How much to invest for decent suspension?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by alexisan, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Jun 6, 2008
    East Tennessee
    I think the alternatives have been discussed pretty well, between here and other threads.

    How much to spend depends on how deep your pockets are and what you feel your needs are.

    For myself, I ride 30-50% dirt/gravel roads in various conditions, usually potholes. The forest service roads here in TN are VERY different than what I have seen in CO, UT etc. we do not have the wide open road to tear down at high speed, 30-40 mph is not too unreasonable.

    Riding like that I am now seeing the weakness in the suspension (about 5000-6000mi /year). the bike is very undersprung on both ends, and there is nothing that can be done for the valving.

    I started doing some reading online, talking to friends and purchased Ned's suspension book (

    After all this I feel that to make me happier it will cost me about $2000, the ak-20 Traxxion kit is $1200 + $200 labor, I am told I can get a Wilburs shock for about $500.
    Both of them are setup for the individual rider.

    the Ohlins USA setup sounds great, but at $2000 for the forks and $800 for a shock, I can't believe I'll see that much more improvement, I'm not that good a rider.

    I never got a response to an Email from Racetech, so they don't get my business.

    There is no reson you can't buy the bike and ride it alot in stock conditions, you asked what could be done to the engine for $2000, that buys a lot of gas. Get it ride it and then worry about what YOU want to do.
  2. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Nov 15, 2006
    On a RTW ride - currently touring the U.S.
    The $500 shock from Wilbers will be their low end model, only single adjustable.

    If you want fully adjustable with hydraulic preload it will probably be in the $1000 range just like all other options.
  3. FinStorm

    FinStorm Adventurer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Vasa, Finland
    When replacing the shock to increase performance you have to keep in mind that F8GS has no linkage and may need a bottom-out circuit just like KTM dirt bikes. BMW call it WAD, others PDS. The 800 $ Öhlins don`t have it as far as I know. The new Touratech brand Tractive has it on their top of the line model, for 1275€.
  4. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

    Dec 6, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    I'd keep the F800 stock, use it for the mellow stuff it was intended for, and buy a dirt bike. Even with the best suspension in the world it is still not as fun as a real dirt bike, a heavy pig to pick up, and expensive to repair after any kind of a fall. It's a fairly decent bike for that mellow stuff already. You can get up some fairly hard stuff if you do it right. I might buy bigger springs for mine, maybe not. I will know when I get back from the Yukon.
  5. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

    Dec 2, 2008
    I got the Ohlins and if it has a bottom out circuit, mine doesn't work.

    That was the issue with it from the beginning, and was addressed through revalving.

    Not before it contributed, I believe, to bending 2 shock bolts.

    It gave a very linear compression damping, and just seemed to blow through the last 1/3 of it's travel as quickly as the first 1/3.

    For 2-up touring, which is what I told them it was for, I wouldn't bother buying Ohlins again, unless it was specifically valved for it with bottom out valving.
  6. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Jun 6, 2008
    East Tennessee
    my source is closed for the holidays, I'll check with them again when they open. If I am spending over $1000 on the front, I'm not going to scrimp on the rear...............And the Hydraulic preload adjuster isn't an option to me, I ride with different loads all the time

    added 7/8

    Lukas you are correct,
    $569 rear shock
    $249 remote preload adjuster
    $280 High/low damping adjus hose mounted reservoir
    $1098 Total

    This is built with valving, springs, and oil to suit your weight etc,

    I always like the nice stuff
  7. nomadb

    nomadb Been here awhile

    Jan 7, 2006
    Where Continents Meet
    Well I have purchased the F800GS few months back. I have done lots of bike tests before hand.
    I have sold my DL1000 2003 and decided to get the F800GS.

    1- DL1000 was 9 years old, no mechanical problems. BUt I wanted to move to a lighter and newer bike.
    2- I am 99% solo riding. I do not need the 1000cc and the power anymore.

    So I have the F800GS, great engine very lively, light and manovrable in the big city I live (12 million people lot and lots of traffic).
    Does not have the same level of power as DL1000, which I kinda miss. I mean DL kept pulling until the red zone like mad. :eek1
    F800GS is great on twisty roads, dirt and light offroad. Much more enduro style riding then the DL1000.
    Engine is very economic. The fuel consumption is much lower then the 1000cc bikes.

    Then it comes to this silly shocks BMW gave us. I mean the bike costs quite a bit over here. :huh
    ANd they should have given us better suspensions like KTM does with whitepower standart units.

    On the highway the bike is just not rigth. There are vibrations whch are coming from the front. Nothing major but the ride is not smooth. The BMW authorised service blames the tires. Preivous owner had the bike sitting almost for a year. So the tires may have lost their homogenous structure. Because they were parked at the same position for a long time they may have permanent damage. Could be.
    Offroad or better light offroad the bike does not smooth out the terrain as much as I have expected as well.

    On my previous DL1000 I have replaced the standart front springs with progressive one after 5 years. It was about the time The originals were compressed due to the use. The replacement springs were much more thicker. I did notice the improvement after the installation.

    Now I have purchased the front springs, rear spring and 10W oil from Hyperpro. The manufacturers product code is
    F800GS (2011) SP-BM08-SSC009

    The deicison was based on 3simple items,
    1- I am not satisfied with orginal product ride quality,
    2- Previously I had good experience with progressive springs (I belive from Wilbers)
    3- The ADV community has good experience with Hyperpro solution.
    ANd lucky me I had the money :) .

    And my weight is 170pounds + gear and possible luggage during travels.

    The price is 243EU including the VAT.

    They are not installed yet. Local BMW service is trying to decide if a non standart part is OK to be put on the bike or not. Hımmm.
    Well I am going to use my good old Suzuki mechanic to do the job anyway.

    I am hoping next week they will be in place. I will report the results of the swap.

  8. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Jun 6, 2008
    East Tennessee