The stock shocks on any LT are pretty much worn out at 40,000 miles, period. The problem with shocks (on motorcycles OR cars) is that they deterioriate in function slowly so that you don't realize just how bad they are. If you were to replace the stock shocks with a new set of stock shocks at 40-50,000 miles you would be shocked to see how much better the bike rides and handles! Put a set of Ohlins on, and it will feel better than new!
The advantage of the Ohlins (or Wilbers) is that they can have their nitrogen pressure recharged for about $100 for the pair, and in 30-40,000 miles this is probably all they need. When they do get worn, they can be totally rebuilt for about $100-125 each, FAR cheaper than a new set of stock shocks ($1,500-$1,900 last I remember, probably higher now), which are not readily rebuildable. There is some place that will rebuild the rear, but as far as I know no one rebuilds the front ones.
The fluid refil for the adjuster has absolutely NO impact on the shock absorber function and handling, as it is only a hydraulic adjustment for the at rest position (length) of the shock. That should not be confused with a nitrogen recharge or rebuild of the shock itself in any way.
Originally Posted by NCCCC1
I've found no evidence, in the Clymer manual anyway, of hardly any mileage maintenance requirements for the K1200LT stock, OEM, rear shock absorber. I've read in some of these threads though of people "needing" to send their after market Ohlins out for rebuild at nearly alarmingly frequent intervals. Does the Ohlins factory manual actually suggest rebuilding their shocks every single year or after a mere 14k miles? If so, I wonder if they are really all that much better of a ride to justify, apparently, such high maintenance? What if all the OEM shock really needs is just to do the remote adjuster refill that some of you have written about to get decent suspension performance?
Thanks for your consideration. Greg