motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.



Bluey and I have covered over 70,000km (45,000 miles) since she’s been with me.

To date, our time together has been relatively trouble-free, with only a sprocket carrier bearing and the usual wear and tear items needing replacement. 

Things like brake pads and tyres… the usual stuff.

Sprocket Carrier Bearing

Sprocket Carrier Bearing

You might be thinking the bearing failed prematurely (66,000km – 41,000 miles) because I didn’t keep to the maintenance schedule.

You’d be right if the bike in question was only ever ridden when the sun was shining and never left sealed pavement.

This is not true for Bluey and I.

We’re together daily, and get caught in some wicked storms, like the one in this link <link>and it’s not unusual to find ourselves 10km (6 miles) up some dirt road.

Exterminate 112

Her rear shock has always been set on 6 of 7 clicks compression, even with just me on her.

So it came as no surprise when Bluey started to lose some of her sure-footed-ness in corners, and a bit Pogo stick like on undulating surfaces.

I’ll admit I’m no lightweight, tipping the scales at around 100kg (200 lbs). So that probably doesn’t help either; factory suspension being what it is and all.

Yes, I know, I know. I’m heavy bugger; but it’s only because I’ve got big stomach bones.

Honest… 😉

With so many miles under her wheels and the combined weight of me, the pillion and all our luggage being carted about all over the east coast of Australia a few months ago, it was inevitable that aforementioned recipe would produce the straw that broke the camels back.

Obviously, I’m not a full on head for the hills and scratch the foot-pegs kind of rider. So spending mega-bucks on an Ohlins setup was not even on the radar.

Far too many dollars for this little ghost.

As a cost saving measure I looked into rebuilding the rear shock… but was told it was not rebuild-able. 

Then in the same breath was told it could be made rebuild-able, with some modifications (?!).

This would come at a cost of AU$350.

Add to that, AU$200 for a new up-rated spring and I was looking at AU$550. 

This of course was dependent on the factory valving being serviceable. If the valving was beyond repair, I was looking at an additional AU$200 for gold valves.

That’s AU$750 all up, plus courier costs. I’d also be without Bluey for at least a week.

It soon became apparent this route was not going to be as cost-effective as initially though. 

Particularly when you consider that you can get an entry-level aftermarket shock with continuous adjustment on pre-load, custom spring rate, rebuild-able and comes with a 5 year warranty for about the same money.

You can guess which way I’ve decided to go with this exercise can’t you?



Chuck in a set of progressives springs for the front, and Bobs your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt: A suspension setup that’s a huge improvement over the factory, or any rebuilt offering.

So a week ago, I persuaded the minister for finance to release the required funds, and ordered new suspension for Bluey.

In all honesty, I’ve spent more than I wanted too.

I figured its a long-term investment, and it’s better to be happy with the result than to regret not doing it right in the first place.

I’m really looking forward to the new suspension, and the return of Bluey’s sure-footed-ness.

… Now, where did I leave that workshop manual?


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12 responses

  1. Upgraded / refreshed suspension certainly makes a big difference. I’m at that point of thinking about a refresh again but with over 230,000km on the bike it’s hard to justify big dollars on a fancy new shock, although remote pre-load would be nice,

    What brand of shocks did you go for?

    Liked by 1 person

    October 26, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    • Entry level.
      Wilburs 641 with remote pre-load and remote damping and Wilbers progressive fork springs.

      I ordered them through a place in Melbourne because I wanted to speak to someone about it. Didn’t cost any extra to the online price

      They have 10% off during October


      October 26, 2016 at 8:21 AM

  2. When you’re done can you come and take a look at my Connie? 138,000km on the original stuff. I have been thinking of looking at giving the suspension a bit of love for a while…

    Liked by 1 person

    October 26, 2016 at 3:21 PM

  3. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I rebuilt the suspension on my R1 before doing a track day at Phillip Island and it made the world of difference. My R1 was pogoing around before hand but not after. Money well spent I say.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 26, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    • I’ve heard that Steve. But to date I’ve never seen the need as it was always just me riding.

      Having a pillion and luggage has sorted that out.


      October 26, 2016 at 10:02 PM

  4. Bob

    I replaced the shock on the beaST this spring, about 30,000 miles beyond what I should have replaced it. The bike rode well, though. Went OEM, and paid for it, but what a difference! Funny how you don’t know the difference until you know the difference!

    Liked by 2 people

    October 27, 2016 at 4:56 AM

    • Thats true.

      Because the deterioration is so gradual you don’t notice until someone points itbout to you.


      October 27, 2016 at 2:10 PM

  5. Bluey will seem like a new machine to you when you get the new suspension in.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 27, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    • Ok hope so. It will be nice to ride two up with a little more confidence again


      October 27, 2016 at 2:14 PM

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