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Discussion Starter #21
But you have to send in your OEM shocks so it is not a savings. It's additional to the stock price.
Your OE shocks are returned to you to use as spares.

The point of sending in your ESA II set-up is to remove the electronics and connect to the new Wilber shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
BTW does Penske do ESA shocks. .
You might call them to see.

It appears that the K1600 is such a low volume motorcycle that few will step-up to make replacement ESA shocks. If Ohlins has declined to do so, it is doubtful that anyone else will.

This is what surprises me about Wilbers. How can they afford to mess with this. Then, to offer it at such an attractive price.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Copy and paste from a review of the Wilbers ESA replacement shocks on a R1200GS:

The magical Wilbers boxes removed from the other big box they all arrived in. Not exactly like my iphone, but pretty spiffy.

All I can say is WOW! It is like a magic carpet ride compared to the stock suspension and the Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings all feel different now. Before you could really only tell a difference between comfort and sport. The harshness of the stock ESA is gone and the bike just feels glued to the road now.

Here is the process that I experienced.

1. Removed my shocks
2. Sent shocks to Herman in Florida @ Wheels and Wings USA importer for Wilbers Shocks - SteadyStand - Superformance - Export service.
3. Wilbers Germany built new shocks to my specs and mailed them to Herman.
4. Herman did the final assembly by combining the the ESA motor/actuators and replacing all other shock and spring components with the custom Wilbers setup.
5. Herman sent the new WESA shocks to me and I re-installed them myself. They also returned the OEM shocks, so you can go back to OEM if you had to.

I figured I would take a pic of the guts of the old system they sent back to me to clarify things. Almost everything is replaced with actual Wilbers components except for the motor/actuator part that actually does the adjustments. They send you back your OEM cartridges and springs, so you can revert to OEM if you change bikes. I liked the idea that it was portable. The new components are definitely higher quality. The OEM spring preloading collars appear to be stamped sheetmetal type parts and the Wilbers parts are pretty much all machined aluminum.

I took a nice 80 mile ride today and tried to hit as much varied terrain as possible. The Wilbers WESA suspension is truly better at every setting I tried out. I started off slabbing it to the back county roads on single rider normal. The bike felt a great deal more compliant than it ever was stock. When I hit the concrete highway, I started playing around with the ESA settings on the move. The good thing about the concrete slab is the road condition repeats every fifty feet, so I could switch through comfort, normal, and sport and evaluate the difference in suspension feel.

The road has a line cut in it about every 50 feet and with the previous OEM ESA, I could feel every crack through the bars. In normal mode, the lines are still there although less pronounced than before. I switched to comfort mode, and they almost dissapear as the bike setting changes. The most noticeable difference in comfort mode is that the ride becomes ultra plush and I can feel the bike go up and down twice after taking a large hit. It kind of feels like the suspension recovers from the bump in slow motion, so the least amount of energy is tranferred to the rider. I picture it as the type of ride a goldwing guy would want kind of flowing, smooth, and relaxed.

Normal mode is definitely my favorite all-around ride. It feels great in the corners and over road bumps. The feel is very responsive and has much better rebound dampening than the stock setup did. My biggest complaint with the stock system was the harsh feel it had rebounding. The bike just feels glued to the road now and very smooth now. It's like the tires got stickier. The response to suspension hits is very controlled and manageable and much quicker than the comfort mode.

In sport mode I can feel every change in the road surface, the bike squats less under heavy accelleration, and dives less while braking. The GS didn't dive much anyway, but that amount is definitely reduced in sport mode. Everything seems quicker and more responsive like the bike drank a cup of coffee. Sport mode feels like the name implies in the twisties and in straight lines. Every portion of the suspension feels tightened up and ready for quick responses to conditions. It would be good for track days and chasing your buddies through the twisties, but will probably wear you out faster with more feedback from the suspension. Greengoose tried the bike out last night and only went from normal to sport on a short ride. He said the bike felt like the brakes worked better in sport too. Then he said something about the GS brakes being insane.


I rode over to Farmersville, TX where they have an old brick lined main street. Think near cobblestone like bricks not the smooth surface like new bricked streets.

I am very impressed with the Wilbers ESA upgrade and I can't really come up with anything I would change yet after a single 80 mile ride. If there are any DFW riders nearby with ESA or Ohlins and want to give it a try, we could swap bikes and hit a few of the local roads together. I give the upgrade a big thumbs up for sure!
 

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There is only one problem I might see out of doing this and that is the fact that I ride with a pillion frequently. Sometimes I'm off on my own with nothing on the bike doing some twisty stuff but sometimes I have her with me doing the twisties. How can they possibly build something that would compensate for that?

Also I am trying to understand this correctly...my bike will be down for 3 weeks? I thought I read that brand new shock assemblies are sent from Germany to him in Florida and then he attaches the electronics. His turnaround time is 3 days. So why would I need to ship my shocks until he is ready to do his work?
 

