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Old 04-08-2015, 08:22 PM   #1
Micksan OP
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BMW Shock Life

I have a 09 R1200Gs w/ the ESA shocks. So far no problem. But I like to plan ahead.
Can anyone give me a general idea about how long I can expect my shocks to last. Right now the bike has 24K. 99% has been on paved roads. I ride single and tip the scale at 130lbs. I purchased the bike about 8 months ago and plan to crank on some miles
I have been riding a long time (1961) and have learned that stock tires & shocks are not meant to last a long time. Also know the dumb person is the one who will not ask a question.
Thanks in advance
Russ in OKC
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
CaptainWhizzBang
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Shocks

My friend traded in his 09 GS with 105K miles on it. Original shocks with ESA. Said they were a little soft, but still working fine..
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
gundrted
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I have an 09 GS with ESA. I'm the second owner. I got it with 7k miles on it. At 13.5k miles the rear shock blew its seals and leaked all over the garage floor. The bike was riden 90% on road and I weigh 138lbs (158 with riding gear). It all depends on the shock and luck. The Shoa shocks on the 09s don't have the greatest seals.

Wilbers makes a great replacement shock that lets you keep your ESA hardware.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
OldandGrim
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I can only tell you how I feel about my bike I'm no expert and still at the beginning of a long learning curve with the gs. Current bike has 65k original shocks they are on my to do list. Everything I've read is that aftermarket makes a big difference particularly off road. That said after 25 years of motorcycling I feel the bike still handles fine (except rough off road) . Its only my head and past motorcycling experience that keeps telling me to change them.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
manganos
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I'm not sure but can I invite ya'll over to eat? I can't remember the last time I was ya'll weight
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:10 PM   #6
JimVonBaden
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BMW shocks are decent, but not known for long life. At 40K miles they are generally shot. The rider usually doesn't even realize it until they swap them out.

CWG Your friend was riding on a set of completely worn out shocks!
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:17 PM   #7
BMWRich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micksan View Post
I have a 09 R1200Gs w/ the ESA shocks. So far no problem. But I like to plan ahead.
Can anyone give me a general idea about how long I can expect my shocks to last. Right now the bike has 24K. 99% has been on paved roads. I ride single and tip the scale at 130lbs. I purchased the bike about 8 months ago and plan to crank on some miles
I have been riding a long time (1961) and have learned that stock tires & shocks are not meant to last a long time. Also know the dumb person is the one who will not ask a question.
Thanks in advance
Russ in OKC
It's pretty much a "personal thing" but installing aftermarket shocks setup for yourself will be a "night n day difference".
When the factory ones wear out,...can also be a personal thing.

What works for me,Ill try to get a good 30K miles before looking to invest/upgrade. Others will *POP* for aftermarket right off the get go,..so again personal preference.

OTOH,I feel the best bang for your buck is to definitely upgrade the suspension vs: motor enhancements.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:38 PM   #8
OldandGrim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
BMW shocks are decent, but not known for long life. At 40K miles they are generally shot. The rider usually doesn't even realize it until they swap them out.
This is a good point, this would make my bike 40,000 ish miles and the shocks are definitely on the to do list but they don't feel dangerous like all previous bikes once the shocks are shot.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:24 PM   #9
El Gato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWRich View Post

OTOH,I feel the best bang for your buck is to definitely upgrade the suspension vs: motor enhancements.
In general I'd agree, but it really depends on your weight and what the bike is set up for from the factory. My previous two bikes (KLR650 and Wee Strom) were sprung/damped from the factory for someone weighing ~120 pounds so immediate suspension upgrades paid huge dividends. My 2012 GSA OTOH, appears to have been sprung/damped nearly perfectly for me (~170-180 lbs.) so upgrading suspension will not provide me with any real improvement until the current shocks wear out.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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Wilber WESA conversion

I the second owner of an 09 GSA with a little over 14K. Noticed a trail of oil spots on the drive where I take off in the morning and upon further check found that the rear was the source of the oil. I know they say it has nothing to do with it but it was march in Nebraska and about 26 degrees, my local dealer said that they've seen this issue mainly with the rear shocks and they believe that colder temps are partially to blame.
When I removed the shock there was what may have been a date"8 10 10 " stamped on the top of the upper mount. Second Shock???
My dealer wanted $1000 for a rebuilt beemer replacement with a 2yr warranty, Ted Porters Beemer shop has Wilbers for $674 with a 5 year warranty. Call them , they will set up an account for you to customize the shock to you. You will have to send them your shock and they switch over the ESA components to a new Wilber shock. Turn around time for me was about 1 1/2 days once it gets to them. they shipped it out promptly with a total turnaround time of 12 days. Very Happy with the Wilber!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf7MIVPfic4
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:20 PM   #11
Florida Lime
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The last time I remember a rear shock thread coming up, there was a wide range of mileages before having any issues. FWIW, I went 64,000 miles before my ESA rear shock started leaking. I had both front and rear replaced with Wilburs ESA.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:32 PM   #12
Okie Preacher
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My ESA Shocks on my '09 lasted about 20K miles, but I ran them an additional 5K. Swapped out for a set of Ohlin TTK's sprung for my weight and riding. Transformed the bike. Some of the best money I ever spent.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:39 PM   #13
bobbybob
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Originally Posted by Florida Lime View Post
The last time I remember a rear shock thread coming up, there was a wide range of mileages before having any issues. FWIW, I went 64,000 miles before my ESA rear shock started leaking. I had both front and rear replaced with Wilburs ESA.
Yes, a leaking shock is the only "visible" symptom of a worn-out shock. But the fluid starts losing viscosity as soon as the bike hits the pavement. Anywhere from 15K to 30K miles (depending on your riding habits) the damping will have degraded substantially, but this takes place very gradually and linearly so that its hard to notice it, unless you ride somewhat agressively (twisties, high speed sweepers). My guess is your riding was more highway miles---or else your butt just isn't as sensitive as mine. Yuck, that sounded nasty.

I can't imagine riding 60K miles between shock rebuilds/swaps.
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