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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I’ve just had my bike in for MOT test (UK) and the tester has advised me that my front end is bouncy.

The bike is an immaculate 2008 K1200s with 23K miles on it. The Bike seems to ride fine to me however I can see the front knuckle dancing around a bit when on bumpy roads.

There are no leaks and no faults on the dash. The ESA cycles through all modes no problem.

Should I be worried? Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

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"I read on the 'net" to the effect that when the front knuckle is wearing out, you better d*mn well get it fixed or it will fix you. The bike is not immaculate if it has this issue and of course being a beemer it won't be cheap unless you do it yourself.

It's not really an ESA problem since (I don't think) it has to do with the innards of the shock. It's moving parts in the suspension that have reached or exceeded their wear limit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"I read on the 'net" to the effect that when the front knuckle is wearing out, you better d*mn well get it fixed or it will fix you. The bike is not immaculate if it has this issue and of course being a beemer it won't be cheap unless you do it yourself.

It's not really an ESA problem since (I don't think) it has to do with the innards of the shock. It's moving parts in the suspension that have reached or exceeded their wear limit.
There is no play in any of the knuckle joints on the front suspension.

Could it possibly be the piston seal, which is on the "innards" of the shock?

Could it also possibly be that the front suspension is effected when the ignition is on or off which may have an influence on the position of the valve on the ESA.
 

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Hi all,

I’ve just had my bike in for MOT test (UK) and the tester has advised me that my front end is bouncy.

The bike is an immaculate 2008 K1200s with 23K miles on it. The Bike seems to ride fine to me however I can see the front knuckle dancing around a bit when on bumpy roads.

There are no leaks and no faults on the dash. The ESA cycles through all modes no problem.

Should I be worried? Any advice greatly appreciated.
Dear Honda man,

Kudos for keeping your bike well maintained, as now it's time for suspension quagmire....

I have the same ride without the ESA, as I'm sure you will be sticker shocked at the cost of replacing the front and/or rear units

All shocks are typically produced by the lowest bidder. Our beemers are no exception....

All shocks have a shelf life and all require time before overhaul (if serviceable) or time until end of service life.

Many folks have switched over to Wilbers and are able to interface BMW with relative ease and a 1 time dealer visit to flash bias.

If you should choose this path, then your shocks can be ordered with custom springs and calving for your rider weights, cargo, and particular riding map.

Be advised, you will devalue any bike by installing non ESA shocks in an ESA bike.

Choose wisely, and get the ride back you deserve on this wonderful German Bike.

Cherrs
 

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Esa shocks are servicable not matter what Bmw claims. send it to ESA Repair ? ESA Repair, professionals in the field of shock absorbers, JJ suspension in Holland. The people running that place are 2 former engineers from WP, they helped design this shock and can rebuild them from the ground up, much cheaper than getting aftermarket units wich will not interface with the K series esa system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the advice guys. Could it be as simple as a broken wire? That sub loom in the piece of sleeving from the bottom of the shock that disappears up under the fairing is held by a few tight cable ties that could cause issues perhaps.

I can’t hear the valve on the shock clicking as some have mentioned when cycling through comf-normal-sport with the engine off.
 

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These people in New Jersey will also rebuild your original shocks:
High Performance Motorcycle Suspension Sales and Service from EPM Performance Imports

I needed shocks just when folks in USA were starting to rebuild OEM units. I made the mistake of going with Wilber standard shocks from BeemerShop. They're okay but not what I would have hoped for. I mistakenly "donated" my old OEM shocks to them for exploration as to whether they wanted to set up rebuilding them, that was a waste of time and my OEM shocks. My Original OEM shocks lasted about 65K miles. At present my Wilbers die at about 25 to 30K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok quick update folks.

I had the right side panel off my bike this evening to check the ESA wiring from the loom to the shock. Although kinked at the cable ties there is no obvious physical damage, everything seems very clean in there.

With the engine off and cycling through the modes there is a noticeable noise from the rear suspension but a much fainter noise from the front, you have to put your ear right up to it.

Starting the bike when I step through the helmets and luggage on the ESA I can see the rear shock physically moving which is great. I don’t think this is supposed to effect the front.

With the engine running and bouncing the front end up and down with the front brake applied then cycling through comf-normal-sport I can definitely feel the damping firming up although subtle. Perhaps all is OK and the tester got it wrong after all????
 

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Greetings, I have K1200S, 54000KM. Using MotoScan App, i was able to calibrate Rear Suspension, selecting ESA Button, i see Comf, Norm, Sport, Helmets and Luggage. When i try to calibrate Front in MotoScan i get "Error on calibration or invalid". I reached out to MotoScan, they said "Depending on the equipment of the motorcycle, only the rear suspension can be calibrated. The front one can be passive". Has anyone been able to calibrate 2005-2008 K1200S Front Suspension using MotoScan APP?
 

