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I know that the manual say than the Showa is a sealed unit but here and spouses in the most parts of the world exist some specialist who cant rebuild the shocks and make it repairable. They can open it, mechanize the coil in the tube and make a new screw cover, to change all seals, oil, to make the re-valving, of being necessary to change the rod and to place in the canister a valve by where to put nitrogen. All this operation (in the Argentina) does not exceed a cost of $150 or $200 dollars less, less than what costs a new aftermarket shock
Thanks for the tip.. however I do not think the standard spring on the Af Twin standd shock is upto it.... so I have ordered the Ohlins..
One thing I wish I had done with hindsight.. (a wonderful thing!) is take the spring to its maximum strength... ie screw down the setting nut to make the spring work to its max... I think this may have helped.... we did this for my wifes Transalp and its covered the same roads as mine with a similar (respective load).... and is still going strong!
Well, since I started this topic Sooooo long ago I thought I'd better let people know how I went on. I bought the Ohlins rear shock and have never regreted it. To date I've done about 22,000 miles 2 up through USA, Mexico, Canada and USA again (in that order) and its going strong. We've thrown some hard roads at it too. Plenty of forest roads with all the gear loaded up.
Given I changed the shock before this trip I don't know how the standard shock would have held up but having said that the Ohlins bottoms out far less than the old shock did and there is far more adjustment for different riding conditions. In short I'm far happier with the Ohlins.
FOr best set up proceedure follow the guidelines in the manual that comes with the shock. That's a cop out but its true. I located the damping adjuster on the under side of the reat faring just above the exhaust and the rebound adjuster beside the rear break push rod. They work well in those two positions.
For further info on the actual set up of the shock there are people on the site far mre qualified to advise on that. ANYONE PLEASE!
Good luck with it
Just been searching for info about Ohlins rear shocks for my AT.2002 model with 14,000kms on original Showa...no problem with it but i want to upgrade after some recent rough riding in Morocco got me thinking would ohlins or WP be any better.Plan some more African trips soon and i am sure i will be going on rough pistes so would like to go prepared with 'quality' set up.I have no idea of the difference in handling until i actually spend the money and replace the part......i assume it would improve things....(a friend has WP on a small trials bike and said the difference is amazing)even if i am happy with the Showa do you think its worth the money?I very rarely ride 2 up and am of the mind that most of what i need can be bought when i need it....when i get there...and can be given away to someone needy if i don't plan to use it for a couple of thousand Ks....costly but more comfortable i believe(the times i have packed,unpacked then packed things that i have never used is crazy)so generally travel light...no big tank...i'm a light weight 75kilos.....zega full kit and no more on top.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Out of interest which spring rate did you go for ? 95 / 110 / 120N/mm
What is that in Kg's ?? I have read this string with interest ...and not being a mechanic ...so throw insult if you like...;-) but here is my take...
I have an Africa Twin and a XR650R ....I weigh in at 115kg's which was about 25kgs heavier than what the rating was for the XR650R so I change the rear shock spring for a heavier one.ie: from stock 9.2 kg to an 11kg. What a difference!!! I then aslo upgraded the fron fork springs as well. This said you also need to pay attention to what they call "race sag" which is the distance in inches the bike sags when fully loaded. On the XR650R it is about 4.5 inches. This means you have to pre-load the shock spring a bit. Once I had done all of this my bike felt beautifully different!! It handled superbly and I have punished the shock since with no failure etc. So to me a shock will just damp the compression and retard the expansion....but the spring is the definitive game changer...you need to match the spring to your load and get your setup done correctly.
Now I want to do the same on the AT but I cannot for the life of me find what the stock shock spring ratings are, so I can have a reference to work from....is there anyone out there who can help .
I have a RD04 with now 80.000 kms – I’ve just driven 8.000 and with only a small braking and rack problem.
I rode on a mix of terrain, how ever mainly roads , no serious off road…
On the front I fitted Progressive springs with 15W oil and 3.5 psi as I found 6psi too hard. On the rear I fitted a Ohlins 120mn spring from Africaqueen and kept my standard shock, cleaned everything up and removed a little of the rust / pitting on the main shock shaft, not too much to ensure it didn’t then leak. Fitted everything back and didn’t have any pre-load on the spring, eg it was adjusted to the natural length of the spring. I set the rebound to half a turn to hard.
Now loading the bike, I have two ali boxes 17.5 kgs each, rear box 17 kgs and tank bag / side pockets +/- 10 kgs then I weight 93kgs (now 88kgs !! its good to travel) and my wife around 65kg total 220kgs …. The bike ride was the best its ever been, still good road holding and enough suspension travel. Speed bumps are everywhere now in Syria and Jordan ! only issue at the end of the trip is a noise / rough head bearing.
Happy ? I’m very happy… saved a few quid and spent it on accommodation with hot water my advise, go with what feels right for you…
These guys are very helpful and know their stuff.. I dont know if WP is better the ohlins.. but the service i got (before and after ordering was the reason i went wp). You will not regret it. Do be aware that once you start playing with the suspension you will be come addicted..it changes the bike so much that you just have to know how far you can push it.
It cost me (in 2007)
£475 for the shock 4014 fusion with upgraded spring
£100 for the remote preload adjuster
£63.25 for the wp proline progressive front springs
£19.84 for the front oil.
all plus vat and shipping
A basic how to on a Africa Twin.
Step one.. Get the boxes
Arnt they purty!
step two. Get bike on centre stand and take off all plastic Scrape off some of the mud from last week and remove the tyre
Remove the old bits and bobs, three bolts: two on the bottom one on the top, I did not bother removing the tank but it can make accessing the top bolts easier.
Slip in the new Shocker
Bolt on the preload and compression
and bobs your uncle..
It is as easy as it sounds.. it all just slipped in like it was not a after market part!
The only thing that was not plug and play was the bracket for the preload adjust, The one that came with it is for a stock end can (mine is custom).. so i had to make my own bracket.. Total job was less then 2 hours.
Fronts springs were just as easy:
take off plastic/ front wheel (like you are changing fork oil..) you can either drain using drain plug or pour it out (I did the latter).
I did one fork at a time so that I did not have to Remember where the forks sat in the clamps..
It was a simple job of removing old springs/oil
Put in the new springs (the correct way up). replace the spacer washers,
Fill with new oil (7.5w for thouse who want to know.. as suggested by full travel).
Pump the shocks a few times to remove excess air.
Screw back together .. this is the most tricky part.. as the spring is slightly fighting you.. but not really that bad..
Reassemble.. and in my case the set up was spot on..WP preset it up with thier best guess do to my description of my needs.
The suspention is great..the bike handles like it is a sports bike! It takes turns like the back tyre is glued to the ground. It has changed the ride in many ways.. Feels stiffer when you first get on but in a not wimpy shock kinda way..nice and firm.. All and all it has made the bike more responsive and more comfy.
The main reason for this was to give us a better ride when two up fully loaded we, have taken several couple week trips (including romania with its dirt roads). The new set-up has stopped bottoming out and keeps the bike far more stable when loaded.
This is a great thread. I have really enjoyed reading it!
I headed off on an XR250 with only 16kgs of luggage. When I entered Mongolia my shock started to leak. They didn't completely fail, but I had wished that I had looked into it. I am now planning my next trip and I am defiantly considering what kind of suspension I am using.
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