F650 Shock Maintenance

Original FAQs by Kristian #562, BradG #1002, Scott ID #1244
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Last Updated: 21 Feb 2007, by Winter #1935

For FAQs related to forks, shocks, maintenance and aftermarket options:


Tuning and maintaining your rear shock will often make a huge difference in your comfort while riding. The correct settings and well serviced suspension may be okay for normal road conditions, but when you are riding offroad you may need different settings. Not only that, but well maintained suspension makes riding a little safer - think about what happens when you apply both brakes in an emergency situation - not only is pressure placed on your tires, but your suspension needs to work to help you stop effectively.

Many F650 riders think the rear shock is simply not up to the task, and state (for instance) the OEM shock needs replacing within 20,000miles (32,000kms).

ST vs. regular F suspension Differences?

by Harl #380

Unless one is lowered, the suspensions are the same. The only real difference on the ST is the windshield (or lack thereof) and an 18" front wheel. The latter may cause you a bit of grief if you want to do any offroad riding.

GS / Dakar Differences

Note that the Dakar has a REMOTE RESERVOIR as well as a preload. On a Dakar without ABS the reservoir is located here: Dakar Remote, Dakar Remote 2. (Rusty Cylinder above the Oil Filter and to the left of the wires).

Note that on a Dakar Bike with ABS, the Dakar ABS takes up the Remote Area and the Remote is moved to the RHS Frame as shown here: Dakar with ABS

Here is the GS vs. the Dakar Shock Dakar has extra Reservoir, thanks to Iceman or DHP.

OEM Shock Adjustments

F650 Classic OEM and F650 GS OEM Shock Adjustments are

  • Preload: (Large Black Adjustment Knob)
  • Rebound Damping. (Small Turn Screw with S<->H stamped on it at the BOTTOM of the shock, one side only, small turn screw standard on the fitted shock.

F650 GS Dakar:

  • Preload: (Large Black Adjustment Knob)
  • Rebound Damping. (Small Turn Screw with S<->H stamped on it at the BOTTOM of the shock, one side only, small turn screw standard on the fitted shock.
  • Compression Damping (Remote Reservoir). The Ohlins has an adjustor on the Remote, I'm assuming the GS/Dakar one does too. (Someone please confirm)

Some Aftermarket Shocks can provide the same as the OEM or give you the additional adjustment of compression damping via a remote reservoir, like the GS Dakar, if you're a really full-on rider. if you're not and don't have money to burn, the Preload and Rebound Damping Adjustments are JUST FINE. If you do get and you're on the rather heavy side, don't forget to ask about stiffer springs.

Suspension Glossary

Extracted from Motor Cycle News... Suspension is a black art shrouded in mystery. Or so the bloke down the pub would have you believe. Actually for most road riding setting up your bikes suspension is relatively easy, it is only when you go searching for those elusive ten tenths of your ability and the bikes that it becomes more complex.

Sag The amount by which the suspension compresses under the weight of bike and rider
Preload How much the suspension springs are compressed at a standstill. This determines the sag.
Compression Damping Controls the rate at which the suspension will compress when you hit a bump.
Rebound Damping Controls the rate at which the suspension returns after being compressed.
Rear Compression Strikes a compromise between soaking bumps and squatting under acceleration.
Rear Preload Adjusts the initial compression of the rear spring. This determines sag and height.
Rear Rebound Can be set correctly before you ride the bike. Bounce down on the seat to judge return rate.
Front Compression The balance here is between soaking up bumps and diving under braking.
Front Preload Set the sag to be the same at the front and the back. For an average weight rider, about 25mm.
Front Rebound After being compressed, forks should return to original position without bouncing

Other Websites with Explanation of Suspension

Suspension Tuning (Shocks and Forks)

Suspension Tuning for Dummies

Beyond simple seat of the pants tuning there are many approaches to getting your bike set up just right. The approach suggested here is the most basic after seat of the pants tuning. The first step requires a baseline of your suspension. This comes in the form of a pair of measurements to be taken from your bike. Called sag it provides a means with which to compare and adjust your bike for the load you normally place on it (your bum and gear in other words). Rather than repeat the instructions for this, a link is provided to help you do this. But this other site is intended for bikes with more adjustments than ours so we have provided a method that is appropriate for the simpler F suspension. Go here and skip to Part 2 to learn how to get your own bike's sag measurements then return to learn what to do next.

