Rear Shock on K1200GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2007, 6:19 am Thread Starter
JIS
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Rear Shock on K1200GT

Some advice please; the K1200Gt seems to have but a single pre-load screw to change the rear shocks. The reason I ask is that when cornering at a reasonable speed (60+ (+!)) and a the road isn't perfectly smooth (which ones are in the UK?!) then a minor wallow can occur. I am not sufficiently technical (bike physics wise) to know what I should do. What I can say is that the tyre pressure (Pilot Road 2s) are spot on.

I'm a big guy 5' 11" and 215 lbs. My rear pre-load is 1 "notch" clear of the HIGH setting.

(It was easy on my GS 750 with Koni shocks in the late 70s; they had 5 settings from soft to hard !) This seems more complex ?

Thanks

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2007, 9:00 am
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Try cranking down the rebound dampening on the right side of the bike. That should help. It did for me on my RS with worn out shocks (a bit, anyway).

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2007, 2:25 pm
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Don't go crazy turning the rebound screw. I am a lightweight @ 175lb. My spring(yellow sport susp.) is only 2 clocks toward HIGH from the SOFT setting.

I have the rebound set at 2 turns out. Turning it only 1/4 turn in will make a BIG change.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2007, 4:05 pm
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My 2 pence...

If you have the pre-load turned almost fully clockwise (highest preload setting), then you need a stiffer spring. You eliminate the "wallowing" you get in corners by increasing the preload. If you bounce the bike at a stop and it's almost a pogo stick, you need more rebound damping (I forget which way the triangular knob is supposed to be turned to increase the damping). I had a K75 that lost the magic fluid, and pogo-stick was a damn accurate description.

Also, how many miles on the bike? If it's past 30k, you could be looking at replacement for a fix. They're rebuildable if you can find a suspension shop that will do it, but the cost is going to be about the same as a new one, as they're not made to be rebuildable. After conversion, though, it's not so bad...



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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2007, 1:35 am Thread Starter
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Hello Ray; yes the increased pre-load seems to have made a difference. There are a series on nice east fast bends on my way to work which are easy to negotiate at 80+. However, a slight bump in the road caused the wallow - previously. This morning, with the increased pre-load it felt much better.

The trouble is I am not clear at all what that other little adjuster on the right hand side is for; eliminating pogo sticks ?!!

My bike has 17000 miles so should still have lots of life left !?

John

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
K1300 GT (quite superb ! )
Triumph Tiger 1050 (2008)
K1200 GT (2003)
R1150R (2002)
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2007, 6:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIS
The trouble is I am not clear at all what that other little adjuster on the right hand side is for; eliminating pogo sticks ?!!

John
Yup...eliminating the "pogo stick" effect. You know, one good bump in the road, and you're on a rocking-chair-ride for a bit.

Idealy, the shock should absorb all the deflection energy given to the wheel, and return the suspension to it's normal (rest) point asap. Compression damping is used to handle the absorb-the-energy part so you feel as little of a bump as possible. The oil passages are manipulated with an adjustable tapered (or some other magic with externally adjustable shocks) rod that either slows the oil or allows it to go through the piston faster depending on how the rod is set. With no adjustment, there are just the spring washers on the piston that flex with pressure, allowing the oil to flow through the piston at a wanted rate. Adding spring tension or removing it allows for different a different compression rate. Toss in the tapered rod, and you now have a range for the compression rate.

When the shock goes the other direction (rebound), there's another set of oil passages that get the same treatment. That triangular knob allows you to adjust the rebound. (There's no compression adjustment on the stock BMW shock).

On rebound, you want the shock back home to rest so the shock is fully ready for the next bump. Too much damping and it's slow to recover, and the next series of bumps could bottom out the shock. Too little damping, and while the shock is certainly ready for the next bump (and there's little chance of bottoming out), you could "top" out, too.

If the shock goes past the normal rest point, then it has to come back down, taking time away from the recovery (and bouncing you unnecessarily as well). In some instances, a little overshoot is ok, as it gets the shock back to rest the quickest (which is what you're after).

Too much compresion damping jars the rider and the bike is a bit more unstable as well...which is why, even if there's no adjustment, it's a good idea to get a (replacement) shock that's easily adjustable by a suspension shop.

As far as I know, most suspension shops have a shock dynometer such that they can dial in your weight, the bike weight, and your riding style to get you set pretty close the first time. If you do street riding and track days, it would probably pay to get the additional compression adjustment on the shock. But, for riding on the street, it's pretty much set-and-forget at the initial rebuild.

Probably a bit more than you asked for...



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2007, 2:06 am Thread Starter
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Thanks Ray; I'll save this valubale stuff and re-rad it and go through it in detail. Thanks again.

John

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
K1300 GT (quite superb ! )
Triumph Tiger 1050 (2008)
K1200 GT (2003)
R1150R (2002)
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2007, 11:19 pm
 
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Rear shock

My advice get rid of the stock and go ohlins. No comparison and rides like a caddy.
I wished I would of put them on when I bought the bike.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2007, 1:35 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_B57
My advice get rid of the stock and go ohlins. No comparison and rides like a caddy.
I wished I would of put them on when I bought the bike.
Mmm and how much is that little change going to cost me ? Are the standard shocks so poor?

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
K1300 GT (quite superb ! )
Triumph Tiger 1050 (2008)
K1200 GT (2003)
R1150R (2002)
Suzuki GS 750 (late 1970s)
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2007, 4:29 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIS
Mmm and how much is that little change going to cost me ? Are the standard shocks so poor?
From the many posts on this subject I think our US friends know that the whole bike can be significantly improved with (read expensive!) aftermarket shocks, but we Brits may be more tolerate of stock suspension until we try something better. Our roads aren't too bad - particularly if you ride motorway or town commutes.

From your post I'm going to make an exception. You said you were a big guy at 215 1lbs so assume you may want to ride fully loaded with pillion. You're now into the area 'can the bike's stock suspension give me a good ride', secondly how long will they last being a heavier rider and can they be serviced? If you go oem you'll get shocks suitable for YOU and in theory can be serviced and will last.

I'm 188 lbs still riding the stock shocks. I don't often ride fully loaded and with pillion, I bought a pair of brand new oem shocks off a heavy rider who'd ordered his new bike with Ohlins - that was the right decision for him. The old shocks are still on my bike 'working ok' for me and the new pair are waiting for them to fail. That was my strategy.



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