Ohlins Questions...

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by kevin2735, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. kevin2735

    kevin2735 Been here awhile

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    Forgive me for not being a tech guy, but have some questions about upgrading my suspension.

    I am 250lb 6'1" rider and my 2009 1200GS bottoms out pretty regularly off road. I already killed my kickstand sensor. I am looking to improve off road travel.

    Do the Ohlins interface with the electronic suspension controls on the GS?

    On their website they offer several different types of shocks for my year GS but they don't mention the differences in simple terms, any suggestions?

    I'm thinking about upgrading before prices go up next month. Thanks for any help.

    Kevin
    #1
  2. Some Dude

    Some Dude what attitude problem???

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    Ohlins does not offer a solution that is compatible with the factory equipped option of ESA. However Wilbers does offer a shock body that is compatible. I would highly recommend looking into the Wilbers ESA and potentially utilizing an Adventure spec version if you're riding the bike offroad a lot. This will increase your suspension travel and ride height, all should be a benefit with the only down side requiring the longer side and center stand of an Adventure.
    #2
  3. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    AFAIK there is no Ohlins option for the ESA. Wilbers does have the option but you need to send in your shocks to have the ESA components fitted to the Wilbers body.

    I would like to know if there are other mfg also as there may be a set of shocks in the future for my 2010GS.

    PS: I have been happy with the Wilbers on my 05GS and you can get much more customization than with Ohlins.
    #3
  4. darrendeep6

    darrendeep6 BMW Dirty Dozen

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    Another option is HyperPro. They use 16mm shafts and MX style seals according to their advertisement. They are also ESA compatible. You can spend the extra coin and get the compresion adjustable one which will help because it sounds like you're blowing through the travel when you ride it off road. The Wilburs does not have compression adjustment, but I've read that Dirk at Wilburs claims the compression stack is adjusted internally when you make electronic rebound adjustments. Could be possible. If I swap them out, I'll pay the extra $300 for compression screws on the HyperPro.

    There is a decent write-up about the HyperPros in Gspot. A guy who is doing a 'round the world tour has used several brands and is quite happy with HyperPro. Do a search.
    #4
  5. Fernando Costa

    Fernando Costa Contemplator

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    Although Ohlins does not have shocks for ESA use they do have stiffer springs for heavier riders/heavy offroad usage. For instance, for the GSA their catalog lists springs 01096-12 (front) and 00698-59 (rear) but you can get stiffer springs by ordering 1096-14 and 698-69. If you go to their website and send a question to the tech guy he should give you the details you need. I have Ohlins on both my 1100Gs and 1200GSA and they are just wonderful.
    #5
  6. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    Klause at Hyperpro can and will set you up!! While not ESA, I love my Hyperpro's!! They made my bike what the engineers were thinking before the bean counters..

    Have also ran Elka's...
    #6
  7. rbrumana

    rbrumana n00b

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    Hey Fernando, sent you PM in Portuguese for a question about your set up
    #7
  8. Willie B

    Willie B Been here awhile

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    Yes they do
    #8
  9. RobStar

    RobStar Still On Training Wheels

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    I just put the Ohlins ESA system on my 2010 GSA a few weeks ago. Actually, BMW Long Beach did the installation.

    Last week I was working as a Moto-Ref for the Tour of the Gila pro bike race in New Mexico. That gave me a full five days riding in a work environment on the bike including one day of about 60+ laps on the Silver City criterium course which enabled me to test the difference settings over and over.

    The new system definitely transformed the handling of the bike in a positive way. Specifically, in the COMF mode, the Ohlins ESA system is speed sensitive and firms the suspension as speed increases allowing a softer feel at lower speeds. Still thou, the COMF setting is firmer at slow speeds than the OEM shock but not what I'd describe as hard.

    I weigh 175 lbs plus gear and during the race kept about 10-15 lbs of kit in each side case which means with my kit I was running about 230'ish total load while in the rider only ESA setting. I worked another bike race in California the week before that as well and traveled to and from the race in the rider+bags mode with full kit and top case. Nice ride for Inter-slab back to Vegas.

    The Ohlins staff have been awesome and so far the shocks are too. I'll give it a work out off road in a few weeks and report back.

