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Re: Ohlins Rebuild

In a message dated 12/7/2003 7:46:11 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
tkbozeman@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
This thread about Ohlin rebuilds begs the more fundamental question of does
the replacement of BMW stock shocks with Ohlins change/improve the ride of
the bike enough to warrant the outlay of what-- $1300+ for a front and rear?

I thought I had addressed this matter in my post of 12/2 to Bob Silas, but as 
usual I probably used too many words and talked all around the subject 
without addressing it directly. So, here goes again and I hope I get it right this 

IMO, the significantly improved quality of of ride and handling offered by 
Ohlins or any other brand new aftermarket shock is not worth the $1300 or so 
outlay to replace brand new stock shocks. That's the black and white of the 
matter. However, as with anything else, there are shades of gray that can influence 
a decision. Here is what I consider to be the gray area.

It has been my experience with street bikes (not racing or dirt bikes), that 
ANY shock is going to lose the greater portion of it efficiency and 
effectiveness at about the 30,000 mile mark. If you have been using the stock shock, you 
are then faced with an outlay of $1300 or so for an aftermarket shock. If you 
have been using one of the aftermarket shocks that can be rebuilt, you are 
faced with an outlay of $100 or so per shock for a rebuild. The point is that if 
you are going to be keeping your bike for more than about 30K miles, and wish 
to keep the ride and handling as effective and efficient as possible, then 
the outlay of the aforementioned $1300 or so is inevitable. 

For example, let's assume two BMW riders who buy new street bikes at the same 
time. Both riders will end up keeping their bikes for 50,000 miles. 

Rider 'A' chooses to keep the stock shocks for 30,000 miles. At the end of 
that time, the steadily decreasing effectiveness of the shocks has reached the 
point where it is interfering with the rider's enjoyment of the bike. Rider 'A' 
then shells out $1300 or so for a set of aftermarket shocks and enjoys their 
improved performance for the remainder of the bike's life in his hands.

Rider 'B' chooses to replace the stock shocks with a set of aftermarket 
shocks shortly after the new bike purchase. Although their inherent out-of-the-box 
performance is clearly superior to the stock shocks, they are still going to 
deteriorate over time and use with the 30,000 mile mark being the point where 
they will be rebuilt. Rider 'B' then shells out $100 or so per shock to have 
them rebuilt, and enjoys their inherent superior performance for the remainder 
of the bike's life in his hands. 

So, when both rider's get rid of their bikes at 50,000 miles:
1.)  They have both popped for a new set of aftermarket shocks at a cost of 
$1300 or so. 
2.)  It cost Rider 'B' an additional $100 or so per shock for the rebuilds at 
the 30K mile mark. The tradeoff however, is that Rider 'B' got to enjoy the 
superior ride and handling characteristics of the aftermarket shocks for 50,000 
miles versus Rider 'A' who experienced this same enjoyment for only 20,000.

Fade to announcer:
The story you have just seen was based on actual circumstances. Only the 
names have been changed to protect me. (Dum da dum dum!) (Followed by sound of 
hammer striking anvil). :-)

Rider 'A' was me with my '95 R1100GS. In actual fact, I rode that bike for 
86K miles and had the aftermarket shocks rebuilt at about the 60K mile mark.
Rider 'B' is also me with my '04 R1150GS. This is an ongoing saga.

Hope this helps,
Gary Prickett
Mission Viejo, CA