800GS shock bolt design flaw?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by johngil, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I had PVC pipe on the top of mine, but when I stripped it down after a couple of weeks one side had crushed, the shock was off centre, and the Indy sleeve had shiny marks from the roller bearings . The bearing felt rough, like there was a flat spot.

    No idea why it would manage to wind up canted, but I pulled the shock out and started again, washing out and repacking the bearing, turning the sleeve around.

    All working fine now.
  2. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    Yeah I recommend you space the shock out to where it wants to sit rather then centering it.
    Also dont forget to grease the bearings yearly for street riding and quarterly for off road riding.
    Wear on surface is normal but if you see flaking that is usually a sign of not enough heavy grease.
    I reommend Bel-Ray waterproof synthetic grease. I use it to seal all of my air filters on the dirt bikes as well.
    Great product.
  3. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Seems like Delrin would make for some nice bushings.
  4. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    OK Amigos, I've looked thru several threads and my BMW CD and can't find the size of the Torx bit required for the shock bolts. My T50 flops around like a BB in a cannon, so I'm thinking T60. Anyone ??:ear
  5. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Sounds about right. I'm not positive though, and it's minus 4 outside and I'm snug in bed so I'll check in the morning.

    Pretty sure it was just the next size up from T50 in my Torx set though.

    I'll get back to you.

    edit: T55. In my Torx socket set, it's about 3 inch long and that works perfect for top and bottom bolts.
  6. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Answering my own question after buying both the T55 and T60 to be on the safe side: T55.
  7. garabato25

    garabato25 Adventurer

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    Well I just got back from my dual sport ride from Tampa , Fl to Hiawasse, Ga, for the BMW Rally, about 1500 roundtrip with about 40% offroad and a lot of small jumps......fully loaded and my fat ass (240lbs)...

    Got home and first thing I did was checkout y bolt and to my surprise it was straight as an arrow :).....I was stressing but I guess I got lucky...

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Alex
  8. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I managed to do a few trips solo without bending it. A few trips with a pillion and gear.

    Then suddenly I bent 2 in 2 trips without really understanding why. I didn't do anything different to usual, didn't have any "big hits" with the rear end.

    It's just one of those really minor issues that is very disappointing overall. But hopefully I've seen the last of it. Mine is built solid enough now, thanks in no small part to Indy, that I'm finally confident that it will last. I now have a spare bolt that has stayed "spare" for more than a few weeks.

    The front end......well.....stay tuned.

    I have an Alpine Rally to attend this weekend, and I'll be running a total combined weight of about 470kg on very rocky 4x4 tracks. If this doesn't break it, nothing will. Snow forecast.

    What can possibly go wrong?
  9. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Frozen red clay.

    To answer my own question.


    Aside from that, the rear end worked perfectly. The shock bracing combined with a properly valved and sprung (21kg/mm Ohlins spring) works really well, My wife reports no savage jolts transmitted to her back (she has a pinched nerve from a car accident and is sensitive) and I don't recall the ABS kicking in on the rear once in the whole fire trail experience (about 250kms of dirt roads, fire trails, and 4x4 tracks). I think I bottomed it a couple of times, but the suspension guy has it valved such that it comes up on the bump stop more gradually and without the nasty "crack" it used to do.

    Front end.....well.....considering...I suppose....yeah...no.

    It almost works.

    The problem here is, to make it work is going to cost a lot more money. A lot more. The rear end has totalled about $2400 to get to where it is. Able to do fire trails with a pillion and a full load of camping gear.

    I started with the standard Ohlins solution for the F800, then went from the 17kg/mm spring to a 19....then to a 21 with a full revalve. Along the way, bent a couple of shock bolts, started to damage the frame mounts, then used the info from here to combine a Rally Moto brace with the Indy kit. Then change it a little with alloy spacers etc.

    In hindsight, if I was setting one up for a RTW trip, I'd start with the complete revalve and the 21kg/mm spring - for a solo fully loaded trip. It's the wrong bike for a pillion RTW trip. But for exploring all the local National Parks and State Forests with a pillion, it's working very well.

    I personally think that BMW needs to rethink the rear shock mounts. Not drastically, just minor modifications. It would make the whole process so much easier for so many owners. Rather than just having the owners give up and lower their expectations.
  10. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

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    Well it took forever but I finally got through every post in this thread. I don't know if I remember everything I read though :D

    A couple weeks ago I traded in my FJR1300 for a 2012 F650GS. I've had a lot of bikes over the last 30+ years but this is my first BMW and I really hope I did not make a mistake.