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Mattias, Beech,

Happy New Year as its another Polluted Day in Bangkok! I pray you are breathing cold, crisp clean air in the USA and Sweden.

Both of you have advocated OEM Rebuilds of our Stock Shocks both ESA and Non-ESA but I have yet to read anyone or have seen pictures of overhauled said Shocks?

Not sure about the Company in The Nederlands, but as far as Herr Klaus in New Jersey: That's news to me. Why would a man be overhauling OEM disposable shocks and Not selling new Shocks? Hmmmm

Have either one of you attempted to Overhaul your OEM shocks? Its pretty much a big "Pain in the Ass". We can overhaul a "serviceable" shock in 1/2 a day.

They (BMW) go out of they're way to have the Suspension contractors build non serviceable shocks so we (The Consumer) can purchase more OEM Shocks. Good for the Dealer, good for the Contractor, but bad for us. Hense the Solution: Aftermarket Shocks and Overhauled Forks! We're Lucky there! Shock in the Front, Shock in the Rear, get the correct Spring rate, set squat/pre-load and rebound - Have a nice day!

I challenge both of the two of you, to put your money where your mouths are: I have my original Suspension (front and rear shocks\non esa) mounted on a Wilbers Advertisement board.
The front shock pissed out its gas and fluid at around 25000 miles. The Rear let loose its gas charge shortly after that.....say 26000 miles. I obviously replaced with Wilbers front and rear Shocks as I sell and service Wilbers suspension systems.

BMW 2008 K1200S, Contractor is *********** front and rear. Which Shop NL or NJ, USA would you suggest I send them to?

Unless I live in the United States or The Nederlands (EU) Whats my Shipping Costs there and Back? Whats my overhaul cost when a Piston Rod is damaged? Can the shops secure just the ESA motors and Valves from BMW? Is it considered Hazardous Goods as its normally pressurized with a non flammable gas? Will the country I live in allow the shipment out via local laws? Will I have to pay duty and taxes on my own shocks to be returned back to me when they hit Customs where I live in? How long will all this take in time?

In the Pictures below, please show us, where the charging port(s) hide. Do you see a charging port? Obviously not. This suggests that the charging is done before the Pistons' end cap is installed during the manufacturing process. Rebuilding a "disposable shock" presents other problems with re-assembling as well..... proprietary seals, rings, pistons and the way the valves are stacked and ported.

I certainly don't have this device or injector, and drilling, tapping and installing a charging point for our small and humble operation is not profitable. Stocking small seals, O rings, Shims, wafers, ports for every model of every year by at least 5 manufacturers.....Problematic at best.

Packing and Sending a customers OEM Shock out for service, out of Thailand (and much of south East Asia) is Prohibited. The government here designates them as Dangerous Goods, even if the shocks are dis-assembled into several pieces. Shipping costs these days? Astronomical! Do riders really want to pay duties and Taxes on re-importing these shocks (That they already paid for when they purchased the bike) again, to a double dipping tax? Not to mention if the carrier loses, destroys or delivers to the wrong address in the US, and some one steals it? My personal experience recently with a transmission cassette to Florida.

For those of you who don't know what a charging port is: See the Photos of the Ohlins and Wilbers Shocks below OE WP Shocks...... for those of you who think your saving money, think again.

So, based on this information Mattias, Beech: What would you do if you were this customer? What would you do if you owned a suspension Shop? : )

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It can be done. He seemed quite polite as well!
 

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I would not spend the money re building a non ESA BMW shock. Buy Wilbers. On the other hand I would spend the money to rebuild the ESA shocks. I have wilbers on my older K bike but not happy with the service from the shock portion of the Ted Porter. I went around the block with the guy a few times. Ted is great though, just not shock shop. I wanted stock overall length as was told I would need to pay for another rebuild to get that. (it came .5" over stock length) When you deal with a shop these are the questions to ask. I was talking with Ted at a national rally and he said they were not set up to rebuild ESA shocks. I said I'd send him a set to play with but they never did anything with them.
Completely sealed shocks with no charging fitting... I have heard of shops installing the fitting. I would think in Bangkok there would be a competent shop to handle this.
Here is a place in California I would trust:
The New Jersey shop must have plenty of experience now doing ESA. I have not tried them or know of anyone who has so maybe someone will speak up.
 

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As you know had my ESA II shocks rebuilt by a reputable suspension shop in Brisbane AU. Original set had done 96000km. I chose to rebuild oem wp over spending 3-4k on wilbers. Cost me 550 aud including postage there and back again. Happy with the result, esa works fine.

Now i have an issue with the upper pivot knuckle and i think front wheel bearings, but thats a story for another time.
 

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Thx for all the responses, I will check into local shop that can rebuild, vs buying new. Try to get this done during our wonderful Canadian Winter. I wonder if they make a BMW Snowmobile, LOL.
 
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