ESA Question

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by BearII, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. bluechip0309

    bluechip0309 Old and In the Way

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    Ted Porter installed my -25mm ESA conversion and I couldn't be happier with the ride, the cost and the warranty. I had never "carved" before. Dragging a boot was another first for me. Confidence from control...handles a load without complaint. My .02.
    chip:lol3
    #21
  2. BearII

    BearII No, it's not complicated

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    Love to hear about carving up the path! Thanks for the feedback.
    #22
  3. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    Same link as what I provided. Uses 46DR shock and not TTX, hence the price difference...

    I'll do a write up on my Ohlins EC experience, it was fitted Monday, but having issues and have lost rider mode settings. There's a process to work through (re-plug oem once) but since the plugs are under the tank I have to dismantle (again) first. ie, A days work, which I'll do this weekend.

    Bar the issues (which should be sorted) the difference is noticeable. Had to ride 360km home in the pouring rain at night (coz fitting took about 10.5 hours) in 1up mode with panniers of gear. Compliance over bumps is much better, bike feels more stable and less... lazy...

    Full report to come in time (with pretty pics)
    #23
  4. BearII

    BearII No, it's not complicated

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    Looking forward to your write up, please post a link here to the info. Thanks!
    #24
  5. EyeCake

    EyeCake Adventurer

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    I have 2008 GSA bought last year second hand with only 8000km and full service history and after 6000km I had to replace Rear ESA unit due to leak which BMW replaced free under goodwill maybe admitting problems with earlier units
    After another 12000km trip to Nordkapp and down to Greece and 3 months the front unit was leaking. This time after much arguing with BMW through a great Greek Dealer they covered half the cost of the unit but I got a 2 year warranty which I did'nt get with the free one.
    Anyway this does'nt inspire confidence in a bike sold as capable of conquring the world. Mine has only about 5% offroad use althought this year I have covered another20.000km mostly on very very bad Russian , Ukranian and Eastern European roads full of giant potholes and corrugations without any further problems. Ayear on 55000km
    At BMW Motorrad Days in Germany this year I talked to both Hyperpro, Wilbers and Ohlins about replacing the suspension units
    Not having driven any of these and having to rely on others by far the best value are the Wilbers which upgrade and reuse the orginal BMW parts making them servieable and repairable with a 5 year warranty for a third of the cost of the other 2.
    I know which one I will replace mine with soon.
    #25
  6. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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  7. Hair

    Hair Free to a good home.

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    When setting ESA there are two modes. You can set damping while on the move. But you must be not moving when adjusting preload.
    My question is. Is there a way to dial the preload in before one enguages ESA. That way for heaver riders the one up, two up, and luggage mode makes sense. Otherwise one uses the rider with luggage to get the single rider setting close. And so on.
    #27
  8. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

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    I'm getting a '13 GSA with ESA around the end of the month and my plan is to replace the shocks with free OEM units if they fail within the warranty period (naturally). Otherwise, I'll definitely go with Ohlins or Wilbers after the bike warranty expires.

    Off subject, but I wonder what those electronic shocks on the new water cooled GS's cost per pair? $5000-$6000 maybe? :eek1
    #28
  9. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    Wow - intense write up!! Thanks for taking the time to post it all up. Very educational. Time consuming, for sure, but didn't seem too overly complicated.


    So you're headed into the purchase with a game plan for post-warranty failure? Wow, I bet you don't cop a squat without a plan either. :lol3 You Russian by chance? :D Just messing with you. I figure on looking at the Wilburs or by then trading on the new model...


    I'm no expert, but I've spent way more hours reading on the forum than I care to admit, especially prior to my purchase, and I've never run across anyone saying this possible. I think most people just adjust to the next level as needed. Would be kind of cool to manually set the inital setting for yourself and then use ESA from that point.
    #29
  10. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    I've never seen this question answered either.

    :lurk


    Wilbers takes a lot of pride in selecting the correct spring for your weight. Seems to me that if the ESA bikes are coming from BMW undersprung, no matter how much you adjust preload, it will still be undersprung. I've always felt that should I ever buy ESA, I would need to get those shocks resprung.

    But I haven't confirmed this. Just my reasoning...

    :wave
    #30
  11. Hair

    Hair Free to a good home.

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    Lobby when the time comes to respring the bike. You might have to get the current springs measured for stiffness. I've never seen a spring rate chart either.