Make sure that when you adjust it, the bike is on the centerstand. This takes some of the pressure off the spring.

  1. Measure your existing sag (see above link for details). Suggested ranges are as follows:
  2. You cannot adjust the front so if it is out of range you need to change the size of the preload spacer or possibly the springs. See Tuning the Front Suspension for more.
  3. If you find your rear measurement is out of the range then you may want to make an adjustment. The stock rear has only two adjustments:

Some hints that help:

Feedback on Tuning

Tuning the Front Suspension

So what (settings) are other folks using on their Suspension Setups?

Q. This question is probably gonna get eyes rolling heaven wards but does anyone know if threes a FAQ( i.e.. what is good for certain conditions on tar and dirt ) on rear suspension settings for the Dakar? Just got mine 3 months ago and haven't had time to do the trial and error thing. The manual says if heavy set hard, if light set soft! Duh! Any advice would be much appreciated.

What setting should I use for the screw on the rear shock?

The '05 stock Dakar rear end is not handling rutted dirt roads well at all; also, there is a loud metallic clunking sound (the linkage?) at the back end also. Questions: (i) to improve rutted dirt road rear end handling, should I adjust the screw on the back shock absorber towards the 'S' marker. At the moment the marker is set as stock, ie. between the 'H' and 'S' punch mark. (ii) can the screw be turn more than one revolution or is is strickly one revolution maximum? Fizz

Suspension Linkage

Idler Arm/Swing Arm/Tension Lever Bearings

Many thanks to Haakon #626 for the Numbers

Refer Chain Sprockets FAQ Swingarm Removal is Easy for details on Swingarm Removal. Refer also Part Numbers Bearing Schedule for Parts Numbers.

Idler Arm

There are three sets of bearing locations on the idler arm, one for the frame connection, one for the connection to the Shock and one to the Tension Arm. Two of these have double bearings, and there is one single.



Tension Strut Bearings



Swing Arm Bearings



Haakon Notes
  • I paid a visit to my dealer and had a long chat with the mechanic. Unfortunately he had never done any work on the "old" F. (Very few sold in my area). He had a new swing arm for the GS and the four needle sleeves that have to be installed in the swing arm prior to fitting.
  • Those were needle sleeves as the parts database name them. (See attached diagram to get a grasp of the difference to a needle bearing, with thick, ground, outer and/ or inner races). When I told him, the old F used loose needles he almost did not believe me. As I told him that, all the dimensions were equal between the two he did not know what to say, except that we were dealing with BMW. The needle sleeve bearing of course has fewer needles than the loose needle type, but the loose needle type usually has a much thicker outer ring so altogether the bearing surface is almost equal.
  • Think of the bearing surface as thin lines, one for each needle. The width of the line does not change much within the range of the needle diameter. Needles are in the range of 0.5 to 2.0 mm. After that, we "jump" to rollers. We have a small diameter needle/ roller inside/ outside a much larger diameter inner or outer race. Thus, the contact area is a line, slim or "wide".
  • I guess the only way to get information on the "old" F is to, order them (one of each), or post a question to those of the CG members that have changed them. I will have my samples during next week. The swing arm one was priced at a bit less than 10 $ US. (In Norway-Nkr 67, 00)
  • I "found" this site when searching for good illustrations: http://www.directindustry.com/ Use the search to find whatever.

Maximum Play in Swingarm?

by J@mes#848

Typical Question: Following a tyre change, I noticed that there is about 1cm of free play in the swingarm when the bike is on the centre stand. Does anyone know if this is normal? The play is Up - down Side to side seems ok.

Answer: Should NOT be more than 1-2mm.

