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Old 11-12-2013, 08:06 AM   #1
Mikepotter86 OP
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New suspension for both bikes- need advice

With winter creeping in, I have started to think about what upgrades I want to do over the winter, and I can say for sure that both bikes are in need of new shocks and springs.

Forgive me if this has been covered elsewhere, but is there a general consensus on the best suspension parts for each bike?

1981 R100 RT
1972 R75/5

If it is of any consequence, both bikes usually support just me (190 pounds) and luggage for touring, camping gear, etc. frequently. I'd like something that's in it's sweet spot between 200 and 250 pounds.

Also, can you point me in the direction of resources for installing new fork springs?
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #2
airhead_irl
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I have Koni Dial-a-Ride shocks and Hagon progressive fork springs. It's a pretty good set up. The front forks are slightly firm would be a minor criticism but at least they don't dive like the stock BMW springs.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
Mikepotter86 OP
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Thanks for the input. Do you run the same setup on each bike or do you recommend something different for the R100?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:45 AM   #4
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The answer to your question is pretty much the same for both bikes. Pretty much any aftermarket shock is mucho better. Koni's still work great even by today's standards. I still like them better than Progressives and a couple of other brands. Fork springs? The aftermarket springs that I have tried are all WAY too stiff. All the stock springs need is a little more preload. PITA to adjust but . . . .
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #5
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I would go with progressive for the R75/5 since you don't ride it as often. For the RT if you have the money why not ohlins and racetech emulators in the forks.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
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Thanks, Shane. I am looking to put something that will look original on the /5 but I am very open to something more modern on the RT. I am not sure what the cost would be for the full setup on the RT, but considering I will never sell it, a long term investment might be a good idea.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikepotter86 View Post
Thanks, Shane. I am looking to put something that will look original on the /5 but I am very open to something more modern on the RT. I am not sure what the cost would be for the full setup on the RT, but considering I will never sell it, a long term investment might be a good idea.
You can put the aluminum shock covers from the original shocks on Koni/ikon shocks. You have to open up the hole very slightly with a file.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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Bob's sells a retro shock. I'm not sure who makes them for him.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:50 AM   #9
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Mike-I sent you a pm. If you need a place to work on the bikes, I've got a nice barn and tools for the /5 job you're welcome to use.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:44 AM   #10
Mikepotter86 OP
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Thanks, Josh. I think I will tackle the RT first, but perhaps in late winter/early spring I'll bring the /5 up your way.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikepotter86 View Post
Thanks for the input. Do you run the same setup on each bike or do you recommend something different for the R100?
I only have the Koni's on my R100 as I use that for touring and 2 up stuff. My /5 has the standard shocks (I think). I don't use that bike as much so they do me for now.
I guess your riding style and intended use for the bike would be factors in your choice.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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I have those on my /5. They work great and are cheaper than the Ikons and the look original except the spring is black, not silver.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shaner1100gs View Post
Bob's sells a retro shock. I'm not sure who makes them for him.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:09 PM   #13
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Suspension thingys

I have an R75/5 SWB, and several /6s (LWB, of course). The Konis/Ikons are fine on the LWB bikes. But i found the slightly different leverage (due to length) made them less than ideal on the SWB. For that I have a set of YSS shocks from Ted Porter. I also weigh about 190 and do 1-up touring. I found the YSS shocks (adjustable in preload, rebound and length) to be the best shocks I have had ever since 1976. They are worlds ahead of the Konis/Ikons, at least on that SWB bike, and I think they make the /5 ride smoother than the /6s, which was never the case before.
Be sure your fork springs are not sagged. That is the single most significant mod you can make. Get the right ones, the right length, change the internals to /6 specs, and you will not believe the difference.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:22 AM   #14
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+1 on YSS ... Have them on my mono's ... For the price they are great
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:54 AM   #15
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I think the first question you should be asking yourself is how you plan to use each of the bikes. If you want to try and make your RT handle like a race bike, don't. It will never happen without major modifications, the first being getting rid of the barn door on the front.

I look as shocks as an item that has to be replaced regularly. They have moving parts that eventually wear out. I have found on my RTs that the Progressive HD shocks work just fine for the money. They are much better that OEM. I usually get about 4-5 years and lots of touring miles out of them. But my mileage may be a lot more than yours.

Konis or Ikons, or YSS and many others are all great shocks, but they are not really going to be any better for the average rider. You are not going to notice the difference when just puttering around or even going for long vacations. Those brands are more designed for those that push their bikes a lot closer to the limits. That is where those types of shocks excel and walk all over the Progressives and the other equivalent brands.
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