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Thread: Replacing Strut (Shock) Question

  1. #1
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Replacing Strut (Shock) Question

    I'm replacing the struts (shocks) on my 2003 R1150R. The Clymer manual says to remove the front wheel before removing the strut. In looking at the bike, this doesn't appear to be necessary. What is your experience with this?

    Any other tips on replacing the struts on an R1150?

    Also, for those who have done this -- at what mileage did you replace your struts? I know that depends on riding style, type of roads traveled, weight on the bike, etc. but I'm still curious.
    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

  2. #2
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    You have to be able to drop the front end enough to get the shock out once you have unbolted it. If you can jack the front of the bike up enough (with the rear wheel off) you can do it without removing the front wheel. In the long run it's just easier to remove the front wheel.
    You're right, there's lots of variables to shock mileage. Personally I found the stock units toast by 30K. My wife got almost 50K on her RS before I replaced them.
    Good luck.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  3. #3
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    With my RT, there was no need at all to remove the wheel; just keep the back of the bike firmly on the ground so nothing can tip forward.

  4. #4
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    shocks

    put the centerstand on a 2X4 or something thicker. Siphon all the gas you can out of the tank. remove the top nut on the front shock. put enough weight on the back of the bike until the back tire touches the ground. remove the lower bolt on the front shock. remove shock. compare old shock and new shock. If the same reverse process. When you get ready to push the top of the shock through the frame put a bottle jack under the bottom of one fork and jack it up until you get enough of the shock threads through the frame to put on the mounting rubbers.washers and the nut. tighten everything up, but leave the tank off.

    So now you basically reverse the process. Except you have to remove the rear wheel. Should have loosened the wheel lug bolts and the bolts on the brakes before you started. The bolts are pretty tight so you might need some help keeping the bike upright while you are breaking the colts loose. Use the bottle jack under the final drive to find slack in the mounting bolts when you remove them, and when you reinstall the new shock.

    If the old shocks weren't leaking hang onto them.

    Jon

  5. #5
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder - I used a plank of 1 x 3 under the centerstand, that was enough.
    During reassembly, I shoved another board under the wheel to jack it back up.

    Also - When I tried to grab the flats of the top stud with an open-end wrench, the wrench flexed too much (spread) to really get a solid and safe grip. A small vise worked very well here, and for reassembly too.

  6. #6
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate any and all input. I"ll continue to watch this thread and learn...
    Last edited by JRD; 03-01-2013 at 04:07 AM.
    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

  7. #7
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    general consensus among those that really care and are attentive to shock performance is a lifespan of 25-40K miles. most riders go much longer than that, as the degradation in performance is very gradual- so we end up comparing performance to "yesterday", not "new". shock rebuild intervals are about the same as well.
    With an R, and no bodywork, i would be sure to remove the tank, but maybe not the wheel. Goal is to get enough height to let the front end extend down so that shock can be removed.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  8. #8
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I replaced the shocks without a problem and to my surprise found the rear to be more difficult than the front. The bottom fitting was very tight and a bear to line up with the mounting bolt. The rubber hammer prevailed, however.

    Then there was the matter of routing the rear shock adjuster hose through the narrow space between the plastics in a way that didn't crimp it too badly. Perseverance furthers and a little bit of OCD doesn't hurt either.

    One of the "plastics" referenced above appears to be a reservoir with a 3/4" or so hand tightened drain plug. Can't believe I haven't noticed it in ten years that I've owned this bike! Something slippery like brake or clutch fluid seeped out when I cracked it open so I quickly re-tightened the cap rather than get into another job. What's up with that?
    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

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    airbox drain? (for recirculated oil mist)
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  10. #10
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

  11. #11
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    was that it?

    if so... now you know.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  12. #12
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Yep, which means it has 10 years and 42K of gunk in it. Can't wait to see what comes out.

    Amazing what you can learn on this forum...
    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

  13. #13
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    Should not be much of anything other than a thin film of grime. My 94RS has FAR more miles on it and the crankcase breather has never created much for grundge in the airbox.

  14. #14
    Registered User RapidRoadRescue's Avatar
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    What shocks did you install in the bike as replacement?

    Martin
    The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. Now, the guy who invented the second wheel... he was the genius.
    www.motorcycleworkshop.net
    www.rapidroadrescue.com

  15. #15
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RapidRoadRescue View Post
    What shocks did you install in the bike as replacement?

    Martin
    I found a pair of low mileage OEM take-offs on eBay. Just couldn't see spending $1,000 minimum on a set of aftermarket shocks at the bike's current book value. Of course, the bike is worth more than that to me -- especially after re-bonding with it during spring maintenance.

    It took about a year of watching to find lightly used shocks specific to the R1150R. There were plenty of Rockster shocks and even some from RTs, but I wanted to stick with original spec and not change the bike's geometry even a little bit.

    BTW, my (clean) old shocks are listed on the MOA flea market and IBMWR Marketplace if anybody is interested...
    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

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