Shocks - How Long Between Rebuilds? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2019, 1:04 pm Thread Starter
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Question Shocks - How Long Between Rebuilds?

Does anyone know offhand how long between required "service" on various K12 replacement shocks? Ohlins vs. Wilbers vs. Nitron? Which ones last longer and require the least maintenance?

I am still running stock shocks on a 2006 K12R with 48K miles.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2019, 1:02 am
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OEM seem to last longer. My Wilbers were trash at about 30K miles. If you ride them past due time, you will know, the ride gets really harsh. I ran the electronic shocks on my K13S bike to 72K miles but they were bad at 65. At the time the New Jersey EMP shop did not rebuild the factory electronic shocks so I bought Wilbers regular. Mistake. They were okay but when sent back to Jeff at Ted Porter, I got a "factory speck" rebuild which was bogus. I would use EMP. Or your good local shop. I put a set of Ohlins on a 2000GS and it was the best thing since apple pie. I could not believe how good they were. I still have the crummy rebuilt shocks on the bike which I ride all the time. Not sure what my next step is with them. They cost $1500 a couple of years ago. 450 for the last rebuild, and the guy says send them in every 25K miles. For me that is every two years. Not sure I'm happy with that. Certainly will use a local shop for the next rebuild. Wilbers uses a shorter spring which means less travel and a harsher rate to deal with that less travel. And be sure that the shock you buy is EXACTLY the same overall length. Wilbers is 12mm longer than stock for my bike giving the impression that it handles better with the new shock. (rake angle change). You can tell I'm not happy.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2019, 6:49 pm
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Location: Selden, ny, USA
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shock life

shock travel and spring length are different things! shorter travel shocks will need harsher damping because they operate over a shorter distance.

My 2003 K 1200 RS I bought with about 30k on it, the rear shock was topping out, damping was gone so new ohlins were part of the purchase deal. I was disappointed to find the front Ohlins is not adjustable, I would try a different brand in the future.

I put a used ohlins on the rear of my old K 1100 and it had no less than 40 k without service when I sold the bike, it was still fine.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2019, 9:40 pm
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Location: Stillwater, MN, USA
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I replaced the OEM shocks with Wilbers on my GT at 87000 mi. Great advice and service from Ted Porter, but the front shock blew out a seal after a year and a half or so (can't remember mileage--maybe around 20000 or so). Warranty covered the defective parts, but the required 2 year rebuild was on my dime. Considering that removing and replacing shocks is a PITA, I blew off the second 2 year rebuild and now have 155000 on the bike with no shock issues. When something goes wrong with these shocks, I'm leaning toward getting new OEM. I did nothing to the originals for 87000, and the improvement from the Wilbers was not enough to make the routine rebuilds worth the effort. If you are a more aggressive or sophisticated rider than I am, you may want to try the aftermarket. IMO, the Wilbers are just OK. Nothing but good things to say about Ted Porter's shop.
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