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Thread: 2005 1200RT rear shock

  1. #1

    2005 1200RT rear shock

    recently purchased bike, removed Tupperware to service and clean. Rear shock [white spring] has wiring lead coming out of the lowerportion. Four wires connect to a white plug behind right hand cover under seat, disappears into main harness. any ideas?

  2. #2
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    You have the ESA suspension. The lower wires control a damping valve. There is a motor housing on top that adjusts preload. The front shock will have only the electric damping valve. The owner's manual will explain how to make adjustments.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  3. #3

    1200RT rear shock

    Larry,
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, the shock does have electrical wires coming out of the shock body but there is no spring pre load device on the side?

    Do i scroll through the mode menu to see whats going on. I usually ride two up, havent measured sag yet but would be nice to be able to set.

  4. #4
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Check in the manual at p.70 for ESA settings
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2019 R1250RT - 2007 R1200RT (186,000 km) - IBA # 56396

  5. #5
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    From the factory, a rear ESA shock should look like this:
    ESA ad.JPG
    The black box on the side is a motor that adjusts preload. It moves a piston acting on oil that changes the extension of the upper spring seat. If it is not present, the shock may have been replaced or modified.

    Some companies (Beemershop is one)can retain the electric damping but provide another form of manual preload adjustment. The early ESA shocks used potentiometers to determine the preload position and were prone to failures. Newer models use a Hall effect sensor that is more reliable and can be calibrated. Changing to a shock with a manual preload (and maybe a custom spring) is a often a better choice than buying a $2400 BMW replacement, so the previous owner may have put something different on your bike.

    It sounds like you might not have an owners manual? The usual solution is to download a PDF version here: https://manuals.bmw-motorrad.com/de/rider-manual. Search for type code 0388, and download the manual for your bike's production date. But...

    BMW seems to change the available online manuals from time to time. Currently, the first one listed should be correct for a 2005 RT, but it has no mention of the ESA option. The second one listed is for bikes built beginning in August 2005, the start of the 2006 model year and does have the directions for ESA, but they are incomplete. To adjust preload, you must have the engine running while stopped in neutral, then hold the ESA button until the display flashes, then choose from the three "helmet" options. In spite of what the manual says, damping can be changed while riding, which is very handy when road conditions change.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  6. #6

    2005 1200rt rear shock

    Larry, thanks for the info, i downloaded an owners manual and now have a better understanding on the shock operation. Seems at one point in my bikes life the spring preload adjuster was removed. The damping adjustment is still operating, played with the settings and noticed the difference.
    This is a great site, very informative, and if anyone needs tech information on Norton's, ask me!

  7. #7
    Kindly curmudgeon W7lej1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    From the factory, a rear ESA shock should look like this:
    ESA ad.JPG
    The black box on the side is a motor that adjusts preload. It moves a piston acting on oil that changes the extension of the upper spring seat. If it is not present, the shock may have been replaced or modified.

    Some companies (Beemershop is one)can retain the electric damping but provide another form of manual preload adjustment. The early ESA shocks used potentiometers to determine the preload position and were prone to failures. Newer models use a Hall effect sensor that is more reliable and can be calibrated. Changing to a shock with a manual preload (and maybe a custom spring) is a often a better choice than buying a $2400 BMW replacement, so the previous owner may have put something different on your bike.

    It sounds like you might not have an owners manual? The usual solution is to download a PDF version here: https://manuals.bmw-motorrad.com/de/rider-manual. Search for type code 0388, and download the manual for your bike's production date. But...

    BMW seems to change the available online manuals from time to time. Currently, the first one listed should be correct for a 2005 RT, but it has no mention of the ESA option. The second one listed is for bikes built beginning in August 2005, the start of the 2006 model year and does have the directions for ESA, but they are incomplete. To adjust preload, you must have the engine running while stopped in neutral, then hold the ESA button until the display flashes, then choose from the three "helmet" options. In spite of what the manual says, damping can be changed while riding, which is very handy when road conditions change.
    Somewhat hijacking OPís thread, apologies! When was the change in the preload sensing from potentiometer to Hall sensor? And does that change require a change in ZFE (or whatever computer manages the ESA) software? Thanks!
    Marty in Spokane Valley, WA

    '79 R65 - the rolling running project bike
    '08 R12RT - "new scoot"

  8. #8
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W7lej1 View Post
    Somewhat hijacking OPís thread, apologies! When was the change in the preload sensing from potentiometer to Hall sensor? And does that change require a change in ZFE (or whatever computer manages the ESA) software? Thanks!
    The change was in 2008

    I swapped the one that failed on my 07 (Potentiometer) for one that came from an 08 (Hall Sensor)
    The ZFE had to be reprogrammed by the dealer
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2019 R1250RT - 2007 R1200RT (186,000 km) - IBA # 56396

  9. #9
    Kindly curmudgeon W7lej1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dann View Post
    The change was in 2008

    I swapped the one that failed on my 07 (Potentiometer) for one that came from an 08 (Hall Sensor)
    The ZFE had to be reprogrammed by the dealer
    Thank you!
    Marty in Spokane Valley, WA

    '79 R65 - the rolling running project bike
    '08 R12RT - "new scoot"

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dann View Post
    The change was in 2008

    I swapped the one that failed on my 07 (Potentiometer) for one that came from an 08 (Hall Sensor)
    The ZFE had to be reprogrammed by the dealer
    Hi Dann!
    Can you tell me if both generations of rear shocks (potentiometer and hall) have the exact same connectors (are they "plug and play", besides the necessary reprogramming)?
    TIA!

  11. #11
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backon2wheels View Post
    Hi Dann!
    Can you tell me if both generations of rear shocks (potentiometer and hall) have the exact same connectors (are they "plug and play", besides the necessary reprogramming)?
    TIA!
    The connectors are the same
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2019 R1250RT - 2007 R1200RT (186,000 km) - IBA # 56396

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dann View Post
    The connectors are the same
    Thanks a lot!
    One other thing: Can you mix a front strut from the first generation with a shock from the second or you have to change both when you reprogram the ZFE?

  13. #13
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backon2wheels View Post
    Thanks a lot!
    One other thing: Can you mix a front strut from the first generation with a shock from the second or you have to change both when you reprogram the ZFE?
    The front cannot be calibrated on an RT. The preload is only on the rear

    I only changed the rear. No issue

    Might be different for a GS where both struts can be calibrated.
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2019 R1250RT - 2007 R1200RT (186,000 km) - IBA # 56396

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