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2018 Urban
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
New urban GS owner with about 700 miles on the bike. Overall the suspension is working ok for me but I can definitely see how rougher roads will challenge then shock in particular. I have become a lot more proactive about steering around bumps so as to avoid spine jarring jolts. I wonder though if the suspension breaks in at all? Seems like a lot of people are upgrading with relatively low miles on their bikes. I’ve been told before not to really start messing with the settings for a few thousands miles to get used to the bike and let all the components wear in a bit.

At any rate I’ve begun researching options for upgrades.
 

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Mine was horrible when I bought my bike used at 900 miles. There is a stretch of highway I do frequently that has a frost heave from one side to the other, and it repeats 4 times in less than a 1/2 mile. It used to want to throw me off the bike. Now the bike is at 5,000 miles and it handles it much better. It's not Wilbers good, but its not $800 worse than a Wilbers.... wether its broken in, or simply already wearing out, I don't know yet.
 

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2018 Urban
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Discussion Starter #3
That’s helpful and makes sense. Helps me prioritize my upgrades too. im thinking getting all the ergos right (risers, taller seat, lower pegs) is a better place to start. then see how the suspension is treating me after letting it break in for a few thousand more miles.
 

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Urban G/S
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In my opinion the issue with the standard rear unit on the Urban GS is the compression damping is far to firm and rough road surfaces are transmitted as jolts right into your spine exactly as you describe. Unfortunately compression damping is not adjustable on our bikes.

Adjusting the pre-load and rebound damping correctly definitely make the bike handle really well and no complaints from me about handling but it does not help with the jolts over rough surfaces and small bumps in the road.

3,000 miles and no improvement, I'll be replacing mine over the winter.
 

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R Nine T Classic 2020
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89 Posts
I had the bike from new and it has definitely gotten better to the point I am seriously debating whether upgrading the rear shock is necessary. To be fair, with a wet weight of 75kg myself I am not that heavy and over time (at 1,000 miles now) the shock has certainly been more forgiving. I did adjust to remove all preload and softened the rear shock by 1 turn from the factory settings (set for an 85kg rider) and now its comfortable enough for a 200 - 300 mile trip. With the classic model post 2017 you get the front shocks from the S1000RR which are absolutely fine.

I do envy the gals and guys with the Ohlins set up; however its a lot of cash to part with if you can get comfortable with the OEM parts. Still on my wish list though but will priortise a few other parts first...
 
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That was my thoughts initially too, wait to see if it beds in.
However, I have done 7000 miles on my Scrambler and didn't notice any improvement on the shock until recently when I made some adjustments.
With me being only 75KG suited up to ride, I found that I had to unwind the preload on the rear shock to the basic 11mm of thread showing and then adjusted the lower rebound setting to 2.5 turns out. This still only gave me 30mm of sag rather than the 40mm recommended which kinder says the spring is still too stiff for my weight.
This has made quite a bit of difference for me although not perfect. It is feels softer sprung now which is a blessing on the fen roads in Cambridgeshire, but occasionaly I still get a shap kick up the but on really bad parts of the road.
I am now considering the Nitron R1 shock, or just change the bike as the lack of wind protection is a pain for long days in the saddle.
 

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BMW R nineT Pure
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256 Posts
I've put almost 1,000 miles on my new 2020 Pure in four weeks. I'm a big guy, so there was no question I was going to replace the stock fork springs and rear shock, which I'll do over the winter. But I would say after dialing in my preload and increasing the damping, the ride is tolerable. I think it's broken in a little, or maybe I've just gotten used to it recently (especially after the rear suspension adjustment.) That being said, I wouldn't trust the suspension as-is for any spirited rides. But again, that's my situation as a very heavy rider, not typical of most riders.
 

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Suspension and comfort are largely subjective. Mileage will cause bushings to wear, oil viscosity to change, spring rates to change and if that increases the comfort quotient so be it. But aging suspension will have a negative effect on road handling. I chose to forgo the farkles and save for a set of Ohlins. IMO that upgrade was the best bang for buck.
 