Problem: The shock appears to be fine, but the swingarm/shock connection bearing is shot. I am going for a replacement bearing where the shock meets the swing arm. For the record that went at 66,000 kms

Rear Suspension/Swingarm Relube

by Langlois

Reason: While doing the 6K on my wife's bike I checked the steering head bearings and found them a little dry and lubed them. Knowing that there were many other bearings on the bike I opted to check them and lube if needed (they all needed it, some were ok, some ideal, they ALL got a shot of grease)

1. While you are there, pop this chain roller off and lube it. 2. Another shot of that upper chain roller/guide 3. Swingarm, pop off the nut, drive out the swing arm pivot rod.
4. Slide this pivot out. 5. OK swingarm is off, note this seal on the inner and out of each side. 6. This inner bush removes on the inside of the swingarm, note white seal that wants to be lost.
7. Lubed (no seal, no inner bush) 8. Lubed, no seal, no bush 9. Greasy fingerprints, bush installed with inner seal (a black washer, plastic, that looses itself)
10. Since you are there....the lower "dogbone" of the rear suspension needs some attention, take the few moments and DO IT! Still on the bike (you can do this off the bike) the lower rear needles, not grease that can be seen, inner bush looks ok. 11. After I get done with grease, messy messy, but hey, it keeps things from wearing out. 12. Removing the dog bone....
13. Lubed, ready to install 14. Back to your swingarm: Don't forget these suspension linkages! They need grease too!
15. When reinstalling the swingarm, take the axle, slide it into its normal "home" take a bungie and hook it up, this acts like "power steering" and allows you to concentrate on loosing those little black plastic swingarm bushing washers while doing the install.
16. Don't forget the upper shock bush which is a piece of junk plastic sliding bushing. 17. Since you are there...take the adjusters out of the swingarm, clean them up, antiseize the threads.

Suspension Linkage Feedback

Suspension and Swingarm Linkage Bearing Replacement

Many thanks to Kristian#562 (ex-FAQ Master) for this write-up. [Ed note: Use the images for lubing the bearings for a general guide on what things look like]


  1. After removing the rear wheel, undo the link rod connections to the swing arm first. This is the bit under least tension and will get you access to the rest of it. Then remove the swing arm main bolt (2 x 21 Sockets).
  2. Pull out the swing arm. You WILL need to remove the plastic chain guard (3 screws) to get it away from the chain and thus away from the bike.
  3. Then undo the bolt holding the shock to the idler arm. Then undo the final bolt (a 14mm and a 16mm) holding the Idler Arm to the frame.
  4. You should then have 1 Swing Arm, 1 Idler Arm and Two Link Rods, plus a bunch of bolts/nuts.
  5. Undo the black plastic Swingarm chain runner, the one that runs around the RHS of the swing arm and protects it from the chain. It is fastened by TWO (probably VERY RUSTY) screws, which you will likely shear off. Crap Design. Try a little WD40 overnight... you may have to resort to heat ... Take GREAT care with the Plastic but, It is not RUBBER it is BRITTLE plastic. Do not BEND it. It WILL break.
  6. Gently prise off all seals. The Swing are arm and one idler seals are spooge. See below.
  7. Take out and replace all bearings as per instructions below.
  8. Re-attach chain runner (brittle plastic) and using some anti-seize on screws is a GOOD IDEA. Then replace chain guard.
  9. Attach idler arm to bike frame (1 bolt). Then attach shock to idler arm (1 bolt, no nut). Then install the swing arm and long bolt in place (2 x 21 sockets for the GS, 22mm for Classic IIRC). Then attach the link rods and then mount the wheel/tyre. See rear wheel replacement FAQ for that. Done.


You do NOT NEED to replace ALL the Bearings. I just didn't want to do 1/2 this job now and 1/2 later. Your choice. Water does it get in, if your bike lives outside 365 days a year, like mine.

