Ohlins; a high maintenance option? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 4:32 am Thread Starter
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Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

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

'00 BMW K 1200LT, Basalt Grau with Shark tones. My Only bike at present. 34K miles on it. Bought used in Oct. 2011.
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post #2 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 5:04 am
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

I think you're seeing, at least partially, a spectrum of rider here. Some need to mod things to a higher standard, and others are pretty happy not knowing what they have.

Some Weekend warrior racers change their tires with every race, too. I personally don't have that kinda budget.

If you're using your bike to the fullest of it's performance envelope, then you may want to upgrade, if you never rub anything ( I haven't yet), then what BMW provides stock is probably enough.

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post #3 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 6:44 am
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

I put Ohlins on my LT at 35K. When it was Totaled at 80K the shocks were still good. Still better the the stock shocks were when I replaced them. They would have needed to be rebuilt by 100K. JM2C

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post #4 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 8:01 am
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

I think probably the biggest advantage to Ohlins, or any other after market shock is that you can have them custom built to meet your specific riding needs. For example, do you typically ride solo or two up, mostly ride city streets and superslab or run the twisties in the mountains, ride with no luggage or carry tons of camping gear, pull a trailer, etc. There can be some real advantages if you run any where near the GVW of the bike.

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post #5 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 1:04 pm
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

If I had it to do over I would go with Wilbers rather than Ohlins. I did have worn parts at my rebuild at 40K. The Wilbers appear to be more robust and have more adjustment options, but I am happy with the Ohlin's performance.

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post #6 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 5:49 pm
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option? NO! Better than stock!

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.

Quote:
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

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

David Shealey
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EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #7 of 12 Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 6:33 pm
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

I just sold my Ohlins because I couldn't get one year out of them without needing a complete rebuild including new shock tubes. Ohlins are a lightweight racing shock. The tubes are anodized aluminum & if you wait to long to have the seals replaced you then wear out the tubes. My last rebuild was almost $500 at close to 40,000 miles. The front shock had no oil left in it. When I would take it off the center stand the front of the bike would bounce a few times.

Don't get me wrong I really liked the way it handled with the Ohlins I just ride too many miles with the LT loaded to the max every year. I'm thinking of trying Wilbers next.

Dave Selvig
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post #8 of 12 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 1:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

Very valuable insider information.....Does any body out there have any additional comments about the previous post on this thread; that a man couldn't hardly get a year out of his Ohlins without a rebuild?

'00 BMW K 1200LT, Basalt Grau with Shark tones. My Only bike at present. 34K miles on it. Bought used in Oct. 2011.
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post #9 of 12 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 1:20 am
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCCCC1
Very valuable insider information.....Does any body out there have any additional comments about the previous post on this thread; that a man couldn't hardly get a year out of his Ohlins without a rebuild?
I have a comment on the previous post. If Dave says so I would believe it.

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post #10 of 12 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 3:04 am
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCCCC1
Very valuable insider information.....Does any body out there have any additional comments about the previous post on this thread; that a man couldn't hardly get a year out of his Ohlins without a rebuild?
Don't forget I also said about 40,000 miles in a one year. I think they recommend a rebuild at 25,000 miles.

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post #11 of 12 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 4:51 am
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saddleman
I just sold my Ohlins because I couldn't get one year out of them without needing a complete rebuild including new shock tubes. Ohlins are a lightweight racing shock. The tubes are anodized aluminum & if you wait to long to have the seals replaced you then wear out the tubes. My last rebuild was almost $500 at close to 40,000 miles. The front shock had no oil left in it. When I would take it off the center stand the front of the bike would bounce a few times.

Don't get me wrong I really liked the way it handled with the Ohlins I just ride too many miles with the LT loaded to the max every year. I'm thinking of trying Wilbers next.
I was riding 30,000 miles a year average, and rode my Ohlins about 45,000 miles before their first rebuild (that was too long), the rebuild was about $220 for the pair. I had them recharged at the next 30,000 miles, less than $100 for the pair. I never had an oil leak from them.

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.
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post #12 of 12 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 4:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ohlins; a high maintenance option?

That is positive news. I already have a new Ohlins installed on my front and the new rear is in the mail. I trust that Bob's BMW or the Ohlins factory really used the riding info I gave them in setting it up. Thanks to all. Greg.

'00 BMW K 1200LT, Basalt Grau with Shark tones. My Only bike at present. 34K miles on it. Bought used in Oct. 2011.
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