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Old 01-29-2009, 07:56 PM   #151
tmex
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A friend just took delivery of a new F8 with an Ohlins out back and the Ohlins progressive fork springs up front. I'll get some seat time soon and report back.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:34 PM   #152
huckleberry
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don't know when i'll be able to get out to ride but when i do will let you guys know how the WP shock and fork spgs work on the 658 Should have the parts in 4 or 5 days!!!!!
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #153
robhar54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
A friend just took delivery of a new F8 with an Ohlins out back and the Ohlins progressive fork springs up front. I'll get some seat time soon and report back.
Yes, please do. I had an Ohlins rear shock on my R80G/S. Transformed the bike.

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Old 01-31-2009, 07:49 AM   #154
Monkey_Boy
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I've not ridden the 800gs, so I can't comment on the stock suspension.

BUT... Some of you guys are buying bikes thinking that any suspension is going to be good from the factory, regardless of price. That simply is not the case. Even if you spend $40k on a R-version Ducati, the factory Ohlins stuff still is not right, especially for the track.

Now, some stock suspensions are better than others. And, some stock suspensions are good enough. But based on the comments here, the 800 is particularly off. So, spend the money on a good shock and have the forks re-worked. It's as simple as that.

Stock rear shocks are pretty much toast after 7,000 miles or so. Really, you say? How often do you change the oil in the engine? Well, shocks use oil and they are very hard on the oil, not to mention they contain very little oil and that tiny bit of oil does one hell of a lot of work in just a few thousand miles.

Buy an Ohlins shock, you can't go wrong. Get the right fork springs and oil, and if that does not solve the issues, re-valve. Those are the realities of today's motorcycles. So, when you are budgeting for a new bike, you should also budget these costs into the purchase as well. Or, live with the stock set up. Your choice.

When I buy a sportbike for track use, I figure in a minimum of $2,500 in suspension upgrades, just as a start. Painful, but necessary. For a street bike, $1,500 is a good number to work with.

Both the forks and shock should be serviced once a year, minimum, or even twice a year if you do a lot of miles. Those two components are the most over-worked, under-appreciated, and under-serviced parts on a bike. Too bad, because done right, they transform a decent bike into a wonderful machine.

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:22 PM   #155
One Eye Mike
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Good advice, Monkey Boy.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:16 AM   #156
tmex
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Yeah, there is truth in MB's post. For the most part, I just ride through suspension issues. You could go nuts trying to make things perfect.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:28 AM   #157
Monkey_Boy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
For the most part, I just ride through suspension issues. You could go nuts trying to make things perfect.

Me, too. I installed Ohlins front and rear on my 1150GS, and while it didn't make a big difference on the street, it sure worked better on dirt roads.

On my Wee Strom, I've been happy enough with the stock shock, but installed stiffer forks springs and heavier oil. The shock is just OK, and it really does need one because it's a bit out of balance. Maybe later this year. Shocks are so damn expensive!

The stock suspension on my Gixxer 750 worked ok up to 2:05's at Thunderhill. Faster than that and it became too much of a handful to manage. The high speed damping was painful, so I had to upgrade it, front and rear. I also had to raise the rear a lot, although that's not expensive to do. It works now very well at 1:57's and will need more small changes to go faster with less drama.

But I should not be the one preaching about servicing... I'm pretty lazy when it comes to my street bikes for servicing the suspension. Fork oil is easy, but doing the shock requires special tools, so you pretty much have to have a shop do it. The shock on my Wee is pretty well worn out damping-wise and I'm too cheap to have it serviced. So, I'll just ride around it until I can't stand it anymore. :)
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:16 AM   #158
johngil
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While I've rarely left any suspension stock, I am disappointed w/ the quality of the 800 suspension. The KTM 950/990 gets the nod on that one.
I know BMW was aiming to keep the price down, I just wish they started w/ better components.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:13 PM   #159
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I got to do my whole comparison test route this am in spite of a little clay mud. I was pleasantly surprised.
On pavement I like the setup. Got the rebound on the rear about maxed out to hard and it works well on and off road. The front still problamatic, but it works fairly well on pavement and if ridden aggresively off road. Just pokin around in a relaxed matter still harsher than I like on the small stuff.
My advice is just respring to your weight and revalve the front. If on a budget the spring change alone is a big improvement. Ohlins if you got em.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:27 PM   #160
johngil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm
My advice is just respring to your weight and revalve the front.
Not much else you can do w/ the forks. Maybe Race Tech will make some emulators for the 800. (if they don't already)

I will try Works Performance for the rear.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:47 AM   #161
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itsatdm: did you leave your triple clamps dropped down the fork tubes in the end?

In addition to the improvements you report, I am very curious about the dissapearance of the "Klack" in the front end. Has it stayed away?

MonkeyBoy's comments on oil in suspension are well taken. Often what goes by the name of "suspension breaking in" is actually oil viscosity dropping off as the oil gets worked. If you really get picky about suspension action, like on a raodracer for instance, you change oils often to keep the viscosity in the range where it's working. For something like the GS, I have no intention of letting myself get that picky. No intention.

BTW; I can identify with your handle. I hadn't noticed it until I typed it out. A few years back, mine could have been "itsafalco".

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Old 02-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngil
Maybe Race Tech will make some emulators for the 800. (if they don't already)
Emulators are for old school dampers that don't have a valve + shim stack system.

If you were to buy a racetech product, it would be a Gold Valve. I suspect--though I do not know for sure--that they have valves that would fit the Zokes on our GSes. Worth it? Dunno. People spend all sorts of loot on their sportbike suspensions, but that's because they're riding at 95%+.

I don't ride my GS at 95%.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:05 PM   #163
johngil
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I'll be pulling the forks apart when the springs come in. I am under the impression the 800 has a damper rod set up, not a cartridge.
Am I wrong?
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #164
itsatdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack_mind
itsatdm: did you leave your triple clamps dropped down the fork tubes in the end?

In addition to the improvements you report, I am very curious about the dissapearance of the "Klack" in the front end. Has it stayed away?

MonkeyBoy's comments on oil in suspension are well taken. Often what goes by the name of "suspension breaking in" is actually oil viscosity dropping off as the oil gets worked. If you really get picky about suspension action, like on a raodracer for instance, you change oils often to keep the viscosity in the range where it's working. For something like the GS, I have no intention of letting myself get that picky. No intention.

BTW; I can identify with your handle. I hadn't noticed it until I typed it out. A few years back, mine could have been "itsafalco".
The new spring on the rear shock raised raised the tail end of the bike enough that I was experiencing a slight weave at freeway speeds if the winds were getting blustery. Raising the front back up as far as I could eliminated that.
Good about the vicosity. When it gets to about 1 weight maybe I will stop carping on the slow speed harshness . Still no klack, just the normal plasticy sounds that hard plastic makes when it is held together with sheetmetal screws and stamped metal clips.
I gave the TDM to my son in law. He decided motorcyle were too dangerous so he is giving it back. Still love that bike but 3 is to many, one has to go.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:26 PM   #165
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Guys, the oil does more than just lose its viscosity. Material wears off the bushings, and it catches microscopic bits of dirt and road grime that manages to work past the fork seals. So it acts as a filter for all that stuff.

Fork oil change at least once a year, mkay? It's an easy winter DIY project that will take you all of an hour or so to do.
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