  1. The Pull-Rod/reaction Link is listed here (correctly) as 1# 18x24x12. Don't do what I did and forget that's one Brg for EACH Link, and only buy one... i.e. ONE PER LINK ....=> BUY a total of TWO of THESE => Pull rod / Reaction link BRG 18x24x12 HK 1812 F650 GS/ GSD.
  2. For the GS/Dakar, there are a Total of 6# 22x18x16 Brgs, 3# 18x24x16 Brgs, and 2# 18x24x12 Brgs. Total 11# Brgs. Suggest first timers buy an extra 22x18x16 in case they mash one because they (a) Got it off-centre with the Vice (b) Used too little heat (IF USED) (b) Used a socket to drive it in that wasn't exactly the right size (c) Got it wonky at the outset then continued to drive it rather than try to straighten it or remove it and start again.
  3. Don't forget to buy ALL new seals too ... I have all the numbers at home, will send them later. Basically same (internal/external dia) as above except last number (always thickness) is 4mm (large bearings) and 3mm for the smaller bearings. If no 3mm then 4mm is OK, just make sure the Brg is deep enough in the sleeve/hols to allow a 4mm to fit. Totals: 4# for Swing Arm (All Large), 6# for the Idler Arm (Two Large/Four Small), 2# for EACH Reaction Link (4# Total). Overall Total 14#. Buy an extra of each....
  4. Some Grease!
  5. The main swing-arm to engine frame uses some cheapo sponge-type seals. I couldn't get those except maybe from BMW, so I just used the same (new) single-lip seals as for all the other bearings of that size. Fits well and will probably hold water out better than those spoogy ones. Cost-cutting measures from BMW or real purpose? There is also one other (smaller) sponge-seal which I replaced with proper seals. The number of seals in (3) above assumes you will NOT use the BMW oddity.

Driving Out Old Bearings

  1. The Main Swing Arm and TWO of the THREE Idler Arm Holes have TWO Bearings per hole. For sleeves with TWO Bearings per hole, when driving them out, note that (there appears to be) a slight taper toward the middle. If not using a vice, DRIVE the bearings out from inside OUT. Do not try to drive the bearings through to the opposite side, it may jam. Drive out the first one (of a pair) using as large (largest diameter) a punch as possible that will properly fit the lip. A large dia. will do LESS damage than a small dia. one. Do NOT use a Screwdriver, you will score the aluminium of the Idler Arm. The Main Swing Arm Bearings are seated in a STEEL pipe, so this is not so much a problem for those. Once the FIRST brg is out (using the drift) you can then use a perfectly sized (or very slighter smaller) SOCKET to drive out the second one, AGAIN inside to out. The single bearings are in straight-sides holes. No taper. If you happen to score the aluminium a bit don't cry it's not a disaster. The new bearing won't fall out. Just make sure there are no burrs sticking up. If burred, LIGHTLY smoothen with a piece of VERY fine wet and dry sandpaper.
  2. EITHER...
    METHOD A: Recommended - Use a Good Strong Wide Opening Vice. A small vice may simply not have enough leverage. Put a Socket the CORRECT hole size on the push-in side and a LARGER than Bearing Size Socket (or piece of pipe, steel with hole in it) on the push-out side. Crank with VICE. If it appears it isn't working, you may need to apply some heat. This method will do LESS damage to your bearing housings than HEAT, but you MUST have the correct socket. If bearings REALLY stuck or rusted in, you MAY still need heat.
    OR METHOD B: Use Heat. Not pathetic amounts. Use LOTS of heat, especially on the steel tubes of the swing arm. NOTE: The paint will burn off, so you may need to repaint. For this method, there is NO substitute for LOTS of heat. Use a BFH and put the item you want to work on, onto a piece of wood. The idler arm is the wonkiest shape, so it always tries to tip over when you hit the socket. Cut grooves and slots in a piece of timber so that it sits FLAT. Drill HOLES in the timber so you can DRIVE the old Brgs through and out. Driving out the single (and small) Link-Rod bearings is the easiest thing. If you haven't done it before do those first, over a piece of timber with a hole in it, just larger than the bearing OD. If heat is used, be patient. Have all your tools around you, including heat (if used). Have a pair of heavy leather or other heat resistant gloves (if heat used).
  3. Be patient.
  4. Be a little more patient.
  5. For the Swing Arm. A two-pronged hammer-type bearing puller didn't work for me. Maybe not enough heat, or too much resistance holding it. Slotting the sleeve (with the Brgs in that you to drive out) over a workbench, I drove the INSIDE Brgs out using a drift first as they were easy to access from the outside of the swing-arm. Remember (IF USED) HEAT and a DRIFT is OK here as it is a steel sleeve. I then used a socket (of exactly the right size!) and popped it in the hole from the inside. I threaded a socket extension (3/8" or 1/2" drive) through the OPPOSITE-side bearing sleeve and clicked it into my socket and drove that. Repeat for other side.
  6. Swing Arm again and only if heat is used, strongly suggest you do NOT try to just stand the swingarm on its side and whack the bearings out of the unsupported (upper) arm. Not that the thing will bend (unlikely, deep box section) BUT it will bounce a lot, so you lose a lot of energy in rebound, rather than going into driving the bearing out. This is where a solid workbench comes in handy: (a) For the INSIDE BEARINGS: You can rest one sleeve on the workbench (or over an anvil, over a piece of wood with a hole in it) and the other sleeve will be BELOW the workbench. (b) For the OUTSIDE BEARINGS: You can rest one sleeve on the workbench (or over an anvil, over a piece of wood with a hole in it) and the other sleeve will be ABOVE the workbench. In both cases whack the bearings out of the sleeve that is sitting DIRECTLY on the workbench (over a piece of timber with a hole in it). You might need to suspend or support the rear of the swingarm (axle-end) or get someone to hold it for you. Simply using A vice may be easier, (i.e. NO heat), but ensure your sockets are correctly-sized.
sunio's hint on bearing removal
I first tried to hammer the bearings out (using torch to heat things up) but that's not the way to go! A much easier way is to simply press them out. I used a large wise and sockets of the same (well, slightly smaller) diameters as the bearings. With a help of piece of wood to protect aluminum parts I simply pressed the socket in and it in turn, slowly pushed the bearings out without damaging them. On the opposite end where you're pushing the bearing you can put a larger socket so that the bearing driven out falls into it. Same for installation. Very precise and will not damage you bearings or suspension components.
  1. You only need a vise. I have mine sitting loose on the garage floor :). That's enough. It only has to be large enought to accomodate the widh of whatever houses the bearing + the sockets lenght + a bit more.
  2. I did press double bearings the same way and no there is nothing between them so you can do it from both either side.
  3. I am not sure what sleeves are (english is my second language, sorry) but if you're talking about the steel tubes that are between bolts and the actual bearing then those came out easily by sliding them out by hand.
  4. Actually using this method you can take the bearings out, clean them properly, relube with a grease and reinstall them. You won't damage them at all. I only ended up replacing 6 of them. I cleaned and relubed the reminder of them

Replacing Bearings

  1. Put your Bearings in the freezer or have your spray-can of liquid nitrogen at the ready....care esp. with the latter, if you value your finger tips.
  2. EITHER...
    METHOD A: USE A VICE. This time, use the vice and a piece if timber to "push" each bearing in from it's own side. Once flush, use a correctly sized socket to "push" it in the extra 3.5 to 4mm you need to provide the recess for installation of the seal.
    OR METHOD B: Use LOTS of heat. ESPECIALLY for the Steel Swing arm sleeves. The aluminium idler arm and link rod sleeves didn't appear to need "quite" as much heat. One bearing in a two-bearing pair even dropped too deep into the hole with no driving. It cooled and I had a hard time getting the bearing back up into place again, so watch for this too.
  3. For the Idler Arm, have your piece of timber with all the right grooves in it so the piece lies FLAT and does not wobble. For the swing arm follow the same advice wrt the workbench or anvil as above. Method B Only.
  4. So put you hotty gloves one, heat the sleeve, race inside, get the bearing out of the freezer and slot it in the hole. Make sure it is true. You won't have time to make sure of this for longer than about 0.05 seconds. Then place a bit of TIMBER (WOOD), the harder the better and use a nice solid block, over it and whack it in the middle of the timber. Whack it hard and whack it quickly try and make sure it is going down evenly. Do NOT use a socket at this time, not until its top is flush with the end of the sleeve. These are NOT like solid thick steel wheel bearings, they have a THIN SHELL cage ... hit it incorrectly and YES it can buckle. You did but a spare didn't you.... you don't have much time, at least for the steel swing arm. Once the bearing is flush with the sleeve-end, THEN get your (correct size) socket and whack it down the last 4mm. Don't stop short, or the seal will just pop out. Do not go TOO deep either. All this must be done quickly, but don't RUSH it. Method B Only
  5. Depending how hot you got the idler arm, you might be able to get 2, or even 4 bearings in with one heating session, try it, but don't push your luck Have your helper race out with the frozen bearing. They do NOT stay frozen for long, they are so thin, they can't hold the cold. if in doubt freeze it again and heat the sleeve again too. Method B Only
  6. Do not put in the SEALS until the thing has cooled. Apart from finger burns, it might melt the rubber.... So once cooled (maybe you can help this along under warm then ever cooler water, but don't "quench it" in cold water from blazing hot, this "may" make the sleeves brittle.
  7. Once cooled, insert seals (preferably on a dry non-greasy surface) .... you DID make the brgs deep enough right? If not do NOT try to drive the extra 1mm cold, you will just munch the brg. Either use the vice/socket combo, or apply heat again (and allow to cool). Slather the bearings with grease, roll around. Insert steel Sleeves. Replace on bike in order as A to I above.


