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Thread: Progressive Suspension shocks for Oilheads

  1. #1
    Mongrel Owner
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    Progressive Suspension shocks for Oilheads

    Hi, all.
    My '02 R1150R needs new shocks after only 82,000 km.
    I'm looking at options varying from having the stockers rebuilt to new aftermarket units. Ohlins are off the table, but I might just be able to squeak something else past the finance committee.
    I've had Progressives on my Airhead and was quite satisfied, but I've never seen their name mentioned for Oilheads and they do now have a part number for the R-bikes at a price that doesn't bring on heartburn.
    Anyone using them?
    TIA
    Tony

  2. #2
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I think you are dyslexic, you said they were shot at 82K, they were really shot at 28K, whether you knew it or not.

    That said suspension upgrades are the BEST $$ you will ever spend on the bike.

    At 82K I would doubt that the stock are worth rebuilding, even if you found someone that could.

    BEST advice, do NOT look at the price, you are just renting them. You get to use them and enjoy them for years and then sell them to another, or get a return on your $$ if you sell or trade the bike. I Had Ohlins/Fox set up on my bike, before selling it I reinstalled OEM shocks, all in all less than $500 for 9 years and 55K miles of great handling, comfort riding bliss.

    Also look used, you can get a used set of Ohlins rebuilt for $100-$150 or less.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  3. #3
    Left Coast Rider
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    You live in Eastern Ontario? Get yourself over to Accelerated Technologies in Lakefield. He'll rebuild and re-valve your stock shocks for much less than it would cost to buy aftermarket and you'll likely be more pleased with the results.

    http://www.acceltechracing.com/services.htm

  4. #4
    Mongrel Owner
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    Accelerated Technologies is who I have in mind for rebuilding. They gave us a presentation at the Return to Trenton Rally this year and I was impressed with their spiel.
    Still want to consider all alternatives, however.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  5. #5
    RK Ryder
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    I was considering Accelerated (not too far away) but decided to go with the Ohlins. I was somewhat skeptical of just how much difference the handling of the bike (top heavy R1100RT) with after market shocks would actually be. I am now converted. The Ohlins shocks gave me much more satisfaction than the Wilbers on my K.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    moa2020volunteers@gmail.com

  6. #6
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I picked up some Yacugar shocks from Ted at the Beemershop. I'm quite pleased with them, but really, any quality shock will certainly improve your ride.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  7. #7
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    You live in Eastern Ontario? Get yourself over to Accelerated Technologies in Lakefield. He'll rebuild and re-valve your stock shocks for much less than it would cost to buy aftermarket and you'll likely be more pleased with the results.

    http://www.acceltechracing.com/services.htm
    Do you have a means of getting them to respond to an email? I have tried twice to get someone to respond and so far no go. Makes me wonder if they want business from the southern cousins...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurdent View Post
    Do you have a means of getting them to respond to an email? I have tried twice to get someone to respond and so far no go. Makes me wonder if they want business from the southern cousins...
    705-657-9490
    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/

  9. #9
    JohnWC
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    [QUOTE
    then sell them to another, or get a return on your $$ if you sell or trade the bike. [/QUOTE]

    Maybe. A set of Ohlins for this bike is around $1600 for two shocks, I would guess, plus labor to put them on. So, you decide to take them off before selling. Now the bike has old, worn out shocks on it when you try to sell it. Price comes down. Next you try to find someone on the flea market who has a 12 year old bike willing to put say, $800 into buying your old, used Ohlins from you, with them figuring they will need another $150 for the rebuild right off. Total:$950. Even if that happens, you're still out the loss of money on the bike sale itself, and the $800 from the original Ohlins purchase. Or.... keep them on the bike when selling it. Again, a 12 year old machine. It could be hard to get much of that $1600 back at that point.

    It might work out. But then again, it might not.

  10. #10
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    705-657-9490
    Ask for John Sharrard. I've always found them to be very responsive.

  11. #11
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    705-657-9490
    Thank you, Paul. I haven't wanted to try to call, not knowing if calling Ontario would count as international. Hoping that they would respond to email since they have an email addy on their site.

    I will give them a call next week when I'm home.

  12. #12
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    [QUOTE
    Maybe. A set of Ohlins for this bike is around $1600 for two shocks, I would guess, plus labor to put them on. So, you decide to take them off before selling. Now the bike has old, worn out shocks on it when you try to sell it. Price comes down. Next you try to find someone on the flea market who has a 12 year old bike willing to put say, $800 into buying your old, used Ohlins from you, with them figuring they will need another $150 for the rebuild right off. Total:$950. Even if that happens, you're still out the loss of money on the bike sale itself, and the $800 from the original Ohlins purchase. Or.... keep them on the bike when selling it. Again, a 12 year old machine. It could be hard to get much of that $1600 back at that point.

