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Old 02-09-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
Bumpaman OP
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Bmw esa

Looking at buying my first late model GS and am wondering if one with ESA is more preferable or not than one without? Seems like this is just one more thing to go wrong, but if it is dependable I won't shy away from it.
Thanks
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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Some love it and some don't. I have it on my GSA and (while it was still a two-wheeler) found the setting I liked and kept it there. Once the GSA became my sidecar tug I changed the setting to one I liked and never messed with it again. Once they wear out I'll probably go with a non-ESA aftermarket shock.

On my GS I have a set of Ohlins. Love the variability in the settings, though it took me a few iterations to figure out where I wanted them for various conditions. Once I got it right, it took just a couple of minutes to make changes.

Is push button convenience nicer than old school with more variability? Not for me, but YMMV. Is it worth the replacement cost? Again, not for me. But in the end it's all about personal choice.

There are several threads on this topic; you might want to use Search.

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
Okie Preacher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumpaman View Post
Looking at buying my first late model GS and am wondering if one with ESA is more preferable or not than one without? Seems like this is just one more thing to go wrong, but if it is dependable I won't shy away from it.
Thanks
Depending on how you ride (or how lucky you are) the stock BMW shocks are good for approximately 25-30 thousand miles. I have enjoyed the ESA on my '09, but now that it is time to swap out for a set of aftermarket shocks I will be going to a manual set of Ohlins as the extra $750 for the electronic adjust seems hard to justify.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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i'm with Boon......it really depends on what you want out of or from your bike. the ESA suspension is ok, offers some variability, but it doesn't really allow for true adjustability (all pre-programmed/canned settings). it keeps things easy, and for the most part, absolutely rideable. if you want a little more from your bike in terms of handling, then an aftermarket kit is the way to go, but unless you go the route of Ohlins ESA/Wilbers ESA, you will lose some of that variability (comf, normal, sport at the push of a button) mentioned earlier.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:35 AM   #5
lkchris
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Haven't checked anything but my RT, but the difference is $1000 for a replacement shock on nonESA bikes and $2000 for a replacement shock for ESA-equipped bike.

Talk about "something going wrong!"
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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I would have been fine without it,everything I looked at however,already was equiped with it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:12 PM   #7
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after riding bikes with both I opted for the non esa and replacing the shocks with aftermarket ones as the stockers were not enough for me even the esa all the way up. depending on your expeance you may want to upgrade after the factory ones wear out, if so once again the price for aftermarket goes up alot with esa.

Also the only mod i would recommend for any motorcycle is suspension upgrade, as any level rider can benefit from this more than any other upgrade, plus it increases the stability of the bike. And no stock suspension is set up right for you, even if your that lucky 5% that fit the skill and weight and riding style of the stock setup as your skill increases with time you will want to change the setup and sadly the stock setup is non adjustable other than rear preload.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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Esa

I have a 1012 GS with the ESA. It is one of the reasons I purchased the bike. I like it and will put the Ohlins ESA unit on when it goes.

I ride solo, two up, with or without luggage and it is nice to be able to change the settings with the push of a button. I can also raise the rear end up for spirited riding and it helps keep the hard parts off the pavement.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:22 PM   #9
hillbillypolack
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Boon and Oalvarez have similar thoughts to mine.

But. It depends how you ride, if you go two up, if you swap luggage often and if you know what a well set-up suspension feels like.

If you go two up and vary your luggage, I can see the benefit of ESA. I can also see the benefit if you are off road and transition to tarmac frequently.

I don't. I ride with similar settings 96-99% of the time, so traditional shocks work well for me. I also have had well-sorted suspensions on other bikes and ESA doesn't give me the feel that I should have on a bike costing as much as a GS. ESA doesn't allow you to set preload or separate damping front / rear like traditional shocks do which is part of the reason I don't like them. My 2012 GS has ESA but they will be replaced by TTXs when they're worn out.

But I'm a whiner too, so there's that.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:53 AM   #10
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I ride all kinds of different roads and really like the ESA setup. When I mount my boxes for a trip, it's a simple push button setup and I'm off. Being able to adjust the suspension to a variety of road and load conditions is priceless, IMO

I also like to adjust the damping on the fly when I hit the goat roads while enjoying a day ride. Makes things much more pleasant when doing 400 miles on different road surfaces
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:04 AM   #11
Bumpaman OP
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Thanks everyone, you have been a big help.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumpaman View Post
Looking at buying my first late model GS and am wondering if one with ESA is more preferable or not than one without? Seems like this is just one more thing to go wrong, but if it is dependable I won't shy away from it.
Thanks
I disconnected mine and put on Wilbers. Very nice ride.
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