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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the next couple of weeks I'll buy a new, 06 K1200S. I've heard different opinions about the value of ESA, the cost of replacement shocks and, in comparison, the value & logic of after market spring / shock set-ups.

I owned a 05 K1200s for a short time, although not long enough to know if the ESA was as good as it was cleaver.

If any of you have a strong opinion I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say.

Specifically, I'd like to know, based on real world experience, if you were buying again, would you buy the EAS, or go for a custom set-up.

Thanks.
 

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Faust said:
In the next couple of weeks I'll buy a new, 06 K1200S. I've heard different opinions about the value of ESA, the cost of replacement shocks and, in comparison, the value & logic of after market spring / shock set-ups.

I owned a 05 K1200s for a short time, although not long enough to know if the ESA was as good as it was cleaver.

If any of you have a strong opinion I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say.

Specifically, I'd like to know, based on real world experience, if you were buying again, would you buy the EAS, or go for a custom set-up.

Thanks.
They beat this topic to death over on the BMWsporttouring.com site.
Link:
http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=ride&Number=621464&page=0&fpart=all

Allot of guys talking about how you'd be better off with a set of Ohlins or other top shelf shocks and maybe that is true in some aspects. However, as far as I'm concerned it's all really a matter of opinion. For me the K1200S is a luxury sport touring machine and the ESA is part of the luxury package. The shocks are plenty good enough for the road bike that it is and the ESA feature is nice to have when you go from comfort on the long boring highway to sport in the twisty mountain roads all on the fly. I think it's a great feature and much like having factory cruise control, once you've had it, you appreciate it.
Now if you want to use your KS as a sport and track bike the majority of the time then maybe there are better options but I think for most of us ESA is a good thing.
 

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There was a rumor- supposedly from BMW- that the factory ESA shocks were sourced from WP and WERE rebuildable. In any event, I like them a lot and would certainly order them on any bike that offered them. It's just too convenient to dial in preload and damping with a couple of button pushes. And the sport setting seems very nice in the twisties, but a bit too punishing outside them. Maybe I'm just lazy, but stopping and getting out tools to adjust the suspension has never turned me on.

Adjustable suspension is a good thing, counting clicks to do it isn't.
 

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If you like indefinite tinkering with adjustments, or have heaps of time to experiment, then don't get the ESA. But if you like the convenience of factory settings and the certainty that it has been optimally set for the load/ride style, and which has been tried and tested by the factory again and again for optimum performance, ESA is invaluable - and no doubt add to resale value. It is not something you can easily add on later so get it with your new bike. For me I found that it is a must for the KS, along with the centre stand and alarm system, and possibly the panniers if your budget can afford it. For the price and the technology (not to mention the badge), the KS is already good value for money.
 

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I have them on both the K12S and the R12RT. I weigh about 153 pounds in the buff and find that the ESA does not work very well for me. Now, if I load the bikes down a bit it does work very well. The K12 owner's manual states that they are set up for a 187 pound rider. I don't weigh enough to set the initial sag to a good starting point. If Karl is correct in that they are rebuildable by WP then perhaps the spring can be changed out for a lighter one but I don't know what that would do to the ESA calibration. It would be nice to have those parameters set with the GT1 service set. Next time I may go with a non ESA and add the Ohlins, Wilburs or whatever later.
 

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Running without the ESA no doubt provides more flexibility and personal choice in how you want a bike to handle. Two main issues are addressed with the ESA -

- how many riders really know what the optimal settings are for different riding environments, load and speed. A lot of time can be spent farting around making poorly informed adjustments when all you want is a few hours to blow the week out of you head.

- adjustment on the fly is brilliant, allows maximum ride continuity

My ideal ESA would be to have the gross suspension changes made by the machine to benchmark / std settings with a further fine tuning human adjustment available on the fly also.

Cheers
Lenz
 

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I like the ESA particularly because of the ability to adjust the ride as you go. I'm heavier than the norm at about 200 Lbs so find that rider with luggage is the correct preload for me.
 

