I have an '07 R12RT with ESA and can't thank you enough for your terrific tutorial on the installation of Ohlins shocks, especially the front one!
I discovered a great time-saving tip that I believe future installers (of aftermarket shocks) should consider.
Last night, after successfully completing the installation of the rear Ohlins shock, I re-read the posts following your great tutorial and hitch-hiked on some ideas presented by previous posters. I really didn't want to take the alternator cover off in order to replace the front shock, and since I had recently replaced the rear wheel and mounted the hydraulic pre-load adjuster I really didn't want to halve to remove the rear wheel either.
Bottom line: After securing the center stand to the front crossover exhaust pipe with a suitable tie down strap, with the assistance of a fellow enthusiast, we rocked the bike to one side and placed a small 2x4 under one center stand foot, then did the same procedure to the other center stand foot, so that both feet were supported by a 2x4. By so doing, we were able to remove the front ESA shock and replace it with the Ohlins, after merely jacking up the front portion of the engine! In fact, we kissed the rear tire from the rear with another 2x4, just for additional stability.
Again, Greg, your initial post provided the enabler for me to even contemplate this on my own. Thanx so very much!
Funny you should post this. I helped a local BMWST owner install a new set of Wilbers on his R12RT today and based on your suggestion we decided to skip the alternator cover removal. Mark didn't have any problem at all getting the front shock in position with the alternator cover in place. I must point out that we jacked up the bike with both wheels well off the ground and with 3 men balancing the bike on the bike lift while Mark found home with the front shock.
One other key learning today; the lower bolt for the rear shock put up a fight. We just couldn't get it to thread all the way into the swingarm. There was quite a bit of threadlocker on the swingarm threads, preventing the bolt from completely seating itself. Mark and I clean the new bolt of threadlocker and then chased the swingarm threads with a tap---problem solved.
There is always something more to learn.