Suspension Query

General discussion of the BMW R1200RT/R1250RT
Our Gee
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Suspension Query

Post by Our Gee »

Something has always puzzled me since I have owned BMW's with the Electric Suspension Adjustment. So then, here goes. When I press the little button to change from "One Up with Luggage" to Two Up with Luggage" (Engine running and bike stationary) I have always presumed that this action will add Pre-Load to the rear Shock and that this will mean applying compression to the spring. If this is so why do I feel the rear end being raised af if the Shock / Spring is "extending". Seems weird to me but hopefully someone brighter than me will be along to put me right. Thanks.
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richardbd
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by richardbd »

Our Gee wrote: Something has always puzzled me since I have owned BMW's with the Electric Suspension Adjustment. So then, here goes. When I press the little button to change from "One Up with Luggage" to Two Up with Luggage" (Engine running and bike stationary) I have always presumed that this action will add Pre-Load to the rear Shock and that this will mean applying compression to the spring. If this is so why do I feel the rear end being raised af if the Shock / Spring is "extending". Seems weird to me but hopefully someone brighter than me will be along to put me right. Thanks.

Maybe I'm being daft - but isn't that exactly what you'd expect it to do?


That way, it needs more weight (i.e. two people, instead of one) to put the rear suspension into the same position it was in under the original setting...


:wonder: :wonder:
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David.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by David. »

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Re: Suspension Query

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fatnfast
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by fatnfast »

Hi Our gee,  I'm guessing you are thinking of the old twin shock bikes where you compress or preload the spring on each shock to account for heavy loads and pillions (many 70/80's twin shocks had these). They had the adjustable stepped collar to do this, and of course you make the spring shorter for more load.
Now we have ride height/pre-load/compression/rebound to deal with. That's where ESA takes the guess work out, but also why time spent with an Ohlins set up would give better handling.
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richardbd
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by richardbd »

fatnfast wrote: That's where ESA takes the guess work out, but also why time spent with an Ohlins set up would give better handling.

Better handling than what - ESA?


If that's what you mean, I'm not sure I agree.  It may be the case that the components in an after-market set-up (Ohlins or otherwise) would be better quality and for an expert rider there may be a difference at the limit.  If you dig into the menus for ESA though, can't you tinker with all the compression and rebound settings individually, to get as much fine-tuning as any Ohlins system would give?


I haven't bothered messing with the pre-sets for each ESA option on the RT but I messed with lots on my Multistrada (Ohlins, electronically adjustable).  Not sure it was much better than before I started though...



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David.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by David. »

ds99
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by ds99 »

I have ESA on my 2007 RT and (like a lot of people) to be honest I can't notice any difference at all between "sport, normal and comfort" settings while riding. Is it ESA 1 or ESA 2? I've no idea. I just know it will cost £1,000 when it fails.


The seat height changes when I change between "one helmet", "two helmets" etc. I can't remember which way it moves.


So I just leave it on "normal" with "one helmet" all the time, as I rarely take a passenger/luggage. Even then I don't push the RT to anywhere near it's handling limits when I corner, so I am sure the ESA system is wasted on me.


Cruise Control and ABS are great, but ESA is one if those "gadgets" I can do without to be honest. it's just something else to go wrong on a used bike.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by fatnfast »

richardbd wrote: Better handling than what - ESA?
If that's what you mean, I'm not sure I agree. It may be the case that the components in an after-market set-up (Ohlins or otherwise) would be better quality and for an expert rider there may be a difference at the limit. If you dig into the menus for ESA though, can't you tinker with all the compression and rebound settings individually, to get as much fine-tuning as any Ohlins system would give?
I haven't bothered messing with the pre-sets for each ESA option on the RT but I messed with lots on my Multistrada (Ohlins, electronically adjustable). Not sure it was much better than before I started though...
Your starting to sound like another ' its made by BMW, nothing is better' person. ;)
No, you can't go into the menus on BMW ESA. You get what they think is correct. You are limited to soft, hard, road, one helmet, etc. I don't blame them, understanding and setting up the suspension manually has so many variables and I would imagine it sensible to make sure Joe Public can't balls it all up, crash and blame them.
But if you seriously think it's better than top notch Ohlins, then that's up to you.
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David.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by David. »

ds99 wrote:I have ESA on my 2007 RT. Is it ESA 1 or ESA 2?
It's ESA 1, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtKuaZNI4yY
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by guest2360 »

If you can't feel the difference between Soft and Sport it's not working.    For those who think ESA is just a waste of time and money why buy it in the first place.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by ds99 »

I'm not alone. My mate has a 2010 R1200GS and he can't tell any difference either. Plenty of other folk of forums are the same.


The ESA was already on my used RT so I had no choice in it.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by David. »

DaygloDavid wrote:Recently on my 2012 RT, I had the Dealers check whether the ESA Damping Settings were changing from Comfort, Normal or Sport, as, when riding, I couldn't feel any noticeable difference.

The Technician asked me to sit on the bike & bounce on the seat with the different Damping Settings selected, yes, I could feel some changes in the rebound but only small ones.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by guest2360 »

Find bumpy bit of road.  Ride down it in One up and Comfort/Soft. Repeat with same load setting but in Sport/Hard.  Steering is also sharper on the hard setting.  If it feels exactly the same its bust.
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Re: Suspension Query

Post by guest2360 »

Surely, sitting on the bike and bouncing up and down is asking the damping to react the wrong way round.
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