ESA on a F800GS

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by 2xrboys, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. 2xrboys

    2xrboys Adventurer

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    I am considering a new 800gs and would appreciate some opinions regarding the value of esa suspension on the bike. I understand it only controls dampening (not preload) and only on the rear. My plan to ride the bike about 50/50 on/off road. I generally like the idea of keeping it simple without extra stuff that can break but am interested if others have used the esa and find it to be a valuable option.
    #1
  2. GeeK_InsiDe

    GeeK_InsiDe Moore Gas!!!

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    Got it on my 700GS, never changed once set up even when offroading.

    Plus you have only 3 settings for dampening instead of a screw with a lot of clicks.

    Don't waste your money on it, buy a better shock instead:D
    #2
  3. tomman

    tomman Adventurer

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    I've got it on my F800 GS Adventure. I use mine for everything from sporty tarmac riding to fairly gnarly, rutted & rocky off-road stuff. I keep mine in "Sport" mode 80%-90% of the time. It is SUPER easy to change rear shock damping when I want, but I don't do it that often. The main adjustment I make is adding preload when I'm taking my wife with me, and I still have to do that manually.

    I definitely don't consider it a no-brainer or a "must have," but is nice to have occasionally.

    I may have to second the vote to save the money & get a higher-quality rear shock if you're willing to go through the trouble to install it (or get it installed) & manually adjust it when you want.

    I bought my F800GSA slightly used and it already had the option, so I'm happy with it.
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  4. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Been here awhile

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    I don't think I would spend the money on it second time around...
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  5. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    +1 I had it but have recently replace with a Touratech expedition. The difference is night and day.
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  6. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Does the ESA work in a similar fashion to the 1200GSA?

    When I tested that out, you had settings for solo, and pillion, and there was sport, like a touring mode (from memory) and off road mode.

    The off road mode changed the ride height by a fair bit too.

    I didn't get to play with it enough, but it seemed quite functional. I liked the ride height change in off road mode. So you don't have to stretch to reach the ground all the time. I suspect that's achieved just by cranking up the preload though.
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  7. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    I personally never found any significant difference while using the esa. My 800 had, normal, comfort and sport.
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  8. Beairmo

    Beairmo Keeping it real

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    I have it on my K1600GTL and it really works well. But it adjusts both the front and rear shock. The comfort mode really smooths out the cracks in the road.

    But for my F800GS, don't go out of your way to get it. Especially since you are planning to ride 50/50. If you read this forum much you will be shopping for a new shock within a year of getting the bike. I upgraded the entire suspension to Touratech.

    The stability control is another feature that you can do without. Again, my K1600GTL has it and its awesome. But for a 50/50 bike you will have it off as much as on.
    #8
  9. GeeK_InsiDe

    GeeK_InsiDe Moore Gas!!!

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    No, on F bikes you have 3 settings for dampening, that's it. Preload still 100% manual.
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  10. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

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    Not on the current edition.

    But if they take that S1000RR dynamic suspension and retro fit it to 9" of travel and drop that onto the F8GS...well, that just might change my thinking.
    #10
  11. Vampir

    Vampir Aimless Wanderer

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    For long straight road trips in Nevada and Arizona I've run it on Comfy and it is nice because it is plush. On winding mountain roads you can feel a difference when you switch to Sport mode. That said I agree with NDTransplant.
    #11
  12. villho

    villho Been here awhile

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    I have it in my '13 GSA. As others have said, save the money for a better shock. With the factory shock, the differences between comfort-normal-sport were minimal.

    I do have now Wilbers' ESA compatible rear shock tuned for my weight and riding style, so I'm happy with the performance, but I'd rather still take Öhlins and have no ESA on my bike, as I touch the ESA button only in rare cases (98 % of my ride in 'normal').
    #12
  13. GeeK_InsiDe

    GeeK_InsiDe Moore Gas!!!

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    So why didn't you buy a non ESA aftermarket shock?
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  14. villho

    villho Been here awhile

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    Wilbers WESA shock was still a whole lot cheaper. Öhlins or TT cost way over 1000 eur, where I got the Wilbers for a bit over 500 eur (it was cheaper, as the guy who put the shock together re-used eg. the preload adjuster from the stock shock).

    Let's put it this way: if my bike would have behaved in the first place like it does now with Wilbers, I probably wouldn't have done anything. However, if I now would be buying a bike knowing how little the ESA does on these F800GSes, I would forget the whole ESA, save the money and buy Öhlins/TT right away.

    This applies, if one really plans to ride offroad. Otherwise all this will be just a waste of money, because the stock suspension will do just fine - all the Starbucks parking lots that I've seen, have been quite smooth.
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  15. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Ooooh, you're so naughty...:lol3


    Reminds me of the ONE and ONLY time I went to a BMW owners club meeting. All the pristine shiny unmarked off road bikes parked out the front of the dealership, and the crowd of horrified onlookers gathered around my bike lamenting that I'd ruined it's investment value by taking it off road and modifying it.

    No one asking questions about off road trips or places you could go.

    Just horrified that someone would do it and ruin the bike.

    Unfortunately these are the people that BMW seem to listen to when they design user friendly features into their bikes. Which may explain why some of the user friendly features are so utterly fucking useless to someone who really wants to use the bikes.
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  16. villho

    villho Been here awhile

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    All shiny parts and no off-road, makes BMW a dull bike :)

    I've justified the better suspension for myself, as my bike typically looks like this:
    [​IMG]
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  17. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    +1 well said, couldn't agree more.
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  18. Canada Mike

    Canada Mike Been here awhile

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    The only time I switch mine is on a major US highway with the concrete slab sections avery 30 ft. I change it to comfort and it makes the super slab more enjoyable for sure.
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  19. richardault

    richardault 1337 n00b

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    Hi, fwiw I ride a 2015 F8GS with ESA and as others have said it has been set and forget. With the occasional tweak of pre-load. I am a reasonably experienced rider, but I don't see a lot of value in it. +1 on shock upgrade as better option.
    #19
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  20. richardault

    richardault 1337 n00b

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    Beau-tI-full!
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