$400 Works rebuild, Ohlins, or WP?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by naginalf, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I need to upgrade the spring and rebuild the shock on my current, Works Performance UltraSport, rear suspension. They quoted me almost $400 for all the work, mainly because it will require a new piston in order to make the valving holes smaller. This gives me the only clue that I can find as to the type of shock it is, and that seems to be a simple damper rod type, otherwise they would have mentioned shimming (right?).

    So my first question is, is it worth it to upgrade and rebuild the Works shock for such simple technology, or should I save up the extra money for an Ohlins, or better yet, match the front WPs? Perhaps I can simply convince the rather pushy technician over there to simply sell me a stronger spring to get me by until then.

    Speaking of WP, I would really like to match the front, but I can't for the life of me find any references to WP rear suspension for our bikes! I've seen plenty of reference to people having them, but can't find new suppliers. Does anyone know how I'd go about getting one?

    Or perhaps I should just spring for the Ohlins. Let the rear suspension debate commence! :evil

    PS, a user serviceable model would be most desirable. Has anyone serviced their own Works or other shocks, and which is best for this?
    #1
  2. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,698
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA
    I had the remote pre-load adjusting Ohlins on my old R100GS and love it enough that I bought an Ohlins as soon as I traded to an R80G/S...

    The remote pre-load made a huge difference when going between solo riding and two-up or with bags...

    IIRC the remote pre-load from Dan Kyle Racing (thead in vendor's) was something like $700. Dan will re-spring it for you as part of that cost, but re-valving costs extra
    #2
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    The WP shock for the GS was an option straight from the factory ("sport suspension" I believe it was called) so a good number of bikes out there have them. They became standard on the GS Basic and Kalahari models as the factory was using up leftover stock. They look like this:
    [​IMG]
    Something similar is still available new from HPN as well as other vendors in Europe. WP USA really only seems to support KTM dirt bikes, so I wouldn't even bother with them. WP UK appears to have a wider offering so maybe check with them to see what's available. I just put a WP shock on my ST and though I haven't ridden it yet, it does feel VERY nice.

    WP UK lists two shocks for the R100GS, a nicer reservoir shock and an emulsion shock: 17.06.M7.64/01 and 17.06.M9.64/01 respectively. Try asking WP USA if they can get those part numbers.
    #3
  4. R100RT Mark

    R100RT Mark Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    312
    Location:
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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> I am a pretty staid rider, so bear this in mind as I relate my experience with Ohlins and Wilbers.

    There was a Works Performance shock on my 1994 R100RT monolever when I bought it a few years back. The bike had been stored for a while and needed a shot of nitrogen to get the shock up to standard. Worked fine for many months/miles, but got swapped out after I was offered an Ohlins BM 941 with less than 500 miles on it by a friend when he was parting out his monolever that had been totaled in a head-on wreck (no injuries other than to pride and a very bent front end). Easy spring preload, and compression and rebound damping adjustment. Took a while to figure out how/where to mount the remote reservoir but once done I could not believe how much better the new Ohlins was to what I had become accustomed. Great build quality. Good overall performance and easy to adjust to accommodate changes in loading and riding conditions, although I rarely mess with compression damping. No complaints.

    When I replaced the stock shock on my 1993 R100R paralever earlier this year I opted for the “entry level” Wilbers 640. Spring preload and rebound dampening adjustment only. I opted for Wilbers to have something other than the Ohlins, and as this bike only ever gets one-up lightly loaded duty did not think that I would need the all-singing all-dancing adjustment of the more fully featured Wilbers models (or the Ohlins). Jim Eng at Nicks BMW http://www.nicksbmw.com/ made the selection/ordering easy. More great build quality. Compared to the 18,000-mile stock unit it replaced performance is outstanding. It is every bit as good as the Ohlins on my RT and I have not felt like I short changed myself by not having the compression damping option.

