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Thread: New shocks installed on 2005 R12RT

  1. #1
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    New shocks installed on 2005 R12RT

    My ESA stock shocks were shot after 65k miles. Well, likely they were shot sometime before that! I noticed that they were very stiff, with little bounce. Much stiffer than they would normally be on "sport" mode. And the damping never changed when the settings were changed.

    I got the Yacugar shocks from Ted Porter's Beemer Shop. Installation was work, but not necessarily difficult.

    The bike rides great now. I don't know if it is better than with new stock shocks, but it's certainly as good or better than new. I notice it most on downhill twisties. The bike responds much better to dips/bumps and the tires are glued to the road.

    I'm still playing with the settings, but just out of the box the performance is fantastic.

    Installation:

    Here is the rear shock. Remove the wheel (hence the muffler as well), the lower mud guard (two screws), and the shock is right there. One lower bolt, one upper bolt. Both were easier to remove with a good dose of heat from the heat gun. New shock goes right in, with Locktite on the threads. The hardest part was unplugging the old ESA wire connections!



    Front shock is more work. Removing the front wheel gives access to the lower mounting bolt. Definitely needed a heat gun to melt the thread lock, then it came out easily. The upper part of the shock is a stud, and is attached with a nut to the stud. The nut is under the gas tank. So, off comes the body panels and gas tank. This is not really difficult, but takes a bit of time. Normally I would flush the ABS brake fluid since you need to remove the tank for this, too, but I just did it in December. Once the tank is off, the nut is accessible. It also is very tight and needed heat to loosen it. I made a foil heat shield so the heat gun would not melt the wires that are near the nut.

    Once the nut is off, the shock seems like it will come out, but it won't. Removing the front alternator belt cover (about 6 screws) gives you the space you need to drop it out. New one goes right in.

    Again, finding and removing the ESA connections took some time.

    Here she is, almost ready. I still need to remove the large glove box for easier access:

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    Here is the top bolt -I had to remove the gas tank to get access to it. Note the foil heat shield for heat gun:

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    Here's a view of the shock in place. You can see the mounting bolt on the bottom. If you know what you are looking at you can see the alternator belt cover is not in place:

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    Here's my old shocks (white spring) and one new shock:

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    Entire job took about 3 or 4 hours at a relaxed multi-day pace. Again, not difficult, but a lot of steps.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  2. #2
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Nice write up Robo. Is there no ESA on the new front shock?
    12 R1200 RT
    83 R100 RT

  3. #3
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    New ESA from BMW is too pricey, around $3500 or so. You can take the old motors from the ESA shocks and mount to some brands, but my motors are old and I'm not sure they are working.

    These Yacugars on sale were $1350 out the door. I only used ESA for the damping modes, and that was "sport" for smooth and "comfort" for dirt. I have these set up now very nicely for street, and I ride little dirt, only a few miles if needed to get back to pavement. I won't miss ESA much.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvpc View Post
    Nice write up Robo. Is there no ESA on the new front shock?
    WVPC - I did this same job on my 2009 R12RT (at 48K miles) in March, only I installed Wilbers ESA conversions (also from Ted Porter).

    To answer your question: the large motor arrangement you see on the rear strut is the spring preload (one up, one with luggage, two up) adjustment, and no there's not a preload adjustment on the front strut (in spite of what the picture in the parts fiche shows). Both front and rear do have adjustable damping (comfort, normal, sport), and you see that feature from the wires coming from the lower mount.

    At least on the Wilbers, the ESA conversion from Ted Porter includes him moving the damper and preload apparatus from the old struts to the new ones. You can ship the old ones to him to do the swap, or if you are in the area (like I am) it takes about two hours shop time - dropoff, go have lunch, pick them up again. Paret of the conversion is testing all the gizmos to be sure they work.

    It's well worth the effort expended, new ride is much mo' beddah.

    JayJay

  5. #5
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Nice job. I'm curious. Do you recall how your front tires wore in the past: cupping/scalloping/uneven wear? Or what range of mileage you got from your tires? Observe your tire wear and mileage now with the new shocks, could be much better.

    When I replaced the shocks on my RS with Wilbers, ALL aspects of cupping/scalloping/unever tire wear were gone, entirely. Four sets of tires, three different brands, over four years of riding has proved the difference the shocks made.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  6. #6
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I didn't have wear problems such as uneven or cupping. Nothing different than my other bikes. I have exact mileage data for every set of tires I've put on, and I get about 2000-2500 miles out of a set of Pilot Road IIs. I ride very hard. My riding buddies get similar miles on their RTs. I will monitor and see. I should know pretty quickly.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  7. #7
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I just replaced my PRIIs (which I put on after the new shocks). I changed them at 2000 miles because I had a 2000 mile trip to Barber coming and they were well worn. I estimate they had 400-600 miles left.

