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Old 02-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
Okie Preacher OP
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Ohlin TTX's

Just got off the phone with Dan at Dan Kyle racing working on a set of the Ohlin TTX's for my '09 GS.

The ESA version is $2,754.00 while the manual set is just over $2,000.

That is a new set of tires, an oil change and 3,000 miles worth of gas for the privilege of adjusting them with the push of a button.

I am one-up 99.5% of the time with the only real variables being panniers and luggage full or empty (100# of gear tops), and dirt or pavement.

Am I missing something here? Are there any significant problems going from ESA to the manual adjusters that I might not be considering?

Any advice welcomed.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
tlwood99
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This is funny. I was in exactly your situation. I had an '09 GS, equipped with ESA, and I ride 99.5% of the time solo (ok, more like 99.6%). My only real variable was + or - 60 lbs of gear. I ride quit a bit of dirt.

I sweated about losing the ESA because I liked it and thought of it as a good thing, although my shocks were getting tired at 24k miles and were leaving me dissatisfied, particularly when riding dirt.

I talked to Dan (what I would paraphase as saying whatever floats your boat), talked to 3-4 BMW mechanics at two different shops (all lobbied for non-ESA), and in the process learned that I would have to re-route my Autocom which was in the tool kit to make room for the Mechatronic electronic controller. The hassle of moving the Autocom probably put me over the top and I went with the non-ESA (non-Mechatronic) TTX. I also learned that the Mechatronic automatically readjusts the shocks above 50 mph (?) or so to a firmer setting unlike the OEM ESA. That too factored in since I used "Comfort" setting generally on dirt road and when slabbing it. So half the time I used it in the past would be denied to me.

So I ended up going old school and also saving money. No regrets whatsoever. I am very pleased with the ride quality and don't miss the ESA at all. I would have been willing to pay the extra money if I felt it would have been advantageous, but I didn't want to just spend for the sake of spending either. If I had it to do all over again I would buy exactly what I got.

Hope this helps.

Tom W.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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I had esa on my '09 and I just switched out to ohlin gsa length shocks front and rear and am very happy. I did get the hydraulic remote preload adjuster which is a nice feature but I too ride now alone and rarely need to change the preload. If i wanted to go cheap, manual preload adjustment would have been fine for me.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
I had esa on my '09 and I just switched out to ohlin gsa length shocks front and rear and am very happy. I did get the hydraulic remote preload adjuster which is a nice feature but I too ride now alone and rarely need to change the preload. If i wanted to go cheap, manual preload adjustment would have been fine for me.
Rich,

Dan was recommending that I stick with the regular GS shocks rather than go for the longer throw on the GSA models. He said that ride height and travel would increase enough over the stock shocks to handle anything I would throw at it. We are planning on going one or two notches heavier on spring rates.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:38 PM   #5
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If you weigh 230 or more, properly sprung gs length ohlins will cause a bit more seat height due to less sag versus stock. The stock rear spring on the gs is sprung for , i'm guessing, maybe 180 lbs? My gsa length ohlins, sprung correctly for my weight did raise the seat height at least 2" when I am seated on the bike. I have a sargent regular seat which is about an inch lower than stock gs seat and i'm 6'1" with a 33" inseam and love the extra height as long as i'm riding by myself. The extra height is hard to handle with a passenger when manuvering slow...ask my ex.

What I really know is Dan Kyle knows his suspensions. He sprung my gsa front perfectly just talking over the phone.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
justinallen03
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just put these on too!

2010 GS. Ordered GSA-length shocks. Love the height increase. Never had ESA, so that was never a consideration. I don't see what the big deal is about having those on-the-fly adjustments, but then ive never tried them .

I talked to Dan Kyle at first and was going to order from him, but in the end I bought from Dave at Fast Bike Industries. It was a matter of geography; I liked the idea of the seller being in my area for help/maintenance/setup, and FBI came highly regarded on ADVrider. So far, been extremely pleased with his expertise and help/availability.

I'm still getting used to them...having the bike properly sprung for my 260 lb lard ass really changes the dynamics... but they do feel worlds better than the stockers.

I've been curious where people have been mounting the preload adjusters. Pics anyone?
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:56 PM   #7
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinallen03 View Post

I've been curious where people have been mounting the preload adjusters. Pics anyone?
Here is how I mounted mine. Had to add the 3" aluminum bar you see running horizontally in the picture. It's now easy to reach and yet doesn't protrude and hit my leg.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #9
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When my 09 GSA stock ESA rear shock leaked out all its oil (seal) at 30K miles I replaced it with a lightly used non-ESA stocker and really didn't miss the adjustability once I got the preload dialed in for my fully loaded 3 aluminum case + Ortlieb bags bike. Since I tend to ride Europe paved roads with this heavy load, 1 up configuration all the time I can leave the preload alone.

I do miss the ability to adjust the rebound on the fly feature of the ESA units however, and frequently change the setting as I encounter varying road conditions, like smooth vs bumpy, straight vs curvy. Flat vs up and down through the mountains.

I have never ridden a GSA with anything but the BMW stock shocks, but all I have heard is how much better these after market units are. I was appalled to find out the $$$$ of the BMW stock replacement units, and would not spend that much $$$$ to replace with the same mediocre units if there is a viable option like WESA or Ohlins with ESA or others. I think the $800 extra or so to get the adjustability is high, but going with the WESA units might be acceptable to keep costs under control.

I am more concerned with reliability and rebuildability than absolute high precision handling on the loaded pig. If I want to throw the GSA around like a racer I take off all the bags and go to it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:16 PM   #10
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IMO Getting ESA on an aftermarket shock like Ohlins dumbs down the shock. ESA only offers a limited amount of range adjustments whereas having non ESA I get to adjust front and rear independent adjustability, independent high and low speed compression, rebound and preload.

The first thing I ditched on my new 1200 was the ESA, lost some weight too

Cheers, James
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #11
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On the switch from the ESA to the manual set-up, how did you handle the electronic cables and connections? Just tie off the cables and protect them in case a guy ever goes back, I suppose?

And, were there any error messages sent through the system as a result of the change?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie Preacher View Post
On the switch from the ESA to the manual set-up, how did you handle the electronic cables and connections? Just tie off the cables and protect them in case a guy ever goes back, I suppose?

And, were there any error messages sent through the system as a result of the change?

I just electrical taped the rear and zip-tied the cables up and away. The front was unplugged under the tank and tied solid too. There are no noticeable errors visible. I imagine my GS911 may identify something and I've read here that the dealer will see a fault of some kind when connected to the GT-1. You will notice no errors. You can go back to esa very easy if you ever wanted.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie Preacher View Post
On the switch from the ESA to the manual set-up, how did you handle the electronic cables and connections? Just tie off the cables and protect them in case a guy ever goes back, I suppose?

And, were there any error messages sent through the system as a result of the change?
BMW did a nice job of the connectivity and one can just zip tie the ESA connectors to the chassis in the event you want to use them in the future.

As far as the error messages, I didn't get any when i disconnected the ESA shocks.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, James
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:39 AM   #14
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Gentlemen,

Thank you for the feedback and the great information. The decision is made and I am going to find something else on which to spend that $750...as if that will be a problem.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #15
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You will love the change....absolutely transformative and a big felt difference in the twisties.
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