    Basically, both great shocks with the performance you would expect their reputations suggest.

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    #4
  5. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,405
    Location:
    Easton Wa
    I've got Ohlins on two bikes, I've had WP on my KTMs, Wilbers on my G/S and works shocks. They were/are all great shocks. What you really need to look at is adjustment features. If it's just a run around town type thing you would be OK with just a spring preload, rebound/compression adjustments. If you ride a lot of loaded, unloaded, two up etc., the more adjustments you can get the better.

    Stuff like hi and low speed compression and rebound adjustments can make washboard disappear for example. Being able to just go and crank a few turns on a knob for two up riding beats getting the spanner out and resetting the spring prleoad. Plus it gets you out of that sticky "Do I really weigh that much" question.

    Also, any shock rebuild, which will come eventually, will cost about the same. I was quoted 400 to have two Ohlins refreshed. With the extra work you want, if you like the shock, go for it. It will be better since you know how it performs already, and you are improving on that performance.
    #5
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,835
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    +1. Adjustments are good. My last shock was a simple emulsion shock with adjustable rebound from YSS. It worked well enough and for the money it was a great value, but from the day I bought it I felt that it needed a bit firmer compression damping. That kinda ticked me off. I'm now a believer in shelling out the extra bucks to get all the adjustments possible.
    #6
  7. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    :eek1 What a response, that's some great info guys, thanks! :thumb I think, considering that buying new is only a little more than rebuilding mine, as it turns out, and my old one is looking manky, I'd like to get something shiny and GOLD :tb. But then again, I haven't heard back from WP and... ok, the gold things had my attention mostly.

    But do any of these options include user serviceability and are willing to sell parts? Why is it that forks are made so user serviceable, but ask for parts for a rear shock and they insist on sending to a dealer? But alas, that's the dealer game. So, what shocks will hold up the best to off road abuse, far from support crews? I'm thinking that hydraulic preload is nice, but I don't mind using a spanner, and... what happens in the case of failure? At any rate, I like to keep it simple, and it saves more than a few bucks. But then again, hmm, basic adjustments, uncomplicated spring adjustment, low cost vs. good shock adjustment, extra hydraulics I'm not fond of, and high cost.:scratch
    #7
  8. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,698
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA
    I've never heard of the hydraulic pre-load failing on an Ohlins...... the self servicing is possible, but you need access to very high pressure nitrogen.
    #8
  9. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,405
    Location:
    Easton Wa
    Yeah, I think you need some "specialty" tools for the Ohlins as well. I've got 60,000 on a pair for my R1100S. No leaks and they still ride nice, but a bit on the soft side. The hard part on rebuilding shocks is getting all the air out of the oil. In the garage, that usually means a big bucket and assembling them in the bucket of oil, or letting them sit for a while to let the air settle out before you put them together. Then being careful not to introduce any air. Ohlins rebuilds are around 300 to 400 for qualified shop.
    #9
  10. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,698
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA
    Dan kyle has an old thread in vendors advertising $100 - $200 IIRC
    #10
  11. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, reactive suspension, a reputable US WP dealer, seemed to put a bit of effort into trying to find them, but came back and said they are "no longer available." I also shot an email off to WPUSA directly, but it seems they are still laughing it over since they haven't bothered to return. This doesn't make me want to buy your products when you don't answer your own info request line. Guess I'll have to take it across the pond. My wallet shudders to check the stock parts fiche, but it's worth a shot I guess.
    #11
  12. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,835
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    The optional "sport suspension" is listed as NLA, but I think I remember it being available as recently as a couple years ago.

