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Thread: R 100/7 suspension upgrades

  1. #1

    R 100/7 suspension upgrades

    After 39 years it is time to upgrade the suspension of my R 100/7 looking for advice on front forks and rear shocks, looking for the best bang for my buck.

  2. #2
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    I had an R100/7 with the original rear shocks. They were extremely worn out. The bike had 151,000 miles on it when I bought it. The rear end bounced and shimmied over every lump and bump and pot hole. I bought a set of Progressives off a seller on IBMWR. He had installed them and didn't like them. I Wish I had the means to chuck a pair of shocks and try some thing else because I didn't like them. Anyway, I found them to be quite fine, and I am about a 240 pounder. They were WAY better than the shocks they replaced. I later set the bike up for tugging a sidecar, and they were nothing but good as far as I'm concerned, and not too expensive. I think they are modestly priced when bought new as well.

    With respect to front suspension, this is a highly subjective topic. A full re-build with new bumpers and seals and rubber bits would certainly be in order. I like a somewhat soft front end and would try using spacers on the top of the springs to adjust the firmness. When I have put new springs in a front end I use Progressives and shorten the spacers or leave them out. Like I said earlier, this is highly subjective. You will have to work on it a great deal to find what is good for you.
    1973 R75/5

    1988 R100RS (available)

  3. #3
    I put Gold Valve emulators in my R90S along with RaceTech springs and was very pleased. They worked well with the Ikon shocks I had. I was looking for, and got, a sport suspension. Compliant but firm.
    61 Gold Star, '13 690 Duke, '13 Daytona 675R, '14 Street Triple R (gone but not forgotten: '76 R75/6, '84 R100, 76 R90S)

  4. #4
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    "compliant but firm"....great description! I think I might prefer 1 or 2 degrees softer than that. I think the lowest common denominator would be that no body likes a front end that bottoms out easily. Other options would be to experiment with fork oil viscosity and volume. I have pretty much settled in on 7.5 BelRay because it is readily available. In the past I have tried A.T.F. and straight 10w motor oil. I found the 10w motor oil to be a good ride.

    b.t.w...I have Koni's on my 750. If Ikon's are similar, those would be good shocks as well.
    1973 R75/5

    1988 R100RS (available)

  5. #5
    If it were me I would talk to Klaus at EPM, Tom Cutter at the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, or Ted Porter at the Beemershop for advice. Or all three and then pick a brand and price range. Then I would fill out the form as to weight, riding style, riding conditions, etc. and go from there. I have no possible way to advise a rider about suspension setup over the internet without details, details, and details.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Back in the day, it was common to fit R100RS fork springs for a little more stiffness. IIRC they were called 017 springs, after the part number. I'd say this really didn't do much, as these springs were stiffer more than anything just to support the weight of the RS fairing.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  7. #7
    Registered User tanker4me's Avatar
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    2x4s wood work better than what you have now.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    If it were me I would talk to Klaus at EPM, Tom Cutter at the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, or Ted Porter at the Beemershop for advice. Or all three and then pick a brand and price range. Then I would fill out the form as to weight, riding style, riding conditions, etc. and go from there. I have no possible way to advise a rider about suspension setup over the internet without details, details, and details.
    +1 to the 10th power!

    You didn't mention how much, or what kind of riding you do in the OP, so here goes with an example.

    A stock unrestored '76 R90/6 in rough shape that had been stored for 10 years I purchased 6 years ago with 33,000m on the odometer.

    It didn't take much to get running.

    A local Airhead mechanic rebuilt the carbs and gave it a tune to bring it back to life.

    The suspension on the other hand, was toast.

    The mechanic replaced the fork seals, and I replaced any rubber bits on the bike that needed to be replaced.

    I read & talked with a few people about what was available for rear suspension, I then ordered (see Pauls quote ) & installed a pair of Works non adjustable shocks.

    Huge improvement! So much so Gold Valves and some Hocus Pocus by Der Wizard of all local AirHead Gurus Matt Bogner went into the forks.

    The shocks were $500, & the fork rebuild with Gold Valves another $500.

    After about 40,000 miles, I am happy with the results. I don't ride around town on it, most rides are 150 miles or more.

    If I had known the bike was a keeper, I would have gone with fully adju$table $hock$. There's an adjustable on my '92 R100, & its great to be able to dial it in if carrying a load for long distance.

    Very good shocks can be had for less, but if the SETUP for your weight, type of riding, etc. isn't right it doesn't matter how mush you spend.

    How about tires?

    Bill
    Last edited by tanker4me; 05-21-2016 at 02:14 AM.

  8. #8
    +2. Tom is a smart man and knows as much about these bikes as anybody. Apples and oranges, but I got a Hyperpro shock for my KTM from Klaus -- great performance for reasonable money.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    If it were me I would talk to Klaus at EPM, Tom Cutter at the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, or Ted Porter at the Beemershop for advice. Or all three and then pick a brand and price range. Then I would fill out the form as to weight, riding style, riding conditions, etc. and go from there. I have no possible way to advise a rider about suspension setup over the internet without details, details, and details.
    61 Gold Star, '13 690 Duke, '13 Daytona 675R, '14 Street Triple R (gone but not forgotten: '76 R75/6, '84 R100, 76 R90S)

  9. #9
    The Ikons are Koni replicas and do work exactly the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by James.A View Post
    b.t.w...I have Koni's on my 750. If Ikon's are similar, those would be good shocks as well.
    61 Gold Star, '13 690 Duke, '13 Daytona 675R, '14 Street Triple R (gone but not forgotten: '76 R75/6, '84 R100, 76 R90S)

  10. #10
    After reading through this thread, I guess I am wondering if one is looking for that much perfection in a bike like a R100/7 for normal street riding purposes?

