noticing that my RT was not handling well at around 20,000
miles. The rear end felt bouncy, especially if there was
compression in a turn. Victor M. Kimura <firstname.lastname@example.org>
noticed the same thing and posted the following "After
15,000 miles on my R11RT Im noticing some sloppiness
in handling, although Im not certain its coming
from the front or rear. (It feels like the rear has some
additional and unwanted movement.) At what point do you
know that your shocks, either front or back, are "going
belly up?" What negative handling/riding characteristics
does the bike display? In addition, which shock is most
likely to need to be replaced first (i.e., front or back)?
> Had the same issues: "First let me say that up
to now the handling has been great. It has tracked true
and has always been very secure in the corners. As of late
I have noticed that when I hit a bump of any size while
leaning in a corner or even on a straight road I am noticing
a deflection of the front wheel, a sort of a twitch or a
slight wobble that then corrects itself until the next bump.
This has only started lately. While I am no suspension expert
I suspect the BMW shock has lost its dampening powers.
F. Caramagno <email@example.com>
responded to Victor Kimuras comments that the bikes
suspension was going bad because the bike felt like "deflection
into a wobble" by stating that "It is usually
a lack of rear damping. It causes the rear to pogo up and
down which changes the geometry at the front and creates
appears to be only a few solutions for replacing the stock
new BMW Shocks this is not recommended as they
are almost as expensive as the aftermarket ones, do not
last as long, and are supposedly not rebuildable.
Íhlins Shocks. http://www.ohlins.com
Works Performance Shocks http://worksperformance.com
Penske Shocks http://www.penskeshocks.com/
Fox Shocks. (see your local dealer) or call USA Tel +1
your stock shocks at Lindeman Engineering. USA Tel +1
on the list has positive things to say about the Íhlins
and the Works Performance Shocks: Ken Robb <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Said "I put hlins on my R1100R at about 20,000 miles
and it made a HUGE difference. Smoother over sharp bumps,
more control over big whoops and a more "planted"
feel overall. Very easy to adjust preload and damping in
seconds with no tools. I should have done it sooner but
I waited for signs of fading in the originals before I spent
the big bucks. " Ken has also used Works shocks before
as well and noted "I have had good luck with Works
Performance on other bikes but they didnt have them
for this bike when I needed them."
Said "I have several friends who have replaced the
stock shocks on their RTs with the Íhlins units. They
are expensive but the improvement is HUGE. The other good
choice is the Works Performance shocks which are also very
good quality but not quite as much money as the Íhlins.
Both are rebuildable unlike the stock units. Frankly Im
surprised that you got 35k out of the originals. BMW shocks
usually go in about 20k or less.
says "Reputedly the best, and certainly the most expensive,
are the Íhlins. They have a lot of adjustability and everyone
I have talked to who has them seems to be very satisfied.
Because of cost, I chose to go with Works Performance. Part
of the ordering process with this company is for you to
specify certain aspects of your size and riding style, which
enables the shocks to be somewhat tailored to your specific
needs. With a little bit of fine tuning by you, you can
end up with a very satisfactory set up.
has had some experience with Works Shocks and noted that
"I have Works Performance on two non-BMWs and
when the GS needs new dampers, I will give Works a call
- I have been very happy with their performance and price."
Jim Wilson <email@example.com>
has had his Works Shocks rebuilt: "Ive also been
happy with their overhaul service (K100RT rear shock)
I had a seal leak after about 4 years/40K miles. It took
a couple of weeks including mailing time to get back a refurbished
said that he went with Íhlins; "I got my Íhlins through
Circuit One, in Portland Oregon, @10% above cost. Not much
markup in shocks anyway. Price was roughly 1500$ for the
URL is http://www.circuit1.com
did NOT get the preload adjustable shock, since I dont
carry a passenger, Nor more than a few pounds of baggage.
I am very pleased with the shocks, this bike finally handles
well. I installed the stocks myself, its quite easy, the
front being the most work (gotta loosen tank mounts, and
slide back a bit...) BMW quoted me 3-4 hours labor, I did
both in well under 2 hours, taking my time."
other hand, Ken Robb <firstname.lastname@example.org>
says that he has the pre-load adjustable Íhlins on his R1100R
and often changes the setting several times a day. "Soft
on the freeway to the twisties, jack it up to keep stuff
from scraping in the twisties, back it off for some very
rough "paved roads", back to medium for the slab
again. He wrote about a ride "from San Diego to Sequoia
with full bags then left the luggage in the room for some
sporty riding Saturday. It is nice to be able to change
the suspension settings this easily. If I had to use a punch
or spanner I probably would pick a not-so-happy medium and
stick with it most of the time. I dont think there
is much difference in cost if you opt out of the remote
adjuster with Íhlins.
Robb got his Íhlins from Brattin
Motors in San Diego. He said that "Parts manager
Blair Balsam took good care of me. I dont remember
the part # but Blair has a good catalogue and could order
you the right one. They made a huge improvement in ride
and handlingmore compliance over small sharp bumps
and better control over bigger bumps and dips."
