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Old December 7th, 2008   #1
maura
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Question ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

Have you upgraded your rear suspension? With what? Why? What was the result? I am seeking feedback from anyone who has changed their rear suspension. It would be helpful if you let us know the mileage at which you made the change, and a comment on your approximate size, or rather the weight you are subjecting the shock to, which would be higher if you ride two up frequently (ie. one honda test rider 125 lbs, two honda test riders 250 lbs etc) thanks!
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Old December 7th, 2008   #2
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

Hmmm., What an interesting topic.
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Old December 7th, 2008   #3
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How about a scary story about a company that at one time built some of the best shocks on the planet, Works Performance.

I was a long time Works user, my first set of works shocks cost me $99 retail if that tells you anything about how long ago that was. I've used Works shocks since 1973 and still have two Gold Wings that have Works shocks on them. December of 2003 I ordered up a shock with the hydraulic pre-load adjuster for the ST. It came in just in time for Christmas so I opened the box early only to find the wrong shock, worse than a lump of coal in my stocking. I called them up and they were real sorry send it back and we will expedite the right one. Expedite must have meant February 04 because that's when the the right shock landed on my beach. August of 04 I'm gearing up to leave town for two weeks and find a puddle of oil under the left side rear of the bike. Closer inspection showed the oil is from the pre-load adjuster master cylinder. I send the shock in and eleven days later it is returned.
November of 04 I gearing up to go to Big Bend and find oil all over the swing arm. This time the pre-load adjuster itself has sprung a leak. I can still salvage Big Bend if everyone cooperates so I call Works and tell them the tale of woo and they assure me they can get it done in time. I overnight the shock to Works. Twenty two days later with Big Bend over and done with and no shock on my beach I call Works. Oh were sorry that shock has been done for two weeks and sitting on the shelf waiting to be shipped.
March 16, 2005 I'm gearing up again to leave town when what do I find, that's right oil all over the swing arm. Back it goes and this time I tell them I'm less than impressed. Fifty five days later with no shock yet I get a phone call asking what I wanted done with the shock. I had to restrain myself from telling him where I wanted it stuck so I settled for just telling him I had lost confidence in the shock and wanted my money back. At this point the shock had spent more time at their place than it did on the bike. He tells me he will check with his boss and get back to me. Two weeks later he did. Works is going to give me half of dealer cost back. I as why dealer cost I'm not a dealer and not only did I pay full retail, $864.92, but I also have $200 invested in freight sending back a shock that obviously has has something wrong with the way it was made. He'll get back to me. Two weeks later Works calls with what the guy tells me is their final offer, $630 refund. I tell him to speak with my attorney and within twenty minutes I get a call telling me a check for $900 will be in this afternoons mail.
60 days later with no check in hand I call the California Better Business Bureau. I fax them every scrap of paper I have with notes and arrows circles and lines. Eleven days later, they have ten to respond, Works comes up with a story straight out of fantasy land but the BBB tells me a check is on the way. Four days later a check for $889 hits my beach. I sure Works could hear me cuss them nine hundred miles away. I made one more call to the BBB just to let them know I got the check but it was not the amount agreed to. I did not want to pursue this matter any further but I wanted the file they started on Works to show I was not happy.

Needless to say I do not have a Works shock on the ST and will not in the future.

At the time nobody made a shock for the 1300. Penske was still looking for a loaner bike to design and build, Hargon the same but they were overseas and to far a ride. Hyper Pro had a spring kit for both ends so I bought one. The front springs took out the harshness but they were to soft and the rear spring was progressively wound and used up all the pre-load just to set the sag. What I ended up doing was installing a spacer on the spring. A 1/4 inch spacer gave me back about half the pre-load adjustment and a 1/2 inch spacer gave me back all of it.

