I'm replacing the struts (shocks) on my 2003 R1150R. The Clymer manual says to remove the front wheel before removing the strut. In looking at the bike, this doesn't appear to be necessary. What is your experience with this?

Any other tips on replacing the struts on an R1150?

Also, for those who have done this -- at what mileage did you replace your struts? I know that depends on riding style, type of roads traveled, weight on the bike, etc. but I'm still curious.