Jose BMW sent me a front Íhlins for $600 + $24 overnight
shipping. I called them on a Monday and the shock arrived
2 days later. Of all the places I called in the US, they
had the best price."
Ordered his Íhlins from overseas. He says "After 25,000
miles on my RT I noticed my front shock going belly up.
Seeing all the good press on the list about Íhlins but not
to thrilled about the price. About $750 each from list reports,
I decided to search the Internet, and the only one to come
up is the one below."
web site is at http://www.Íhlins.nl/.
And the company that I ordered the shocks from is called
Wim Kroon in the Netherlands. The e-mail address is, Wim.Kroon.Import@inter.NL.net"
asked them a few questions about which one I needed, cost,
and any shipping charges. Next day reply, US $521 front,
$580 rear, shipping for the front via UPS $87, Total $608,
and no state sales tax. I ordered it and in 8 days it was
at my door.. The price they quoted me was $608 Including
shipping for a front 1100RT shock. About a week after I
received the shock I received another bill from UPS in the
amount of $9.50 for US duty. Then I received my VISA statement
showing a charge of $647.88 for the shock which makes the
total cost $657.38. I sent a E-mail to the seller complaining
about the misquote in price and asking for a credit. Their
answer was VISA used a different exchange rate."
truly, S. Cary Littell Jr. <email@example.com>
Got a chance to see the new Fox Shock for the RT at the
California BMW Triumph Oktoberfest. "The Fox rep was
there and displayed Foxs newest shocks for the R1100RT.
The Front and Rear are US$450.00 each, making them about
one-half as much as the Íhlins. They offer a variety of
springs, and the shocks can be built to order based on your
weight, type of riding etc... The shocks can be rebuilt,
but the recommended service interval is just 40 hours. Thats
a bit frequent for me, having put almost 20k miles on in
a year. I think that is probably one of those legal things,
or a standard for professional riders and the shock probably
works great for a much longer period. Anyway, the other
downside is that there is not a reservoir/adjuster for the
rear. Its necessary to use a tool to adjust compression
at the base of the spring. Rebound is adjustable with a
noted that with fox, "The problem Ive found with
Fox is availability. Before heading out to Biketoberfest,
I replaced the front shock on my 96 RT with an Íhlins,
only because I couldnt find a Fox anywhere. Yesterday,
I ordered a Fox unit for the rear. The counterman called
Fox in Cal. and was told they didnt have any on hand,
but were planning a run in about a month. If it was summer,
Id have to buy another brand. BTW, I was sold the
shock for $400."
Littell Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
confirmed this "I tried to buy a pair, but I was told
that there would be no actual production of the RT shocks
until 1999 They are retooling the factory."
got a good deal on his Íhlins by buying from Canada: "I
purchased my Íhlins front and rear for my RT from http://www.wolfbmw.com/.
Front was US $620 and Rear was about US$673. Any order over
CND$200 is free shipping, and of course there is no sales
tax. Delivery was definitely not overnight, The first shock
took about 2 weeks, and the second one was back ordered
because the Canadian supplier was out and they had to order
it from Íhlins. That one took about 6 weeks.
though BMW stock shocks supposedly cannot be not rebuilt,
there is a place called Lindeman Engineering that does it.
Bob Ranney <email@example.com>
had them do a rebuild on his GS stock shock: "I have
around 5k miles on a Lindeman rebuild and its a good improvement
and you dont lose the remote preload....there was
minor Dremel surgery on the upper shock mount with my R11GS
because Lindeman Engineering adds a Schrader valve."
Bob does not mess with shocks settings; "to be
honest, I set it and leave it....havent dicked with
it since summer so for all I know its fine...preload feels
." Bob says it was pretty inexpensive too:
"It was $180 from Lindeman Engineering since they felt
the spring was fine...I weigh around 200lbs and I carry
around 40-50 pounds in my aluminum panniers."
does not have a web page yet, but here is the contact information:
Lindeman's Engineering, 520 McGlincy #3, Campbell, CA, 408-371-6151.
(San Francisco Bay Area)
option is now available from Penske Racing Shock. Jon Diaz
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
writes: Penske Racing Shocks of Reading, PA. When
I was looking for new RT shocks in early 1996, Ohlins had
no product, so I consulted Penske about designing a custom
pair of shocks for the Oilhead application. They expressed
interest in doing the project, as long as they could see
an Oilhead in the flesh to evaluate fit and plumbing restrictions.
My friend Richard Bernecker rode his R1100GS to their shop,
and after scamming $300 worth of free stickers and hats
from the Penske staff :), managed to convince them they
could do it. The Penske product intrigued me because they
offered remote reservoirs, full control of the compression
damping circuit, and also were willing to let me tell them
what I wanted. I didn't have to choose from a bunch of predefined
options like the other guys. Yes, there was a little risk
involved, but I was willing to do it to get what I wanted.
I worked exclusively with Penske tech Bruce Kleckner on
all facets of the design, including spring rates, damping,
plumbing for the remote reservoirs, and so on. All
of his engineering and machining time was included in the
final price. The finished product was ready several months
later (about the time that Ohlins finally released something),
and they worked great on my RT. Final cost was around $1500.