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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi every one, would like to follow up on my last post regarding Wilbers replacement shocks.
The response was most helpful and the contact in the UK was great.
My thought now after speaking with MCT is do I go for shocks and scrap the ESA for a dialled in shock set up?
 

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I haven't upgraded yet, so I'm using what little common sense I have. If you never change your riding style or load such as riding solo, solo with luggage or add a pillion and a pillion with luggage, aggressive mountain riding vs highway comfort, I guess that a dialed in suspension could do a pretty good job. BUT if you do have a variety of rides the ESA does provide you with various choices. Besides the ESA has been pretty good overall. Most of the complaints I've heard concerning the suspension is that the shock wear out. I haven't heard of many (actually any, but I'm sure someone here will prove otherwise) issues with the ESA itself. With that thinking and if the financials allow, I'd keep the ESA.
 

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The other variable to consider is how will the change affect resale.....
 

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My thought now after speaking with MCT is do I go for shocks and scrap the ESA for a dialled in shock set up?
I remember Darren's (at MCT) comments regarding ESA when it first came out: "It gives you the option to conveniently select multiple suspension settings from the comfort of the rider's seat, all of which are wrong". In fairness, I think the DESA setup on later bikes is an improvement from the Gen 1 system, but there's still a degree of truth in what he said and my opinion of my 2019 K1600 is that the DESA calibration was carried out either by someone who has a strange concept of ride comfort and wheel control, or a complete idiot. Or perhaps both.

All I can say is that Darren specified and set up manually adjustable Wilbers suspension on my ST1300 that massively outperformed the standard DESA setup on my K1600 both in terms of ride comfort and control and the only "in use" adjustment necessary was the amount of rear preload if I rode solo, two-up or two-up with luggage.
 

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Mr.Fix It
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Do you ride with the exact same weight every time?
Do you ride roads that are always straight?
Do you ride roads that are always curvy?
Do you ride roads that are always bunny?
Do you ride roads that are always smooth?
In others words, I’d NEVER delete the ESA. Sure, without ESA Wilbers are manually adjustable, but at what inconvenience?

Duane
 

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Sure, without ESA Wilbers are manually adjustable, but at what inconvenience?
Fair question.

With remote preload adjustment and a remote reservoir unit it's very quick, clean, and easy, but admittedly not as convenient as twiddling the wonder wheel on the handlebars.

The big difference is that preload is steplessly adjustable rather than offering three fixed, incorrect, presets. The damping adjustment is also much more granular as well as allowing independent adjustment of high- and low-speed compression damping and rebound damping instead of a choice of fixed settings that move compression and rebound damping in parallel in a fixed relationship.

My experience is that the trade-off between ride comfort and control is much smaller with properly set up, high-quality, suspension. Lots of people seem to think that rock-hard suspension gives them better control. That may be the case on a billiard-table smooth track, but it just isn't the case on the wide variety of public roads we spend our time on. For example, my DESA-equipped 2019 K1600GT gives me a choice of underdamped "Road" mode in which the bike will wallow if pushed hard on a less-than-perfect road surface, or a rock-hard "Dynamic" mode that will bounce me out of the seat and compress my passenger's spine if I run over a matchstick. Frankly, that's pretty pathetic for a semi-active suspension system on a high-end bike. What is needed for road use is both good compliance and accurate control which delivers both ride comfort and stability. The two needn't be mutually exclusive and with the right hardware and setup, the operating window where both are good to excellent is pretty wide.

With good quality suspension units (such as Wilbers) many of the issues that the standard suspension suffers are overcome. If the Wilbers units can be set up such that the "push-button" fixed ESA settings correspond to appropriate settings for the particular rider's use cases then that's the icing on the cake, but if they can't be made to accurately match, then I'd happily trade the convenience of handlebar adjustment for being able to select appropriate settings manually.
 

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Well, I did the ESA with Wilbers on my GTL. Ted Porter’s Beemer Shop did the set up. It is a hassle to send them the stock suspension to fit the ESA components to the Wilbers. No biggy for me as I did it in the off season here. I found the suspension to be dramatically improved in every mode. I couldn’t be more pleased with the set up and the Bimmer shop. I hope you are as satisfied when you do yours.
 
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