At about 60k I replaced the shock with another stock shock and in the process found what I thought was a worn out shock was actually the
hydraulic adjuster going bad. In my opinion the hydraulic adjuster is the weak point and with a properly built shock for your weight and riding style it almost becomes unnecessary. The Penske with it's roller bearing between the body and screw adjuster I feel is the way to go. Properly set up you will not be adjusting it much and it's easy enough to do I would skip the hydraulic adjuster and it's troubles.
I understand Hyper-Pro is now making a shock to your specifications, weight and riding style.

The spacer dimensions if your interested are:
Inside 1.735in. (44.10mm)
Outside 2.646in. (67.23mm)
Thickness depends on your weight and load. 1/4in should work for most up to 200lbs, rider and normal saddle bag load for the road. 3/8in. for up to 275lbs or so. 1/2in. for two up should do it.

I'm running a stock shock with a 1/2in. spacer out back and the Sonic Springs 1.2Kg/mm with 7wt. oil in the forks. I know there are better shocks out there but I can have 2 1/2 stocks for the price of one Penske. It works fine for me, I'm not road racing this thing.

Paul
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Old December 8th, 2008   #4
dznx1f
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

I currently running a Wilbert rear shock, no longer available via a US dealer. Had to have a rebuild and new hose (hydraulic adjuster) because of a leak. Major improvement but I would have excepted a $950+ to last longer then 35k.

I would contact EPM Performance Imports <info@epmperf.com> Klaus Huenecke
He a good guy and the company has been written up a number of time about the work they do on high end supension upgrades. They were the Wilbert dealer and still handle repair.
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Old December 8th, 2008   #5
Andy Kirby
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

I'm flying the flag and running a Hagon, It's adjustment is no better than stock but the spring is a little weaker for my slight frame <grin> and the unit seems better suited to my riding style with a little more adjustment at either end of the spectrum.

Mrs Andy likes it so that's a good thing, right?

Andy
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Old December 8th, 2008   #6
Marshal_Mercer
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

Get a Penske for the rear. Go here for my take on this, and here for another's.

Marshal

Last edited by Marshal_Mercer; December 8th, 2008 at 03:48 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2008   #7
CGRedRed
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

A question for Paul or anyone: Is the hydraulic preload system totally separate from the damping hydraulics, such that you can unscrew the preload connector hose, plug the end and not affect the damping in any way? I like simple solutions and for normal street use, Paul's solution looks pretty good.
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Old December 10th, 2008   #8
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGRedRed View Post
A question for Paul or anyone: Is the hydraulic preload system totally separate from the damping hydraulics, such that you can unscrew the preload connector hose, plug the end and not affect the damping in any way? I like simple solutions and for normal street use, Paul's solution looks pretty good.
If you are asking about the stock shock or the Penske shock, the answer is 'yes'. Others may not work this way.

Marshal
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Old December 10th, 2008   #9
Paul
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGRedRed View Post
A question for Paul or anyone: Is the hydraulic preload system totally separate from the damping hydraulics, such that you can unscrew the preload connector hose, plug the end and not affect the damping in any way? I like simple solutions and for normal street use, Paul's solution looks pretty good.
Yes, the hydraulic pre load adjuster is a separate system. It adds to or subtracts from the force applied to the spring to set the sag level for the rear suspension.
The damping is internal to the shock and adjusted through the hole in the right foot peg mounting bracket. Damping adjustment affects how fast or slow the shock reacts to a bump or dip in the road.

Paul
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Old December 10th, 2008   #10
Andy Kirby
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Default Re: ST1300 Rear suspension upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGRedRed View Post
I like simple solutions and for normal street use, Paul's solution looks pretty good.
You can often buy a version of a shock that does not have the hydraulic adjustment for the spring, you simply use a wrench to move a threaded collar around to adjust the preload. Makes adjustment a bit difficult on the ST but if you don't change it much then it might be a simple and cheaper solution.

For example below is the 'standard' shock from Hagon but I went with the hydraulic version, which is an 'add on' to the standard version, since I adjust for luggage/passenger several times a year.

Andy

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