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Old 10-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #31
Hair
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Lobby when the time comes to respring the bike. You might have to get the current springs measured for stiffness. I've never seen a spring rate chart either.


It kind of buggs me. With the old preload. One could load the bike right up to it's limit just by changing the amount of preload. It's not the ideal way of doing it. But it worked.
Now with just three settings, normal, comfort and sport. I don't see a way that a person can load the bike to it's rated load limit.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Hair View Post
Lobby when the time comes to respring the bike. You might have to get the current springs measured for stiffness. I've never seen a spring rate chart either.


It kind of buggs me. With the old preload. One could load the bike right up to it's limit just by changing the amount of preload. It's not the ideal way of doing it. But it worked.
Now with just three settings, normal, comfort and sport. I don't see a way that a person can load the bike to it's rated load limit.
The settings you mention are for the compression and rebound settings, not the preload. When you adjust the preload on the ESA there is a noticeable difference in seat height because it spins a collar down on the spring. In theory, ideal sag and preload could not be adjusted perfectly unless your load was nearly the same at every trip. That said, if the OEM spring is not the right Kg/cm then adjusting preload will not do much good but it can mask the symptoms of a poorly tuned suspension. I don't know if, by starting out with the correct spring, the sequential ESA adjustments would be better when the bike is loaded. I will say this; I ignore the nomenclature (sport, comfort, etc) and preload indicators. I just play with it until I like it. For me, I have found that the "Sport" setting for valving and 1+ luggage for preload work really well.
Of course, YMMV
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:11 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by The Evil Twin View Post
I ignore the nomenclature (sport, comfort, etc) and preload indicators. I just play with it until I like it. For me, I have found that the "Sport" setting for valving and 1+ luggage for preload work really well.

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Old 10-07-2012, 01:45 AM   #34
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My question is. Is there a way to dial the preload in before one enguages ESA. That way for heaver riders the one up, two up, and luggage mode makes sense. Otherwise one uses the rider with luggage to get the single rider setting close. And so on.
From asking my dealer, no, the "presets" cannot be changed. Was one of my first questions when riding around on 1up w/ luggage for every day travel...

Another reason I went the Ohlins route as it can be adjusted (or a heavier spring put in).

There is also no way to engage or dis-engage the ESA, it's just there and available every time you start the bike. You'd have to unplug the suspension to dis-engage it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:48 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by The Evil Twin View Post
The settings you mention are for the compression and rebound settings, not the preload. When you adjust the preload on the ESA there is a noticeable difference in seat height because it spins a collar down on the spring. In theory, ideal sag and preload could not be adjusted perfectly unless your load was nearly the same at every trip. That said, if the OEM spring is not the right Kg/cm then adjusting preload will not do much good but it can mask the symptoms of a poorly tuned suspension. I don't know if, by starting out with the correct spring, the sequential ESA adjustments would be better when the bike is loaded. I will say this; I ignore the nomenclature (sport, comfort, etc) and preload indicators. I just play with it until I like it. For me, I have found that the "Sport" setting for valving and 1+ luggage for preload work really well.
Of course, YMMV

I've owned enough KTMs and Husabergs to know that there is no subsuite for the correct spring rate. But that is not how BMW choose to address the problem. And the problem is the same when you load the bike.
Without getting the proper static sag numbers one can still hit the ride sag numbers. That is what I am looking to do.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:56 AM   #36
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^^Absolutely. And I believe that is where the ESA has a shortcoming. If you could adjust what the preload settings are it would be a better system IMO. Even if you could only adjust the 1st setting, which would then change the other settings by the same amount. I'm sure there was a cost factor involved. Does anyone know the stock spring rate?
edit: looks like per RaceTech it is a 14.5 kg/mm. About right for a 180lb person.
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The Evil Twin screwed with this post 10-07-2012 at 06:07 AM
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:48 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hair View Post
I've owned enough KTMs and Husabergs to know that there is no subsuite for the correct spring rate. But that is not how BMW choose to address the problem. And the problem is the same when you load the bike.
Without getting the proper static sag numbers one can still hit the ride sag numbers. That is what I am looking to do.
Nailed it.

I achieved that when I got my Wilbers from Ted. It actually took two tries to get he rear spring correct. Normally, Wilbers hits it right on on the first try: sag is correct with the preload nob all the way out. I had to turn it about 7 turns to get it right.

Ted didn't like that, so he asked me to send the shock back and he'd install the correct spring. Once he did, the suspension has been a dream.


I owned a KTM 990 and the suspension wasn't set correctly. In spite of the wonderful components and the tremendous adjustability, the front springs were too soft and the rear shock was too stiff. No matter how much one fools with the settings, one can't adjust for the wrong springs.

Thus my worries about ESA. Most of us here in the U.S. are, uh, heavier than the typical German. I've always felt that ESA was just fancy knob adjustment, but with the wrong springs. Just like I was trying to do on my KTM. In other words, "you can't get there from here."
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Lobby View Post
Nailed it.

I achieved that when I got my Wilbers from Ted. It actually took two tries to get he rear spring correct. Normally, Wilbers hits it right on on the first try: sag is correct with the preload nob all the way out. I had to turn it about 7 turns to get it right.

Ted didn't like that, so he asked me to send the shock back and he'd install the correct spring. Once he did, the suspension has been a dream.


I owned a KTM 990 and the suspension wasn't set correctly. In spite of the wonderful components and the tremendous adjustability, the front springs were too soft and the rear shock was too stiff. No matter how much one fools with the settings, one can't adjust for the wrong springs.

