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 minute.

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.   Nice!

Was it worth the $2500?  So far it feels like it.

Written on: February 20, 2015
Last modified: February 21, 2015