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Old 21 Apr 2002
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Location: Montreal,PQ,Canada
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How do Fournales shocks normally fail? Do they fail without warning or do they just need constant refilling until they finally give up? I like the idea of adjusting spring rate for load and don't mind it if they leave me without a spring if they leak, but don't want to be left stranded if they fail immediately.
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Old 23 Apr 2002
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I have a Fournales on my 89 R100GS.
In Estonia it was bottoming fully loaded two up.Seal was leaking. It's been rebuilt (less than £200, think £120) and is now sound. As I don't have the pump, I can't adjust the pressure (and hence ride) without assistance.
MR Holland in UK will do any works and pass on details of pump owners who will alter pressures for you.
I'm planning an overland trip and do wonder if the Fournales is the tool for it, but I don't want to fork out £500 for some replacement.
Even with shock leaking, it only bottomed on 'hard hits' - I assume there is a 'rubber bung' that prevents it being a total dissaster if failing.
Speak to MR Holland (UK) - Peter Spence 01775 720 111 if you want advice (or your local contact for cheaper call !) - they have been very helpful.(That counts for a lot !)
Ignoring the seal replacement and the method of adjustment, it is a top bit of equipement when set up.
Hope that helps - mine failed, but it didn't stop us continuing, I rode it like that for a few thousand miles before rebuild - only hard hits thta caused discomfort.
Hope this doesn't sound more negative than it need.
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Old 24 Apr 2002
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Thanks. This is exactly what I wanted to here. I won't be doing any overlanding with this bike anymore and will use it for local touring. I too would have reservations about using it for overlanding.
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Old 25 Apr 2002
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I'll let you know how we get on ! Not 'til 2003/4 mind. I certainly have no reservations for use around UK, on and Off road. Can sort out any disaster easily enough - but in Uzbekistan ? We'll see !
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Old 27 Apr 2002
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I envy your trip. Have a good one!
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Old 24 Oct 2010
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Location: England
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just fitted fournales front and back to my R1100gs and rode down to Montenegro, then up to Romania and back. Did a fair bit of dirt road riding fully loaded [even with the Mrs on the back for half the trip] Well happy, but before that trip I nipped down to south France and did have to pump up the rear a couple of times. It's settled down now and is fine, so maybe best to get a pump too.- Think they should give you one! I'm glad I chose them, even though they do top out [front] on very rough tracks when you get a move on. Wouldn't listen to too many horro stories- you always get them.
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Old 3 Nov 2010
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I have had a Fournales shock absorber fitted on my R100GS for now 18,000 miles/29,000km (I ride this bike in the USA).
Of course if I let the bike in the garage for 6 months the shock absorber will loose some pressure (I was surprised to have a R100GS turned into a low rider, checked the air pressure and found 6 bars instead of the + 19 bars recommended.
I choosed this brand as I can adjust both the spring rate and the ride height when altering the air pressure. And when switching from riding the bike solo to riding with a passenger, for a short ride for exemple, I can make a quick adjusment with a push/pull button, even if of course I can fine tune the pressure for a longer ride. I have a second R100GSGS, fitted with an Ohlins, that I am riding currently in South America: the spring rate, which fits a for a single rider, doesn't work very well with passenger and lugages, as I can only alter the ride height.
But I would never ride with a Fournales without a pump, especially on longer trips: Fournales sells a tiny one which weights next to nothing. This pump allows you to make adjustments according to the load of the bike and to the road. It allows you to refill the absorber in case of a loss of air (this loss is not sudden from my experience, and from what I can understand in other´s experience). It allows you to check if there is a loss of pressure (remember that if you fill to 19 bars for exemple and want to make a check five minutes later with the manometer on the pump, as some air will go into the hose between the valve and the manometer you will only find 17.5 bars for exemple, nothing to panic about).
One problem is I don't know if there is a dealer or somebody who can work on these shock absorbers in the USA or Canada. Any answer?
Hope it helps.
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