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I hated the suspension on my UGS when I got it 2nd hand at 1700 miles. At 95kg riding weight it was dire no matter how I set it up so a wilbers was an essential purchase for me. It transformed the bike for me, no regrets at all. It's the first time I've ever had to change the suspension on a bike bit it was worth it for me.
 

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I'm well over 100kg riding weight and have been riding a lot of ATV and snowmobile trails lately. The rear shock on mine has been okay, but the front forks... they are not up to the task.
 

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2017 RNINET
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I am a 175 lbs. rider and I think I need a lighter spring myself. I have spring backed all the way off with extra half turn out on adj. screw and unit has about a inch of sag when I set. I am still playing with adj. on front usd forks
 

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I'm not sure if the Classic has a different rear shock to the Urban, but on my classic I have found the rear to be fine in terms of comfort when i backed the preload right off and increased the rebound damping a fair bit. I'm 75kg. Mine's only new so just over 2000km - not sure if it'll change more with time but it feels pretty plush now. Actually, when riding the nineT after a training ride on my pushbike this evening the NineT felt like a marshmallow. I actually pulled over to check the rear tyre wasn't flat and that there wasn't anything wrong with the rear suspension it all felt so soft lol. So maybe that's the answer. Ride a pushbike for a while and the ninet will feel like a lounge-chair :).
 

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2018 Urban
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Discussion Starter #15
Good point. Putting a little pressure on the pegs so not to take the full impact is the cheapest alternative 😁. Also speaks to the earlier point about get the ergos right to get off the seat easily.
 

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BMW R nineT Pure
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256 Posts
Good point. Putting a little pressure on the pegs so not to take the full impact is the cheapest alternative 😁. Also speaks to the earlier point about get the ergos right to get off the seat easily.
I agree. But there are times I wish the footpegs on my Pure were a little further back. That would make it easier to lift my rear end off the seat and let my legs absorb the shock, as I do on my Honda VFR with stock pegs (and bars). As-is, I'm kind of pushing myself upward with my legs while also pulling myself up and forward with my arms. But it's okay, and probably not worth the investment in rearsets for me. Besides, I wanted a bike with slightly more relaxed ergonomics, and that's what I got.

Also, I don't know how cruiser riders can take having shocks travel up their spine literally all the time, especially on bikes with soft or poor rear suspensions.
 

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Stock suspensions are a total joke. If there is one single modification I would do to a UGS, front and rear suspensions would go in a blink. Took me 1 year after I bought the bike to finally pull the trigger and switched to the Wilbers +70mm kit. Not cheap, but a world of difference. Literally. If I did not make that change, I would have probably sold the bike by now.
 

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New urban GS owner with about 700 miles on the bike. Overall the suspension is working ok for me but I can definitely see how rougher roads will challenge then shock in particular. I have become a lot more proactive about steering around bumps so as to avoid spine jarring jolts. I wonder though if the suspension breaks in at all? Seems like a lot of people are upgrading with relatively low miles on their bikes. I’ve been told before not to really start messing with the settings for a few thousands miles to get used to the bike and let all the components wear in a bit.

At any rate I’ve begun researching options for upgrades.
Mine has gotten much better with 4000 miles on the clock. I am glad I did not spend the money for a suspension change. When it was brand new, it felt like a hard tail! I found that the preload was set to max, so I dialed it back. It was slightly better, but it took a few thousand miles to really break in. That is something I learned on my first BMW in 1976 - it takes a few thousand miles for the suspension to wear in.
 

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In my opinion, no, it doesn't get any better. I finally gave up around 14000 miles after fiddling with the rear sag, dampening etc and converted to a TFX from Ted Porters. Made a substantial difference to the bike to the point where I'm happy with it without digging into the front forks. Knocking on 20,000 now and enjoying the bike more and more each day.
 
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