It feels like a hard tail.
[ Tuesday - February 10, 2015 ]
Something odd occurred this morning when I commuted to work.
After going about 5 out of 15 miles, I noticed something out of the
ordinary. The rear suspension is really stiff. Stiff to
the point where I was literally feeling every crack on the
road. I didn't think much of it until I started tapping
the ESA button. Neither light touch nor button mashing yielded
a result. The computer was behaving like I didn't have ESA at
all. Going over speed bump has me feeling like I'm riding a
hard tail. "What is up with this?" Suspecting it was
something computer related, I pulled to the curb and power cycled
the bike. No joy. The ESA and suspension behaves the
same. Is it possible the rear suspension has locked out?
It definitely feels that way. Once I'm at work, I parked the
monster and started manhandling the bike. I picked up and
pushing down the rear. It seems like the suspension is
actuating. It doesn't appear to be locked. No matter,
I'm going to call the dealer to have them take a look at the ESA.
8 hours later, I was suppose to leave early to take the bike in, but
work got in the way. So I resolved to take the bike in the
following morning. That is until I turned the bike on and see
that the ESA is working once again. "What gives?" I get
on the bike and started switching ESA modes. I can feel the
rear suspension react according to the settings. It's possible
that my manhandling might have loosen something. Weird.
The ride home was uneventful. The ESA function perfectly the
entire time. A slight touch of the ESA button is sufficient to
bring up the ESA display. I eventually called the dealer to
let them know the ESA works again and that I'll keep an eye on it.
[ Wednesday - February 11, 2015]
This GS is only about 1.5 years old, but having this ESA experience
has me a bit concerned. That in addition to the fact that the
stock suspension feels so squishy all of the time (I'm always riding
with hard setting) made me decide to pull the trigger on a
replacement rear suspension. I could have gone cheap, but I
decide to get a drop in replacement instead of sending the stock
shock out for rebuild/reconstruct. Of all the aftermarket
vendors, I chose Touratech as I wasn't able to find another vendor
that has a drop in replacement for the ESA. It's as expensive
as heck, but you get what you pay for.
It's beefy. The shock is over spec'ed/over built. Now
let's see how well the bike does once it's installed.
[ Friday - February 20, 2015 ]
Nearly a week after the shock went on the fritz, for a short while,
the ESA is still functioning as if nothing ever happened. I
still don't know what might have caused the problem.
Touratech USA is fast. I ordered the shock last Wed night and
the shock arrived on Tuesday morning (after Presidents day
holiday). I'm scheduled to take the GS in for a shock
replacement tomorrow morning (Saturday). Now it's time to see
how well the new shock works. The stock still feels squishy
even on hard setting sometimes. I find myself taping the ESA
button to ensure the suspension is set to Hard. It is.
[ Saturday - February 21, 2015 ]
So how is the new shock? Hold on... I'll get to that in a
So I tighten the Rok straps with the Touratech shock (in box) in
pillion position. I head off to Brown Motor Works to get the
baby fixed. The bike is in Hard setting as usual, but when I
get on the freeway it feels like I'm riding on nothing but
spring. The rebound dampening is nowhere to be felt. I
was pogo-ing up and down on the slightest of bumps. Taking the
junction between the 605 and the 10 had me backing off the speed as
I was uncomfortable with "All that bouncing". I don't know
what anybody else might think, but this sure feels like the rear
shock is on the verge of failure. I hand over the keys to
Eddie (service manager), and around noon time, I'm told I can pay
for the work. Before getting on the bike, I asked Eddie, "Is
the shock stiffer?" "I can't tell, but there is more of a
difference in between settings." I guess I have to give it a
whirl to find out.
The over built shock.
The electronic controller.
The first impression is, "The bike is high. Like when I first
purchased it." This is a good sign. Next came the ESA
modes swapping back and forth. It works, and yes I feel the
differences between the settings. Now the question is... how
is baby going to feel riding in Normal setting? I leave the
lot. All that is on my mind at the moment is, "tall, tall,
tall.". The Normal setting feels soft, but it's
different. Unlike the stock shock, I can feel the rebound
dampening working. It's soft, but it doesn't pogo. I
flip back and forth between Normal and Hard. By the time I get
home, it's clear that the rebound dampening was what I was missing
this entire time. It's so good to know that I'm not going to
launch off the bike from the next large bump on the freeway.
Was it worth the $2500? So far it feels like it.
Written on: February 20, 2015
Last modified: February 21, 2015