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Ohlins Rebuild


>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?
That's a lot of motel rooms, beer, whatever.

Before I changed my stock shocks, I'd hit a bump at least once per ride that
would cause back pain.  Since Ohlins, that just about never happens.
Because of the upright riding position on the RT, the back takes a more
direct hit when the ride gets harsh.   That improvement was a huge benefit.

The second benefit is that the tire follows the road better in bumps.  That
translates into better handling when the road is not glassy smooth.

For an R1100RT with more than 20K on the stock shocks, you will feel the
difference immediately and, as you learn the new feel of the bike, you will
begin to take advantage of the better road control.

That said, I do like the OEM shocks that came on my '04 1150 a lot.  The
rear shock is a Showa and looks to be very well made.  It can be set to
offer great control and comfort.   So, for that bike, it may not be worth
the extra money for aftermarket shocks.  For the R1100RT, though, the shocks
were kind of a weak link and good ones are a real improvement, especially if
you do long trips, just for the comfort.  The handling is a bonus.

You hotshoes out there looking for shocks should also consider the Wilbur
fully adjustable shocks available from Klaus at Run-N-Lites.   The price is
slightly better than Ohlins, lead time about the same and they are fully
adjustable for pre-load, rebound and compression front and rear.   A friend
has a set on his 1150 RT and is extremely happy with them.

If you want extra beer money, scour the IBMWR classifieds and any other
classifieds or Ebay for a set of used Ohlins, Works, Wilbur or Penske shocks
for the bike.  They last about forever. You might luck out.   If you buy
some that need rebuilding, the cost is between $200 and $300 for a set
depending on who does the work.

To the guy who says he wouldn't pay a dime extra for Ohlins shocks on a used
bike, well, he's pretty close to right.  That's why you save your OEM shocks
and remount them on the bike when you're ready to trade it.  You also tell
the buyer that you had Ohlins for most of the bike's life, that they're not
included, that the OEM shocks have a lot less miles than the Odometer does.
The OEMs are  good when you want to send your aftermarket shocks in for
rebuilds.  If you buy another BMW, chances are that the rebuilder can make
your shocks fit the new bike, as SHY Racing did with mine.   If you change
to a non-BMW, you can sell the shocks in the classifieds for good
money....especially if they are Ohlins, which seem to be the blue chip.

- -TB