    I bought the bike because the FJR was just to heavy for me at times and I also did not like having to return home to get the DR650 when I came across a road that I did not want to take the FJR down.

    As I was reading through this thread I was freaking out about the shock bolt issue. But I think I let what I was reading get the best of me and it appears for the type of riding I do it may ??? not be the issue I initially thought it was.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this is what I have gathered from this thread....

    • The upper and lower shock mounting design it not the best.
    • If the bike is ridden off-road like a dirt bike in time the bolt will bend.
    • If it's ridden on the street with occasional trips up gravel and fire roads to explore off the beaten path it's probably not an issue.
    • There are fixes if needed.
    I also have a few design questions...

    • What is the large section that the upper bolt screws into used for other than as a nut?
    • If it does not have any other use, why not just replace it with a nut so the shock and spacers are locked in between the two shock mounting tabs?
    • Same thing with the lower mount. Why does BMW let one end float instead of clamping the shock between two mounting tabs?

    I had hoped to replace both my FJR and DR650 with the F650GS since the only thing I have used my DR650 for is exploring fore roads and two-track trails. But if using the F650 like I use the DR650 is going to bend bolts then that concerns me.

    Oh, I'm about 150 lbs without my riding gear on. And I have the Verio side cases and a Givi trunk. Riding will probably be 80% street / 20% off pavement.

    I may have some more questions depending on the replies I get to the above questions.

    Thanks,

    Jon...
  11. Motoriley

    Motoriley Even my posing is virtual

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    I think you will be fine. I do a fair bit of off-road on mine and I did slightly bend it. I weigh 220 plus gear. If you want total piece of mind buy the Indy Unlimited kit.


  12. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

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    Thanks Riley,

    I kind of figured it was not to much of an issue with the type of riding I anticipate using the bike for. If I start pushing it harder off pavement then I'll look into upgrading things.

    Regarding the type of riding you do. I've been following the club videos you post in the GoPro thread so I know how much fun you and your friends have :D

    Jon...
  13. McCardigan

    McCardigan happy Budda

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    Another happy rider with Indy's replacement shock bolt kit.:clap

    Have just removed the Ohlins rear shock to find the lower original bolt is also slightly bent, so have ordered Indy's lower kit.

    The upper bolt kit now has over 10,000kms on it and that's on Oz's crap roads, and the new bolt is perfectly straight:clap

    Cheers
  14. guzzimike

    guzzimike Long timer

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    Chris,
    I thought I'd been following this thread, but I missed this.
    What is the Indi lower bolt kit?
    Can you enlighten me?
  15. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    The same as the upper bolt kit but shorter to fit the lower shock bole. You replace the bearing with the same one the top uses,and use a short 20mm dia bearing steel sleeve over the bolt.

    I got both at once because I'd bent 2 top bolts and the lower was just bent enough to make it difficult to extract.


    No problems with shock bolts since.

    I firmly believe that the Ohlins shock is the culprit. After reviewing video ride footage, I can hear myself talking out loud (as I do to remind myself of things when I watch the video) and I specifically mention the shock blowing through the last part of it's travel in 3 different videos. When It does this it bottoms with a crack. It's hurt your lower back.

    I didn't bend a bolt UNTIL I put the Ohlins in. The Ohlins worked better than stock at absorbing trail chop - roots, rocks, sharp steps etc. But it's bottoming resistance is lower in my opinion.

    I rode both with a pillion. A heavier spring helped the Ohlins, but it still tended to blow through the last 1/3 of it's travel with relative ease.

    I had it revalved and it works perfect now.
  16. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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  17. JGoody

    JGoody Been here awhile

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    First let me confess that I haven't read the entire thread! But is this issue the same in the F650GS twin? And do the same fixes fit the F650GS?
  18. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    Yeah my kits work on all BMW F800s and F650s
  19. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Has any aspect of the shock mounting been changed by BMW on the 2013 model?

    What sort of time frame does BMW run a model without a makeover?

    Changing the colour hardly rates as a "new" model.

    That's so "DR650".
  20. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Yeah same problems, so if you ride your bike hard off road then definitely go with the Indy kit.