Dialing in the RAM shocker - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2010, 3:31 pm Thread Starter
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Dialing in the RAM shocker

well I thought I would start a new thread about using the new REALM Engineering shocks rather than tack in on the end of an already long thread.

I'll start with stats, I'm 155-165lbs, and ride mostly solo. The bike is an '88 K100LT with full bags, and I think a progressive front spring set. I had a heavy duty Hagon shock on before this, so I am comparing it to that, not a washed up OEM under-performer.

So far I started by just installing it and cranking up the preload a bit, not measuring. For the last few weeks I have had a hard time with long rolling undulations in the road causing extreme slow bouncing, and have had to crank up the dampening to 10-12 out of 13.

Tonight I took the preload all the way down to nothing and measured. Then I cranked it back on to about 20mm (the suggested setting in the instructions) and turned the damper back down to 6.

This made all the difference!!! no more yawing about after large rollers, just solid reliable rebound.

In either setting the shock has sucked up sharp hits amazingly, so now I am quite happy all around! just wanted to share my experience for now, any other input is appreciated, we know at least ten of us have these now, 11 if you count Beachcomber

Thanks again to REALM and Pompadour!!

===================
/1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler
/1960 BSA A10 Super Rocket (basket)
/1981 Suzi GS650
/1988 BMW K100LT (in Lisbon)
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2010, 3:51 pm
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Nice write up. Any thoughts comparing it to the Hagon M60009 which is the Heavy Duty version? (the one that I have now)

I think mine is custom built for heavy loads cause its way too stiff alone and unladened. Might get the Realm for 1up rides and switch to the hagon full loaded.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current: 1985 K100RT Stripped.
See it here DC to Gaspe

Past: 1985 K100
See it here on my trip from DC to Panama
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2010, 5:28 am
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Glad to hear that all is well Snowbeard. You WILL find the absolute sweet spot within 500 miles. Hey what do they say - "when all else fails - RTFM" !!!!!!!!!!!

Actually the 20 mm Is only a start point and the ONLY reason we specify that in the fitting instructions is so that folk just don't simply take it out of the box and fit it.

I'm going to do another set of fitting instructions for next year that will have clear pix to accompany the text.

If you think about it - we are asking a LOT from a stock shocker. Take a 500lbs bike with a 125lbs rider. Take the same bike with 2 x 200 lbs + another 200lbs of luggage [ ALL over the rear wheel. ] You now have a payload of 600lbs or FOUR times the solo weight! 'Nuff said?

10 ????????? Hey ther's over 100 of the suckers out there now [ US / OZ / South Africa / Scandinvia] and another 150+ in the UK and mainland EU. In the past week there has been another 3 ordered from the US - look out for a group buy organised by "a satisfied customer" soon. We are also looking at appointing him as a distributor / agent [ US] which hopefully will mean stock of shox and accessories held in the US.

OK - so I now have THREE - one on each of my project bikes AND I am co-developing an USD version with rod ends - probably anodised in soft Gold.

Lukeman - you will only need ONE RAM shocker to cover the load range you need. Hagon IS an excellent project, but remember WE came to this playing field with no pre-concieved ideas about what a motorcycle shocker HAD to be - we came from the automotive field [ 35 years experience] and applied the specs that WE wanted the shocker to cope with. I am completely happy that after 18 months of laboratory and real World testing AND superb [ 100% ] customer feedback - we have acheived that.

RAM also has the benefit over Hagon that the shock was developed [ initially ] especially for Kays!!! Additionally the shock is "new World" - compare our specs [ alloy body, etc.,etc.] Don't forget - Hagon IS a well respected product.

That's why we will not [ we have been asked ] supply a "one fits all" shocker - each new model will have the same development programme as the Kay series.

I am quite happy to contribute to this thread [ if asked ] - as long as it's not seen as abuse by the powers that be [ ?? ].

Beachcomber
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2010, 7:04 am
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Just a thought guys - whatever your shocker.

Springs suspend your bike - dampeners control the spring movement / frequency.

NEVER EVER use dampening to act as a suspension medium.

The first signs of a worn shock are to wind up the preload and when that fails [ as it inevitably will ] folk wind up the dampening. That is merely masking the base problem.

Ditto with a NEW unit - set the spring first [ ZERO DAMPENING ], then dial in AS LITTLE DAMPENING THAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH to control the spring movement. Remember - the 20 mm set up guideline is just that. Don't expect to put 400lbs worth of rider and pillion aboard and expect the 20mm to cope !!!

Remember - shox need to settle in [ breaking / running in ! ] before making the definitive base setting. Make a note somewhere of that base setting before you start changing things around - and when you do - make notes again. PITA I know, but you WILL be glad you did.

Follow the RAM set up guide - if that is your chosen shock - it WILL get you in the ballpark.

