Motorcycle Suspension - What Are You Using / Where To Buy?

bradmeister

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I don't do the Mileage or Carry the Weight You do but 20.000 kms out of a Shock seems Disgusting to Me! If that is all they do they must be Total Crap! Surely they are designed to last Longer than that? I can't remember when I put the Ohlins on My Triumph Tiger 1050 but I guess I have done 40.000 kms or more on it and it is still fine? Maybe some research on Google is Required as there maybe a recommended mileage for Suspension before Servicing?

Hi Ian.
If its OEM shocks, you may know already that it's going to be Showa or KYB for most applications. WP and (the company's name escapes me at the moment) in Western and Eastern Europe handel the rest of the Motorcycles from Europe usually. Marzzouchi was a player, but they closed in 2015.

There have been instances when an OEM shock on the BMW's has not last more than 8k kilometers. It happens all the time. The contracting companies make mistakes or the quality control is lacking.

As far as servicing any serviceable Shock, (OEM or Aftermarket), as well as fresh Fork Oil and Seals; the rule and recommendation is as follows:
Racing or off road applications should be every year.
Normal Street and ocassional off roading should be every 2 years.
It's that easy to remember.

Cheers
 

DavidFL

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Ok. I couldn't find anyone to fully service my WP suspension on my Triumph Tiger 800 XCx after 40,000km. The rear shock had gone weak and was not very fun 2 up with the cases load. Britbike can service the forks (by service I mean change the oil and seals) but not the shock. Basically have to send the shock back to the mother ship and park the bike forever for it to return. Not possible for me in peak riding season...

I contacted Brad at BDS Performance in BKK. After lengthy discussions via email, phone and in person we decided Wilbers was the best option for my situation. Wilbers shock with full adjustability and Wilbers springs in the WP forks keeping the WP cartridges as Brad recommended that they are top quality already. Brad custom ordered the springs and shock to suit my requirements and Wilbers custom built the shock as specified. Brad did his magic and the first time I sat on the bike I could feel the bike was totally different.

I now have 2,400km on the bike with the new suspension and I'm tickled pink with it. I normally ride with a fairly heavy load solo and the bike feels incredible. I ride about 50% of the time 2 up with the wife and cases loaded and it's amazing now. I asked my wife if it felt any better and she said 10,000 times better. Happy wife makes my life easy. I think having a hydraulic preload option if you change loads often is the best thing since sliced bread.

Great service from BDS Performance.
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Ok. I couldn't find anyone to fully service my WP suspension on my Triumph Tiger 800 XCx after 40,000km. The rear shock had gone weak and was not very fun 2 up with the cases load. Britbike can service the forks (by service I mean change the oil and seals) but not the shock. Basically have to send the shock back to the mother ship and park the bike forever for it to return. Not possible for me in peak riding season...

I contacted Brad at BDS Performance in BKK. After lengthy discussions via email, phone and in person we decided Wilbers was the best option for my situation. Wilbers shock with full adjustability and Wilbers springs in the WP forks keeping the WP cartridges as Brad recommended that they are top quality already. Brad custom ordered the springs and shock to suit my requirements and Wilbers custom built the shock as specified. Brad did his magic and the first time I sat on the bike I could feel the bike was totally different.

I now have 2,400km on the bike with the new suspension and I'm tickled pink with it. I normally ride with a fairly heavy load solo and the bike feels incredible. I ride about 50% of the time 2 up with the wife and cases loaded and it's amazing now. I asked my wife if it felt any better and she said 10,000 times better. Happy wife makes my life easy. I think having a hydraulic preload option if you change loads often is the best thing since sliced bread.

Great service from BDS Performance.
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Great report. Isnt it fantastic to have an expert set up your suspension properly - totally transforms the bike.
What suspension do BDS deal in - Wilbers, Ohlins, ....anything else?
They sound like a good outfit to deal with for us farang.
 
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I think BDS is Ohlins and Wilbers mainly but we did discuss Nitron. They have contacts at WP but the support from WP was lacking so I decided to make the change to Wilbers. Brad is very easy to deal with so I'm sure he can find a solution to most scenarios. Added bonus dealing with a native English speaker. His Thai helper speaks very good English and is very polite as well. We'll see how the Wilbers hold up over time but I'm impressed with the German quality.
 

DavidFL

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Welcome to BDS Performance Suspension Tuning

BANNER-BDS-PERFORMANCE.gif


Home

new GTR supporters
 

DavidFL

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The new guys in Bangkok to go to are

BDS Performance Co.,Ltd.
77/6 Soi Suhkumvit 42 Rama IV Rd., Kluaynamthai
Phrakanong, Bangkok, Thailand 10110

GTR-BDS-Performance-07.jpg

Contact: Mr. Brad Judd
Operations and Engineering Manager
Tel: (66) 098.275.2750

For GTR forum members you can pop by for a free Sag and Squat check.

More info here:Recommended Bangkok Motorcycle Shops


Updated BDS Performance photos
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Spotlessly clean
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Organized
3.jpg



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Check em out for setting up your bikes suspension.
 

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DavidFL

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At 64,135 kms on the VStrom 650, the Ohlins rear shock has done 24,000 kms but it has blown a seal & there's no oil in the shock.
upload_2017-6-22_13-18-12.jpeg

The bike has been handling like a pig for awhile.

So now "I know" I cant get anymore than 25,000 kms out of a rear shock.
I've had YSS, Hyperpro, Wilbers, Technoflex & Nitron on my bikes - the Africa Twin (320,000 kms), the Versys 100,000 kms & now the Vstrom at 65,000 kms.
All the shocks needed rebuilding "too often."
Fortunately you can get youur shocks rebuilt in Thailand now & so don't have to them overseas for a rebuild like I used to.
But now I wondering & thinking about trying to fit a heat sensor on the rear shock with a LED display on the dash somewhere, so that I can see how hot the rear shock (oil) really gets & perhaps be alert to the fact it is working over time too long.
CMS the Ohlins dealer in Chiang Mai has no idea or experience of this he says.
It should be cheap & easy to do some guys have said - so does anyone have any ideas or experience.
Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

bradmeister

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The Triumph Tiger was a great build! We thank our fellow GT Rider for the opportunity to provide the service he needed! Wilkbers was a bit (at first) argumentive with the Spring Rate and for a Dual or Progressive Rate: but when it was finally agreed upon and delievered..... it came together, beautifully!

It was everything we wanted and more..... We also changed the front fork WP cartridge springs and mixed our own Synthetic Ohlins Racing Oil which came out to the proper Viscosity (another discussion with a manufacturer) to produce the Ultimate Single and 2up tourer for our happy Veteran Rider!

The Wilbers custom Made Shock, we hit the Sweet Spot with very little Pre-load tweeking on our part. The Remotes installed fairly effortlessly and we established a good Static and Dynamic Sag with our rider within an hour or so......

Kudos to Our Rider for helping us, help him, design his Signature Series Suspension for The Tiger XCX now shredding up the motorways and paths, here in Thailand Riding!
final tiger guy.jpg

Sincerely,

Bradmeister
 
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bradmeister

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At 64,135 kms on the VStrom 650, the Ohlins rear shock has done 24,000 kms but it has blown a seal & there's no oil in the shock.
View attachment 4415
The bike has been handling like a pig for awhile.

So now "I know" I cant get anymore than 25,000 kms out of a rear shock.
I've had YSS, Hyperpro, Wilbers, Technoflex & Nitron on my bikes - the Africa Twin (320,000 kms), the Versys 100,000 kms & now the Vstrom at 65,000 kms.
All the shocks needed rebuilding "too often."
Fortunately you can get youur shocks rebuilt in Thailand now & so don't have to them overseas for a rebuild like I used to.
But now I wondering & thinking about trying to fit a heat sensor on the rear shock with a LED display on the dash somewhere, so that I can see how hot the rear shock (oil) really gets & perhaps be alert to the fact it is working over time too long.
CMS the Ohlins dealer in Chiang Mai has no idea or experience of this he says.
It should be cheap & easy to do some guys have said - so does anyone have any ideas or experience.
Any input is greatly appreciated.

Dave,

Have no fear: BDS Performance is here! Woot Woot!

Unequivocally. No Oil and No gas will always equal Piggish Handling! Surprized your butt actually put up with all of that unhappiness..... Anywho: Send it down to us for overhaul. Cost starts at around 3500Baht (plus shipping and handeling) as long as you did not destroy your cylinder or piston. Turn time is about 10 days.

