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Thread: Have you replaced the springs on your R11xxRT stock shocks?

  1. #1

    Have you replaced the springs on your R11xxRT stock shocks?

    I have a 2000 R1100RT with 50k, and it really needs new shocks. (I know, I know, the stock ones should have been replaced at 30k, or 20k, ok, 10k) The major issue is confidence in the corners, it just jumps all over when the road is slightly bumpy, which is every road here in Illinois. So a buddy was telling me that instead of dropping $1500 for a set (which I can't do right now), spend $300 on a set of Hyperpro springs to replace the ones on the stock shocks, and it will make a WORLD of difference. He did so on his LT and claims it was a night and day wake up... and this guys rides his LT like a sport bike!

    So has anyone done this and can attest to the change?
    -Ride Safe & Avoid Anyone On The Phone-
    **2000 R1100RT (Bullfrog), 1976 R90/6 (Tadpole)**
    beemerFROG a.k.a. Douglas E. Rost -- Black Frog Marketing

  2. #2
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Trinity, NC
    Unless your weight is WAY over or under the spec for the original shock, I doubt that the original spring has lost any capability (unless the spring has broken). Far more likely that the oil/gas damping has lost it's pressure and the rebound and damping is gone. So unrestricted the spring is bouncing your bike around. Changing only the spring would probably leave you with the same problem. If you don't want to drop the bucks for a new shock, you could have yours rebuilt (the guys info has been posted before); or check on eBay for a low-mileage OEM shock from either an owner replacement or from a bike breaker. You should be able to find one in the range of $50-$150.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  3. #3
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Well, yes and no...
    It is entirely likely that you've lost the damping provided by the internal fluid - actually Quite likely - but springs can and do soften over time, as the metal is constantly "worked" by compression and extension.
    A few months ago, I had to change my front Ohlins spring; it had shrunk by about 1/4" (after ~ 40K miles) and I was no longer able to set the initial sag to where it should be.
    Just changing the spring probably won't "fix" your bouncing, it'll just make it harder.

    If I recall correctly, your front shock has no adjustment; but the rear should have a little screw at the bottom on the left side. Set that LIGHTLY to Full In (clockwise), then back it out about 1/4 turn. "In" more would make it pretty hard (on a good shock, at least), and "out" more just loses the damping control.

    But save those pennies, nickels, and dimes, and cruise the Flea Market, eBay, etc...

  4. #4
    The other aspect that I was looking at with the Hyperpro is that they are progressive springs. Am I correct that the stock are not? Shouldn't that in itself make a big difference?
    -Ride Safe & Avoid Anyone On The Phone-
    **2000 R1100RT (Bullfrog), 1976 R90/6 (Tadpole)**
    beemerFROG a.k.a. Douglas E. Rost -- Black Frog Marketing

  5. #5
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Yes and yes, but you'd still lack rebound damping control, which is where a lot of the recurring (cyclic) "bounce-back" comes from.

  6. #6
    Left Coast Rider
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Stiffer springs will only serve to exacerbate your problems - especially if, as has been mentioned, you are not excessively over or under the design weight parameters of the stock springs.

    A solution may be for you too have your stock shocks rebuilt and re-valved. I had the front one done and it operates better than new. $400.

    Addendum: I only had the front shock re-valved as an experiment. I had replaced the stocker with a Hagon shock and a new spring and, while very happy with its performance, I missed the easy-access damping adjustment knob of the stock shock. So I thought I'd see if a suspension shop would be willing to give it a whirl. I sent the shock out to have the work done and re-installed it a couple of weeks ago. I am hugely happy with the result and will be keeping the Hagon on the shelf.

    As well, my personal experience with progressive springs is not great. One typically blows through the lighter spring rate just by sitting on the bike. As well, the damping curve cannot be properly set with progressive springs as it will be too heavy in the "light" portion of the spring or too weak in the "hard" portion of the spring.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Yeah, I did it. I bought a used shock that was supposed to be good. It was not but the spring was. I installed it on my stock shock and it made a big difference.

