serious about a BMW, one of the major considerations in my choosing the bike I did was that a P.O. had spent major bucks upgrading the suspension on both ends.

  8. #8
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Posts
    549

    Stayin' real

    I just went throughthe same process. I did the searches, I read the threads. I never found 1 objective answer. ...Not 1.

    I'd really be interested in doing a blind test. NEW factory shocks, NEW high dollar after market shocks. 50K on a factory set and 50K on an after market set. Seat of the pants blind test by about 10 BMW seasoned riders. I think the results would be very very interesting.

    I'm not saying there is no difference, I am saying after popping $1,500 to $1,800 I'll bet my mind tells by butt there had better be a big difference.
    Stan Herman
    BMW MOA Ambassador; Life Member; Director
    IBA member; SCMA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour Finisher

  9. #9
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    "Big Bend" TX
    Posts
    8,510
    On a classic K bike without telelever or paralever you can detect insufficient damping by feeling the undulation in the back of the bike - a vague wallowing felt right at the bike seat when leaned over in a medium speed curve.

    The telelever/paralever makes this a lot harder to detect.

    But if you hit a single bump and feel the bike go boing twice or more times instend of once the damping is insufficient.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  10. #10
    Bob 108625's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Big Sky country (Montana)
    Posts
    1,166
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    some think OEM has to be the best, without realizing that suspension is the place where EVERY company will play around to reach their price point. remember- BMW does not make shocks, never has. They market that out to shock specialists- they tell them what they want, and what they're willing to pay.
    Most BMW shocks (even if they say BMW and have a BMW part #) are supplied by Showa, a Japanese company with ties to Honda. You're paying a premium for a BMW sticker on the part.
    Most of the aftermarket shocks offer other advantages: they can be custom ordered in a wider range of spring rates, and they are rebuildable. The OEM stuff is usually "one size fits all", and is replacement only.

  11. #11
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Posts
    549

    Thanks Paul

    I always believed in the bounce once test (I still do.) I have a drainage dip near my house. Most cars slow to about 10mph to go through it. I routinely hit it at 30 mph. I do it seated and I do it on the pegs. I am focusing on the bike pogoing every time I do it. I swear the suspension compresses once and rebounds once. I conclude I do not need shocks. BUT that seems impossible as I have 118K on the ORIGINAL shocks. I have replacements in the garage and they will go on before spring. But I'll be darned if I can find a way to prove mine are shot, yet I can't imagine they haven't been dead for a long time. They have never leaked and if I tighten the rear preload I believe I can feel a difference. Too wierd for me to explain.
    Last edited by wanderer; 01-20-2009 at 09:49 PM.
    Stan Herman
    BMW MOA Ambassador; Life Member; Director
    IBA member; SCMA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour Finisher

  12. #12
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N. Dallas 'burb
    Posts
    778
    Quote Originally Posted by wanderer View Post
    I always believed in the bounce once test (I still do.) I have a drainage dip near my house. Most cars slow to about 10mph to go through it. I routinely hit it at 30 mph. I do it seated and I do it on the pegs. I am focusing on the bike pogoing every time I do it. I swear the suspension compresses once and rebounds once. I conclude I do not need shocks. BUT that seems impossible as I have 118K on the ORIGINAL shocks. I have replacements in the garage and they wll go on before spring. But I'll be darned if I can find a way to prove mine are shot, yet I can't imagine they haven't been dead for a long time. They have never leaked and if I tighten the rear preload I believe I can feel a difference. Too wierd for me to explain.
    Okay, this sounds close to what I was seeking.

    Are you saying: 30 MPH over a decent sized dip with one compression followed by one rebound (no multiple boinging or pogoing) means that, to you, the shocks are not shot (ie., they're okay even if not the best)? If so, that's easily testable.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  13. #13
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Posts
    549
    Yea, that's what I always thought. BUT, I also can't/ won't believe shocks can go 118K and still be good. I, like others, am looking for a sure fire test, which doesn't seem to exist.
    Stan Herman
    BMW MOA Ambassador; Life Member; Director
    IBA member; SCMA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour Finisher

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Front Range, CO
    Posts
    6,327
    Quote Originally Posted by wanderer View Post
    I just went throughthe same process. I did the searches, I read the threads. I never found 1 objective answer. ...Not 1.

    I'd really be interested in doing a blind test. NEW factory shocks, NEW high dollar after market shocks. 50K on a factory set and 50K on an after market set. Seat of the pants blind test by about 10 BMW seasoned riders. I think the results would be very very interesting.

    I'm not saying there is no difference, I am saying after popping $1,500 to $1,800 I'll bet my mind tells by butt there had better be a big difference.
    recognize that at 50k miles, the aftermarkets were probably recently rebuilt, and are functioning as a nearly new shock. very difficult to find someone who can/will rebuild an OEM unit.

    i would also suggest that your "single bounce test" is insufficient to test the real performance of the shocks.
    try running a curvy road, with repeated rises, falls, undulations and bumps of varying sorts. if the chassis gets all out of sorts on you, there's your answer. you should not have to compensate for your bike doing really funky things on the road, it should be pretty smooth and controlled.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  15. #15
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Posts
    549

    Well I don't know

    Name:  C1900923.JPG
Views: 121
Size:  154.9 KB

    I've been on a curvey road or 2. The factory shocks in this photo had 100K on them and I was fully loaded for camping on a 17 day tour. [Deals Gap 5/08]
    Last edited by wanderer; 01-22-2009 at 11:03 PM.
    Stan Herman
    BMW MOA Ambassador; Life Member; Director
    IBA member; SCMA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour Finisher

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •