Just to add to the knowledge base, since it's fresh in my memory........
Background: I've got a 2002 F650GS that was converted to a Dakar by a PO. I bought it a year ago and it's my first bike since I was a pre-teen, 25+ years ago. I ordered my shock on May 6 and received it this morning, May 31.
As far as removal of the old shock and installation of the new, Elka gives pretty good instructions, much like BMW recommends, which involves removing the fuel tank, electrical connections, etc. But, I paid attention to what tomatoe333 posted and took off the following, in detail for noobs like me:
License plate bracket
Rear brake reservoir
Lower subframe bolts
Upper subframe bolts LOOSENED ONLY
My main obstacle was removing the exhaust, which apparently hadn't been done in quite some time.
This was all done on the centerstand and, once everything was removed, I connected a ratchet strap from the handlebars to the rear subframe to raise it enough to get to the top of the shock. There's not a lot of room to work at the top of the shock, but enough to get the job done.
Installation of the Elka was pretty straightforward. The shock itself uses stock hardware, and the instructions for installing the remote reservoir and preload adjustment are spot on and the mounting bracket uses the stock bolts. Everything needed is included or you've already got.
As far as how it works, I've only ridden it around my back pasture and a few miles into and around town. The difference is noticeable, in a good way, and the bike sits a bit higher. I plan to hit some offroad tomorrow and give it a further test.
Hope this helps. I've got a few pics if needed.
Thanks Josh, good stuff.