Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bakersfield, CA, USA
ESA rebuild in the USA
(posted in the K1200S forum also)
Frustrated by the cost of new, harsh, BMW shocks at a criminal $4000 and the desire to keep my ESA suspension on my "06 K1200R, I searched for solutions. I was ready to send them to the Australian shop who have done many sets already but the cost of shipping was going to run about $800 round trip. Nixing that idea, I contacted Travis Jones at Go-Race Suspension in Virginia. He was eager to have a go at these so off they went.
He did the machine work needed to charge the front and replaced the pistons, seals and made changes to the valving to try to solve some of the idiosyncracies of the stock units. While my shocks were at his shop, a local customer brought him a K1200S for the same service. Fortunately, before he returned mine, he was able to rebuild the shocks on the S, and ride the bike. After evaluating the suspension changes, he redid the valving and tested again. Finally satisfied, he revalved mine again before he shipped them back.
I have just finished installing them along with replacing the blown out steering stabilizer. I have been able to ride the bike for about 50 miles tonight and the bike feels like a different bike. Granted, the shocks had over 37000 miles on them and the stabilizer was totally shot, but the high speed harshness is very much inproved and the bike seems even more locked in when cornering. I will have to ride it more for further evaluation.
I am not a suspension expert, nor am I a racer, but I have been riding and wrenching on bikes for over 40 years. This could be the most cost effective improvement made to my bike in the 6 years and 37K miles of ownership. Including shipping, I spent about $850.
If you're facing the decision of what to do to keep the ESA without shelling out $4k smackers for the same thing the bike was shipped with, consider getting in touch with Travis at go-race.com.
More to follow.