Once in the ballpark you can start to fine tune to your riding style and loads. Again - you will need TWO sets of settings - for solo and 2 up with luggage.

One of the most frequent comments I get is that the OEM shocker bottoms out with a heavy load. Go back to my previous mail and look at payload vs compromise...............

Beachcomber
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2010, 5:32 pm Thread Starter
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a crucial piece I failed to mention is that I have the lighter spring, as suggested by REALM.

what I ended up doing, since I am essentially homeless still and didn't have a measuring device, was to mark scores on the handle of the shock wrench. I marked the distance from the base to the nut with no preload at all, then the full travel unloaded on the other side of the wrench. Then I put on what I estimated as 20mm preload, and set just the bike (with one side case on) on sidestand with a stone to keep it close to upright. marked the compression of the bike itself, then pushed the rubber damper down to the bottom and sat on the bike without bouncing. the rubber damper was then my mark for "loaded" bike.

once I get to a ruler I'll see what that all comes out to, but overall I think that I will put some more preload on and try to lower the damping a bit more. I've been riding with just me and one side case only, me and my wife, me and my wife's luggage, me and my kayak and gear, me and my wife's friend, yadda yadda. basically all I learned was what Beachcomber told us in the first place, put your preload on first then use the damper!

Beach, glad to hear these are being well received, and that you'll soon have a stock in the states. I was just referring to the last group buy as my only firm data

Luke, it's hard to compare this to the Hagon HD, as I had never seen a KAY, let alone ridden one before mine. It came from the PO with the hagon, and I lowered the preload and rode it 2000 miles. so that was my gold standard, but the price of the bike was that I return the Hagon to him, so I did that while I was in the states this summer anyway, to save shipping it from Portugal. That forced my hand for the REALM and it was just luck that the topic came up right as I was interested. So far so good, and I think that once I find my sweet spot it will easily measure up to the hagon.

My only possible complaint is that I have been living near the beach for the last few weeks and I have noticed the sea air has already started to oxidize the housing. I think I may have to pull it off the bike, wire brush it and give it a coat of ?something? I try not to be influenced by the exterior appearances of my belongings, preferring to have something that looks like hell but runs like a top, but this would be one of the first times I've actually thrown down on performance gear, so... but if that's my biggest complaint call me a happy customer!

===================
/1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler
/1960 BSA A10 Super Rocket (basket)
/1981 Suzi GS650
/1988 BMW K100LT (in Lisbon)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 2010, 6:55 am
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Snowbeard - I've just checked the factory data for your personal shock from their archives. All is spot on from our end - find that sweet spot !!!!!!!!!

OK - inclement weather / environment. The UK has it's fair share of salt and chemicals on the roads - I have from day one given my shock body [ies] a squirt of WD40 to keep the elements at bay.

New for 2011 will be the full anodising of the bodies - this would have happened sooner, but the problem is getting the right look from the anodise process. If you want colours - no probs. But if you want "clear" ........................... We have gone for a Silver anodise, as "clear" gives the alloy a greyish look [ check out Ikon ]. We debated amongst ourselves whether to go for a "colour" - but decided that in the main Kay owners are a conservative bunch !

The anodised shocker is currently undergoing road trials - especially with our Winter just around the corner ! As soon as we are satisfied we will introduce that on all future shocks. Yes there is a cost involved in this and yes, regrettably we will have to pass this on - not fortunes.


HOWEVER - the USD super comp version I am working on WILL be Gold anodised.

Beachcomber
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 7:21 am Thread Starter
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good idea, I will give it a bit of WD-40. I agree that the look with the raw metal is great, don't get me wrong, but it is good to hear that the option to anodize is there for those who need it.

I have no doubt that I'm set up well, and the sweet spot is just around that next bend. I didn't start this topic to complain about anything, just to compile all our individual experiences so that we can all benefit!!

===================
/1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler
/1960 BSA A10 Super Rocket (basket)
/1981 Suzi GS650
/1988 BMW K100LT (in Lisbon)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 12:44 pm
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Snowbeard - no such things as complaints - it's called "feedback" - good OR bad it's all taken on board so we can improve the breed.

Don't forget, it was input from ALL the Worldwide BMW forums that shaped the final specs of the RAM shocker - and will CONTINUE to do so.

Example - the anodising. We have to accept that some folk live / ride in hostile environments. Originally we were going to make an option - but to be honest the cost of small / individual batches is prohibitive - better to upgrade the whole range ! We want to keep the polished raw material look and the SIlver base anodise is the closest we can get to this [ virtually identical ]. The Gold is a personal whim of mine and I appreciate not to everyone's tastes - but hey, wouldn't life be dull if we all liked the same things ! SO - Base SIlver will be standard and Gold the option.

Beachcomber
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