......With regards to your excellent cooling question and quiry: A remote tank in the slip stream will always lend itself to cooler and longer cycles operation. However, as we live in Thailand, and you are one of the "Sickest" riders in Thailand.... you have less cycles between overhaul..... Even if you had a monitor in real time up to a 10th of a percent accurate.....would you really pull over and wait for the shock to cool down as your Hommies are Ribbing and goating you? Just a thought....

Yes, there are sensors that are stick and peel (or was that peel and stick?) that are used on Engines that come in a variety of increaments to monitor the Shocks Temperature, but its usually a bulk buy item and may not be worth it for just a one-time monitoring. Their is also racing temp decals that change color for max temp. which stays the same color after a one time use or (in other words) are not reusable. I have not seen these since testing with BMW and may be a factory/RandD item only

Be well, stay dry this rainey season and send us your Shock and Front forks for your Rainey Season Special! Woot Woot

Cheers
 

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DavidFL

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Dave,

Have no fear: BDS Performance is here! Woot Woot!

Unequivocally. No Oil and No gas will always equal Piggish Handling! Surprized your butt actually put up with all of that unhappiness..... Anywho: Send it down to us for overhaul. Cost starts at around 3500Baht (plus shipping and handeling) as long as you did not destroy your cylinder or piston. Turn time is about 10 days.

......With regards to your excellent cooling question and quiry: A remote tank in the slip stream will always lend itself to cooler and longer cycles operation. However, as we live in Thailand, and you are one of the "Sickest" riders in Thailand.... you have less cycles between overhaul..... Even if you had a monitor in real time up to a 10th of a percent accurate.....would you really pull over and wait for the shock to cool down as your Hommies are Ribbing and goating you? Just a thought....

Yes, there are sensors that are stick and peel (or was that peel and stick?) that are used on Engines that come in a variety of increaments to monitor the Shocks Temperature, but its usually a bulk buy item and may not be worth it for just a one-time monitoring. Their is also racing temp decals that change color for max temp. which stays the same color after a one time use or (in other words) are not reusable. I have not seen these since testing with BMW and may be a factory/RandD item only

Be well, stay dry this rainey season and send us your Shock and Front forks for your Rainey Season Special! Woot Woot

Cheers

Thanks for the offer, but the shock is under warranty so It is being done free via the dealer CMS who I bought it from, in a turn around of 10 days.
Re the heat sensor I was just thinking that it would be interesting to see how hot it got & if the temp was over boiling point for the oil.
It certainly would not solve anything & yeah I wouldnt stop expecting for it to cool down immediately.
 

bradmeister

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Thanks for the offer, but the shock is under warranty so It is being done free via the dealer CMS who I bought it from, in a turn around of 10 days.
Re the heat sensor I was just thinking that it would be interesting to see how hot it got & if the temp was over boiling point for the oil.
It certainly would not solve anything & yeah I wouldnt stop expecting for it to cool down immediately.

OKIE DOKI,

It would also Beehove you to replace your Fork fluid and Seals at this time. Also , Check your springs and make sure they are still within limits. If your cooking through Shocks within 25k, you]re probably cooking up the fork Oil as well. Viscosity Breakdown happens in all hot enviroments and needs replacing yearly (depending on your sickness) or every 2 years.

If your still driving the SV.....I think these are the nominal values for your Scooters' Front Spring length:.(x,y,k1,k2 limit 308mm) (k3-on limit 420mm) (k3-on s limit 428mm). Stocks were a bit soft for me the last time I picked up a (SV650)second hand, for a spare fun Bike in 2012.

Anything you need, we're here! KRUB!

Cheers
 

ianyonok

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25k klms for a pair of shocks doesn't sound much at all...
A complex unit I suppose but still...
Is that kind of distance normal for modern bikes shocks?
I put a pair of Hagons on my '59 Thunderbird a few years ago and would expect them to last considerably longer than that.
 

ianyonok

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I guess what we are talking about is rebuildable shocks, like Konis (Ikons). The idea being that you would expect to replace seals and oil, during regular maintenance, as you would with front forks. 2 years sounds usual for hydraulic oil replacement. I had thought that was due to hydraulic oil being hydroscopic. So, in a sealed shock you would think it could last longer.
But I suppose if you want the best rear shocks then you buy rebuildable Ohlins or Ikons or whatever and expect to service them at regular intervals.
 

bradmeister

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25k klms for a pair of shocks doesn't sound much at all...
A complex unit I suppose but still...
Is that kind of distance normal for modern bikes shocks?
I put a pair of Hagons on my '59 Thunderbird a few years ago and would expect them to last considerably longer than that.
Greetings shock inquiring minds....

Whenever we talk about shocks on motorcycles, cars, trucks, snowmobiles or Airplanes.....There are 2 kinds: Serviceable and Disposable.

The disposable is usually the shortest life available, and usually is a non-pressurized emulsion type shock. A good example would be the door damper/closer on our house screen doors.....without the coilover spring.

Usually within 8_10k miles on a stock shock.... on most motorcycles, They're dead. Just like tires and brakes wear out, so do our dampers and springs.

What makes all of us go out and buy aftermarket shocks is the persuit of a whole bunch of reasons from comfort to handling, rideability, turning confidence, lower lap times, 2 up, crappy roads and overall safety optimization..... some people even approach it from a pure esthetics point like many locals in Thailand.

Its amazing how many people buy shocks that had the wrong springs in them, but hey! it looks good right? ....and then come to my office complaining about shock bottoming, or not being able to turn they're bikes. This usually results in them returning to the parts store, shere they bought it from, and asking a retailer why it has the wrong speing rate. Which most part stores are ignorant about.

In regards to a Halgon on a T-bird.... Not all aftermarkets make shocks for everykind of bike.... its pretty much impossible. also, many aftermarket shock companies wont continue to manufactuer the shocks or suspension parts past 10 years old.... Good example would be a KTM 350 sxf 2012. Many cartridge kits were manfactured for this machine.....Now they are not. The market responds and various outlets in Europe are the only ones who have them.....and the price? Astronomical. Supply and demand.

If you have the opportunity to buy a serviceable shock that meets and exceeds your expectatuons. Buy it, you won!

cheers
 

ianyonok

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Usually within 8_10k miles on a stock shock.... on most motorcycles, They're dead. Just like tires and brakes wear out, so do our dampers and springs.

I think you may have issues trying to convince people that statement is true.

Gotta laugh...... I'm rebuilding the plunger shocks on my '52 BSA M33 at present. 65 year springs that may have lost some springiness, but they feel fine and good enough for this job. Yes, primitive suspension and they don't have any damping oil in them but good enough for the job they do on a bike that wont exceed 50mph.

The Hagons on the Thunderbird have been on about 4 years and 15k miles and feel fine with no sign of oil leaking out. Good enough for me. The cheap Emgos I had on previously leaked oil and became dangerous with the erratic rear wheel skittering in bends.

Rebuildable Ikons (Konis) would be nice, but out of my price range.
 

bradmeister

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On the Contrary my friend, most of my clientel know exactly what purpose they have for they're machines. Finding competent suspension entities is another matter.

This is the age of technology, and most (there are a few good ol days guys and gals) want the best ride for they're money.
I noticed you mentioned (several times) " It feels OK" or "looks ok" then you sound satisfied and happy. Ride On!

Were in business to just educate a little, give them a better ride, and offer solutons to chassis problems. It usually is a win/win senario.

We would definitely suggest you research the service manual and look up your spring lengths and replace with thr correct spring rates.

Best of luck on your build!

Cheers
 
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I have done around 50.000 Kms on the Ohlins Rear shock. I just had the suspension reset and Best Ride it has ever given. This is on a Triumph Tiger 1050. But I don't carry Excess Weight like David does and Never 2 up! I would be Miserably Disappointed if I had to Buy a New Shock or even Rebuild every 10 or 20.000 Kms? That's Ridiculous!
 

bradmeister

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Dear Ian,

Ridiculous? I'm thinking thats a very subjective word. The fact is: Shocks, and suspension components wear out and require scheduled maintenance. They're moving parts that build up energy and need to radiate that energy via heat and higher temperatures.

"Re-Setting" is not having a friendly neighborhood mechanic, to increase your preload..... Thats the "Placebo Effect" my friend, and eveyone around the planet attempts this "quick fix" and believes it magically increases the performance of the shock as opposed to having it serviced.

