Guys with Race Tech fork upgrades - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Points: 2,373, Level: 31

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    Matt
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    '07 F800S
    How do you like your forks so far? Has anyone tried doing the rear shock as well? Is there a major difference?
    2007 BMW F800S
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  3. #2
    TelemarkTumalo's Avatar
    Points: 23,466, Level: 100

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    Mark
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    '16 R1200GS ADV
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    '13 CRF250L
    Motorcycle
    '09 F800 ST
    Hi Matt. Several of us on here have done this modification. I always felt that the stock suspension set up was fine for casual riding, but spirited riding exposed some shortcomings of a soft front end, matched to a stiffly sprung/"strangely damped" rear that I could never seem to adjust to a good feel.

    The best performance upgrade I can think of for the f800 is to the front forks. And, I think the S and GT have a similar design. My 2009 ST now has RaceTech springs and emulators with blue valve spring (40 lb/in), 3 turns of pre-load and 15 wt. oil. I dig the firmness of the setup. Front fork dive on braking far reduced, and the fork responds much better in bumpy curves. But, not sport bike harsh. Tracking is rock solid and I don't feel that I get knocked off line by bumps and dips. You won't regret it, and if you do it yourself, less than $350. Here is a how to write up. http://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...k-Emulator-mod

    Rear suspension is a much more spendy proposition. If your OEM shock is just plain worn out, then consider just replacing with another OEM (used ones come up routinely on this forum). My complaint of the OEM shock was that it seamed too stiffly sprung, but underdamped. I always thought it strange that the bike had very little sag, but would send me into orbit on rebound. I am 5'9" and 148 lbs. Perhaps this is a factor of my weight and riding position. I prefer to sit weight forward. Additionally, the compression damping seemed so stiff. I futzed with the dampening knob on the OEM rear shock and it seemed I could get the rebound softer, but then it got so slow, that if I encountered a series of bumps, I felt that the bike was just bobbing around in the back end, and I would have to stand to keep me from the sensation of the shock bottoming out. I know it was not bottoming, maybe more like a pobo stick up and down?

    Anyway, I found my way to Ted Porter's Beemer Shop http://wilbersamerica.com/index.html and he turned me on to a Wilber's 640 with a hydraulic preload adjuster. Adjustments are simple, easy to perform with only your hands, and they guarantee their stuff. The shock spring is assembled for your weight and riding style. My rebound damping issue disappeared. Check this thread for the DIY install. Mine is at posting #33

    With that being said, the Wilbers shock was ~$800 and I installed myself. The front end work costs ~$350, self installed and a much greater bang for the buck. So, I recommend starting with the front fork and if still unhappy, proceed to the rear shock.

  4. #3
    Points: 2,373, Level: 31

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    Matt
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    '07 F800S
    Well I just received my front forks bag from race tech. Running 15w oil 10mm preload and they recommended .85kg springs being that I'm 230lbs. With that being said, their calculator online said I should be using a .95 or 1.0 spring but they are assuring me that it is the right setup. Also claimed that if I was unhappy with the feel I could send them back and get the springs swapped out at no cost but shipping. I'm curious to know how the bike feels now because my front suspension was very worn out and needed a major overhaul. I was just trying to figure out what the best rear suspension mod is because I've also considered just changing the spring but haven't convinced myself that that is the best option for me.
    2007 BMW F800S
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  6. #4
    TelemarkTumalo's Avatar
    Points: 23,466, Level: 100

    Real Name
    Mark
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    Motorcycle
    '16 R1200GS ADV
    Motorcycle
    '13 CRF250L
    Motorcycle
    '09 F800 ST
    Hi Matt. If you like the fork mods as much as I, you will be thrilled. I would complete the forks and then see if replacing the rear shock is still needed. I suspect that some of my unhappiness with the OEM rear shock was due to my weight. As if the front was really soft, and the rear really stiff, yet slow on rebound.

    I notice that you have a Race Tech center near you in Pasadena, MD. www.MRPMOTORSPORTS.com

    Is that who you are using for your forks? You might drop by and talk to them about your rear shock as well. Keep us posted. How many miles on your bike?

  7. #5
    Points: 2,373, Level: 31

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    Matt
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    '07 F800S
    There are 20k miles on my bike now. I am not using them I went directly through race tech. It I will talk to them about the rear for sure!
    2007 BMW F800S
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  8. #6
    LakeErieMonster's Avatar
    Points: 4,633, Level: 46

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    Patti B
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    '08 F800 ST
    Hi. I too had the Race Tech front end done and it was worth the price. I didn't need to change the springs though as I'm only 117lbs so they recommended using the stock springs I guess because they only had heavier springs but not lighter ones.

    As for the rear, I did also have their lowest price shock (G3-S w/IFP) installed but custom for my weight and lowered suspension of my bike. The first one they sent was ther wrong height for my bike. After I paid for return shipping, they reconfigured that shock and sent it back no charge. Less than 2,000miles and a year later that shock blew and lost its charge. They agreed to repair it but once again, I paid for shipping, again.

    That being said, I wasn't thrilled with their customer service either time because they didn't feel the need to expedite the shipping the first time which tied up my bike and my mechanic for 3 weeks the first time and 2 weeks the second time. They did to their credit, repair/recharge the shock at no cost.

    If you have an authorized Race Tech dealer near you then I would definitely use him as you may have less hassles if your shock should fail like mine did. Because of this experience I will never use Race Tech again.

  9. #7
    Points: 2,373, Level: 31

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    Matt
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    '07 F800S
    I can understand. I was told three different things about the size spring I should be running in my forks for my size. They did say they would swap it for no cost other then shipping if I wasn't happy with the stiffness of the spring so we'll see if I can't have one of there offsite shops repair it locally instead of ripping them back off the bike and re-shipping
    2007 BMW F800S
    Lots of goodies 

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