Author Topic: Front shock leak. Alternatives?  (Read 332 times)

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Offline paulotex

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Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« on: January 15, 2019, 10:58:30 am »
Hello everyone:

The front shock leaked, and I have no dampening anymore on my K1300R. This is the non-ESA version.  BMW quotes me a total of £630 (labour and parts). The shock itself is around  £480. After a quick search I came to the following conclusions, wanted to check with you guys to see if I am missing something here:

* Buy used: not advisable, because you don't know the status.

* Refurbished: has to be made by a specialist, might be expensive.

* Buy other brand, check online. Not much luck there.
Motorworks has an Hagon for the K1200R for £300, and an Ohlin for  £510.
Wilbers (first time I hear of them) has one for £345.


So BMW starts to look like a reasonable alternative. It is not the cheapest, but at least it is the original manufacturer.


Any thoughts on this? Would the Hagon fit a K1300R? Is the offer from Wilbers reputable? Do you know of good specialists that might refurbish a shock for reasonable price?


Thanks for any advice!


Paulo





« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 11:21:15 am by paulotex »

Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 11:32:08 am »
Any decent shock workshop should be able to rebuild them for you I'm sure.

Both MCT in Stowemarket (tel:01449777161) and Firefox in Keighley, West Yorks (tel:01535606200) do rebuilds of the ESA shock so must be able to do the simpler stock shock.

I have used MCT and they are excellent. I was also forced to use Firefox and was less than impressed with their service, the work done and their prices. Twice as much as MCT for the same work.

Give em a call...

Offline paulotex

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 01:22:08 pm »
Great suggestion, thanks. MCT is currently not available (they're away on some training at the moment, back on Thursday 17th), and I'll be away from the country for 6 weeks. So I'll delay making a decision until the end of February, when I am back...

Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 04:40:58 pm »
When I sent my ESA units to MCT for a rebuild they discovered, having got the shocks, that they didn't have the unique US-made Schrader-type valve they need to re-gas the shocks and the importer had no stock and no forecast for delivery.

Firefox had loads, but wouldn't sell a couple to MCT to do the job. I had no option but to have MCT send the shocks to Firefox. They refused to let me pay for this delivery...

I told Firefox what I wanted and they assured me that the springs would be stripped and re-painted as part of the service.

Four days later, MCT rang to ask what they wanted me to do with my shocks...

Woddyermean? Firefox had sent them back to MCT instead of to me so I drove all the way to MCT to collect them. They were gobsmacked at the state of the shocks from Firefox and even more horrified when I told them the cost.

MCT's workshop was cleaner than a high-end restaurant's kitchen, all stainless steel and full of very expensive tooling. They were up to their armpits in Ohlins, Showa, White Power etc. and their standard of service was excellent.

It's good to see that they are keeping up to date with their skills and knowledge by going on training courses.

It might be worth getting a quote from Firefox as a comparison.

Offline paulotex

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 11:45:52 am »
Thanks for sharing your experience.

After much soul searching during the afternoon, and a call to another refurbishing shop (https://www.twsuspensiontech.co.uk/rear-shock-rebuilds/), where I got a quote for £150, I decided to bite the bullet and go for BMW and the £630. I did not trust the mechanic next to me that was going to disassemble and assemble the front of the bike, and I could not do it myself at the moment. I estimate I am paying £250 extra for that (£150 for refurbishing + £50 postage + £200 labour = £400 vs the £630 quote from BMW), but I am "saving" about 3 weeks of downtime on the bike (it is a daily bike, and I just love riding it).

So not happy with either options, but I think this is the one I am less unhappy about.

However, I think this might happen again (10yo bike), perhaps on the rear shock, so your experience and suggestion is saved for that occasion!

The bike is now at BMW North Oxford, hopefully will be ready tomorrow. Got a S1000RR as replacement. I am glad I don't own that bike, the riding position is killing my back  :P


Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 05:35:44 pm »
North Oxford send their customer's shocks to Firefox for refurb...ask me how I know  8)

Offline paulotex

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 08:36:49 am »
In my case, North Oxford did not mention refurb at all. They installed a new shock.

Good service, less than 12 hours. In at 8am, ready at 3:30pm. Got a replacement bike: S1000RR. Had fun with it (50 miles during the day), but the position gave me back pain in 15 min. Definitely not the bike for me!  :-[

They discounted the £50 for diagnosing the problem, that I had paid the day before: I went in because of oil all over the rear shaft, thinking it was the rear shock or the rear transmission. They traced the oil leak to the front shock.