. Ohlins recommends your Forks and Shocks be serviced evey 2 years......Period. If you beat it more, obviously less...... Wilbers actually stands behind a 5 year warranty and service shedule on they're rears only..... Agian, this is designated by the rigourous and destructive testing of the shock, by the manufacturer.

As your spring (An energy storage device) compresses and expands over time, it begins to lose its spring rate....It wants to be straight again, and begins to increase it's length..... This happens very slowly over time....so you nor anyone else will notice until one day, you find your Nitrogen (If you had a quality shock) is gone and the shock may or may not be leaking. but the oil is "Cooked" and you have the viscosity of water inside..... Joe Shmoe shows up and says: Nahhhhh it's fine, I just make your spring harder, you happy now!

As far as Ohlins, WP, Wilbers, Nitron, TPX, HyperPro or any other Shock manufacturer...... No one will estimate the distance in Kilometers or Miles because that would literally be impossibe..... who knows where you are riding, how hard you ride, if you have smooth "Autobahn" highspeed roadways, or if you're battling it out with the rest of us here in Bangkok, or any other community in Thailand.

A plethora of other factors chime in as well,,,,,as you mentioned: Weight and travel cycles. Correct Tires and Tire Pressures, Average Mean temperature, dust, construction, agricultural farming and burning, Road inconsistancies, and my favorite: Who's servicing my suspension and when was the last time it was accomplished,

When we modify anyones chassis, we place a Placard under your seat (Fork Tube if you are racing) that tells you your date, settings, spring rates, Sags, comp/rebound clicks, for both your front forks and rear shocks. This way you can easily manage, schedule maintenance, and tune your suspension depending on your map!

You are the operator/owner of your machine, Whats of value to you may be the bottom line.... Whats of Value to me, is my bottom arse, lower back, optimization of safety and comfort while riding! Hence: why we're in business and educating as many Thai residents as possible.

If you have any questions, we're hear to answer.

Cheers
 

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DavidFL

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At 64,135 kms on the VStrom 650, the Ohlins rear shock has done 24,000 kms but it has blown a seal & there's no oil in the shock.
View attachment 4415
The bike has been handling like a pig for awhile.

So now "I know" I cant get anymore than 25,000 kms out of a rear shock.
I've had YSS, Hyperpro, Wilbers, Technoflex & Nitron on my bikes - the Africa Twin (320,000 kms), the Versys 100,000 kms & now the Vstrom at 65,000 kms.
All the shocks needed rebuilding "too often."
Fortunately you can get youur shocks rebuilt in Thailand now & so don't have to them overseas for a rebuild like I used to.
But now I wondering & thinking about trying to fit a heat sensor on the rear shock with a LED display on the dash somewhere, so that I can see how hot the rear shock (oil) really gets & perhaps be alert to the fact it is working over time too long.
CMS the Ohlins dealer in Chiang Mai has no idea or experience of this he says.
It should be cheap & easy to do some guys have said - so does anyone have any ideas or experience.
Any input is greatly appreciated.

Some progress...after a phone call from Ohlins Bangkok advising the shock wsa knackered in an unusual way they suggested my bike was out of alignment

Tweaking my Suzuki V Strom 650

An interesting development

55 the Ohlins shock is totally knackered.

64,135 kms on the Vstrom & 24,000 kms up with the Ohlins rear shock.

I got a polite informative phone call from Paul at Ohlins in Bangkok this morning.

He said the shock is all worn on one side.

The bike must be out of alignment – bent, the linkage, or wheel alignment; perhaps just a washer or spacer wrong or missing.

In Thailand they have only ever seen 3 shocks like this.

Two from RTW BMW 1200GS riders on over loaded bikes & me, the first local rider.

The shock will be rebuilt under warranty, but if we don’t check the bikes alignment the same thing will happen in a relatively short time.

So now to find out exactly what the problem is with the bike.

Originally it was perfect, but somewhere along the way it was not handling like it should.

In April @ 60,000 kms I dropped the bike in the mud in first gear at 10kph coming out of the long necks in MHS. This was a gentle slide & I don’t think there was anything wrong or bent on the bike then; but it needs to be checked.

BTW the bike did not handle well in Laos in January – it was a pig to ride & has been ever since. I have complained to CMs twice since then. The last time was when the shock was obviously blown.

Something has changed on the bike.

