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post #1 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 4:52 pm Thread Starter
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Question Shocks

How do you know if your shocks are worn? I am not a talented rider but I read here about people saying their shocks are bad. I probably would not know if mine were bad or not. I have a 99 LTC with 31K. What gives? Thanks for advice.
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post #2 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 7:22 pm
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If the ride is getting really bumpy, or you've maxed out the preload in the rear and it still feels like it's bottoming out, or you're dragging hard parts like the centerstand even through mild corners, or when going over mild bumps or "washboard" pavement in corners and the bike feels like it's losing contact with the ground and is unstable, then you probably need new shocks.

There is no defined "they're worn out" mileage or time on them. I've needed a replacement/rebuild in as short as 18,000 miles, but I know folks who have ridden 80-100,000 miles on the stock ones with no troubles. Suspension wear is more about conditions and riding style in those conditions, and your comfort with the bike's stability and ability to respond to your inputs in a predictable and reliable manner. If you're having consistent and/or serious concern or discomfort in any of these areas, conditions, or scenarios, you may want to consider replacing them.

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post #3 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 7:29 pm
 
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One tell-tale sign of bad shocks is how often your mirrors try to fall off.
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post #4 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 8:01 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budzee
How do you know if your shocks are worn? I am not a talented rider but I read here about people saying their shocks are bad. I probably would not know if mine were bad or not. I have a 99 LTC with 31K. What gives? Thanks for advice.
Other than the handling getting worse, which happens so slowly most don't realize it until it gets really bad, the biggest indicator is a "thunk" from the front when you hit sharp bumps. That happens because the main purpose of a shock absorber (really bad name) is to keep the wheel from re-bounding back down fast after a bump forces it up. When the shock wears and the damping starts to go away, the wheel rebounds too fast and hits it's bottom limits, thus the sharp "thunk".

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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post #5 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 9:48 pm
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Which brand and/or style is the best one for sporting sport/touring?
This is an upgrade I'm thinking of doing this winter, and am starting to shop them.

R1200GSA Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Alaska I go!
(Down to ONE BIKE - ARGH!)
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post #6 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 9:51 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMC1
Which brand and/or style is the best one for sporting sport/touring?
This is an upgrade I'm thinking of doing this winter, and am starting to shop them.
The Wilburs have the most options. Although one could argue that Ohlins make a "better" shock. Either way, you're spending $1,200 to near $1,500. And that ain't pocket change.
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post #7 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 9:51 pm
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David

David,
Sunday I hit a pothole and it had a hard THUNK. I was actually looking to the right when I hit it. I heard the thunk, and thought it was actually the wheel coming UP, now after reading your post, am I to believe it is the wheel "falling" back to the end of the extension?


What do I need to do to adjust my front and rear suspension.

2003 K12LT with 40083miles

Bill

Colorado Springs, CO
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post #8 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
The Wilburs have the most options. Although one could argue that Ohlins make a "better" shock. Either way, you're spending $1,200 to near $1,500. And that ain't pocket change.
GACK! COUGH! CHOKE!! Good LORD.
This thing is going to cost me like $5.00/mile at this rate. Seriously.

R1200GSA Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Alaska I go!
(Down to ONE BIKE - ARGH!)
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post #9 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:32 pm
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There is a guy in Canada that can rebuild the rear shocks on the Lt for a lot less than the cost of a new one.
K
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post #10 of 15 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieceofficer
David,
Sunday I hit a pothole and it had a hard THUNK. I was actually looking to the right when I hit it. I heard the thunk, and thought it was actually the wheel coming UP, now after reading your post, am I to believe it is the wheel "falling" back to the end of the extension?


What do I need to do to adjust my front and rear suspension.

2003 K12LT with 40083miles
If you hit a small to medium pothole, and get the thunk, it is the shock extending to it's stop. When you are on the bike, there is quite a bit of shock compression available, but not much extension, as it does not compress much from the weight on it. With the bike on the centerstand, have someone push down on the back while you watch the front forks, they do not extend much at all beyond the at rest point. The shock can be forced up over three inches and not bottom out on top, but when it re-extends it does not take much shock internal wear to allow it to extend completely, thus the "thunk". It takes a really hard hit to bottom the front suspension on the up stroke.

There really is no adjustments that can be made other than the rear shock pre-load adjuster under the seat. Nothing on the front. When they are worn, time to replace them (with rebuildable units instead of stock).

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #11 of 15 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 7:36 am
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Deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
The Wilburs have the most options. Although one could argue that Ohlins make a "better" shock. Either way, you're spending $1,200 to near $1,500. And that ain't pocket change.
I just got a deal on front and rear installed, it's like a new bike.
If your bike was on fire in a truck that went over a cliff, into the ocean. You could use my old ones cheap.
Rock
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post #12 of 15 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 8:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMC1
GACK! COUGH! CHOKE!! Good LORD.
This thing is going to cost me like $5.00/mile at this rate. Seriously.
Howdy Kevin,

Surely you're not riding an LT because it's "cost effective"?

IMO, born of experience with virtually all of the farkles one can mount on an LT, quality shocks was the second most important enhancement.

Number "1" was a custom saddle which allowed me ride long enough to need the performance of the shocks.

I run two-up a lot of the time and with the weight appropriate spring rate on the Ohlins, the ride comfort and control is, in a word, excellent.


.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

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post #13 of 15 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 9:11 am
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Honestly, I knew going in this bike would cost me a little more than any other bike I've owned. But in the close to 30 years I've been riding, I have never dropped the kind of coinage this bike needs. And I have never taken better care of a bike than this one either. I guess I'm just having a little bit of sticker shock going into the land of $1k regular service visits, and $500 - $1500 "upgrades" (don't want to use that "F" word )
I do admit this is the best ride I've ever had, but it ain't cheap!

R1200GSA Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Alaska I go!
(Down to ONE BIKE - ARGH!)
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post #14 of 15 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 9:23 am
 
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New Wilbers/Avons

I have just installed new Wilbers shocks front and rear and the bike is a different bike. I ended up going with the standard shocks with adjustable pre-load on the rear. The Wilbers get built for your specs fron the start, no swapping springs are needed. The attitude or how the bike sits with me on it is completely different from the stock bike even when the bike was new. I dont fit the model weight of 160 pounds and at 16K the stock bikes springs sagged so much I could not park in some places on the side of the road because of the crown. Worse was when I had a passenger if I added preload the lack of rebound damping had the bike riding like a boat over rolling waves.
The one problem I have with the new shocks is I now feel comfortable at speeds I could not imagine before. I like the ability to quickly be able to dial in rebound damping front and rear for when making changes in load and preload. And by the way the Avons after 300 miles along with these new shocks are wonderfull. The turn in response and ability to make small steering corrections while in a corner are better now than ever.
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post #15 of 15 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 10:09 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMC1
....I guess I'm just having a little bit of sticker shock going into the land of $1k regular service visits, and $500 - $1500 "upgrades" (don't want to use that "F" word )
I do admit this is the best ride I've ever had, but it ain't cheap!
Kevin, I completely understand.

You could get together with some fellow LT'ers out there in New England for a "tech session" and perform your own regular maintenance. It's always a great time and the savings are huge. I do it myself and it's less than $100

Truth be told, those "upgrades" are in fact optional, .....but oh so much fun

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

'04 K1200LT "Dieter" Titan Silver, FB 4/23/04
'06 K1200R "Wolfgang" White Aluminum Metallic, FB 6/7/05

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