Very happy with the service at North Oxford. The guy (Sebastian) took me in to the workshop, I talked with the mechanic, they showed me why the front shock was busted, etc. Great service. Total was £580. The new shock is £480, plus work, plus bits and pieces, less the £50.

I took the old shock with me and was advised to to contact FTR Suspension, since they are the importers of WP Suspension, which are the makers of the front shock. No luck there, they say they don't refurbish it ("It is not serviceable"). But the interesting bit was:

I was advised to go with a Nitron NTR R1
http://www.nitron.co.uk/catalogue_item.php?catID=13012&prodID=76758
£480, serviceable, and all in all better quality and easier to adjust that WP.

That was too late for me, the new shock was already in place, but I leave the advise here in case other have the same issue. Also, they need a few weeks to supply the shock, since it is built to your weight -- I assume it is the choice of spring that is customised.

Please note this is not the ESA, just the plain manual adjustable one.

In brief: very happy with North Oxford service, but next time I would go with the Nitron NTR R1 and fit it myself.

I still have the old shock, which I might send to
https://www.twsuspensiontech.co.uk/rear-shock-rebuilds/. I'm not completely convinced they know what they are doing though, but we'll see...

Did not contact MCT yet. Tried a few times, but could not reach them, and on their web site they say they don't answer emails...




Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 11:28:50 am »
Both MCT and Firefox can definitely refurb the unrefurbishable ESA shocks. However, there were than one make fitted so it may be worth sending a piccie to them both.

Offline CC Mac

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 05:53:12 pm »
I had Ohlins front and rear fitted by MGR in Barnsley. Cost £1200 all in, including set up. Much better than the standard shocks. They specialise in Ohlins and probably have a couple for a K on the shelf waiting for for a buyer.
Watchin you Focker

Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 09:23:36 pm »
You had me on the hook right up to £1,200 bit  ;D

Offline TomL

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2019, 10:21:21 pm »
You had me on the hook right up to £1,200 bit  ;D
But you'd have got £400 change from the cost of your garage door.
As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2019, 01:04:52 am »
...and lost both bikes, all my tools, most of my wine collection and the contents of the freezer...

Offline richtea

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 09:27:37 am »
...and lost both bikes, all my tools, most of my wine collection and the contents of the freezer...

That's what insurance is for.
Although tools and wine are awkward to replace (like for like), replacement bikes are easily sourced. Harsh but true.

Having said that, if you're a couple of bottles into a night, I can see the advantage of an easy access door to the wine collection for subsequent bottles.
Shod it, wheresh the f***ing keyhole? Oh whoa, two of them? Thatsh not right.

Offline Phmode

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2019, 10:53:35 am »
I have so many tools I could never replace them. Many years ago, before the advent of cameras on phones, I took photos of all my tools, in fact all my belongings, furnishings etc. in a particularly organised spell of domestic and pecuniary efficiency. Naturally, having the photos on a card meant I didn't have to get them printed until I needed them. Equally naturally, I have now lost the card...

Whilst on the subject, a salutory tale from my astronomy world. An American chap who was not into astronomy lost a dear friend to a mild bout of old age and the friend's wife called chappie in to help sort out the scopes and stuff ready for selling them on. Of course, neither wife nor chap knew what was what, what went with what nor even what any of the bits did. They were considering just giving it away or getting in a house clearance outfit - read thieves. They eventually found a local astronomy club who kindly came in, sorted and catalogued everything and arranged a grand sale. And grand it was. The collection netted tens of thousands of dollars.

Chappie however (who was relating the cautionary tale in an astronomy mag) promptly went home and took one look at his collection of motorbikes, classic cars and old machinery, most of which was in various stages of disassembly and re-build and then thought of his wife and kids trying to make sense of his hobby in the event of his eventual demise. So, with his phone and a little help from his wife, he photographed and catalogued everything, just not telling her how much it was all worth, or more accurately, how much he had spent on it all.

A lot of us are getting on in years and we all ride 'lethal' machinery on 'dangerous' roads and apparently we are all going to die anyway. We all probably have other hobbies, equally baffling to other folk.

So, this spring I have a grand plan to assemble all my stuff into the various working chunks and photograph and catalogue it; scopes and accessories, bikes and accessories etc. etc.

Also to take piccies of all the odd keys for various security locks and doors etc so my executors don't have to batter walls down to get to stuff. My solicitors will thank me when they come to sort out my estate.

So, do your friends and family a favour and log your stuff showing what goes with what.

And spend an hour photographing your belongings for insurance purposes before you 'wish I'd done that!'.

Brian (who is now off to play with his electric garage door... 8)

Offline TomL

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Re: Front shock leak. Alternatives?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2019, 04:55:05 pm »
New Year's resolution?
As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.