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There is only one problem I might see out of doing this and that is the fact that I ride with a pillion frequently. Sometimes I'm off on my own with nothing on the bike doing some twisty stuff but sometimes I have her with me doing the twisties. How can they possibly build something that would compensate for that?
They just use some of the same magical dust that BMW sprinkles on the ESA II OEM suspension, only more of it. ;)

A set of shocks that are adjustable on the fly for load and riding style - what a concept! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Also I am trying to understand this correctly...my bike will be down for 3 weeks?
No, Herman will tell you when your new shocks have arrived. Then, you send him your shocks for the removal of the ESA and attachment to the new Wilber shocks.

Turnaround will be as fast as the shipment method you desire, plus 3 days.
 

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No, Herman will tell you when your new shocks have arrived. Then, you send him your shocks for the removal of the ESA and attachment to the new Wilber shocks.

Turnaround will be as fast as the shipment method you desire, plus 3 days.
Well that makes more sense. Will the center stand keep the bike up with both front and rear suspension off the bike?


Sent from my iPhone using Motorcycle.com App
 

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RL,
Did you replace shocks because they needed it ir because you wanted to upgrade your suspension? If shocks did need replacing, at what mileage were they replaced? I am trying to get a general idea of how long they will last. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
At about 18,000 miles I became disappointed with the performance of the shocks. They allowed the bike to wallow when the road surface undulates.

Now, at 27,000 miles, the situation is worse.

Yes, I have been riding in sport mode all the time now. But, that is the harsh solution.

I want the better control and comfort that quality shocks offer.

You might recall that I had the shocks on my R1200GSA replaced before I took delivery. I have upgraded the entire suspension under my car as well. Quality shocks make a huge difference.
 

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I called Penske Racing. They have a lot of experience with BMW's (GS/RT) mainly. They have NOT done a K1600GT/GTL yet, but stated that should be no problem. They are located in Reading, PA and everything is done on site. They have a complete fabrication facility.

Motorcycle
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Here is the deal: I don't want to undertake the exchange of the front shock in my garage. The rear is much easier to replace. Somehow it seems that to expect a dealer to be willing to have my K1600 sitting on a lift for even a week is asking too much. I like the idea of riding east to Florida, getting the shocks replaced by Herman, then riding some of the Great Smokey roads with performance shocks.

After spending a lot of time reviewing Section 31-48-001 of the Service Manual, the list of components needed to be removed to get at the front shock is daunting.

Ride-In & Ride-Out is the appealing part of Herman's offer for a group buy. He said something about getting everyone done while Daytona Bike Week was going on.
 

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I haven't checked the service manual but it seems shock removal might be a heck of a project. I've done it with rear shocks from race tech on previous bikes on just the rear and that was a pain. The price for shocks is very intriguing but the job of removal might be far too complex for me or dare I say others as well. Would be great if they had an east and west coast location.


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RL is there a additional charge for the ride in ride out? Did I miss it in the thread?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
RL is there a additional charge for the ride in ride out? Did I miss it in the thread?
1st post: Ride-In-Ride-Out Installation in Edgewater Florida can be done for between $ 225,- to $ 295,

That's a good value, from my perspective.

Let's say $300 for the on-site install, plus $1,231 for the custom shocks = $1,531. Plus spending the day in sunny Florida. I can handle that. ;)
 

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Ohlins has made it clear to their US employee that there are no plans for the K1600 ESA II.
While Wilbers makes a very nice shock, I spent over an hour at the Ohlins USA booth at Barber Speedway during vintage week in October and they told me that the K1600 will have a full replacement suspension that integrates perfectly with the electronic adjustments on the bike sometime in 2013. Not sure who has the right information, but I was speaking with their top USA guys....
 

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Having successfully changed out several rear shocks in my garage, I have to agree with Kevin and others that it's a real pain, not even to mention the unique complexities of a front unit. I have since vowed to let the experts do it and last summer, just before a cross-country trip, I had a local Race Tech shop service the Wilbers shock on my FJR. They ordered the appropriate parts and, based on the feel of the suspension, did a good job with the rebuild. Wilbers makes a very good product. Regarding suspension work of this order, however, I recommend that you consider letting the experts do it. (With due respect to those of you who are really handy around the shop. :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #39
While Wilbers makes a very nice shock, I spent over an hour at the Ohlins USA booth at Barber Speedway during vintage week in October and they told me that the K1600 will have a full replacement suspension that integrates perfectly with the electronic adjustments on the bike sometime in 2013. Not sure who has the right information, but I was speaking with their top USA guys....
From the Ohlins guy I had ask about the K16: "I spoke to Ohlins and to my surprise there are no current plans in the works for the ESA System... I am surprised as I am sure you are... Let me know if there is anything I can help you with..."
 

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Ok, now what happens when the ESA II control unit fails, since it is not sold as a separately ? Are there warranty issues as well? Are the shocks covered under warranty since the units are sold as one?
 
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