Adventures with Ohlins.....

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Adventures with Ohlins.....

Postby radon222 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:06 pm

After spending the majority of last year riding around with the pre-load on my stock shocks set to the max…I decided that is was time to bite the bullet and pony for new shocks on the GS. After a lot internet homework and internal debating (you know those voices your head) I finally decided go with the venerable and tried & true Ohlins.

Just before Christmas, Bob’s BMW had their Christmas Cheer Sale offering 10% off all accessories and installation. So what better time to do the deal right?!?…So I high tailed it over to Bob’s and ordered my Christmas present to myself..as well as picking up a couple items for Mrs. Radon. I ordered the shocks and we went through the whole order form specify rider/passenger weight, cargo weight, riding style….yadda yadda yadda.

The new shocks were delivered during Christmas Week while we were in San Diego spending the holidays with our grandkids. When I returned to MD I setup the install for next Saturday morning First Come First Served Ride in service. (yea I know what your thinking…installation? For no ESA shocks…well let me ‘splain)

I got up bright and early Saturday morning and headed over to Bob’s to get there before the line gets too long. Well for the first non-holiday Saturday morning of the New Year…the line wasn’t anything to be worried about…I was second and there ended being only three of us waiting when the doors opened.

After a few hours of wondering the store, talking to folks picking up their new toys…including one Triple Black GS that was loaded to hilt with accessory lights, the service techs came out said the bike was ready. We grabbed my side and top cases put them back on the bike for the optional services of setting the sag. That’s when the fun began….

As soon as I threw my leg over the bike, I knew something wasn’t quite right. The bike was sitting lower than normal…much lower. My first question was…”Are you sure they sent ADV shocks and not regular GS shocks? Yep they were indeed Adv shocks. So I sat on the bike while one tech held me up, the other took the first sag measurement. He does some calculations and cranks the pre-load a bunch of clicks…then we cycle through the “Sit-measure-crank” routine a couple more times. Until the pre-load was maxed out…but sag still wasn’t where it should be…and the bike is still sitting way too low.

I agree to take it for a quick test ride, but it was pretty clear that something wasn’t as it should be here…not even close to being right and I let them know it. Bob’s Service agreed to contact Ohlins the follow week and see if they had any suggestions. I rode the bike home, not the happiest campier in world. :? :x :(

Later that week I get a call Chris Buell letting me know that they did speak to Ohlins. While on the phone Ohlins pulled the order sheet, then the build sheet. Chris said he heard over the line something to the effect of….”Oh $@%^” :shock: from the Ohlins tech. Somehow, someone muffed something when building the shocks, and put the entirely wrong spring on them! #-o Ohlins would be sending the correct springs ASAP! Wheewww…what a relief that was!
Due to a pretty heavy work travel schedule I wasn’t able to get the bike back to Bob’s until this Friday. The guys at Bob’s did a great job of getting me in and the new springs swapped over. I knew as soon as I threw my leg over the bike to go through setting the sag…that everything was going to be much better! I was much happier riding home this time and got the true OOOOOOHLINS experience. :P 8)
'14 GSAW <--mine
'12 R1200RT <-- The Wifey's pimpin ride
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Re: Adventures with Ohlins.....

Postby Chiba » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:11 am

The springs make all the difference :)
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Re: Adventures with Ohlins.....

Postby ERC Scott » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:06 pm

T.Wesley wrote:The springs make all the difference :)


Absolutely. At 170 lbs I'm not a terribly heavy rider .... still a number of my bikes have been under-sprung even for solo riding. A prime example was my 1050 Tiger. I always thought Triumphs had pretty decent suspensions, but when we calculated static sag on the forks, it needed a 50% stiffer spring :shock: to yield the appropriate sag. Installing a stiffer spring and racetech damping assembly absolutely transformed the handling for sporty riding. Sometimes I think some mfrs deliberately install soft springs so that when a buyer sits on a tall bike (like the Tiger) the soft spring will compress enough that the rider can get both feet on the ground -- but then I'm a conspiracy theorist :lol: Scott
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Re: Adventures with Ohlins.....

Postby Unity » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:11 pm

It's good that the Radon bike is properly set up -- too bad about the initial disappointment. I'll never forget the surprise and joy when I replaced my original shocks with Ohlins. Within the first 50 feet I knew that the bike had never felt so good, so right. After that it just got better. :D

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