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Thread: ESA Rear Shock failed - '08 R1200GS

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  1. #1
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    ESA Rear Shock failed - '08 R1200GS

    On the road yesterday from Memphis (32F and snow/rain mix, no salt on the roadway) to Jackson (37F), MS., I noticed my moto was beginning to act like a waverunner, bobbing up and down going down the road. Later I realized the rear shock was leaking and lost all oil. Today I rode from Jackson (36F) to BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge (54F and sunny ) and they have a replacement shock being FedEx'd and will replace it tomorrow.

    I was running with the ESA set to 1 rider with baggage. Total weight of passenger and baggage ~430lbs. I had my moto in storage (locked and secured) for a month prior to departing from Memphis. There are approx 38,000 miles currently on the odometer.

    A couple of questions:

    1. Could the weather be a contributing factor of the failure?
    2. Is there a recommendation of a replacement shock other than BMW parts?
    3. Is anyone familiar with frequency of a failure such as this? Nothing came up in searching the forum (recently anyway) and at the shop they haven't seen many failures.
    4. Any recommendations/comments?


    Since I am heading to mexico and Central America for 3 month road trip, I am fortunate this happened reasonably close to a BMW dealer rather than the middle of some remote area in CA.

    Hats off to BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge. I had emailed the evening before from Jackson and Jim was expecting me and even greeted me by name when I walked in (also discount on parts and shipping). Looking up my VIN, there is another recall on a brake line I had a recall on before, so they will also take care of that. Also there were 2 other people in the store who had noticed me riding down the road, they mentioned to me how they had commented to each other on how low my GS was riding.

    BMWBatonRouge2.JPG

    Thanks for your comments,
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    atlanta
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    Nothing unusual, I've seen many BNW shock failures. My '09 GS rear shock went at 13k. I replaced with Wilburs which were doing fine after 30k when I sold the bike. They fail in chicago in the winter and key west in the summer. I will replace with Wilburs when my '12GS shock starts leaking.
    Marty Hill
    12 GS black/Boxer Cup Replika

    ride till you can't

  3. #3
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    My '09's rear started leaking around 40K...but it was after a huge hit of a limestone roadside ditch I cleared with front wheel but not the rear
    I replaced with Wilbers on the OEM ESA unit...rebuidable and a tad cheaper than a OEM unit.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies and suggestions. The BMW dealer here in Baton Rouge didn't mention the Ohlins or Wilbers as an option. As a matter of fact my '08 is the first ESA rear shock failure they recall having in their shop. My moto is currently in the shop waiting for the FedEx delivery. In the meantime, they signed me out a C650GT to scoot around in. This thing is a blast!!!

    C650GT.JPG

    I also picked up a scale and total weight (gear and myself) is 414lbs, well below the 465lb max listed in the riders manual.

    Had I been able to "plan" the replacement, the Wilbers seem a good option with the 5yr warranty and being rebuild-able.

    Is there any value in my OE shock?

    Thanks,
    Rick
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  5. #5
    Grampa Tumbleweed
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    ESA Rear Shock Failed

    ESA rear shocks are a take-your-breath-away $2200, not rebuildable from BMW. I'm going with Works shocks combined with my ESA units. 1/2 the price and they are rebuildable. Only downside is the aprox. 3 week turn around, not a problem because I planned it for the middle of wisconsin winter.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7536 View Post
    ...not a problem because I planned it for the middle of wisconsin winter.
    Great planning on your part. I have my moto back now with the new OEM shock. I took the bad shock with me and plan to pull the ESA unit off and save for another day/shock. Maybe someone will have a use for it other than me.

    I've read about the Works shock, sounds good with the 5yr warranty, rebuild able and 1/2 price of OEM.

    I am real happy with the customer and technical services at BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge. Their sticker will be added to my side cases for sure!

    I know a guy in Union Grove, his name is Harv.

    Thanks for your message,
    Rick
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Back in the saddle with new ESA rear Shock

    Well, I'm back in the saddle after having the rear ESA shock replaced. When you are in the area, be sure to stop at BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge. They are in a new location on Airline Rd (Hwy 61) off I-12. Especially if you are in the area on a Saturday morning. They have a lounge area that fills up with local riders with food and conversation. I picked up a tip about taking Hwy35 South to Hwy 82 and then ride the coast highway into Texas.

    R1200ESA.JPG
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  8. #8
    Grampa Tumbleweed
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    Union Grove, WI
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    ESA Rear Shock Failed

    Quote Originally Posted by rjzinc View Post
    Great planning on your part. I have my moto back now with the new OEM shock. I took the bad shock with me and plan to pull the ESA unit off and save for another day/shock. Maybe someone will have a use for it other than me.

    I've read about the Works shock, sounds good with the 5yr warranty, rebuild able and 1/2 price of OEM.

    I am real happy with the customer and technical services at BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge. Their sticker will be added to my side cases for sure!

    I know a guy in Union Grove, his name is Harv.

    Thanks for your message,
    Rick
    That would be me, Harv Read a.k.a. Grandpa Tumbleweed.

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