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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2012, 11:15 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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New Owner Question

Hello everyone. I'm new here. I live in Seattle. I purchased a nice 05 a month ago and have already been piling up lots of miles despite the cold, wintry conditions. Loving the bike.

But today I thought I would look at the owner's manual and tweek the suspension to make sure it is matched to my weight etc. I see that the bike assumes you weigh 187 pounds if you are riding solo. I suppose with all my gear and coats that is about right. But, I still wanted to fool with the preload and damping. I saw in the manual that you just twist the knob for preload and take a screwdriver to the damping for a quick 5 second adjustment.

Well, when I went out there I found that I do NOT have the 'knob.' The thing is sealed tight and 'verboten' to get into. Says it is under high pressure and not to open. And I couldn't find the damping adjustment, either.

What is up with this? Do I have a bike that just doesn't have this cool stuff? I do have the ESA and I've used it. I love that and it works, but I thought I could 'fine tune' the whole affair.

What gives?????????

Thanks. Enzo
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 1:44 am
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Location: Newport, Wales, United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enzotemko
I do have the ESA and I've used it. What gives?????????

Thanks. Enzo

Thats what gives, YOUVE GOT ESA, Electronic Suspension Adjustment, clues in the name.

Tim
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2011 K1300GT
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 6:01 pm Thread Starter
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haha. My manual shows 'my' bike with ESA AND the manual 'fine tune' adjustments below. It just makes sense to have both. Do any of these bikes have both the ESA and the 'knob' for self-adjusting?

It would make sense to have them both since the ESA assumes that I weigh 187 pounds as a solo rider. I don't. So, I should be able to dial in my own preload and damping.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 10:53 pm
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I don't believe so. It's one or the other.

'06 K1200R- in pieces
'73 Honda CB500F- slow but fun.
'77 Yamaha XS 750 triple- kinda
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2012, 11:41 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks, JCW. I guess the manuel is just showing me the different options my bike MIGHT have on it. Funny it doesn't just say that.

I'm surprised how well this bike handles. I've been doing some Winter riding with some pretty fast guys on wet, gravely back roads in 45 degree temps. I can leave them all far behind at will. It was so apparent that they all thought I had traction control.

This weekend I was caught on the highway as it started to snow. The road was wet and it had been raining the whole 100 mile trip. 37 degrees. I cruised the whole thing at 70 until I felt a slight loss of traction as things got slushy. That was all. I slowed down and finally got home on an inch of slush. Never had a problem. Amazing machine.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2012, 1:26 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enzotemko
haha. My manual shows 'my' bike with ESA AND the manual 'fine tune' adjustments below. It just makes sense to have both. Do any of these bikes have both the ESA and the 'knob' for self-adjusting?

It would make sense to have them both since the ESA assumes that I weigh 187 pounds as a solo rider. I don't. So, I should be able to dial in my own preload and damping.
Actually, what would really make sense would be the ability to order a bike with suspension matched to your weight, but that aint gonna happen, so you have 2 choices, put up with mediocre suspension, or have some decent afermarket stuff made to order.It aint cheap, if youve got ESA, its silly expensive, hence why my bike came without

Tim
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2012, 8:20 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enzotemko
Thanks, JCW. I guess the manuel is just showing me the different options my bike MIGHT have on it. Funny it doesn't just say that.
The manual sounds misleading at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enzotemko
I'm surprised how well this bike handles. I've been doing some Winter riding with some pretty fast guys on wet, gravely back roads in 45 degree temps. I can leave them all far behind at will. It was so apparent that they all thought I had traction control.
I love it.

And this is now a 6 year old model. That's a lifetime when it comes to modern sportbikes. But the suspension still amazes.

'06 K1200R- in pieces
'73 Honda CB500F- slow but fun.
'77 Yamaha XS 750 triple- kinda
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2012, 10:00 pm Thread Starter
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The suspension on this bike is amazing. I kept reading that there was no 'feel' with the Paralever suspension. My other bike is a Moto Guzzi V11 Sport. It has a completely different feel. The nose dives, it falls into corners, you feel everything.......and that is cool and I love that bike as well, but the fact is that I am much FASTER on the BMW. It just seems to handle everything itself without me having to worry about it!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2012, 11:44 am
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I traded my 06 K12S last year with near 90k miles on it, original owner.

It did not have ESA, I took what they had on the floor in detroit at the time.

The stock shocks started beating me up around 20k miles.

I had Ohlins installed at the dealer on the K12S (ordered them to my weight) at about 24k miles during the service, pricy! about 2800 bucks. But, they are re-buildable, unlike (supposedly) the BMW stock shocks. I would never rebuild a stock shock anyways, I ride like a fool sometimes and need all the help I can get.

The rear Ohlins had the knob-adjuster, I would reach down and turn it while riding if needed (a bit scary). I never adjusted the front Ohlins once installed, no need to do so.

Fast forward to my 2011 K1300S, about 29k miles on it with ESA. I'm already feeling the sponge where it used to be more firm I really like it for my style of riding though and use it quite a bit, I don't think I'd go back. Note that I didn't own a car for 6 yrs, only the bikes so take that into account.

What I can say about the Ohlins on the K12S is, they seem to last forever compared to stock shocks. And..they are rebuildable, I had this done on my 02 K12LTC (RIP) when they (ohlins) had over 80k miles on them, the rear was starting to pound me a bit.

On the K12S with the Ohlins, they were still going strong when I traded it in, thats about 60K+ miles on them!! Might be worth the change to put some in oneday on that 05.

And the 06 was running stronger and smoother all the time, it just kept improving! of course I kept up with all repairs and maintenance since I rode daily.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2012, 2:13 pm Thread Starter
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Yea, my K has 14,000 miles and is absolutely flawless. Really, I was stunned how easy it was to blow everyone away on some really bad and technical roads. Just set the ESA on solo and sport and away I flew. It seems perfect for me. I weigh 175. Just a great bike. I figure it is just now getting broken in. I bet I have a long long way to go before change of shocks would occur to me. I am so used to a very visceral experience with my Guzzi that I thought the Beemer would be 'cold,' but not so - it is more like a Learjet compared to a sexy bi-plane. Both fun. Just different experiences.
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