  1. Correctly-sized sockets that JUST fit the bearing hole, pref, with a wide flat lip.
  2. Heat Source (IF HEAT used) e.g. Blow Torch.
  3. BFH (IF HEAT used) (BIG *** HAMMER).
  4. 21mm, 14mm, 16mm Sockets and Ring Spanners (There may be other sizes required?) for Idler/Swing Arm removal and replecment.
  5. 19mm and 24mm for Rear Wheel ???
  6. Various Torx Spanners for Removal of Chain Guard and Plastic Bits. 8mm ring spanner for mud flap removal.
  7. Phillips Screwdrievr for removal of chain guard rail.

Shock Disassembly

How do I replace the Shock

Generally, follow the Ohlins Installation FAQ. There's some more specific guidance and even some photos in these FAQs, to be followed in this order:

  1. Rear Wheel Removal/Replacement FAQ
  2. Swingarm Removal FAQ. Do NOT remove the Swingarm though, just follow steps 1 and 2.
  3. Ohlins Installation FAQ
  4. Swingarm Removal FAQ Do NOT remove the Swingarm though, just follow steps 14 and 1
  5. Rear Wheel Removal/Replacement FAQ

Consider perhaps also taking the Tank off so you can see what you're doing up at the top.

GS Shock Removal

In order to access the top mounting bolt of the GS shock, it appears the fuel tank must be removed, and that in turn requires removal of the rear subframe, etc. What a difficult and complicated job simply to change a shock, or am I missing something? Any advice/info on changing the shock on a GS will be greatly appreciated.

Missing Strut Nut?

Decided to clean the chain and while working in that area, it appears that the nut on the bottom of the rear strut/shock is missing. Good reason to clean your bike btw. You can check to make sure everything is still there. In this case, I've never actually noted it was even there and I guess there's a chance that there wasn't one there or one isn't supposed to be there. Can't imagine why not though. I did check the CD-ROM and can't really find a good reference to it either. This is an '01 Dakar but I suppose they would all be the same. Gerry #951.

Shock Disassembly Procedure

(by Ralf Wolf)

How to disassemble the rear shock without special tools or taking unreasonable risks:

  1. Remove the shock and pre-load adjuster as a unit.
    Note: The pre-load adjuster is easier to thread through the frame with the knob removed. Just be sure to catch the spring loaded B.B. that is used to make the 'clicks' when you adjust it. Photo 1 shows the spring loaded hole the B.B. lives in, after the cap was removed and my first B.B. went for a ride....

    Figure: Preload Detent BB holder Hold

  2. Crank the pre-load up to maximum to pre-load the spring. Once pre-loaded, install about 40 zip-ties to the spring as shown. Be sure to cinch them up nice and snug, with an even tension on all the ties. (see photo 2)

    Yes, this is ugly, and a waste of $5 worth of high quality zip-ties, but it really only took about 10-15 minutes to lace up. For the garage mechanic, it's quicker/cheaper than a trip to the dealer. Maybe I could've used 1/2 as many zip ties, but I didn't want to take any chances with the spring popping loose!

    Don't use cheapo zip ties! Get the good ones, with ratchets on both sides. As a test, make a big loop out of one of them and try to break it with your bare hands. If you can break it, buy bigger/better ones before proceeding!

    Figure: Zip Ties Installed with Pre-Loader Maxed

  3. Crank the pre-load to minimum and make sure the spring is loose by a few mm, as in photo 3. If you have any doubts about the strength of your zip ties, give them a poke now to see if any are about to pop off.
    Note: Only proceed if you are confident that your zip ties, or whatever you used to hold the spring compressed, are going to hold. If the ties pop off after you do the next step, you can't reassemble the shock!

