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Re: Ohlins, Wilbers and Works, Oh my!

Thanks for the comments. I just like to add something to one of you comment:  

"The dirt causes wear and the dirt gets into
the gizmo and the oil gets out."

Oil gets dirty without outside dirt too.  See oil in any machinery which has oil, circulating oil, or otherwise, in use all oil will get dirty simply by particles rubbed off from moving parts.
Bob Silas 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ben Barkow 
  To: oilheads@xxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 10:38 AM
  Subject: Re: Ohlins, Wilbers and Works, Oh my!

  > There are lemons among cars and bikes.  I consider myself lucky, after all the
  > problems I read on this list. I don't think that BMW is the best bike, not at
  > all, but it serves me good. When I change the preload on the shock I do feel a
  > difference.  By turning the dampening screw, I do feel a difference.

  Bob Silas is quite right in asking the List to separate fact from fiction.
  And in as much as little beyond but pious pleading has shown up so far,
  here's my own pious pleading. In my case, I've read-up on the subject some
  and have rebuilt my Koni's first-hand and have replaced shocks several

  First, about that 4-hour curve. As any northerner can tell you, car shocks
  are very much influenced by temperature. I can't understand why in this age
  of constant viscosity oils (AKA synthetic) even a cheap bike shock should
  have much difference with even bikerly-extreme changes in temperature. I
  sure know this: human senses and human judgment sure change in the course of
  a 4-hour scoot.

  For cars, when it is real cold, it takes maybe two miles to warm up the
  shocks (and car shocks are one of the few components on cars which need any
  kind of warm-up to avoid accelerated self-destruction). The process is
  somewhat self-regulating in that cold/thick oil heats faster and vice versa.

  Shocks really work hard - I love watching my front wheel bounce around when
  the low sun casts a shadow. But inside the shock is nothing but a couple of
  high-class washer-shaped springs, not stuff that wears. In fact, in a
  rebuild, these are not likely to be touched (I mean that literally, since
  the rebuilder might never get them back together in the same sequence). The
  rubber parts are seals and don't have a performance role except to keep the
  oil on the inside. Even dirty oil, in so far as the volume is still
  adequate, has no influence on performance. It should be obvious to the
  serious biker when oil is coming out. Over a long term, oil will come out

  I will say this, there is no mod however ineffective for which there's
  nobody who will swear it was significant. And I am as delusional about my
  mods as the next person. As far as I know (not all too much), if the oil
  volume is adequate, the rebuild should have no effect on performance unless
  the shocks have maybe 70,000 miles (more for the short-stroke Oilhead

  But since Styling became King at BMW (Kent are you there?), exposed rods and
  fork stanchions are the norm. Pretty insane to expose these sliding things
  to dirt but gaiters look quaint. The dirt causes wear and the dirt gets into
  the gizmo and the oil gets out. For telescopic forks (but apparently not
  Telelevers, says The Factory) wise folks change their fork oil every year or
  even sooner... and it is dirty!

  Shocks are very sophisticated devices although I don't think there are many
  true secrets about how to design a good one, given the incentives and a
  willingness to use boxes and tanks outside the tight confines of the shock
  itself. For sure, good suspension is wonderful.

  Which brings me to another fallacy of self-delusion. The springs do the
  springing (that's the MAIN job) and the shocks do the damping. They must be
  attuned to one another and to the rider and ride purposes. Often a new shock
  really is a new spring or new relationship, not a miraculous Swedish thing.
  In other words, some folks might find the Works more to their liking and
  some less. For sure, in Olden Tymes, people loved the stiffly-sprung and
  heavily damped BMW Koni's - out of the mistaken idea that stiffness equals


  Ben Barkow, Toronto... 39 seasons on Beemers, 44 as a biker,
  1961 R69s/rod, 1967-1999... really sup'ed up and fast
  1984 R80RT/rod, 1998- 5 extra peak ponies in a wider flatter power band,
    much modified 2-into-1 exhaust, CR 9.5, Keihin PJ 34mm oval carbs,
    Uni filter, dual-rate springs with cartridge emulators,
    BT45/S11, Saeng fairing
  1999 R1100S, 2004- Leo Vince exh, JetHot coatings