    I have many thoughts about shocks.

    MY 2000 RT had too much front sag, so I took the front spring off.
    While I had the shock apart, I got to see if it was any good.
    When compressed the shock would extend on its own.
    Pushing it together and pulling it apart in the position it would be on the bike I could feel no air.
    I made the conclusion the shock was good even at 100,000 miles.

    I added a 3.2mm shim under the original spring and installed the shock.
    Still too much sag. Removed 3.2 mm shim and added 5 mm shim.
    Sag is correct for me and bike sits and rides like it should.

    A few thousand miles later, sag is off again.
    This is when I bought the used shock unseen.
    When I got it , I took the spring off.
    Shock would NOT extend on its own and there was a ring of oil on the shaft.
    I decided the shock was junk and put the new used spring on my old shock with the 3.2 mm spacer.

    Its now 137,000 miles sag still good, bike handles great.

    Rear shock is not so good, I have damping turned to 1/4 open. Used to be 1 1/4 turn.

    My point is you can only condemn a shock once the spring is off and you can feel it with your hand unless its obviously leaking oil, If oil is coming out, then nitrogen is gone and the shock is bad.

    I'm a mechanic. I have seen my share of junk shocks.

    I did a similar thing with my 2012 R1200R. 3.2mm (1/8") shim under the rear spring to get 45mm sag with the hydraulic preload all the way off. It works for me.

    I cut the old junk RT front shock apart on a band saw. It looks just like any other quality shock I have seen.

    want Pics?


  8. #8
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    Without adequate/proper damping control, the springs can only make up for a difference in actual load. Meaning, if the stock springs had a rate of 100 pounds per inch, a three inch deflection of the spring equals 300 pound load. A progressive wound spring helps a bit because the initial loading of the spring is softer (say a spring rate of 75 pounds per inch) and then it may increase to 150 pounds per inch. That helps for smaller bumps, but you'd have to increase the preload to control the sag (how much it compresses from your static load on the bike). All well and good, but any spring requires accurate damping control because THAT is what really controls the wallowing feeling.

    Generally, higher quality shocks have progressive wound springs AND very good compression and rebound damping control. Better springs on stock shocks (assuming the damping action isn't already shot) only address the static load and spring rate. A progressive spring will hide a lack of damping control, but as you ride it harder you'll find the wallow again. All bike builders put the least expensive shocks they can on the bike, and most over-srping and under-damp the suspension because it is the least expensive way to provide suspension that suits the inital two years to 30,000 miles of the bikes life. After that most bikes are sold, traded in, or simply barely get ridden and it takes ten years to achieve 20K miles. So most people never realize the benefits of properly spec'd, properly set up, quality shocks with REAL damping control.

    This will likely blossum into another thread on custom shocks. Its as much a preference as underwear, so to each his own. For me, only quality, rebuildable, tuneable shocks will do. To me its worth the bucks, long term. If you only ride your bike for two to five years I wouldn't spend the bucks unless you really pile on the miles.
    Last edited by ANDYVH; 05-29-2013 at 12:10 AM.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit for training info.

  9. #9
    Thank you all for the knowledge.

    It seems to me that at this point the first thing I need to do is make sure my shocks are bad as opposed to simply not set up correctly. In the next week or so I will find a "test road", bring a note book, and ride back and forth after making adjustments. Maybe my complaints aren't warranted because I simply have not exhausted all of the possible settings. I'm certainly not too proud to say that it's operator error... it usually is! As I recall there is also a way to check the rear shock oil... maybe its a little low, I'll have a look.

    I'll post an update to my findings... thanks again.
    -Ride Safe & Avoid Anyone On The Phone-
    **2000 R1100RT (Bullfrog), 1976 R90/6 (Tadpole)**
    beemerFROG a.k.a. Douglas E. Rost -- Black Frog Marketing

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