Thus my worries about ESA. Most of us here in the U.S. are, uh, heavier than the typical German. I've always felt that ESA was just fancy knob adjustment, but with the wrong springs. Just like I was trying to do on my KTM. In other words, "you can't get there from here."
I think you're spot on about the stock bike having the wrong springs. Well, wrong for a heavier rider. Then again, I think, well, if the bike is built and designed to carry several hundred pounds of payload, it should be sprung correctly from the factory.

With so many people ridiing, it would certainly be tough to outfit a bike with a good all-around spring. Personally, at 185lbs I haven't had any ride issues. Wife and I are finally going to get out for a good day ride on Saturday, so anxious to see how it handles with her on the back. She's a lightweight at 110. If we were loaded up for more than a 3 hour tour and headed to Gilligan's island, maybe it'd be a different story.

I ain't scared.... :) I'm sure the bike will handle just fine.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:32 PM   #39
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With so many people ridiing, it would certainly be tough to outfit a bike with a good all-around spring. Personally, at 185lbs I haven't had any ride issues. .
Tha'ts correct, and don't forget friends, it's just not the rear spring you have to be concerned with but the front one as well.

As is said time and time again, check your sag and see if the stock springs are right for you.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #40
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LOL, while you were typing I was measuring!
Guess I lucked out being close to the right weight, about 180 lbs nekkid. Just measured my bike (was a treat to explain it all to wife while she helped) and I have 26mm/ 21mm sag front/ rear with all the cases on (but empty) on stock suspension. ESA set to 1 up/ no luggage.
Regardless, the big girl handles pretty well for what she is
Edit: fuel load is about 1/2 tank.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #41
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I wouldn't bother about trying to get it perfect, if you're that anal you've probably already replaced the suspension. ESA suits a majority of riders who are too lazy to adjust and just ride. My boss goes out for a ride just to set his suspension up... he wouldn't be satisfied. My last KTM with normal suspension, I told the shop there were some fundamental issues, so they got it more ball park and then I just rode it. I can adapt my riding to the suspension anyway.

Remember that on a GS Adventure the weight of the fuel alone stuffs up the suspension settings. 30kg difference in fuel between full and almost empty would do that...
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:08 PM   #42
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Very good reference info as always, thank you for taking the time to post it. Good information for someone like me who is considering buying the R1200Gsa in the next few days.

One point on static and rider sag, after setting up my F800Gs with ohlins for 2 up riding, I quickly discovered that the available range of springs left me with less than ideal static and rider sag conditions.

The heaviest spring I could get, with the right amount of preload to achieve correct rider sag 2 up, gives me zero static sag, and even with the preload wound right off for solo riding still is set with minimal static sag and not much rider sag (about the minimum you'd want for off road riding).

2 up, for it's intended riding it isn't much of a problem, until you get stuck on a steep slope and the suspension unloads while you attempt restart. I go from being able to almost flat foot (with the low seat option) to not having a hope in hell as it unloads and gets taller. This is problematic.

The only solution would be stiffer shorter springs with no/minimal preload. They don't make them. I have an Ohlins that is around 22kg/mm at the moment. I see the GSA seems to use lighter springs. That might be a good thing, as I have Ohlins springs in 17kg/mm, and 19kg/mm already on the shelf.

I take it the GSA has enough aftermarket springs to cope with the 2 up I want to do? Anyone have a reference chart they use?

Thanks guys.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #43
Hair
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Originally Posted by Lobby View Post
Nailed it.

I achieved that when I got my Wilbers from Ted. It actually took two tries to get he rear spring correct. Normally, Wilbers hits it right on on the first try: sag is correct with the preload nob all the way out. I had to turn it about 7 turns to get it right.

Ted didn't like that, so he asked me to send the shock back and he'd install the correct spring. Once he did, the suspension has been a dream.


I owned a KTM 990 and the suspension wasn't set correctly. In spite of the wonderful components and the tremendous adjustability, the front springs were too soft and the rear shock was too stiff. No matter how much one fools with the settings, one can't adjust for the wrong springs.

Thus my worries about ESA. Most of us here in the U.S. are, uh, heavier than the typical German. I've always felt that ESA was just fancy knob adjustment, but with the wrong springs. Just like I was trying to do on my KTM. In other words, "you can't get there from here."
Hi Lobby.
The problem of getting the correct spring rate, is that it's only good for a certion range of mass. Overload the bike and you have the same problems that I am dealing with. GSs are suppost to be similar to 1970s trail bikes. That would make the spring rate not as critical as it is on a modren MX bike.
I guess that I will have to take a chance and swap the spring. My reluctance in doing so, it because it takes me down a rabbit hole. As my weight changes from diets and such. I end up with a boat load of springs. It sucks. But that's life
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #44
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conclusion

Hey All - OP here... thanks for all the good feedback and clarifications. I have decided to NOT get ESA on the new bike. I have Ohlins on my current bike (non-ESA) and am simply going to swap that out with the stock shock on the new bike. Keeping it simple for my next segment of the RTW as I head off to the southern hemisphere.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #45
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Hey All - OP here... thanks for all the good feedback and clarifications. I have decided to NOT get ESA on the new bike. I have Ohlins on my current bike (non-ESA) and am simply going to swap that out with the stock shock on the new bike. Keeping it simple for my next segment of the RTW as I head off to the southern hemisphere.
I have both a Ohlins equipped GSA & a new Camhead with ESA. You are making the right choice. Simply no comparison for this 200lb rider. I plan to put non ESA Ohlins on the Camhead so I can adjust front & rear independently, the way it should be.
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