ESA Suspension Issue - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 2018, 2:44 pm Thread Starter
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ESA Suspension Issue

I have an '07 K1200GT with 47,000 miles on the clock. I really enjoy everything about this machine except for the the stiff suspension. I recently learned the bike must be stopped in order to change the comfort, normal, sport setting and the pre-load damping for two-up and luggage. The manual shows a pre-load screw for the front and rear wheel but I'm not sure where to find them. Any assistance in trying to soften up my suspension would be much apreciated.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 2018, 8:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mots View Post
I have an '07 K1200GT with 47,000 miles on the clock. I really enjoy everything about this machine except for the the stiff suspension. I recently learned the bike must be stopped in order to change the comfort, normal, sport setting and the pre-load damping for two-up and luggage. The manual shows a pre-load screw for the front and rear wheel but I'm not sure where to find them. Any assistance in trying to soften up my suspension would be much apreciated.

Thanks!
Hi There,
I have an Ď08GT and what iíve found is that the Sport, Comfort, Normal settings can be changed while moving but the luggage and rider settings only can be changed when stopped...I find that if you do one rider, no luggage and comfort itís a very soft ride for me. I typically run rider with luggage and normal when Iím by myself and luggage isnít packed full.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2018, 6:30 pm
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As Pmw121 said, you can change the Sport, Normal, Comfort damping at any time, including while riding. I change it depending on the terrain. The rider, rider-with-luggage, and rider-with-passenger preload only when stopped, with the engine running. Don't ride off until the adjustment is done.

There are no other adjustments for the ESA BMW suspension. There is no way to soften the setting beyond choosing rider preload with comfort damping.

I have heard of ESA-compatible shocks from third-party providers, but was warned away from them as too mushy. One may be out in Canoga Park, California, but I don't know the name.

A great resource regarding KGT suspension's is Ted Porter's Beemershop. Ted is very knowledgeable. He can recommend third-party suspensions and give you the benefits (much better than OEM!) and tradeoffs.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2018, 2:57 pm Thread Starter
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Thank you, XMagnaRider! I spoke with Ted Porter by phone and he suggested switching out both shocks with manual adjustment Wilbers shocks our of Germany. Ted sets them up for customers based on body weight, two up riding and the weight of baggage used while touring. It's spendy at $1400/pr but I'm going to go this way to get a better ride. The adjustment motors are dead on my ESA first edition.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2018, 12:13 am
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2007 Kgt Esa issue

Hello all, and this has likely been beaten to death but nothing new that I have seen. My ESA on the 07 KGT is stuck on the pre load two helmet position. Trip the the dealer left me shy of over $100.00. to attempt a reset which was unsuccessful. The dealer offered up a 10 day shipping solution and near $4000.00 for new rear esa assembly. Now I gotta yell ya, the bike has 40,000 miles, never been down....and actually never even in the rain and the esa module is throwing faults?
The shock is not leaking and has spent most of its life cycling through one rider and one rider with bag pre load setting.
Does anyone have an idea how to trace the fault? there has got to be a reason for the issue besides throwing 4 grand at a problem that could be as simple as a broken wire.
Any suggestions are welcome.
...i know i know....wilbers etc.......i dont want to go that route. i bought this rocket for the goodies that came with it and I want to keep it the way it came.

thanks..

kbikeinbc
07 Kgt
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2018, 1:21 pm
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When my 08 GT rear ESA shock stopped adjusting I went on Ebay and bought a used one for $250 and installed it myself. Works great now.

Please note that you may want to connect a diagnostic tool like a GS911 to your bike and see if any error codes are stored. Mine showed no ESA shock connected, perhaps suggesting that a connector was loose or a wire broken. I had read that a broken wire on the FRONT ESA shock can throw and error that prevents a REAR shock from working. In my case there was a break in the control wire to the FRONT shock. BMW even sells a wire replacement part for that issue. It did not work for me, so I went with a used REAR shock and that has worked.....

Also the GS911 has a function to recalibrate the shocks, but that won't work if it cannot detect the existence of a shock...obviously.

Installing the REAR shock is a bit of work, but I did it and I'm no genius...

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2018, 4:26 pm
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Thanks for the input. The error from the dealer reads a fault in the esa system. Accordingly, no way to clear it or bypass the code. Thats the real thing that pisses me off. The shock is working fine. The computer (or esa brain) is somehow believing that there is a problem. Which it won't identify to the BMW diagnostic equipment.
Considering that the unit was functioning correctly all its life with minimal use and wear, seems to me that a limiter or trigger within the esa is causing the issue. BMW's answer to replace the entire unit is laughable at best and almost irresponsible on their part. Its like throwing away an entire wheel and tire assembly because you have a flat. Ridiculous in my mind.
So I may have to go the Ebay route to locate a used assembly. I have looked at that option and I think your right, its a bit of work but pretty much plug and play. And I have time and tools.
But....if anyone has any suggestions regarding esa re-boots or work arounds to free up the error....I am all ears.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2018, 6:28 pm
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The only reboot tip I heard was applying 12volt direct current to the "appropriate" connector to "shock" the ESA into moving the preload.

Maybe some googling can turn up that info, and help find a wiring diagram to show which wire does what. 12volts one way to drive the preload up, and another to drive it down.

I found these:

ESA shocks stuck in a preload setting - BMWSportTouring Forums

https://forum.hexcode.co.za/forum/index.php?topic=658.0

https://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw...lp-please.html

etcetera!

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2018, 10:00 pm
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I have heard about the "appropriate" connector fix. I am game to try it but without any idea of what that "appropriate" connector is....well. you can guess the rest.
I have been Googling the daylights out of this and most interesting is the post u provided that was from a guy with a 1600gt with similier issues. It sure seems to me that the problem is not new, and that a fix should have been addressed by BMW long ago.
i any event, I am going to try to strip the wiring covers off to determine if the boys at the factory have zip tied anything too tight that may be causing the fault. I had it happen on the front brakes when the bike was brand new and it drove the dealer nuts trying to figure out why it was firing the brak warning light. They ended up replacing the entire wiring for the front brakes. Fixed the problem. Wasnt till after they had the old wires out that they found the crimped problem wire.
So I will start there and see if I can spot anything obvious. Them maybe if any one else can pipe in about the "appropriate" connector to try and activate the ESA by bypassing.
......and another thing. From what I have googled, there appears to be a couple of differnet shock assemblies for the k bikes 2996 2007 and 2008. Yet the dealers parts say only one version for the K1200. SO bit of a isue there as well. I have part number 335 37711 075 as correct. At least thats the one the dealer would order. But if its wrong its his dime not mine.
If I can locate a used one....i want ot make sure it will be compatible, and that the esa portion works. SO another crap shoot.
......so the story will continue...thanks for your help...much appreciated.

Kbikeinbc
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2018, 11:36 pm
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I did read that there was a change in the type of ESA used on the GT, and that is tied to the ZFE module too, so the wrong type replacement (say from Ebay) won't talk to the ZFE.....good luck as I don't have the information when things changed or the relevant part numbers.

Another issue: On my 09 R1200GSA the ESA was fine, but the shock absorber unit itself failed, a leaky seal puked out oil. Replaced the shock with Wilbers with original ESA motors, and all is fine to date....

I consider shocks a wear/maintenance item, with limited life. ESA as an option was never destined to be cheap, and I cannot believe that many people would pay BMW ~$3K for a new one.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

1974 Norton Commando 850 Soon to be a restoration project
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