    The new set now has 2000 miles on them and again I'd say they have 600 miles or so left.

    So, though the ride is great, the tire wear is still the same. I burn through tires at a vicious rate!
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  8. #8
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    2000?

    roborider-Are you saying you only get 2000 miles to a set of tires? How do you wear them so fast? My last set of PRIII's were replaced at 13,000+ miles.
    12 R1200 RT
    83 R100 RT

  9. #9
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Yes. I and my buddies are very aggressive riders. We ride all twisties. Under 2500 miles on a tire is the norm for this type of riding. You can see the rubber peeling off the tire like a pencil eraser. We wear out the sides of the tire before the center. The centers have tread still. We also wear out the front tire (sides) at the same time or a bit before the rear.

    This wear is very similar to our track bikes, though I only get about 1000 miles out of track tires, and that is pushing it.

    When I rode cross country, with large sections of highway, I got about 6k on a set of PRIIs, but again, the edges wore out long before the centers.

    It's just a different, aggressive, very fun, non tire friendly type of riding, that doesn't work for most riders out there. But it is why I ride.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    For the front strut, it's interesting to compare your steps to BMW RepROM (the service DVD).

    Here are the steps from RepROM
    Installing engine lifter
    Remove the seat
    Removing right-hand trim panel
    Removing tank rail
    Removing storage compartment lid
    Removing right fuel-tank cover
    Removing fuel-tank cap
    Removing centre fuel-tank cover
    Removing stowage compartment

    Core activity
    Remove the front spring strut

    Use of the special tool may be key and the intructions are ...

    Secure scissor-type lifter (No. 00 1 571) with engine adapter (No. 00 1 572) and extension (No. 00 1 575) to the engine and use the engine lifter to raise the motorcycle just enough to take the load off the centre stand.
    In any event, RepROM indicates no need to remove front wheel nor gas tank.

    I see no conflict removing lower lower shock bolt with front wheel (and fender) in place.

    Must be that lifting the bike as BMW specifies allows complete suspension extension. Possibly this can be accomplished by removal of front wheel.

    No mention of need to remove front engine cover either, although the word "manoeuver" is included in description of removing the shock, so that's a hint of difficulty.

    Lower the spring strut and manoeuvre it forward to remove.
    Doesn't necessarily look feasible to raise bike with everyday floor jack and block of wood under motor, and a cursory glance indicates the special tool(s) might be safest way to go.

    Right fuel-tank cover and center fuel-tank cover are painted parts, same as right-hand trim panel.

    So, can follow your workaround removing front wheel, but still don't follow need to remove fuel tank.

    Appreciate your efforts for sure.

    PS

    Here's a giggle using ascycles.com

    00 1 571 = 83 30 0 401 345 $615.38
    00 1 572 = 83 30 0 401 346 $206.02
    00 1 575 = 83 30 0 401 348 $230.53
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    Jeff cookie's Avatar
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    So, Robo. Is it safe to say, "you will know when your shocks are worn out when they seem to be stiff all the time regardless of the setting"?
    If so I will pay attention. My 08 RT has 26K and it still rides pretty darn sweet and the PR3's are wearing great.
    Jeff
    Jeff Anderson
    I ride a 2008 R1200RT

  12. #12
    Motorcyclist patiodadio's Avatar
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    Hum... my 05 has 31K and the shocks seem fine. The ESA works great , I can tell quite a difference between the 2 up with luggage comfort setting and the 1 up no luggage sport setting. I just got 9 K out of my PRII"s. I never thought too much about wearing the shocks out, guess I will keep a closer watch as the miles roll on. Thanks for posting the pictures and info.




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    ________________________________________
    The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  13. #13
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    For the front strut, it's interesting to compare your steps to BMW RepROM (the service DVD).
    I had to mount new tires so I removed the wheels for that. I don't recall but it might not be needed otherwise. It sure gives a lot of room, though. As for the gas tank, I'm pretty sure I would not have removed it if I could get to the upper nut for the strut otherwise. But it was a while ago I did it.

    The front cover (the alternator cover) gives A LOT of extra room to remove and install the strut, and it is absolutely worth the time. I don't think I could have done it otherwise, but since it is 3 bolts and five minutes, it is no big deal.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  14. #14
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie View Post
    So, Robo. Is it safe to say, "you will know when your shocks are worn out when they seem to be stiff all the time regardless of the setting"?
    If so I will pay attention. My 08 RT has 26K and it still rides pretty darn sweet and the PR3's are wearing great.
    Jeff
    Well, in my case, yeah. They were very stiff, more that the "sport" setting stiff. But that seems unusual to me. I'm used to shocks leaking oil and becoming bouncy. But that wasn't the case here. One day I might crack them open and have a look, and I'll hold onto the ESA motors in case someone needs one.

    I can say now, several thousands of miles later, I don't miss the ESA like I thought I would. The Yacugars work very, very well.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

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