R1100GS rear shock identification help

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by m1sandman, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. m1sandman

    m1sandman Adventurer

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    Howdy All,
    I noticed a small puddle under the bike and found that my rear shock is leaking - appears to run from the lower mount down onto the exhaust and off the back of it onto the floor. I posted a wanted ad looking for a replacement, and just went out to take a look again and realized it doesn’t appear to be an OEM rear shock.
    So, I’m hoping that the inmates can help me identify it and see if it could be rebuilt. The spring is red, and there is a blue anodized knurled ring at the very bottom, just below the preload adjustment. It does not appear to have a remote damping adjustment knob line the OE shock has. Here is a picture (apologies for the quality - I’ll see if I can get some better ones and post up.
    Thank you!
    Steve
    1996 R1100GS
    Tampa, FL

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. eri

    eri Long timer

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    most shock rebuilders can rebuild even the "unservicable" stock shocks
    so take this to 1 of them and they should be able to rebuild it

    but it's generally cheaper to buy a used bmw shock
    #2
  3. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Could be a Fox. Is it sprung for your weight? Do you like the ride? You could buy a take off oem with remote preload for less than rebuild.
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  4. eri

    eri Long timer

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  5. m1sandman

    m1sandman Adventurer

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    Thanks all - I’ve got some options from my WTB ad - agree that it looks like a Fox - @TUCKERS I have had the bike for a short time, so unsure if it is properly sprung for my weight - the couple of rides I have been able to do have be comfortable though.
    Any recommendations on companies that rebuild Fox, just to get a quote?
    #5
  6. eri

    eri Long timer

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    does your fox have a number on the spring like the 1 in the pic?

    if so, you should be able to find out what the weight range is
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  7. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Just google motorcycle suspension in tampa florida....I got quite a few choices. You may need a spring....figure out your use weight range: solo clothed to ride with equipment, solo with loaded luggage, two up and etc. Then you get a spring with preload adjustment within that range. For example my lower weight is 180, that includes all clothing and some tools. I add 80 pounds max when I camp. I never carry a passenger. so my spring would be 180-260 That is the joy of remote preload knob.......otherwise you need to apply the special wrench to adjust your load.
    #7
  8. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    You could check your static sag. when you sit on the bike ready to ride it should sink about 1/3 of it's available travel. Racetech have a good website. There is also a Racetech shop in your area I believe.
    #8
  9. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    Truthfully, with this much unknown, at a minimum you should use your Google Fu and reach out directly to a suspension pro. They will be able to advise you on your options and costs associated. You say it is "comfortable" but you don't really know since bike is new-to-you and you haven't even compared it to stock suspension. Oh, and it's leaking...

    Ted Porter at The Beemer Shop is a suspension guru in California and is always remarkably insightful on these specific situations. I resist sending you to him as you may be "better" served by just shopping around locally to get feedback on your specific shock. If that rebuild price concerns you or it's deemed unfit for rebuild then Ted Porter would be a great option for replacement. Cogent is a little closer to you and also has a good reputation. Please note that Ted has a strong reputation for offering his insights and honest recommendations regardless of the contingency of a sale. He's that kind of guy and has been very prompt and helpful with me when I wasn't committed to buy. As a result, I eventually did buy from him.
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  10. m1sandman

    m1sandman Adventurer

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    Thank you all - this is a good start to the education I need. Based on your comment @TUCKERS I’m tempted to go with a good used OEM and figure out the right spring for it. I’m heavier - 235, and think your loaded estimate is probably right on for me too.
    I will do some research locally and see who I can find - I did find a rebuild kit for the Fox online for $18 and might go ahead and rebuild it to have a spare as well. In my WTB, someone reached out with a Wilber setup for a good price, so may go that route.
    Again, thanks all!
    #10
  11. m1sandman

    m1sandman Adventurer

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    I’m going to pull it tomorrow morning and I’ll post up what I find. Apparently Fox hasn’t made shocks for the 1100GS for many many years.
    #11
  12. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    If you’re 235 you’re well into heavy range and probably beyond any stock shock. Will they work? Kinda. Even with the Fox rebuild kit you’re gonna want to change the spring for your loaded weight based on your type of riding.

    Suspension is one of those items that you tend to “get by” with until you’ve ridden a quality set-up dialed in for your weight and riding style. I guess ignorance is bliss but you did ask;-)
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  13. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    If you are on the heavy side then a used 1100 std unit is going to be a worn out unit under sprung for you, back to square one. Having the Fox unit re-serviced and a correct weighted spring fitted won't cost the earth and the benefits will be in the category of "why did I wait so long?" Any suspension place that overhauls the Fox will be able to get an aftermarket spring via Racetech, Eibach etc. at your required rate. Suspension is the best money spent on a bike.:*sip* EDIT Just did the conversion, we use metric down here, at your weight ie 106kg, spring required would be about 160 or maybe 170 in the metric rating.
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  14. m1sandman

    m1sandman Adventurer

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  15. m1sandman

    m1sandman Adventurer

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    So what is the conventional thinking on front setup? Mine looks to be OEM - should I look to swap in a spring there as well? Or should I try to keep the shocks matched and go looking for a Fox for the front?
    #15
  16. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    As the bike is manufactured to carry two people your front shock is likely too stiff. On my current 2006 GS I've been using the stock shocks since new.....but I never go off road... I use it as a sport tourer....the front IS rather stiff
    #16
  17. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    In theory, there is really only one answer...the suspension on the bike is a "system" meaning it is designed to respond collectively to the inputs placed on it by you, the rider (and your pillion), the terrain you are riding on and any added load you are carrying. Your front and rear shocks should be set-up in tandem with one another to work as a single system.

    In practice, most often due to cost considerations, they are treated as individual units. In the case of your bike, it appears this happened as someone replaced the rear shock with this Fox unit while keeping the stock front shock. This is not usually done because the previous rider had some epiphany that the front shock was so sweet and it just needed this Fox shock on the rear to make it all work. Nope, I'm betting either the guy/gal blew out the rear shock and hunted for a low cost replacement (which also has now blown), or had a buddy that said 'I've got this Fox shock that I'm not using. Wanna buy it off me?" ;-)

    Back to your issue(s)...You are a larger rider (don't fret, so am I) and most likely no stock shocks you find on eBay, CL or other are going to be intended for your weight whether pillion added or not. I know Tucker's describes the front shock as "stiff" but I really think the more accurate word is "harsh" (keep in mind Tuckers 06 shock is different from your 10-yr older one). Yes, there are plenty of guys that run the stock shocks well-over 100k miles but that doesn't really mean they were "good". If that front shock is the original one it is now 25 years old so it's really moot whether it was designed for your weight or not as it's useful life has already run it's course.

    @vagueout said it best -- ..."and a correct weighted spring fitted won't cost the earth and the benefits will be in the category of "why did I wait so long?" Getting quality suspension fitted correctly for you and your riding style is transformative -- both for the bike and you as the rider. The guys running stock for all those miles have never looked at the neighbor's grass...

    With all that said, you are riding a 25-yr old bike that is new-to-you and budget is always a consideration. You should be able to affordably find a way to rebuild that Fox with a correct spring and ride it. But now that you've asked the question, you will now be considering suspension every time you mount that steed. With the rebuilt Fox you will be able to save your pennies and research what suspension you want to buy for that transformative experience ;-)
    #17
  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Well said. If you are on a low budget keep the front and get a 'take off' (un)used rear. If you have the budget get a PAIR of shockers custom cooked to order. Worx Shocks (formerly Works Performance) in Canoga Park California will cook you up a pair any length/weight/ adjustability you want to invest in.
    #18
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