Stiffer Rear Spring Availability for ESA models... - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 11:14 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CANADA
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Stiffer Rear Spring Availability for ESA models...

(I tried posting this in technical as well)

Just wondering if anyone out there has been able to increase the preload settings &/or has installed a stiffer spring in the rear suspension on a K-Bike with ESA.
I sent WP Suspension an email (in Europe) but would like to know if anyone on this side of the pond has ever handled something like this and where I could source a stiffer spring.

Note: I currently use the 2-up preload setting most of the time travelling solo, when I take a passenger I have to also run the dampening in Sport mode to control the bobbing etc!
I am 210 lbs & my wife is around 105 lbs & we often take luggage so I would love my base spring setting to be around what it is now in 2-Up mode.

Kris Duncan
2008 BMW K1200GT
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 11:37 pm
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I wonder if your shock is working properly. I weigh 205 and spouse somewhere between 125 and 155 :-) and we always seem to have plenty of travel, even fully loaded. Setting the ESA at 2up with Normal damping works fine. Just a thought.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 11:44 pm
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Forgot to add that I just had the rear shock replaced under warranty. The damping seemed fine but I had some oil on the ground. The tech who worked on it said that the spring preload wasn't working - I assumed the shock damping oil was leaking but his comment made me think that spring preload is accomplished with oil??

At one point in my life I would have researched it and found out but complex bikes with extended warranties have caused me to stop caring :-).

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 2:04 pm Thread Starter
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Yes, that was likely hydraulic oil as it appears that is what is used for the preload settings. Much like the manual 'Dial-Knob' setup that cranks preload using hydraulic pressure it appears the ESA is similar but uses an electric pump to increase hydraulic pressure & unfortunately in my case there is a limited amount of variance. (Whereas the Manual style can be cranked WAY up!

I contacted WP Suspension (who makes the suspension) and they unfortunately cannot offer me a stiffer spring as it's a 'BMW propriety' and I must go through BMW to get this... So far no luck at BMW, thankfully the parts man at my dealership is making some calls to BMW to see if there are any replacement springs... Otherwise I will have to swap it out with an aftermarket setup, or the stock non-esa setup.

Thanks for your response!

Kris Duncan
2008 BMW K1200GT
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 5:01 pm
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Interesting you mentioned the *spring* being soft.

Just got my MCN (US version) and on page 18 they did a brief sidebar of the K1300GT against the K1300S write-up.

They also complained about the spring being too soft on the K1300GT and preferred the ESA-I of the 1200 over the 1300 ESA-II system. They commented "That the rear suspension was oversprung and underdamped regardless of the setting, and the floaty bouncing sensation was even more pronounced on the GT." In the CycleStats section of the k1200S, they also gave the PANS to the "slightly floaty suspension feel" of the K1200S as well. PICKS for the K1200S were: Brakes, Instruments/Controls, and Attention to detail.

They didn't like the GT seat either, too low to accommodated short inseams and footpegs too far forward. Said the seat "Tilts forward too much."

Marks off on the "Backdraft from the windscreen" too.

Also mentioned, "Clutch shuddering with every start, which could easily be a peculiarity of the individual machine but, if so, didn't say anything good about quality control." Not addressed in the K1300 yet? I know, that rare Castrol oil no one can find in the U.S. is to blame (?).

"Tight twisties were not the bike's forte'" was also mentioned as the weight of the GT (100 pounds) over the K1300S they reviewed as well.

Fwiw, they listed Standard Maintenance as $824 labor + $174.06 parts = $994.06 for the K1300S. Yipes!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2009, 4:47 pm Thread Starter
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Cool! I'll have to check out that article! I just got a new issue of Cycle Canada today but it was another good review for the 'average tourer' out there. They really don't seem to push the bikes very hard at all but then they say at the end of the article "Few buyers would push these bikes to the limit like they did..." Haha! I hope Sport Rider takes these things out (K-S,R,GT, etc)

Anyway, just wondering if anyone has noticed how much travel there is in the Preload setting of their ESA equipped GT. LeeKG suggested I talk to the dealer about any potential service bulletins etc & my dealer will be looking at it on Saturday to see if they can see anything out of the ordinary. I suggested that the preload MAY only be travelling 2/3 of the full travel. Right now under full 2-Up setting the preload only moves approx. 12mm (1/2 inch). I've attached a photo. Does this look normal or is it indeed only tensioning a portion of its potential?

If anyone is generous enough to have a look at theirs & report their findings it would be greatly appreciated!
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Kris Duncan
2008 BMW K1200GT
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2009, 12:10 am
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I haven't measured my preload adjustment, but I can say that after 85K miles the ESA still works as advertised. The springs are a bit weaker than new, but the preload and damping adjustments still make noticeable differences.

Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
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