    It kind of buggs me. With the old preload. One could load the bike right up to it's limit just by changing the amount of preload. It's not the ideal way of doing it. But it worked.
    Now with just three settings, normal, comfort and sport. I don't see a way that a person can load the bike to it's rated load limit.
    #31
  12. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin Boxer Freak

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    The settings you mention are for the compression and rebound settings, not the preload. When you adjust the preload on the ESA there is a noticeable difference in seat height because it spins a collar down on the spring. In theory, ideal sag and preload could not be adjusted perfectly unless your load was nearly the same at every trip. That said, if the OEM spring is not the right Kg/cm then adjusting preload will not do much good but it can mask the symptoms of a poorly tuned suspension. I don't know if, by starting out with the correct spring, the sequential ESA adjustments would be better when the bike is loaded. I will say this; I ignore the nomenclature (sport, comfort, etc) and preload indicators. I just play with it until I like it. For me, I have found that the "Sport" setting for valving and 1+ luggage for preload work really well.
    Of course, YMMV
    #32
  13. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    :stupid :thumb
    #33
  14. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    From asking my dealer, no, the "presets" cannot be changed. Was one of my first questions when riding around on 1up w/ luggage for every day travel...

    Another reason I went the Ohlins route as it can be adjusted (or a heavier spring put in).

    There is also no way to engage or dis-engage the ESA, it's just there and available every time you start the bike. You'd have to unplug the suspension to dis-engage it.
    #34
  15. Hair

    Hair Free to a good home.

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    I've owned enough KTMs and Husabergs to know that there is no subsuite for the correct spring rate. But that is not how BMW choose to address the problem. And the problem is the same when you load the bike.
    Without getting the proper static sag numbers one can still hit the ride sag numbers. That is what I am looking to do.
    #35
  16. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin Boxer Freak

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    ^^Absolutely. And I believe that is where the ESA has a shortcoming. If you could adjust what the preload settings are it would be a better system IMO. Even if you could only adjust the 1st setting, which would then change the other settings by the same amount. I'm sure there was a cost factor involved. Does anyone know the stock spring rate?
    edit: looks like per RaceTech it is a 14.5 kg/mm. About right for a 180lb person.
    #36
  17. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Nailed it.

    I achieved that when I got my Wilbers from Ted. It actually took two tries to get he rear spring correct. Normally, Wilbers hits it right on on the first try: sag is correct with the preload nob all the way out. I had to turn it about 7 turns to get it right.

    Ted didn't like that, so he asked me to send the shock back and he'd install the correct spring. Once he did, the suspension has been a dream.


    I owned a KTM 990 and the suspension wasn't set correctly. In spite of the wonderful components and the tremendous adjustability, the front springs were too soft and the rear shock was too stiff. No matter how much one fools with the settings, one can't adjust for the wrong springs.

    Thus my worries about ESA. Most of us here in the U.S. are, uh, heavier than the typical German. I've always felt that ESA was just fancy knob adjustment, but with the wrong springs. Just like I was trying to do on my KTM. In other words, "you can't get there from here." :dunno
    #37
  18. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    I think you're spot on about the stock bike having the wrong springs. Well, wrong for a heavier rider. Then again, I think, well, if the bike is built and designed to carry several hundred pounds of payload, it should be sprung correctly from the factory.

    With so many people ridiing, it would certainly be tough to outfit a bike with a good all-around spring. Personally, at 185lbs I haven't had any ride issues. Wife and I are finally going to get out for a good day ride on Saturday, so anxious to see how it handles with her on the back. She's a lightweight at 110. If we were loaded up for more than a 3 hour tour and headed to Gilligan's island, maybe it'd be a different story.

    I ain't scared.... :) I'm sure the bike will handle just fine.
    #38
  19. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    Tha'ts correct, and don't forget friends, it's just not the rear spring you have to be concerned with but the front one as well.

    As is said time and time again, check your sag and see if the stock springs are right for you. :deal
    #39
  20. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin Boxer Freak

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    LOL, while you were typing I was measuring!
    Guess I lucked out being close to the right weight, about 180 lbs nekkid. Just measured my bike (was a treat to explain it all to wife while she helped) and I have 26mm/ 21mm sag front/ rear with all the cases on (but empty) on stock suspension. ESA set to 1 up/ no luggage.
    Regardless, the big girl handles pretty well for what she is :1drink
    Edit: fuel load is about 1/2 tank.
    #40