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It's one of the features that set's the BMW apart from the rest...I wasn't going to get ESA or ABS, and my wife said..."Hell, if your going to spend that much money, get it set-up the way you want it". (yea, she supports my 2 wheel habit) :yeah:

I use mine all the time - after thrashing the twisties all day in sport mode, I'll switch to comfort mode on the way home and just relax and enjoy the ride.
 

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I have found I also prefer rider+ luggage setting (at 200 lbs). What they should have done for ESA was to have the suspension set up for the weight of the rider at orig purchase so it would work as it should for riders of various weights.
I know this would have been somewhat of a pain to have all the additional springs and such at the dealerships but it would make the ESA much better for a wider range of customers.

As it is set for a norm, it makes the to ESA or not to a much more close question.
Having had it for awhile I am not so sure I would not have gone without and bought Ohlins right off the bat if I had it to do over again.

Would hinge on wether or not the stockers are rebuilldable or not.
Has anyone gotten a definative answer to that question yet??

The answer will also play into what I do when the stockers wear out, if they are not rebuidable and if Ohlins will fit I may mount up a set of Ohlins and disconnect the ESA, if that is even possible without messing up the CANBUS.
 

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The esa was something I wasn't sold on til I had it. My dealer had 2 k-s on the floor and the one with my color preference had the esa. After having it I love it. I'll deal with the rebuilding/replacing it when the time comes.
 

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I don't have ESA on mine. I would've prolly gotten it with but the blue grew on me
and a blue canceled order came up w/o esa.

Dunno, if bucks are a concern you could do
without, especially if you do mostly solo riding.

Sans ESA it is very firm, i weigh about 200#.

I rode it back to back with a vfr on some rough roads, and it felt like a cadillac
in comparison so ymmv. defintiely a well designed suspension either way you go.

Best,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
karlb said:
I have found I also prefer rider+ luggage setting (at 200 lbs). What they should have done for ESA was to have the suspension set up for the weight of the rider at orig purchase so it would work as it should for riders of various weights.
I know this would have been somewhat of a pain to have all the additional springs and such at the dealerships but it would make the ESA much better for a wider range of customers.

As it is set for a norm, it makes the to ESA or not to a much more close question.
Having had it for awhile I am not so sure I would not have gone without and bought Ohlins right off the bat if I had it to do over again.

Would hinge on wether or not the stockers are rebuilldable or not.
Has anyone gotten a definative answer to that question yet??

The answer will also play into what I do when the stockers wear out, if they are not rebuidable and if Ohlins will fit I may mount up a set of Ohlins and disconnect the ESA, if that is even possible without messing up the CANBUS.

I wiegh 220 / 6';2". Not a small man. If I went with the ESA would it make any sense to upgrade springs?
 

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I would think so, but can you and how will that affect the electronic settings the bike goes to.
Hence why I wish you could set up the springs at delivery then configure the software for ESA to a sliding scale of presets dependant upon spring stiffness.

I dont think the presets would be the same with a spring set for a 145lb rider as they would be for a 220 or 250 lb rider, but maybe they would??
If you decide to pursue this please let us know the outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
karlb said:
I would think so, but can you and how will that affect the electronic settings the bike goes to.
Hence why I wish you could set up the springs at delivery then configure the software for ESA to a sliding scale of presets dependant upon spring stiffness.

I dont think the presets would be the same with a spring set for a 145lb rider as they would be for a 220 or 250 lb rider, but maybe they would??
If you decide to pursue this please let us know the outcome.
I'll continue to research and post finding here.

Thanks!
 

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Ohlins replacement

Ohlins has produced aftermarket ESA suspension for the K1200RS for some time. I am hoping they will develop a replacement for the S soon. However, one of our high mileage veterans told me that, at 26K miles, he didn't feel his ESA shocks had not suffered any appreciable deterioration.
 

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Kneedragger said:
However, one of our high mileage veterans told me that, at 26K miles, he didn't feel his ESA shocks had not suffered any appreciable deterioration.
I wonder about that as you know how it happens, they deteriorate so slowly day by day you dont really realize they have until you replace or rebuild them.
No offense meant to any one
 
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