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Thread: Lowered 2011 R12RT and ESA

  1. #1

    Lowered 2011 R12RT and ESA

    I just purchased a lowered 2011 R1200RT. I understand that this makes it so the ESA does not work.

    In my manual it shows a dial under the seat to manually adjust the spring pre-load. However, when I look under my seat I don't see any type of manual adjuster for the spring pre-load. Does this mean my suspension can not be adjusted?

    spring pre load.PNG

    Thanks
    In your helmet no one can hear you sing.

    IBA#61520

  2. #2
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Is there an ESA button on the left cluster?

    Examine the shock itself. Does there appear to be any kind of electrical actuator installed? Did the previous owner install some kind of aftermarket shock?

    If you're not sure, take a picture of that area and post it here. The shock's top attach point is that bolt you can see between the (2) and (3) in the picture. We would need to clearly see the shock body between the upper and lower mount to opine.

    I have a 2013 factory-lowered RT and do have that adjuster. The only thing that makes sense to me is that there's an aftermarket shock installed and the adjuster (assuming there is one) is located somewhere else back there.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  3. #3
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    I'd start by looking at the shock to look for any adjustments and a manufacturer's name.

    The pictured adjuster is for the factory manual preload adjuster, but you bike might have started life as standard ESA model and then been lowered by a previous owner using a shorter aftermarket shock. Is there an ESA button on the left handlebar?

    Or, the original manual low shock may have just been replaced by an aftermarket version due to wear.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  4. #4
    It has an ESA button but nothing changes when I cycle throuh the settings.

    This is what I have under my seat.

    Thanks

    IMG_20190826_220242.jpg

    IMG_20190826_220314.jpg

    IMG_20190826_220433.jpg
    In your helmet no one can hear you sing.

    IBA#61520

  5. #5
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    That is an ESA rear shock. The plastic box just aft of the unit (to the left and below the rear brake reservoir) is the ESA electronics and actuator for the spring preload. If it's lowered, it (the shock) was mechanically altered, most likely by sending the entire OEM shock to shop that swapped the electronic controls onto a new shock with a shorter strut. The spring looks awfully clean compared to the upper unit.

    Look for any markings. If you can, post a picture. It would be interesting to see what the rest of the shock looks like. Also, check the front shock. If it's shiny and clean my money's on the previous owner installed a set of mechanically lowered struts. This is not a problem BTY. There are reputable companies out there that do this.
    Last edited by pappy35; 08-27-2019 at 02:51 PM.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  6. #6
    That is interesting, thanks.

    I will see what I can find and take a pictures of today. I love the way the bike handles. It is amazingly responsive and fast to transition. That and the cost savings was why I went for this one and not a 2014 I tested.

    My only concern is the ability to adjust when 2 up or loaded for a trip.
    In your helmet no one can hear you sing.

    IBA#61520

  7. #7
    The front spring and bottom of back spring also look very new. I could not see any branding during a quick look this morning before my commute.

    TomIMG_20190827_081049.jpg

    IMG_20190827_081019.jpg
    In your helmet no one can hear you sing.

    IBA#61520

  8. #8
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    That looks like a stock ESA strut, right down to the spring color. AFAIK, BMW never installed ESA on a "low" bike.

    This is an early (2007) Hexhead ESA stock strut. Manufacturers sticker (WP) on the body under the spring, not sure it can be seen when installed. I think the numbers on the spring indicate spring rate? Measures 375mm between the mounting hole centers.
    2019-08-27 11.16.08.jpg

    BMW made some changes in the struts a little later, as the potentiometer used for the preload sensor was not reliable. The potentiometer was replaced with a Hall sensor, which can be re-calibrated, and may have used a different manufacturer (Sachs?) so the lower attachment (with the electrically adjusted damping control) is a different shape. Preload adjust with the motor on top, which screws a piston into reservoir, forcing hydraulic fluid into the upper spring mounts. In this picture, the preload is set at its maximum 10mm, as shown by the exposed aluminum band.

    Damping can be adjusted as you ride, you should be able detect the difference on a bumpy road if you can switch between Sport and Comfort. Preload changes can only be done stopped in neutral, with the engine running. You should feel the rear lift and lower as you switch from between the extremes and the display should flash.

    Any way to ask the previous owners(s) questions about the "lowering"?
    Last edited by lkraus; 08-27-2019 at 04:05 PM.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Registered User krazyhank's Avatar
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    If you have a GS911 you can run a calibration on the front and rear ESA shock. If they are not working it will show as "undetectable" I think.
    Marc Kitts
    2010 R1200RT

  10. #10
    I am probably going to have to get a GS 911 eventually anyway so will give that a try.
    In your helmet no one can hear you sing.

    IBA#61520

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    The factory lowered bikes never came with ESA. It was not even an option.
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    Nancy
    2013 R12RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R, 07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R12RT (Sold),
    IBA# 529

  12. #12
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazyhank View Post
    If you have a GS911 you can run a calibration on the front and rear ESA shock. If they are not working it will show as "undetectable" I think.
    The RT front ESA cannot be calibrated, Rear only.
    Only the GS can be calibrated front & rear
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2007 R1200RT - IBA # 56396

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