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Thread: ESA Rear Shock failed - '08 R1200GS

  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
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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
    Cagiva gran canyon/Honda cl 360 scrambler
    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
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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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    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.

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjzinc View Post
    Well, I'm back in the saddle after having the rear ESA shock replaced.
    How much does a rear ESA shock cost with labor?
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7536 View Post
    That would be me, Harv Read a.k.a. Grandpa Tumbleweed.
    Hi Harv, This is Dick Z. from SCJ/Racine. On the road to Mexico and Central America. Rough start with the rear shock but they fixed me up very good at the BMW shop in Baton Rouge.
    Last edited by rjzinc; 12-30-2012 at 05:06 AM.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    How much does a rear ESA shock cost with labor?
    It was $2200 with labor (45 min) and tax. After a 10% BMW Baton Rouge discount and they ate the over-night delivery cost.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  12. #12
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    Happy ending to this story.

    After completing my 13,000 mile ride to Yavisa, Panama and back to Wisconsin, I had no further is breakdowns. I had a 6,000 service and new tires at BMW Costa Rica. Their support and service was excellent.

    A couple of items after returning home in March. I called Schlossman's BMW to schedule 6,000 service and a new left/f turn signal lamp, broken rear mud guard mount, also noticed a bulge in the front Metzler I had replaced in Costa Rica.

    When I was setting up the appointment, I explained all this to Kent Perleberg, Service Manager, and also the story about the ESA shock failure. Kent offered to check with his BMW contacts regarding the shock, that I should bring copies of all the paperwork. He would also check with Metzler about the front tire bulge.

    Well, much to my surprise and elation, Kent worked a 70% rebate from BMW for the ESA shock replacement (remember, this was out of warranty repair) and also a full reimbursement for a new front Metzler.

    Needless to say, Schlossman's has a very happy customer on board.

    Also worth noting, Schlossman now offers free scheduled pickup/delivery of your moto for service work.

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

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