Improving the ESA R1200R's slow speed handling - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



Remove this advertisement by REGISTERING.

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Points: 156,920, Level: 100

    Real Name
    Richard
    Location
    Pacifica, California
    Joined
    Oct 2008
    Online
    1 Hour Ago
    Posts
    8,701 / 15 / 698 / 2031
    I have never been happy with the slow speed handling of my R1200R, with its ESA computer-adjusted suspension. It tended to under-steer and swing wide when turning through a 10 mph hairpin turn. My other motorcycles don't have this problem, so I decided that it was the bike's fault and not mine. I tried jacking up the rear end using the ESA system by pretending that I was carrying luggage, but that did nothing positive.

    A couple of weeks ago I took my bike to a local suspension expert who is very familiar with BMW handling problems and how to solve them. He took the front shock off, removed the spring, installed a 6mm shim to increase the preload on the front shock and reinstalled the shock on the bike. Raising the static ride height of the front end by shimming the front shock completely transformed the low speed handling and steering of my 2007 R1200R. It is a very easy modification to perform, provided you have some way to compress the shock to remove the spring and can source or make a 6mm shim.

    Photos attached. One shows the machine used to cut the shim from a hard piece of plastic and the other photo shows the shim installed on the front shock.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3853 (1).jpg 
Views:	239 
Size:	85.0 KB 
ID:	26897   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3845 (1).jpg 
Views:	199 
Size:	88.8 KB 
ID:	26898  
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  2. ThanksDano thanked for this post
  3. Remove Advertisements
    F800Riders.org
    Advertisements
     

  4. #2
    Matt's Avatar
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Joined
    Aug 2007
    Online
    01-26-16
    Posts
    80 / 0 / 1 / 1
    I have had the same problem with my R1200R and found the steering better at slow speeds with a passenger. The ESA suspention is set up around the rider weighing 185 lb's and being less than that myself I have been looking into lowering the rear spring prelod to fix this and could not come up witha working plan.
    Your system looks perfect, do you have the full dimensions of the spacer so I can get one made.

    Regards
    Matt

  5. #3
    Points: 156,920, Level: 100

    Real Name
    Richard
    Location
    Pacifica, California
    Joined
    Oct 2008
    Online
    1 Hour Ago
    Posts
    8,701 / 15 / 698 / 2031
    The spacer was custom-made on the spot. It is 6mm thick and the outside diameter needs to be the same, or slightly larger than the outside of the shock spring. The inside diameter of the spacer needs to be large enough to fit over the top of the shock. Both of these measurements can be made anytime while the shock is installed on the bike. Access to the shock is easy and a cheap caliper will do the measurements easily. With the dimensions in hand, you can go looking for a ready-made spacer (maybe a couple of large washers stacked on top of each other might work) at a hardware store or auto parts store, or you could have one made up at a local machine shop.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  6. Remove Advertisements
    F800Riders.org
    Advertisements
     

  7. #4
    Matt's Avatar
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Joined
    Aug 2007
    Online
    01-26-16
    Posts
    80 / 0 / 1 / 1
    Thanks again, It all looks easy enough

  8. #5
    Woland's Avatar
    Points: 8,773, Level: 65

    Location
    Gothenburg Sweden
    Joined
    Aug 2009
    Online
    01-04-20
    Posts
    124 / 0 / 2 / 40
    Motorcycle
    '07 R1200R
    One more situation where me weighing in at 120+kg makes my life easier. I have no such tendencies on my R Also, me being a cheapskate and not having ESA also makes my life easier, I just put spring preload and rebound near max and ride

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •