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Hello all,

I have had seven BMWs since '84 and am looking at making the jump to an RT. I've had a few hours in the saddle on an RT and it is definitely the choice.

This will be my "retirement" bike, so I'm looking at keeping it long term. I've also ridden an ESA equipped bike (K1200R) and liked the feature. My question is, how would you rate ESA in terms of long-term ownership? When it comes time to replace the shocks, how would replacement cost compare to standard items?

I'm inclined to get a bike without ESA with the long term in mind, as it seems like a complicated extra begging to go wrong. Based on the initial price of the package with ESA, I could get a set of Öhlins and have money left over.

Any input based on your experience is appreciated.
 

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Rear strut. ESA $2083.93 - in the box. Non-ESA $1033.25 - in the box and you have options like Ohlins or Wilbers that are better and about the same cost as the non-ESA.

I have a non-ESA bike and am perfectly happy as it is.
 

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bikebits said:
I'm inclined to get a bike without ESA with the long term in mind, as it seems like a complicated extra begging to go wrong. Based on the initial price of the package with ESA, I could get a set of Öhlins and have money left over.
Maybe but the package price includes more than just the ESA:

Equipment Package 2:
Chromed Exhaust
Electronic Suspension Adjustment
Seat Heating
Cruise Control
On-Board Computer
Power Socket

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water... :wave
 

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Unless the ESA mechanism itself goes south, several manufacturers are now offering their shocks mated to ESA mechanisms for about the same price as Ohlins. Works, HyperPro and I believe one other can do this work.

And, according to MCN, the Ohlins and HyperPro are essentially a toss-up in performance.

Something to consider.
 

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I don't know how BMW configures the options for your Canadian market, but here in the US it was one option to get all options except for the traction control and tire pressure monitors.
The ESA is nice, but mine hasn't needed replacement yet. I suppose a good set of shocks properly set up would be fine without the adjustability.
 

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Hi,

I just bought a new RT and it came with the ESA option... Honestly, I do mostly one up riding so changing things on the fly is not something of great value to me, and at $900 list for the option (as I recall) that's a lot of money for something which I will use very infrequently, if at all... I've had a number of LTs with the manually adjust pre-load, and for my purposes, they were just fine and dandy!

Just my 2 cents,

Joel
 

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Everyone I ride with who has ESA:
1. Does not use it
2. Complains about it
3. Does not include it in the replacement shocks when they wear out.
4. Is happy after they are gone.

Other than that, no opinion...
 

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I like my ESA. I use it alot. I like Sport Mode in busy traffic. I feel the bike is more responsive in and out of traffic. It's also great for play time.:)
I use Comfort Mode for rough roads or when I find a nice quiet back road on the way to work in the morning. I love a nice smooth quiet cruise in the early morning.
I never use Normal Mode.

Wouldn't do without my ESA.
Ellie
 

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Just having my front strut (ESA) replaced so as to be able to sell the bike at a cost of $1,150.
No more ESA on a motorcycle for me thanks. It was nice while it was there but not for me anymore.
 

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I love the ESA for the fact when my wife rides along I can change the setup to 2up in seconds, very convenient. I also alternate between sport and normal modes a lot. It's a luxury that serves me well.
 

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dderrig said:
I love the ESA for the fact when my wife rides along I can change the setup to 2up in seconds, very convenient. I also alternate between sport and normal modes a lot. It's a luxury that serves me well.

Same here, also use comfort mode. I enjoy the option.

John
 

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I use mine quite a bit
during the week I ride solo weekends 2-up. So far it's fast and convenient.

1 question: When someone replaces esa with non esa shocks do you end up with a normal manual control? Probalbly a dumb ques.
 

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twincruise said:
I use mine quite a bit
during the week I ride solo weekends 2-up. So far it's fast and convenient.

1 question: When someone replaces esa with non esa shocks do you end up with a normal manual control? Probalbly a dumb ques.

Yes, you do. And, yes, it is.
I much prefer the ride of my Wilburs to the ESA suspension.
Sometime, when I pile on a load, I have to turn the pre-load adjuster by hand. I wear gloves to avoid blisters :histerica .
 

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does ESA affect front and rear suspension?

what aspects of suspension does ESA change? ie compression, rebound, preload, etc.
 

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I love my ESA and would not be without it. Wilbers shocks will soon have a compatible unit that will work with the ESA. 1600 bucks installed I am told.
 

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My original intention was to buy a 2010 without ESA to save the money. I figure I can easliy change the preload setting myself. But the few RT models on the dealer's floor all had ESA so I got it, and I'm so glad I did. It's much more useful to me than heated seats or grips.

Even though I only ride solo, the ability to immediately change from comfort to normal to sport with a push of a button while riding makes the ride so much more enjoyable. In reality, I know now that I would not stop, get off the bike, then manually adjust the suspension settings when I saw twisties ahead or rough road coming. In fact I often don't know that I need to adjust the settings until I'm in the thick of things. And if the change is not for the better, I just push a button and try a different setting - they are each noticeably different. It works great.

However I cannot speak to the longevity of the stock system. I have only 5,000 miles on my bike.
 

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Im on my sixth BMW and the second with ESA.
I love it.
Its like so many of the little extras that are now available that I might not have opted for but once youve had them they are nice to have.
My last one also had Xenon lights, I could do without them but man were they great.
The last one had adjustable handlebard - ditto
The last one and the current one had heated seats and grips - ditto.
Ive never wanted for any of these things on previous bikes but once youve had them you notice it when they are not there.
When I ride my old R1100S it has nothing, nada. I still enjoy riding her but it would be a better bike with the fruit.
I guess a lot of the value equation will also come from how much riding you do.
All i know is that I love being able to just flick a switch to COMFORT when the road surface turns shitty or when the sky's open up.
I love it when I see that sign that says winding road next 25 kilometers and I can flick a switch and suddenly feel every grain in the road surface.
Money well spent I say but its a personal thang :bmw:
 

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I swapped my ESA out at 30,000 for a set of Wilbers. The Wilbers when correctly set up are far better at controlling the RT than the ESA,

I loved the easy adjustment of the ESA, but decided to remove mine while they were still working as I happened to come across a good deal on a set of Wilbers and I found the ESA shock lacked a little damping when loaded and "enjoying the twisties"

My ESA shocks still worked and if I rode the bike as one would expect a tourer to be ridden, they were perfectly fine.
I took them off as I can refit come exchange time and keep my Wilbers for the next RT.

If I was to buy a new bike, I'd go for non ESA and put the money towards a set of good shock for later.
However, I bought my RT used with ESA on already which ia a nice option as prices don't appear to differ much between used RT's with or without ESA.
hth
\v/
 

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This is my second bike with ESA. Love the system for the reasons explained. The immediate control of damping for various road conditions and riding style is the big advantage.

On my previous 06 RT I put about 45000 miles on the ESA shocks before they started feeling worn. I replaced them with a set of Ohlins. At the time there were no quality ESA options other than the OEM replacements at $3000.00. I enjoyed the new control of the Ohlins once properly set up for me, but missed the on the fly adjustments only ESA provided.

The new RT was a chance to ride ESA again. With the popularity of ESA it was just a matter of time before the big after-market suppliers would supply high quality rebuild-able replacement ESA shocks. When the OE shocks wear out I won't have to compromise. I will enjoy ESA with a quility shock replacement at a reasonable price.

Like said before, once you have had and used ESA, it is missed on a bike without it.
 
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