    It might work out. But then again, it might not.
    In '04 with 3K miles I removed the good OEM shocks an put Ohlins/Fox on the S. I could look up exact price but paid about 1300, I rebuild them once, and had the entire seal head replaced on the rear after I removed it, as the seal was weeping and I wanted them to be perfect when I sold them. Cost of all the service was about $250, sold them for $1K. So for 50K of great handling and ride, cost me $500ish.

    Same with my '94 RS, took off OEM, installed used Ohlins I had rebuilt, Before departing with the bike I took them off and actually sold them for MORE than I had invested.

    Good suspension is like buying a house, you spend a lot of $$, but get to enjoy it, then when done sell it an recoup most of your $$. And if you do it right even make $$$.

    And as I said, high quality suspension is the BEST $$$ you will ever spend on a bike! It makes a world of difference.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  13. #13
    Mongrel Owner
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    Much appreciated, but to get back to my original question, has anyone experience with the Progressive Suspension units?
    Thanks
    Tony

  14. #14
    JohnWC
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    "In '04 with 3K miles I removed the good OEM shocks an put Ohlins/Fox on the S. I could look up exact price but paid about 1300, I rebuild them once, and had the entire seal head replaced on the rear after I removed it, as the seal was weeping and I wanted them to be perfect when I sold them. Cost of all the service was about $250, sold them for $1K. So for 50K of great handling and ride, cost me $500ish.

    Same with my '94 RS, took off OEM, installed used Ohlins I had rebuilt, Before departing with the bike I took them off and actually sold them for MORE than I had invested.

    Good suspension is like buying a house, you spend a lot of $$, but get to enjoy it, then when done sell it an recoup most of your $$. And if you do it right even make $$$.

    And as I said, high quality suspension is the BEST $$$ you will ever spend on a bike! It makes a world of difference. "

    Wow, this is like the world of Harleys, where people claim they sold their used bike for more than they paid for it new. In my experience, it's difficult to find people willing to pay $1000 for something well used, when they could buy the new one for just $300 more. Guess that's just me. As the original poster is saying, putting something close to $2000 in parts on a bike that cost about $4000 is a tough sell. He is, I believe, looking for a more reasonable alternative, which I hope there is. Are Ohlins catering mainly to the race crowd where money is no object? It's my only take on how a single shock absorber can cost $800. That would pay for about eight pretty nice ones on my car. And yes, they are doing the same job on the car as they are on the bike. They must be being made one at a time in Switzerland from pure gold and titanium.

    As I have said before, if indeed." a high quaility suspension is the best $$$ you will ever spend on a bike", could someone inform the BMW bean counters and engineers in Germany of that fact. They apparently keep putting the cheapest thing they can find on their $20,000 machines, which, from what some say, fall apart internally at about 28,000 miles. Maybe buy up Ohlin. They should have the cash.

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    .......................Wow, this is like the world of Harleys, where people claim they sold their used bike for more than they paid for it new. In my experience, it's difficult to find people willing to pay $1000 for something well used, when they could buy the new one for just $300 more. ............
    Called inflation, and supply and demand, I will gladly show you the receipts. Yes I got a heck of a deal when I purchased them new, I am frugal like that, and the buyer of the freshly rebuilt used ones, got them at about 1/2 of today's market price. Look around at what the used stuff is going for, before you call BS.

    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    .............. Are Ohlins catering mainly to the race crowd where money is no object? It's my only take on how a single shock absorber can cost $800. That would pay for about eight pretty nice ones on my car. And yes, they are doing the same job on the car as they are on the bike.
    Most racers I know are pretty frugal, but are smart too, so they know that suspension is very important. And $100 car shocks only last 25K too, good ones will cost you $200-$300+, and they are the throwaways, too. Want rebuild-able car shocks, like the premium aftermarket MC units expect to pay a lot for them too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    ..............As I have said before, if indeed." a high quaility suspension is the best $$$ you will ever spend on a bike", could someone inform the BMW bean counters and engineers in Germany of that fact. They apparently keep putting the cheapest thing they can find on their $20,000 machines, which, from what some say, fall apart internally at about 28,000 miles. Maybe buy up Ohlin. They should have the cash
    The engineers know, that is why on they do put Ohlins and other premium suspension on some of their better models, just like several other manufacturers. But they also know people would complain about cost even more. Why not composite wheels and titanium everything, Carbon fiber in place of plastic. Heck they could probably lighten every make a bike 100 lbs lighter! It is a balancing act.

    And I stand by my statement ." a high quality suspension is the best $$$ you will ever spend on a bike". I know several riders that install premium suspension as soon as they get a new bike. Ask any rider that upgraded and 95% will say they wish they did it sooner and would never own a bike again without upgrading. THAT is why they get $2000, DEMAND. Like the old adage, "build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." When that happens you get to command your price.

    Maybe you are just a turn the key and go type, and stick to smooth, straight roads, but for those of us that are a little more demanding can appreciate the VALUE in good suspension.
    Last edited by pffog; 12-20-2013 at 09:20 PM.
    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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