    Check these guys out:
    http://www.wpsuspension.co.uk/home.php
    #12
  13. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Thanks again AW, I sent them an email, I'll let you know what I find (although with the terrible exchange rate, I doubt it will be good news). I did find one in the states here, and it isn't bad at only $750, but if I have to respring it anyway, that starts to run close to the cost of a brand new top of the line Ohlins with all the bells and whistles, setup specifically for my weight, AND is still currently supported and manufactured. Hmm... I'm starting to see gold again, I think I accidentally drank a little of the Kool-Aid® :lol3. I like the fact that they support old bikes, and you can actually get info from them. On the Honda forum, they even did a group buy for us with an awesome discount. I'm a sucker for great service!
    #13
  14. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Just heard back from the guys at FTR and got some very good info!

    "Unfortunately with the WP factory being closed down in 2009 I'm afraid these parts are no longer available. We now use Yacugar Suspension (Ex-WP engineers :D) - www.yacugar-suspension.co.uk Yacugar have bespoke built shocks starting from £375 + VAT."

    Yes, I had to look up what "bespoke" meant :shog cuz I'm not english, but so far so good, but they didn't say if they had one for our bikes. If so, this looks like a DAMN good deal, even with the exchange (£375 = $600) depending on which model they are talking about...

    Further inspection shows this and this shock are available for our bike, app chart here. :D:D:D:D
    [​IMG]


    • An emulsion shock for all applications.
    • Precision machined and quality checked.
    • Fully serviceable for a life time use.
    • Spring pre-load & rebound adjustment.
    • Optional length adjuster and hydraulic pre-load adjuster.
    • A top quality, fairly priced shock absorber.

    and...
    :tb
    [​IMG]

    • A race proven fully adjustable shock.
    • Spring pre-load & rebound adjustment.
    • Low and high speed compression damping adjustment.
    • Optional length adjuster and hydraulic pre-load adjuster.
    • Fully serviceable for a life time use.

    Please call us for more information on 01284 752102

    We hope you like the YACUGAR world and join us in discovering new horizons.

    Me likey so far!
    #14
  15. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    But, I'm gonna ask about THIS one, the S-MX 01 for offroad/enduro. Drunk on the Kool-Aid®! :tb:
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,405
    Location:
    Easton Wa
    Just make sure the piggyback reservoir will fit on your bike. I guess it's an issue with some of the shocks for the G/S. If it's for your R100GS it may be a non issue.

    100-200 for Ohlins? Sheeet, I'm there!
    #16
  17. LoJack

    LoJack Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,622
    Location:
    B.G., yo!
    wow, those are some sexy looking shocks! I think the color would match your bike pretty well, too.
    #17
  18. naginalf

    naginalf Handy Schtroumpf

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    :nod

    Here's the response I got from US distributor, Ted Porter:

    "The E-RS is an internal dividing piston model with rebound damping and manual preload and sells for $619.00.

    The F-RS model is a remote reservoir model with 3 way damping and is designed for more off road riding and sells for $959.00.

    The S-MX model is not available for your GS, (:cry)

    I think you would find that the Fusion model would do everything you would want the bike to do with it's high and low speed compression circuits. These shocks are built in Holland to your weight and riding style. They have a five year warranty and are fully rebuildable."

    Now, I don't buy this "not available" stuff. For one, because on their application chart there are NO applications for said shock. Also, how hard is it to ask the company to put the right size bushing in the top, and the correct style of flat receiver on the bottom, the same parts they use on all the other models and look completely interchangeable. I just know that they aren't making special tooling different for each model. Take the bushing and receiver from the E/F-RS and I'm betting it bolts right up to the S-MX. But I digress...

    #18
  19. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,609
    Location:
    Chico, California
    If your Works shock needs a rebuild I would guess you have put a lot of miles on it. I would rebuild it. Your also supporting a US manufacturer.
    #19
  20. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,725
    Location:
    Jackson's Bottom Oregon
    It is possible to get rebuild parts for shocks. I don't recall where, but know they're available. I agree with bmweuro - rebuild them yourself - getting them open is the most difficult part of the job.

    AW - I think you're confusing the two different shocks known as WP. I believe the BMWs came with White Power shocks, not Works Performance.
    #20