Rear shocks dilemma (...to upgrade or not to upgrade , this is the problem)

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by g2501, Oct 30, 2019.

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  1. Oct 30, 2019 #1

    g2501

    g2501

    g2501

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    hi everybody, recently I was convinced by you guys to not go on the Upside down fork due to cost and marginal benefits ( if compared to a good upgrade of the original fork) , so I went on that way and I’m pretty satisfied so far.
    Now it is the time of the rear shocks....looking at the price a brand new Ohlins shock set is out of my possibility, so right now I have 3 choices:
    1 upgrade the original shocks with new springs , new seal and possibly a gold valve like front shocks
    2 used good shocks ( gsxf 1400 ? Xjr 1300? Used Ohlins? ) and the a marginal restoration like re-painting or new seals
    3 cheap new rear shocks , possibly not the Chinese shocks because even if they looks cool I’rear that they last 1 month and are worst than the original.
    My primary goal is to increase the handling and the security of the bike but I would prefer something in the “piggyback” style.
    Most of you are going (or suggesting) the 440 progressive , but for the price I prefer the YSS with reservoirs.
    Even there In italy is not possible to have them for less than 500 € .
    I’m not afraid to take them apart and clean/painting the used one , just would like to know if this worth the pain.
    Right now I’ve found a couple of used Ohlins for the XJR at a decent price , but they have to be re-painted and checked (seller state that works fine, but who knows? Used parts does not have any form of warranty, soooo.... ) .
    Have you some other idea? What you would do?
     
  2. Oct 30, 2019 #2

    MaxMidnight

    MaxMidnight

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    Other that cosmetics, whatever you do to the OE shocks will (IMO) be a waste of money and there is no Gold Valve option. They are built to a price and are not intended to be rebuildable.

    Cheap rear shocks? You tend to get what you pay for so you will be buying a generic product and have little guarantee that the spring rate and damping characteristics are set for the mass and unsprung weight of the Max. You should also look at what other models they fit and will probably see a wide range of weights, bear in mind their drive arrangements and performance. Do you really expect one shock to suit all of them?

    Ohlins from the XJR1300 are an improvement but will bottom out if riding two up with two largish folk on board. For solo riding they are fine. Being second hand you are never sure what condition they are in but if the outside looks good the inners probably are as well.
    Another option is the GSX1400 piggybacks which some of the lads in the UK have used and are happy with them.
    I have a pair of White Power piggies on mine and they are an improvement over the XJR's but this may be because the spring rate is higher. It also has more adjustment but I can't say I notice much difference.

    Your choice when buying new will depend on how deep your pockets are, the fully adjustable Ohlins probably aren't worth the money for the average rider though.
    Hagon shocks have a good reputation and they are built to suit your weight.
    I don't have any experience with YSS's orProgressives but the latter seem to get good user feedback.

    I can understand that the piggies will look good on the bike (street cred?) but as you can't see them when riding does that matter?
    If as you say, you want something to match the performance of the front end, then my money would be spent on the Hagons.
     
  3. Oct 30, 2019 #3

    Fire-medic

    Fire-medic

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    Cost-effective replacements, I would say the Progressive Suspension (PS) 412 set. A bit-better than the stocks, I have experience w/these. The Hagon shocks are at reasonable price points, you can also get better PS shocks, more $.

    About the only thing you can do to the OEM shocks is cosmetically do them, they are not rebuildable internally. There are threads on here about OEM rear shock disassembly. Setting the spring pre-load and the damping on the OEM shocks will help, if you have never tried that. Try full-soft and #1 damping, and go from there, unless you weigh 200+ lbs ready to ride, then you probably want some spring pre-load.

    A general rule of thumb would be to have the shock set so about 1/3 of the shock travel of its 13" on-center from mounting bolts height with you on it, bike upright, and feet off the ground, is used-up, leaving about 2/3 of the total shock travel available to provide damping/springing while riding.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2019 #4

    one2dmax

    one2dmax

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    412's are maginally better then stock. 430's are also a little better but mostly focused on cosmetics. 444's are far superior but cost more then double the 412's. Of course they have a lifetime warranty where the 412's don't have that.
    I MIGHT also still have a set of rebuilt Works shocks which were a higher end shock as well.
     
  5. Oct 31, 2019 #5

    g2501

    g2501

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    Thank you all guys !
    So, for what I can understand :
    1- piggyback style are all more expensive ( double the price) except the Chinese products, but let’s forget them, I like the cosmetic, but they’re worst than the original shocks.
    2- looking at general consensus the brands to look for at a decent price are Hagon, Progressive ,and recently a friend told me to look at the “Bitubo” brand. He told me that for the price Bitubo offers more adjustability .
    3- used shocks like gsxf1400 or XJR 1300 are worth only if founded at a great bargain, otherwise they can cost more to rebuild than a new Hagon/progressive/Bitubo set.
    Living in Italy I have also the big obstacle of shipping fees and customs. A good deal for an U.S. guy most of the time is a “no-go” for me. Consider almost double the price.
    Sean, thank you for your suggestion, and if you still have the Worx can you give me an idea of the price (pm if you prefer) and the look (piggyback or not?)
    If you know other easy swap option other than gsxf and XJR please let me know.
    Also, I believe that this info could be very useful to other guys in the need of a new rear shocks set.
     
  6. Oct 31, 2019 #6

    sdt354

    sdt354

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    If you're going to keep the bike long term, the 440's are worth the money. Imo. I'm glad I bought them on sale a while back. There was a special for $159.00, including a voucher for progressive fork springs. I should have bought two sets.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  7. Nov 1, 2019 #7

    one2dmax

    one2dmax

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    Email me at one2dmax@aol.com and i'll try to get you pics and info on what we have. If you wanted to do an extended swingarm we have options that use KYB piggybacks from Kawasaki ZRX bikes that work great too.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2019 #8

    Whiteflys

    Whiteflys

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    I run the 444 progressive chrome stock in length for the rears, On the front a 2002 front end with race tec springs on my 1992. Side frame braces bolted to the frame at both ends. What a difference from stock . ride is 10 fold better.
     
    sdt354 and Traumahawk like this.
  9. Nov 16, 2019 at 9:11 PM #9

    MAXXMAN93-4301

    MAXXMAN93-4301

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    there is a guy in pittsburgh who can set up the chinese RFY cheapies. takes them apart refits with new oil to the correct level and charges them with nitrogen.
    I have no experience with them just read article in Cafe Racer magazine.
    chrislivengood.net
    I might try one on my current xv920r cafe project
     
  10. Nov 17, 2019 at 7:25 AM #10

    woodsyv12

    woodsyv12

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    Don't forget billet engine mounts, makes the engine a stressed member and so stiffens up the frame, I would say better than a extra bolt on frame bar any day (although I can't prove that). I've got two max's and fitted billet mounts to both, very small increase in vibrations in the bars but not enough to worry about. With front fork upgrade and XJR or similar rear shocks it makes the bike handle much much better. After that it's different wheels so you can run modern radial tyres then you can 'scratch' with the best of them.
     

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