Telelever harshness - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 1:40 am Thread Starter
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Telelever harshness

My bike 2006 R1200rt ESA with 47k

I'm finding the front end very harsh when going over slightly raised pieces of road, for example slightly raised drains or road expansion joints. It's almost like the suspension can't react quick enough

The whole front end of the bike thumps sending a shock/jolt through the bars. Is this my bike worn out or a trait of the telelever?

Have tried comfort, normal and sport
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post #2 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 5:32 am
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Re: Telelever harshness

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Originally Posted by RTTourerMarc View Post
My bike 2006 R1200rt ESA with 47k
Is this my bike worn out or a trait of the telelever?
I have a 2017 RT so this is a punt in the dark.

My bike also has ESA and the suspension was really harsh. I took it back to the dealer and they recalibrated the ESA sensors and the comfort improved a lot. (it is still not a patch on the Magic Carpet Ride that my 1150RT had).

2003 R1150RT & 2017 R1200RT
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post #3 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 7:28 am
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Re: Telelever harshness

Well, it is not the Telelever.

Are you running the ESA in Dynamic or Sport mode?

Might be an issue with the shock or how it is set up.
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post #4 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 12:28 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
Well, it is not the Telelever.

Are you running the ESA in Dynamic or Sport mode?

Might be an issue with the shock or how it is set up.
On my older RT I have the option of comfort, normal or sport

I'm using it in comfort
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post #5 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 1:50 pm
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Re: Telelever harshness

At 47K miles the shock may be worn out. They go harsh and stiff. There was a series of newer GS and RT bikes that had the computer control freeze the shock. I'm thinking this is not the case in your bike. EPM of New Jersey rebuilds these shocks now.

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post #6 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 3:35 pm
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Re: Telelever harshness

How long have you had the bike? Is this a condition that has always existed (= design of the bike) or something that is getting worse ( = component degradation)?

Good luck finding a happy resolution!

Bob Stewart
Salem, Oregon

2018 R1200RT
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post #7 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 4:50 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
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How long have you had the bike? Is this a condition that has always existed (= design of the bike) or something that is getting worse ( = component degradation)?

Good luck finding a happy resolution!
I've only owned her about a month so can't really compare it
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post #8 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 4:51 pm Thread Starter
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Maybe the stepper motor in the front shock absorber is corroded and stuck in sport mode
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post #9 of 16 Old Dec 5th, 2019, 11:29 pm
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Toss the shocks and esa at 50k the shocks are for sure worn out and sadly the motors and damper also. At 45k I had mine rebuilt and 6 months later the esa was done.
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post #10 of 16 Old Dec 7th, 2019, 8:09 am Thread Starter
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Have just spent 15mins checking the system out and it appears you are correct Sir

With the ignition on and engine off I cannot feel or hear either damper stepper motor moving/working. With the engine on it also appears the rear preload isn't adjusting

Due to only just recently purchasing the bike I am going to look at some second hand non ESA shocks, I can't afford any fancy aftermarket jobbies

A real shame as from what I've read the ESA is a great addition

Last edited by RTTourerMarc; Dec 7th, 2019 at 12:08 pm.
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post #11 of 16 Old Dec 7th, 2019, 1:01 pm
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Re: Telelever harshness

Buy a Clymer manual for your bike. It will help with the removal and installation.

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post #12 of 16 Old Dec 7th, 2019, 4:12 pm
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Re: Telelever harshness

I was in the same shoes, ESA not working same RT model. The comfort level I was OK with, but needed preload working. I tested the rear shock with a 12 volt battery and it was working fine. Suspected the "jammed up at one end of travel" issue. I then took the bike to the local BMW dealer who plugged it in to the computer, performed a calibration and the preload adjuster started working again. It cost me nothing and had half the function back again. Might be worth a try in your case too Marc.

P.S. The settings change is a bit tricky. For preload you need to hold the ESA switch to change between the 3 preload values, than when you let the button go, the icon on the dash starts flashing as the suspension adjusts. If it doesn't change, it won't flash. Not sure if the comfort settings behave the same way since mine doesn't work, maybe someone here could confirm/correct this assumption.
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post #13 of 16 Old Dec 8th, 2019, 12:04 am
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Re: Telelever harshness

Yes! All avenues need to be checked. The OP was suggesting going cheap, but some things on a bmw are not cheap. A half hour on the dealer computer is much cheaper than new (even used shocks which would be very questionable anyway) shocks. We have not even gotten to the expensive stuff on this old bike, like new brake lines, new ignition wires and the devil in the closet, 19x4mm oring.

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post #14 of 16 Old Dec 8th, 2019, 3:45 am Thread Starter
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Thank you for your comments, maybe my wallet isn't designed for BMW ownership and I will revert back to a Pan
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post #15 of 16 Old Dec 12th, 2019, 6:55 pm
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Re: Telelever harshness

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Originally Posted by RTTourerMarc View Post
Have just spent 15mins checking the system out and it appears you are correct Sir

With the ignition on and engine off I cannot feel or hear either damper stepper motor moving/working. With the engine on it also appears the rear preload isn't adjusting

Due to only just recently purchasing the bike I am going to look at some second hand non ESA shocks, I can't afford any fancy aftermarket jobbies

A real shame as from what I've read the ESA is a great addition
Is it really that you can't afford or don't want to? Call Ted Porter's Beemerwerks in CA and have a conversation. They know all the options. They will rebuild. They can fix ESA. They have all the decent brands of non-ESA. They calibrate shocks for your weight and bike before they send them...I got my Wilbers rebuilt there and there was a night and day difference....Better than new because they were set up right. The NJ place set them too hard. I had Ohlins on previous RT. I loved those. I got my new bike and could only find Wilbers, so I got those. I didn't like them until rebuild time...then Ted's guys rebuilt and set them up...Wow...Way better! I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Good shocks are better than a new used bike IMHO. It's just so much more fun to ride on good tires and shocks.


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post #16 of 16 Old Dec 13th, 2019, 1:54 pm
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Re: Telelever harshness

Just to counter balance the promo for Ted's shock service, I have had the opposite experience with the fellow in the shop (not Ted). You have to be very specific, no ride height change etc. It is good to hear they work on ESA shocks. Last I heard they only did GS bike shocks with ESA set up. Lindemann Engineering in California or EPM in New Jersey are possibilities. But again you really have to talk with them as to exactly what you want. And tell them you are not a sport rider. I will refrain from my long, multiple conversations with Ted's guy. Although an friend with the exact same bike as mine and the same results I had, insisted to Ted Porter to re do his just completed shock and they did. The shock guy (Jeff) would not take them back for a re work. I totally agree good shocks are just about the best thing you can do for a motorcycle. If you can get a set of ESA shocks from a bike salvage that have less than 15,000 miles on them you may get an additional 30. But don't rush into anything, make phone calls and feel things out.
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