92 GS front suspension???

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by mike54, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. mike54

    mike54 You don't get me

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    I have a new-to-me 92 GS100. Actually I've had it over a year but it's still my newest bike. As someone who's owned and ridden plenty of oilheads I'll say this bike really explains why BMW has the reputation is does. It's a blast for most everything.

    I put a wilbers rear shock on the bike at the beginning of November and found it to be a pretty nice improvement over stock. Over thanksgiving I had a chance to take the bike off road for a bit and found that the front could use some help now. I've looked for threads on improving the front end and found some but nothing definitive. If you know of one feel free to post a link and call me an idiot. You can't hurt my feelings. :D

    I've seen suggestions from progressive springs to race-tech springs and an emulator to swaping for another front end off a yamaha.

    I'm a pretty average off-road rider and don't plan on anything too crazy. Although I have much respect for Stagehand I don't plan to copy his antics.

    At this point I'm leaning towards just adding a SJ fork brace and progressive springs and experimenting with fork oil to find something I like. Would I be wasting my time with that? Are there other mods that get you more bang for the buck?

    The other thing I found was that my handle bars are too low when I stand. Do most folks make due with risers or is an after market bar bend a better option?

    Thanks in advance for the suggestions. :D
    #1
  2. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    I've got a couple of para levers and to be honest I find the standard front end setup works really well. If you go too light on the oil viscosity it cocks it all up.
    #2
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    I went with 10 weight on the compression side and 15w on the rebound side and called it good enough.

    A bunch of people bought cartridge inserts a little while back for their GSs, but I haven't heard much about them since:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=744341
    #3
  4. akabeton

    akabeton Adventurer

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    I was one of the bunch. So far very happy, easy to adjust. Racetech ( Germany ) recommended using 5wt oil in these inserts.
    I'm looking forward to giving them a thorough test in the spring.

    I did also install a bar riser ( from Twisted Throttle) it raises the bars 1" and also moves them back 1.25".

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    #4
  5. luxlogs

    luxlogs Been here awhile

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    Same situation here, need to rebuild my 92 GS forks and don't know which way to go.

    Just bought a Progressive 465 rear shock from Dennis Kirk for $311 shipped. Would have rather bought an Oilns but for 1/3 the price Progressive is good enough.

    Hope this thread takes off I need guidence.
    #5
  6. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    Ive got a 91R80GS with wilburs rear & stock front. i find the front pretty good actually. I've only bottomed it out on some deep cross ruts.
    As there are so many threads with fork transplants there is no lack of knowledge out there. google the unholy union & you'll find a few options.

    In saying that I do my rough stuff on my DRZ now as I find the ground clearance on the GS more of a problem than the suspension. I also worry about the damage to the UJ, Final drive etc etc. Much cheaper to have a cheap dirtbike I reckon & leave the GS for longer rides.

    Risers are a great addition. make sure your cables are long enough to reach with whatever height you want.
    #6
  7. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon R 100 GS F 650 GS

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    Racetech mod for my '92 GS made a world of difference!..........
    Wilbers rear..........
    It's like a torally different machine..............:clap
    #7
  8. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    The fork brace is a waste of money as the stock works just fine...I had the emmulater and uprated Race Tech springs and was fairly happy with the setup......but know have the HH Race Tech inserts and am even more happy.
    #8
  9. mike54

    mike54 You don't get me

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    I just feel like the front is a little weak kneed for me. I'm 230lbs and had the wilbers set up for me and it's an improvement. I don't do anything nutty on the bike but in the rocks and ruts it feels under sprung. But, I've never changed the fork oil and I have no idea what's in there now. Perhaps I should go with the 10W 15W combo that Airhead Wrangler suggested as a base line.