    RobStar
    #9
  10. enkil

    enkil Been here awhile

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    How much does is cost mate?
    #10
  11. Britome

    Britome Get Free

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    I'm curious of Ohlins ESA cost as well. I have a 2011 GSA and the shocks are so squishy relative to my 1150 with Ohlins that I'm wondering if something is wrong.

    It rides great but it seems like when parked, the shocks are way too springy... Does ESA stiffen when running?

    Any insights are appreciated.
    #11
  12. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    $3k at least. In terms of onboard operations, it works just like the oem ESA, and I believe the settings to be the same. It differs in terms of its on-road operations in that it changes the damping characteristics automatically based on the traveling speed of the bike (I personally don't like that). If I'm not mistaken, the Ohlins ESA doesn't allow the rider to customize the rear preload or damping characteristics within each mode, and if that is true, you're really getting the oem ESA with Ohlins shocks/valving. To me, $3,200 (at least?) is a lot to pay for just that.
    #12
  13. enkil

    enkil Been here awhile

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    Yup that is steep.
    #13
  14. ultane

    ultane sqeezin the bag

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    Wilber's ESA, call Ted Porter at the Beemer Shop.


    I might be wrong... Just ask my X...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #14
  15. RobStar

    RobStar Still On Training Wheels

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    The COMF mode on the Ohlins is the only mode that adjusts with speed, NORM and SPORT and offroad settings are consistent throughout their range regardless of speed. I personally found the that during the bike races where my speed and terrain varied over a 4-5 hour period that the COMF setting and it's active adjustments were seamless and what I used the most.

    In August +/- Ohlins will be rolling out a new piece of software where most if not all the parameters of their ESA system will be adjustable to your preferences and in every mode. It's a dealer based system to customize each system to you, your bike and your preferences; even the speed settings where the shock changes can be selected.

    Expect to see a lot of new enhancements out of Ohlins in the near future.

    Yes, their stuff is pricey but their service and products are excellent to match.

    RobStar
    #15
  16. enkil

    enkil Been here awhile

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    I'm happy with the current ESA setup. Maybe i don't ride as hard.
    #16
  17. RobStar

    RobStar Still On Training Wheels

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    It's not that I ride hard but I do spend about 18,000 miles a year on my bike, some of it working as a Marshal, Photo-Moto pilot or USAC Moto-Ref for bike races and marathons. We can go from 3-4 mph on a hill climb to 60-70+ mph on a descent in seconds and then 20 fast laps around an urban downtown crit course with a wide variety of surfaces and transitions in the corners. Combine that with sometimes having a videographer or photographer on the back and I started to notice some "wish it did" or "wish it didn't" do XYZ for the factory ESA system.

    I met with Ohlins at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach back in December and that was the beginning of our dialogue that led me to give their system a go.

    With only six race days in the last three weeks and a road trip from LA to Vegas I'm very happy but I have much to learn about the myriad of subtle suspension dynamics. All I know for now is the bike's suspension is feeling more responsive and it's definitely transformed the way I use my ESA and the handling of the bike. If you're used to regular ESA as I was, there's a slight but positive learning curve. For instance, when I power-on to accelerate hard with my bike in a tight curve, the rear end no longer "digs in", instead the bike is responding quickly to it. It's hard to explain.

    If you're truly a knowledgeable shock guy with many years of experience with shocks you may have a more technical evaluation since I'm just a working rider and go by how my bike feels and handles.

    RobStar
    #17
  18. drmajor

    drmajor Been here awhile

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    I have a 07 GSA.

    I weigh 300 @ 6'4". Stock shocks just felt week.

    I had a KTM 520 dirt bike with custom setup, Honda 400 with Race TEch, and BMW LT-03 with Wilber shocks.

    I rode the 2010 GS with ESA. really like it, however, with my weight, I find that I have to run it at the two up setting. Really sweet that you can make adjustments on the fly! Sad when you have to replace- $$$.

    So, I have Ohlins on the GSA. Replaced stock after about 6k miles. At first, they felt OK. I reduced the Compression Dampening by 4 clicks. Now it rides better than the LT!! When in the mountains, I raise the preload.

    What is the difference?

    Tracking- you will notice that the wheels track rough roads far better than stock.
    Ride- you will find that the hit from bumps are absorbed far better and you will have more confidence in your self and bike.

    Worth it?

    Yes....

    If I weighed 180, it mike not be as big a deal, but I passed that weight in middle school.
    #18