    I have one, got the IKON's, adjusted them to stiff, and I love the ride.

    It seems to me that one can get too involved in "perfection" to enjoy the ride!

    I think that perfection is required when asking about pistons, tolerances, etc. but how much can you get out of an old R100?
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

  11. #11
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    People/riders are all different. For some, any year BMW is perfect from the factory. For others it's just a starting point for endless 'upgrades and improvements' for performance or comfort. This discussion is endless on these threads. Wheels, tires, seats, shocks, handlebars, frame braces, brakes, engines, exhausts, sidestands on and on. I'm as guilty as anyone on the pursuit of my bikes own 'perfection'. I'm kinda crazy, I like a little bit of everthing. I buy used bikes. I'm in a never ending process of pulling off the previous owners stuff to get the correct factory look and then adding my stuff that I feel improves the bike. We're hamsters on the endless tread wheel, running to get the bike 'right.' My Classic Bavarian Bagger thread is a perfect example. It's a damn curse one minute and a natural high the next. There is no cure and I love it. Good luck with your project/addiction.

  12. #12
    Registered User tanker4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    After reading through this thread, I guess I am wondering if one is looking for that much perfection in a bike like a R100/7 for normal street riding purposes?

    I have one, got the IKON's, adjusted them to stiff, and I love the ride.

    It seems to me that one can get too involved in "perfection" to enjoy the ride!

    I think that perfection is required when asking about pistons, tolerances, etc. but how much can you get out of an old R100?
    In '77 the suspension "setup" on an R100 was the same wether you were 150 lb. or 350 lb. Good enough then.

    The OP asked about suspension upgrades available now. There have been some technological advances in gear & knowledge since '77 that can be applied to old stuff to make it better. (Think hip & knee replacement as far as human suspension goes)

    The option to keep it the same is a personal choice.

    In my post above I stated that I talked to a "few" people about rear suspension. It was probably more like 50.

    I didn't want to spend a lot on "shocks". The more I learned the more I realized that for the kind of riding available locally, I was going to have to $pend more for the shock$ than planned.

    When I ordered the replacement shocks from Works, the guy that took the order asked a lot more questions than I thought were necessary buy shocks.

    Now I think of it as tailoring the SUSPENSION to you.

    The suspension is what keeps the rubber ON the road.

    To me its about optimization not perfection.

    The tailored upgrades on the R90/6 suspension did not improve the ride/handling much on level slab, but on mountain roads (the forks in particular) the difference is remarkable, and makes it worth the money and effort put into it.

    In short I sprung for the spring, and I am happy with the results.

    Bill

    Edit; I recently purchased (temporarily) a Yamaha WR250R to have a light bike to ride a couple of dirt routes. The stock suspension has 11.5" of fully adjustable travel at both ends, which is more than good enough for me. There are people that will upgrade or modify even that to their needs.
    Last edited by tanker4me; 05-21-2016 at 02:52 AM.

  13. #13

    r100/7upgrades

    Thanks for info drivers license reads 220lb think that might be weight in female lb. I may weigh more but no passenger usually about a gallon of ice tea in 2 stainless steel growlers tool roll and other miscellaneous gear say 300lb average. Since I live in Illinois I seldom ride on a good road lots of dodging potholes switching lanes on interstates with wide uneven joints also lots of oil and chip county and township roads. Again a little bit better than new suspension without breaking the bank( have a 94 r 1100rs with 75,000 miles that will break the bank I think)

  14. #14
    Registered User dmftoy1's Avatar
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    Similiar loading, central IL roads so same "fun". Got a set of Hagon's from Tom Cutter at rubberchickenracing for less than $200 and with higher rate springs and they feel great to me. He can sell you much nicer stuff, but for my usage of this vintage bike I'm very happy. YMMV

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 179212 View Post
    Thanks for info drivers license reads 220lb think that might be weight in female lb. I may weigh more but no passenger usually about a gallon of ice tea in 2 stainless steel growlers tool roll and other miscellaneous gear say 300lb average. Since I live in Illinois I seldom ride on a good road lots of dodging potholes switching lanes on interstates with wide uneven joints also lots of oil and chip county and township roads. Again a little bit better than new suspension without breaking the bank( have a 94 r 1100rs with 75,000 miles that will break the bank I think)
    If bumpy twisty's aren't a big part of your riding then I'd go with shocks, Hagon or Ikon, fork springs for your weight and fork oil to match the springs. 7.5 worked for me on my R100. FWIW, I prefer straight wound springs (a la RaceTech -- I live in PA, tight, twisty crappy roads) but progressive springs like..um, er...Progressive would probably suit interstate and relatively straight back roads better.
    61 Gold Star, '13 690 Duke, '13 Daytona 675R, '14 Street Triple R (gone but not forgotten: '76 R75/6, '84 R100, 76 R90S)

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