    Still would like to hear more suggestions/experiences. :ear
    #9
  10. bereahorn

    bereahorn Long timer

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    On my '92GSPD I have the RaceTech upgrade but the bike had progressive springs which I had to replace with BMW stock straight rate springs. There weren't any in the country at the time and had to come from Germany. I am pleased with the results so far. I also did the Brembo four pot caliper upgrade which was a great improvment as well. The rear has a rebuilt Fox TwinClicker.
    #10
  11. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    You flatter me :D

    I spent the majority of my time with it as you said- a Wilbers rear, an SJ fork brace, progressive springs and 15w/10w comp/rebound. I'm only 200 with all my gear on, so maybe slightly stiffer springs will do you, but this set up did me fine for years. I only recently went with the racetech.de cartridges. They work well, too! but I dont have enough time on them to really say.

    I think I personally benefited greatly from the HPM damper mod, too. But steering dampers are voodoo, maybe. I mean they might have more to do with the power of positive thinking, which is just as good if it works :D

    I also got some Rox risers, and they worked well, also.

    Harley's also right, the stock fork brace might just as well be as strong, and truth be told I've snapped an SJ brace clean through :wink The stock one wouldnt break, it would bend and twist and deform to hell but I bet it would be hard as hell to tear.
    #11
  12. bereahorn

    bereahorn Long timer

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    Harley's also right, the stock fork brace might just as well be as strong, and truth be told I've snapped an SJ brace clean through :wink The stock one wouldnt break, it would bend and twist and deform to hell but I bet it would be hard as hell to tear.[/QUOTE]

    I recently picked up an R100GS front end to install on the '81G/S and it came with an SJ fork brace. I was doing something in the garage and bumped it or somehow banged in the wrong way and one of the attachment corners snapped. Very brittle. Toaster Tan sent me a picture of one that had been in an accident and it had shattered badly! I don't think the stock stamped steel would fail in that way. The SJ brace that is on my '92 will be getting replaced.
    #12
  13. jackd

    jackd Long timer

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    :lurk
    #13
  14. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    It was Opposed Cycle Junkie who gave me hte idea, and I went ahead and fit the SJ overtop of the stock one. Its bracing :D

    I think I found the SJ to be stiffer than the stock one, everything i say ihere might just be coming out of my imagination. But i felt it was a handling improvement.

    I guess you need some flex, or the forks just bend when you hit them too hard. But you dont need too much flex, obviously so I dont know where the line is. When I broke mine, it seems it may have taken the brunt of the impact, somehow, and left the fork legs alone. Might the stamped one have just bent eveything without breaking?

    On a side note, after it broke, I rode it about 1500 miles out of Canada and home wtih no brace at all. It was fine! SO what the hell :lol
    #14
  15. camgregus

    camgregus riding gently now

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    thanks
    for
    that
    info
    #15
  16. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    its the smoke and the mirrors, man :evil
    #16
  17. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    +1, same on my GS and I've found this is a good balance for 70/30 street/dirt.

    Next step is to set fork sag, which should help with brake dive and overall spring responsiveness.

    I'd try the above before swapping springs, going to emulators, etc.
    #17
  18. borg

    borg Been here awhile

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    I've got a Wilber's Shock on the rear, with progressive springs and a SJ cast fork brace on the front end of my '92 GSPD. Can't remember what weight oil I used...

    The whole package works well for me. I found the SJ brace took a lot of the squirm out of the front end, especially when that big ass gas tank is topped off. Mind you I am a good 220lbs before I put my kit on so I'm putting the system under stress just riding around.
    #18
  19. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

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    Progressive 465 rear shock - I hear these are very good shocks - at a reasonable price. Please let us know how it works for you.

    Front forks on my 89 gs replaced fork oil with ATF - ATF is 7 to 10 weight (dextron). Works great very happy. The gs airheads are good off road just stay away from the loose sand no fun. It's kinda hard to just crank on the gas to get the front wheel light to go through the loose stuff. ( think 2-stroke). Stock front forks are adequate if you really want to upgrade
    Drz400 forks or dr650 fit I believe. But stock forks work!!

    Do want to hear on the Progressive 465 rear shock as at 1/2 or less than an ohlins would be a good buy if it works.

    :freaky
    #19
  20. luxlogs

    luxlogs Been here awhile

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    Havnt really tested it yet besides around the block, right now trying to find someone to help set sag and whatnot. Just slapped it on so far, no instructions, just Clymers for tourqe settings.

    Nice piece of kit from the looks of it.
    #20