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Thread: Life expectancy of shocks. Time or mileage?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Space Coast, FL

    Life expectancy of shocks. Time or mileage?

    I just purchased a '00 R1100R with 39K miles. The bike is cosmetically in great shape, but I am wondering about the condition of the shocks. Given the bike is 13 years old, is it likely the shocks have lost their effectiveness even though the mileage is relative low?


  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Stock shocks with 39K lost their effectiveness about 20K ago. Nuke 'em.

  3. #3
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Logic would suggest that cycles would be more relevant than either time or mileage. A mile of washboard vs a mile of smooth road ... seems different.

    I had about 70k miles and 26 years on the Konis on my Airhead when I got rid of it and they weren't leaking or otherwise misbehaving.

    A groovy aftermarket shock is likely to be an improvement anyway.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  4. #4
    RD'nNH&AZ rdhudson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Summer in Lakes Region of NH and winter in the Sonoran Desert of AZ

    Both of course

    Last year I bought a 1198 R1100R with 5,900 miles on it. I rode it this summer (about 3,000 mi) the shocks were great. 15 years had not done them in, good action, no leaks- they're fine. Will I get 25,000 miles on them- no- age will be the factor but not just age. If I get 12,000 miles I'll be happy. My 1983 R80 RT had the origional Boge self-leveling units which failed about 15,000 miles but were 25 years old. The thing about shocks (and springs) is they normally don't just FAIL they just slowly get weaker and the rider may not notice it. If the ride gets a bit unpredictable in corners, the tires cup, the springs seem to bottom, and the bike suspension bounces over obstacles they have worn out. If they leak or the rubber parts tear or smear the shafts they FAILED. In either case new units (probably both shock and spring) are in order.
    Ride it. You'll probably know.
    2002 F650GS, 1998 R1100R 75th anniversary edition, 1983 R80RT (just sold), 1959 R60 (in restoration), Honda CT90
    If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.

  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Age means little, mileage means everything, by 25-30 K they are toast.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

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