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#576405 - 03/06/10 08:56 PM ESA Function Question  
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Rotor Offline
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Rotor  Offline
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Cocoa, Fl.
About a year ago I sent my shocks to Works Performance for the upgrade. Since, I have complained to Works that the rear shock feels “mushy” all the time. We discussed different spring rates and high/low speed valves and I sent the rear back for that repair. Although it’s been some time since I received them back, I still cannot get the performance from the rear that I’m looking for. I’ve spent countless hours setting the preload/sag and used several “approved” techniques for doing so. Still, not what I feel comfortable with. I also had BMW “synchronize” the shocks (I think that’s what it was) in an effort to correct the issue. It feels as though the shock doesn’t change settings when I move from Comfort, Normal and Sport. With the stock shock, there was a clear difference in feel between the settings. The bike does not feel correct when riding spirited curves and obviously needs a more firm setting. The preload settings for one, luggage and two-up are working fine (or they were last I checked).

The questions: Is there a way to test the shock to be sure it is changing its settings? The display indicates it is and I’m able to toggle between them on the display.
Is there a way to “fix” it if it is not changing?
Is this a computer problem that could be corrected by BMW?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sure wish it had manual settings I could adjust.


John
#576419 - 03/06/10 09:34 PM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: Rotor]  
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johnlt Offline
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Green Valley, AZ
I believe they have a procedure to test it. I had them test my front ESA because I couldn't feel much difference and they went through the procedure that put me on the bike and re-did the procedure (in the shop) and I could tell that indeed it was changing. It still doesn't make much difference on the road.


johnlt
2018 BMW R1200 GS
1975 R75/6 (loaned to my son....yeah right!!
#576480 - 03/07/10 01:47 AM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: johnlt]  
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Rotor Offline
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Rotor  Offline
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Cocoa, Fl.
johnlt,

Thanks. Unless someone comes up with a solution I can correct at home, I'll probably call BMW next week to see what they say.


John
#576483 - 03/07/10 01:51 AM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: Rotor]  
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lvnvbiker Offline
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las vegas nevada
I had the same issue. The damping and preload changes are not enough to really tell, and now that I have a preload knob on Ohlins I dont think I would do ESA again. It was a cool toy for a bit then I just left it in "normal" 2/luggage all the time to get it stiff enough for me solo, and with the wife on I don't get wild so it made no differance.


06 R1200GSA Too much fun to be legal!
07 r1200rt (gone to a loving home.)
03 Buell Blast (sold)
97 FLST full custom(gone finaly)
Glenn Willis, IUOE Local 12 Steward, general all around PITA.
#576673 - 03/07/10 05:46 PM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: lvnvbiker]  
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Rotor Offline
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Rotor  Offline
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Cocoa, Fl.
Thanks Ivnvbiker,
The stock shocks worked pretty well before they got tired, so I should be able to at least get that back with the Works shocks. I want to keep the bike functioning as it was from the factory. In this case, that means ESA.


John
#576678 - 03/07/10 05:52 PM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: Rotor]  
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SuperG Offline
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Central Texas
Doesn't ESA change spring rate (spring) in the back as well as compressing dampening (shock).

So, does the works shock have the electronic connectors so ESA can change compression and dampening?

#576717 - 03/07/10 08:57 PM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: SuperG]  
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Hall Vince Offline
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Hall Vince  Offline
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South UK
When the preload on the spring changes you can feel/see it happening on the bike as it raises the rear 1" or so.
The damping is a different matter.
In theory just like any other shock with damping adjustment, you should be able to put the spring on the softest setting, then the damping on comfort, push the rear of the bike down to compress the shock a few times, then adjust to sport and do the same there should be a difference, it should be harder to move the shock.

I have read from another poster who had ESA shocks rebuilt but the electrical moving parts were not assembled correctly. However I can't recall if that was damping or preload.

Does anyone know of a parts fiche for the componants of the ESA shocks?


07 R1200r :-)
Much fun...
#576777 - 03/08/10 12:41 AM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: Hall Vince]  
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Dave_C Offline
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Dave_C  Offline
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Lancaster, CA
Rotor: I have a 2006rt with the original ESA shocks. I have 55k miles. I want to upgrade. How much were the Works shocks? How do they compare to stock?


2006 R1200RT (Favorite all-around bike ever)
1995 R1100RS (sold)
1985 K100RS (sold)
#576792 - 03/08/10 01:47 AM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: Dave_C]  
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Rotor Offline
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Rotor  Offline
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Cocoa, Fl.
Dave_C,
I suppose they work great when functioning properly. They cost me about $1200.00 for both the front and rear. You might be in a little better shape for getting your shocks set up correctly than I since you live in CA and could possibly ride-in.


John
#577618 - 03/10/10 03:02 AM Re: ESA Function Question [Re: Rotor]  
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ArthurKnowles Offline
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ArthurKnowles  Offline
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Southern California
Just as an FYI, on my 2009 I can tell the difference when I change the preload or damping. Preload occurs only at a stop and can seriously raise the motorcycle. First time I got mine serviced and it was at it's highest setting I could barely touch the ground with my toes.

I use the dampining all the time. My ride to work includes highway, back roads, and mountain roads. I swap from comfort to sport on a regular basis. Normal is a good all round feeling, but I really like the comfort setting when I hit the roads with lots of small bumps from watter/root damage. The comfort setting smooths out the ride and improves the handling. The sport setting on the serious twisties stiffens the ride. You feel every bump, but there is no sway either.

If you can't feel the difference in dampining I would think your ESA is malfunctioing, your shoks may need oil/rebuild, or you do not ride on a road where you can feel the difference (so ride more!). I ride the same route 5 times a week, so it is easy for me to tell when something changes in the feel of the motorcycle.


2005 R1200ST Piedmont Red/Graphite Black
2009 R1200RT Titan Silver Metallic (Sold)
1996 Cirrus Blue Metallic R1100RT (Sold)
2006 Magnesium Black Metallic K1200LT (Sold)
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