Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lehighton, Pa, USA
Re: Riding two up
We went through the EXACT same problem! We bought a 99LT with 41.5k last Nov. We had just traded a 99RT with 38k and did a four day drip with it. The RT was so much smoother riding suspension and brakes, but the rest, the LT was far superior.
After complaints to the dealer about the shocks, they found the pre-load adjuster was shot. I paid $75 to have a used one installed. Still did not work.
I studied all the posts for months trying to decide on getting rid of the bike, buying OEM or getting a set of matched Ohlins for our riding weight.
I decided I could not afford the dealer servicing, and went with the Ohlins. I got out the scale, weighed us with our clothes, helmets, fanny packs, water, extra clothes, gear, Cortec pack bags, boots, as much as I could think of.
Total weight was about 425. We are 145/195 without gear.
I called Dan at Kyle Racing, gave him our stats and ordered the Ohlins. The instructions for installing the shocks absolutely SUCK!
That being said, many hours later I finally had them both installed. I contacted Matt Sage at Ohlins, also an x BMW service manager that understands what is needed. He said one could not compare the suspension between the RT and the LT, for one.
With the new shocks, the rear suspension still sucked.
I asked Matt what the specs the shocks were set for and why, and he explained we needed the heaviest spring they have for our riding weight to keep the bike sitting properly.
The adjustment at the bottom of the shock, which I did not know existed, was set at 16 of 27 clicks of adjustment. I ended up reducing that to 4 clicks. I have maybe two rotations on the pre-load. This is about the best I have dialed it in for two up riding.
Both of us have had a great deal of back and neck surgery, the SO had a $20k surgery last Jan. It was most important the bike ride best for her comfort.
For one up riding, it is still pretty brutal. I just have to post on the foot pegs for the worst of it. Decent back roads, as long as there are no pot holes and major repair joints (rarely seen in Pa....hehehe), are not bad at all. The unexpected, neck jarring, bone crunching jolts are still an issue. We have done what we can. Still not thrilled with it, and had we known this is what we would end up with.......more so after spending $12k on a 99 with 45k.....we most likely would have quit with the RT, sold that and just rented a HD once in a while. Would have saved a small fortune.
So, you may not need shocks with that kind of mileage. Try the adjustments first, crank the pre load just about as far as you can.
May as well figure our what you need, or you will not be happy. If you can afford the dealer service fees, pay it and get it done. It was not an easy job by any means.
If you weight less than we do, it should be that much better.
We also needed new tires, which made a big difference too.
Enjoy your Holiday!