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Thread: time for new shocks?

  1. #1
    aapasquale
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    time for new shocks?

    This may sound silly, but how does one know if new shocks are needed? My bike is a 1994 R1100RS with 42,000 miles on it. I've only been riding two years now and this is basically the only bike I've ridden. What are the tell-tale characteristics which would indicate a need for new shocks?
    Thanks,
    Tony

  2. #2
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    at 42 k, they are toast
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  3. #3
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
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    I'd like to know the same thing.
    How can you tell when motorcycle shocks are no longer working?

    I don't believe mileage is a good indicator. What if you are a light weight and seldom hit bumps?
    A fuel filter will last forever if you never have any dirt in the fuel, similar to a shock, no bumps - no wear.

    If somebody has a test, please post it so we can get this answered.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  4. #4
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorradmike View Post
    I'd like to know the same thing.
    How can you tell when motorcycle shocks are no longer working?

    I don't believe mileage is a good indicator. What if you are a light weight and seldom hit bumps?
    A fuel filter will last forever if you never have any dirt in the fuel, similar to a shock, no bumps - no wear.

    If somebody has a test, please post it so we can get this answered.
    If you replace them you will notice the difference.

  5. #5
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    at 42 k, they are toast
    + 1

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Shocks

    Does anyone have a good idea besides Ohlins? I don't want to put $1700 shocks on a $4000-$4500 bike.

  7. #7
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11319 View Post
    Does anyone have a good idea besides Ohlins? I don't want to put $1700 shocks on a $4000-$4500 bike.
    I've had mine rebuilt and custom revalved. $400 each.

    OR

    Hagon makes a good shock. Good people to deal with, too. Also $400. http://www.hagonshocksusa.com/

  8. #8
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11319 View Post
    Does anyone have a good idea besides Ohlins? I don't want to put $1700 shocks on a $4000-$4500 bike.
    Here's a Wilbers address:

    http://www.wilbersamerica.com/

    Personally I would save longer for the Ohlin's. You won't be disappointed.

  9. #9
    Nickname: Droid
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    On the RS especially, there are good indicators of crapped out shocks:
    1. Tire cupping; worn out shocks have no damping and that dramatically increases cupping wear.
    2. Uneven front tire wear, one side of the tire wearing much more than the other. Forget all the nonsense about road crown, more left hand turns, etc. Crapped out shocks, especially the front, significantly increase uneven tire wear on the front.
    3. Wallowing/uncertain feeling while cornering; an RS with good shocks is rock-steady in the turns. With crapped out shocks it feels like mid-60's motorcycle.
    4. Pitching/heaving over uneven road surfaces; crapped out damping has the bike moving much more in reaction to bumps than it does with good shocks.
    5. An "inaccurate" feel for the road. With crapped out shocks the RS seems to hunt/dart about.

    At 30,000 miles or more the stock shocks are most CERTAINLY crapped out and worthless other than being springs to support the weight of the bike.

    I know this from direct experience, especially numbers 1 to 3. I used to get terrible tire cupping and wierd front tire wear. At 120k I replaced my crapped out shocks with Wilbers. Tire wear reduced significantly as I now get 12,000 miles on my front tire and more, with almost NO CUPPING and absolutely no uneven tire wear. I have proved this over 40,00 miles and three different tire brands. All ridden on the same roads and same loads and at the same tire pressures.

    IF you plan to keep the bike for more than 30,000 miles and really use it, custom shocks are worth the money. If you plan to sell the bike soon, find some REALLY low miles stock shocks (like less than 10,000 miles on them).

  10. #10
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorradmike View Post
    I'd like to know the same thing.
    How can you tell when motorcycle shocks are no longer working?

    I don't believe mileage is a good indicator. What if you are a light weight and seldom hit bumps?
    A fuel filter will last forever if you never have any dirt in the fuel, similar to a shock, no bumps - no wear.

    If somebody has a test, please post it so we can get this answered.
    Well gauging shock health is like watching yourself get older. You see yourself every day, the aches and pains, weight, flexibility, stamina, grey hair, etc creep up slowly, and most 50 year olds, will say they still feel 30, but if you could reset to 30, HOLY CRAP, you would notice the difference.

    Replacing stock with premium shocks at 2000 miles is very noticeable, at 10k you will say wow, this bike is much improved. Change them at 40K and you will be calling the cops, convinced someone stole your old bike and left a different one in its place.

    High quality shocks set up properly will be the BEST $$$ you can spend on a bike. That is unless you plod along 15 mph under the speed limit, or just ride the slab coast to coast, to rack up miles.

    AND best of all, although a significant amount of $$ for admission, you get most of it refunded AFTER the E ticket ride (wish Disney did that), as you can get more $$ if you sell the bike, or take them off and get 75%-90% of your money back, selling them used and reinstalling the stockers before selling or trading.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  11. #11
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Buying a used set and having them rebuilt to suit you is a cost effective alternative. Find a good used pair of shocks (Wilbers, Ohlins, Works Performance, etc.) and swap out the worn out stock shocks for something that works so much better and are maintainable.

    As an example I just took a set of Works Performance shocks off an 1100RT for a club widow to prep the bike for sale. These were set up to lower the RT one inch for a short fellow. She is selling them for $600.

    They are out there, you just have to look around.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11319 View Post
    Does anyone have a good idea besides Ohlins? I don't want to put $1700 shocks on a $4000-$4500 bike.
    I spent $1400 on a pair of HyperPros a couple of years ago at 42,000 and I understand your pain. I couldn't find a good place to rebuild the stock ones...and I'd have to take the bike off the road for a couple of weeks. The HyperPros are so good, you won't realize how good they are until you've had a few months. The level of handling is awesome. The bike will stick, tires will last longer, no cupping and your bike will out handle many new ones. Your $4500 bike will make you re-evaluate every new bike you ever looked at. The bike now has 56,000 miles.

  13. #13
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    I've had mine rebuilt and custom revalved. $400 each.

    OR

    Hagon makes a good shock. Good people to deal with, too. Also $400. http://www.hagonshocksusa.com/
    BC - where did you have yours done? I picked up a set of lower mileage used from an ADV Inmate and want to send my originals off for rebuild.

  14. #14
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurdent View Post
    BC - where did you have yours done? I picked up a set of lower mileage used from an ADV Inmate and want to send my originals off for rebuild.
    Here you go, sir. http://www.acceltechracing.com/services.htm

    Owner's name is John Sharrard. Fill out the form from the above link and tell him exactly what you're looking for and that's what you'll get back. I shipped mine to him standard mail and had everything back in about 10 business days. Might take a little longer for you seeing as its crossing the border but it shouldn't be an issue.

    You'll be pleased with the results.

  15. #15
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    THX!

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