Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

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Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby twowheelsetc » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:43 pm

Thinking about redoing the suspension on my 96 R1100RT. I'd like to get the feeling of this esteemed and experienced group - Ohlins or Traxxion - what do you think is best and why? I'm not an overtly aggressive rider. I weigh abut 200lbs and don't have alot of add-ons to my bike. Thanks for all your suggestions.

Brian
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Unity » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:55 pm

I have no experience with Traxxion, but I can still recommend Ohlins without any reservation. Ohlins were the first big thing I did on my bike, the second being a Russell Day-Long Saddle. I wouldn't do without either, and I'd get them in the same order.

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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby twowheelsetc » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:16 pm

Unity wrote:I have no experience with Traxxion, but I can still recommend Ohlins without any reservation. Ohlins were the first big thing I did on my bike, the second being a Russell Day-Long Saddle. I wouldn't do without either, and I'd get them in the same order.

--John
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Guess I'm doi g it backwards - got my Russel'Day Long over Christmas and now thinking bout suspensions..... What bout Ohlins makes them so great? Thanks.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Paul Mihalka » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:36 pm

Never heard of Traxxion. Ohlins are good but I prefer Wilbers, had both. Both excellent ride quality and adjustability, but Wilbers gave me longer life between overhauls.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Unity » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:39 am

twowheelsetc wrote:What bout Ohlins makes them so great?

Someone else should offer the technical discussion -- I'm not qualified for that.

As an on-road rider, the basic answer for me lies in what shock absorbers are supposed to do -- to maximize traction and control (and minimize wear) by keeping the tires in good contact with the pavement. They should also do a good job isolating the rider from jounce and rebound caused by the road's roughness and irregularities. Any reasonably good shocks should do this, some will do it better than others. Worn-out shocks won't do it.

When my RT was somewhere around the 20k mark, Jody and I were riding in western MD and WV. Afterward I complained to her, "I don't like the way I'm riding. I'm just not riding well," or words to that effect. That same weekend I got help properly setting the rear-shock preload (there's no way to set preload on the stock front shock) and immediately I felt the difference in my riding. The bike pointed better, cornering and transitions were better: I was riding better because of a shock adjustment! A couple of months later several of us in the club got into a group buy on Ohlins, substantial discounts thanks to one club member's efforts organizing and negotiating the deal. I put the shocks on at a cold, January tech day and rode away on a different motorcycle. Seriously, I could tell in the first 50 feet or so that my bike had never felt so good, so well-planted, even when the stock shocks were new. This impression came as I was moving at only 25-30 mph. Getting out into the mountains was a revelation.

I respect Paul's advice about Wilbers -- he has more mileage credentials than anybody we'll ever meet. My Ohlins benefited a lot from a rebuild after 25k (oh, so they really did need it!), and now after another 20k, I think they're due again.

--John
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby ERC Scott » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:50 pm

Well, almost anything is better than the stock Showa units :wink:

I would look for shocks that can have springs installed that are tension-calibrated to your weight and riding "style" -- I think Wilbers and RaceTech meet this customization parameter. Ability for a rebuild is a must! Easy adjustments for spring preload, compression (both hi- and low-speed) damping and rebound damping are what your money is being spent on.

I've been satisfied with RaceTech, WP, and Wilbers (thanx Paul!). None of them on an RT though. I think you are on the right track in upgrading the suspension -- probably the best $$$ put into upgrading a bike (other than fresh tires and brake pads). Scott
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby gunnert » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:42 am

I have experience with Traxxion doing the front ends on Harleys. TOTALLY different motorcycle with the cartridge mods. Traxxion is known for sport bikes more than any other. I wouldn't hesitate to use them for mods on a BMW.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby rickrwh » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:22 pm

And I would add that Traxxion is 100% US made if that matters to you.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Ken E » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:33 am

Brian,
I'll add my 2cents on the Öhlins on my '09RT. Best upgrade anyone can do for any vehicle is suspension, whatever brand you choose. It's a moving part; it wears out, and needs replacing or service too.

The RT Öhlins were the "lite" version with no compression dampening adjustment, just spring preload and rebound adjustments. That is good enough for me. Keep it simple. Got it dialed in after setting spring preload and a few weeks of trying all the max - min rebound settings. Works for GREAT me.

Only issue I have with the Öhlins is the rear shock. When 2-up heavy in the hot summer temps, the oil looses viscosity and I have to increase rebound dampening. Have to give it a couple of extra clicks, but comes back to normal after it cools.
I believe it is from the rear shock on the RT being fully enclosed (not enough air flow and sitting directly behind the engine) and the shock does not have a remote or piggy-back reservoir to increase oil volume.

Purchased the shocks from Dan Kyle Racing for what I thought was a good price.

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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Chiba » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:08 pm

U.S. made is great, as long as the product measures up. I'm sure Traxxion makes a quality product, but that so many of us have never heard of it does give me a little pause.

Ohlins, frankly, has set the standard for motorcycle suspension. I (and many others, I would guess) measure suspension in "better than Ohlins" or "not better than Ohlins."

I've had Ohlins on several bikes & have Wilbers on my K1200RS sidecar rig. The only reason I kept the Wilbers on there is because it was cheaper (note I do not say easier or less time-consuming) to have them rebuilt than to replace them with Ohlins. Ohlins have done me well on 3 bikes & I wouldn't hesitate to put them on another bike.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby rickrwh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:19 pm

Traxxion has been involved in roadracing for years. I'm not surprised that BMW people haven't heard of them :lol:

http://www.traxxion.com/about-us.aspx

Does anybody here subscribe to Roadracing World?
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby bdimon » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:19 pm

T.Wesley wrote:U.S. made is great, as long as the product measures up. I'm sure Traxxion makes a quality product, but that so many of us have never heard of it does give me a little pause.


For what it's worth, Gold Wingers rave about the Traxxion suspension upgrades. Of course, the GL suspension is pretty basic, nothing fancy, so that anything is an improvement. Still, Traxxion has a good reputation for big improvements on big Wingabagos. I first heard about them a dozen years ago.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Chris B » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:51 pm

I installed a set of Wilbers on my '99 K1200LTC before I low-sided it & they totaled it. They were moved to my "new" '00 K1200LTC & have put another 35k on them. They've been sent out least 2x for re-build, but no failures/leaks. :)
I bought a set of Ohlins for my '02 R1150GS & they have been plaqued with leaks prior to the needed re-build interval. I have read many posts that mention how fragile Ohlins seem to be. :(
Based on my personal experience I WILL NOT buy another set of Ohlins, but will stick with Wilbers.
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Re: Ohlins or Traxxion - What do you think is best?

Postby Chiba » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:11 am

Chris B wrote:I bought a set of Ohlins for my '02 R1150GS & they have been plaqued with leaks prior to the needed re-build interval. I have read many posts that mention how fragile Ohlins seem to be.

That's very interesting. I've had Ohlins on 3 different bikes & never had that problem (leaks). The rear Wilber shock on my K1200RS, though (before it was a sidecar tug), popped going down the highway one day, leaving me with nothing but a spring because all the fluid leaked out all over my bike. What a mess that was to clean up! I had to get it rebuilt then, but haven't had any problems with it since.
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