I need to look at

1. A new rear tyre put on at Piston Shop in September 2016. Was the wheel put back in & aligned properly?

2. The new chain & sprocket set up put on my Suzuki Chiang Mai in October 2016. Supposedly an OEM chain only lasted 3 months & 12,000 kms. Was the wheel put back in & aligned properly?

The suspension was checked at CMS in January 2017 @ 55,600 kms

The wheel & steering bearings were checked at Suzuki Sahapanich in January 2017 @ 55,600 kms

A new rear chain was put on at Piston Shop in January 2017 @ 55,680 kms after the Suzuki OEM chain only lasted 3 months & 12,000 kms. Was the wheel put back in & aligned properly both times?


So, back to CMS now to try & see what is wrong & maybe who didn't put something back on right.
Stay tuned.

But thank you very much Ohlins Bangkok for the phone call & information. Excellent service.

So back to CMS in Chiang Mai to get my bikes alignment checked out & YES it is not straight.
What the hell I thought. It's never been down...........except a very gentle old lady slide on some snot in MHS in April this year =- 5,000 kms ago.
Mae Hong Son - Kayan - Long Neck Year

dsc_0048-jpg.jpg


Here's the CMS Proof
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so now the front is off for a full examination & a little tweaking.
AND the good news is the Ohlins shock has been rebuilt, free under warranty, & is due back in ChIang Mai tomorrow - a very big thank you Ohlins for your superb service.
Plus all being well the VStrom will be back on the road Tuesday next - just a few days off the road.
3 Cheers for CMS Chiang Mai & Ohlins Bangkok.
 

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Here is a blast from the past. On our HD's we would use two 8 foot flourescent tubes. Fasten to the rear tire with elastic bands. Quick and easy way to set alignment. Many engines and trannys needed to be shimmed to line up in the ridgid frames.
 

bradmeister

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Hey Dave,

Congrats all the way around ! This is the terriffic support we have now my friend! Woot Woot!

Yeah Ohlins Factory in Chon buri!!!!

Hip Hip Hooray for CMS! I hav'nt seen the old tried but fairly accurate string technique in quite sometime! LOL.

Well done young man, with relationship to trueness of frame or trueness of Head Bearings or Swing Arm and Linkage....

Please see the uploaded pics..... If your Linkage or Swingarm Bushings or Bearings were not lubed regularly....and they're corroding to the point of returning to the "Natural Elements" Well....you know the rest of the story.

Daves Linkage.png


SV Swing.png

Lastly, we would suggest to have CMS Roll your inners on a Machinests Block to insure the forks are truly or as close to truly straight, New upper and Lower bushings in front may be needed as well.... but again. the Swing arm and linkage ASAP.

Cheers
 
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bradmeister

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Hey Dave,

Congrats all the way around ! This is the terriffic support we have now my friend! Woot Woot!

Yeah Ohlins Factory in Chon buri!!!!

Hip Hip Hooray for CMS! I hav'nt seen the old tried but fairly accurate string technique in quite sometime! LOL.

Well done young man, with relationship to trueness of frame or trueness of Head Bearings or Swing Arm and Linkage....

Please see the uploaded pics..... If your Linkage or Swingarm Bushings or Bearings were not lubed regularly....and they're corroding to the point of returning to the "Natural Elements" Well....you know the rest of the story.

Lastly, we would suggest to have CMS Roll your inners on a Machinests Block to insure the forks are truly or as close to truly straight, New upper and Lower bushings in front may be needed as well.... but again. the Swing arm and linkage ASAP.

Cheers
 
Apr 23, 2006
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I have done around 50.000 Kms on the Ohlins Rear shock. I just had the suspension reset and Best Ride it has ever given. This is on a Triumph Tiger 1050. But I don't carry Excess Weight like David does and Never 2 up! I would be Miserably Disappointed if I had to Buy a New Shock or even Rebuild every 10 or 20.000 Kms? That's Ridiculous!
Agreed!
 

George Bell

Member
Jul 19, 2017
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North Sumatra
Well I are looking now to upgrade the spring on my D Tracker and I assume the US is the way to go. I will give the Thai brands a miss by a golden mile.. Race Tech or something along those lines suits me. Although I think they do not produce the spring to suit. I will leave the original shock and change only the spring
I boubh