    Figure: Preload Removed to Get A Small Gap

  4. Loosen the small set screw and shove the hydraulic housing towards the compressed spring to expose the circlip. Gently lever the circlip out with a small screwdriver. (See photo 4)

    If you don't have quite enough play to expose the circlip, put a few washers in the gap, crank up the pre-load again and cinch the zip ties down a bit more.

    Figure: Hydraulic Housing Pressed Down and Circlip Removed

  5. Remove the circlip. Slide the hydraulic housing, spring, etc up about 4 inches to get at the cursed shock travel limiter buried in the other end of the shock. (pic 5)

    Note: Assembly is just the reverse of these steps. Be sure to crank the pre-load back up to max before you start cutting the wire ties, or the last few will rip out on you without warning!

    Also, I found tying a string to the pre-load adjuster and threading that through the bike frame first made reinstalling the shock a whole lot easier.

    Figure: Exploded Shock Reveals Evil Spacers

Shock(ing) Problems (Q&A)

How do I know if the Rear Shock is stuffed?

First check your current settings as described in the Suspension Tuning section before going and shelling out for a new Shock, it may just be that you need to set it up right for your weight and driving terrain (off-road bumpy, tarmac etc.). Also don't forget it's not JUST the preload you have to crank up it's also the S/H Screw (very sensitive so do it in increments) at the bottom of the Shock. Although having said that a lot of folks have had their shocks go AWOL at 20k miles. May want to consider stiffer Front Fork Springs too e.g. RaceTech, if you intend to ride 2 up a lot.


Feedback (on stuffed shocks):

Suspension Higher After Service or Maintenance?

Bent Suspension Linkage Mounting Bolt?

What do I do if the Remote Reservoir Breaks?

My girlfriend is a real brute: she broke again her suspension (the second time on the trip!). This time, though, it's not the piston that suffered: it's the little "bottle" on the side of the bike that exploded (see this picture - it's a F650GS Dakar 2002). The cap broke open and all the oil leaked in a matter of seconds. Result: there is no suspension and we are now stuck on asphalt... pierresas

  1. Is is possible to repair the bottle? What kind of oil should go in it? At what pressure?
  2. If it isn't possible to repair, is it possible to install the bottle from another kind of motorcycle (H*nda etc...)?

How much play should there be in the rear linkage?
Clunking noise from rear shock?

I have a clunking noise that I have been trying to isolate and I think I found the culprit. 99 classic F w/ 30K If I set the bike on the center stand and rock it back and forth there is some play and accompanying clunk in the linkage to the shock. so that each time it rebounds or before it compresses there is some looseness that has to be takien up. is this normal? paul smith

My preload adjuster is stuck! Help?

My 2001 GS was too low and soft, so I started experimenting with the preload adjuster and rebound damping. First, I could adjust the preload very easily. It ended up at the "high" end. Then I adjusted the r.d. It was set to a very soft position (all the way?), so I screwed it all the way clockwise to the "hard" position, and rode to work. Now, the preload adjuster is stuck in the "high" position.

I have searched the FAQ and the forum, and there is a rather depressing comment in an old thread (4155). It basically says that I'm up a certain creek without a paddle. Does anyone care to elaborate on this? What has happened, how and why? And, of course: What does it take to fix it? ThorH #1907

[Ed. note: Answers to this problem would be welcome!]

My preload adjuster is not clicking! Help?

Just picked up a 03 Dakar. Between weather cycles I've put 250 miles on it. Really like the bike so far. Found this great site, and have been cruising thru the tech faq's. When adjusting the suspension preload knob it rarely makes a clicking sound. Maybe once every 4 turns if that. Anything else I could check? Bgunn

Will the shock from a 99 F650 fit on a 94 F650?

Will a shock off a '99 carb model F650 fit a '94 model? My everlasting F650, Bronhilda, has now got 140,000km on the original shock! I have the chance to buy a 5000km old genuine Showa part no 2 345 004 if it will fit, for a lot less than new. I wonder if I will notice the difference?? DancesWithPoultry

Will the shock from a 96 F650ST fit on a 97 Funduro?

What is the part number for the GS rear preload adjustment knob?

Can I use an Ohlins' shock from a Classic on my GS or CS?

Is my OEM shock missing the lower nut?

Has anybody installed dakar links on a GS?