The bike was feeling a little light in the front end on the Multiple Sclerosis ride. Not too noticeable at slow speed. But freeway riding was a bit nerve wracking with it feeling like it wanted to wander. I initially figured (hoped) the front tire was responsible. It was in need of replacement. And the cupping that occurs on these tires can make it feel a little bouncy when its time is nearing an end. I just happened to have one sitting in the garage, so I strapped it over the Pelican box on Tuesday to take her to the shop.
I have the equipment to change the tire myself, but wasn't really into doing that. I would probably just have removed the front rim and dropped them off at the shop. For $20 they would have changed it for me. But this time I had a small wish list for the bike and couldn't see not just having them do it all at once. The referenced wish list was repairing the broken throttle position sensor (from the MS weekend ride, but is another story), replacing the oil and filter (also from the MS ride), changing the tire and checking the front brake pads.
I waited around for the work to be done, then rode back to my place of employment. It was pretty clear that the new tire didn't solve my problems and it was probably going to be a shock problem. Well...if I was going to have to fork over for new shocks...why not up the performance a little?
Did a minute (as in small, not time) amount of research and weighed the options between Öhlins, Hyperpro and Wilburs. Since I am not a patient person when my mind makes a decision to go for something, and Mr. Oilburner and I were kinda, maybe contemplating a ride on the Dragon this weekend, I wanted those shocks as soon as possible. Talked with my friendly, neighborhood supplier and he could hook me up with the Öhlins and get them in by Friday with 90% certainty. I gave him as much of my vital statistics as was necessary, hedging on a couple of the questions, and mentally pulled the trigger on the deal. These are not inexpensive shocks...
Friday rolled around and I had almost forgotten to expect their arrival! Left work early to run some errands for the pup and suddenly remembered who I needed to call. Turns out he was thinking of me too, and had left a message on the phone while I was in getting dog food. They had arrived.
I hightailed it to the shop, only to find Mr. Oilburner there when I arrived. Surprise! But he was only there to purchase another clear pinlock lens and wasn't about to carry my shocks home on his bike. My supplier knows me well enough to know that I am not mechanically inept. He just chooses to forget it regularly. So it is with amusement that I listen to him ask me if Mr. Oilburner will be installing the shocks tonight, as we watch him ride away. I turn to him and ask him why he would think that? His mouth starts working, and you can see the look in his eye that he knows he is digging himself in deeper and deeper and just can't keep his mouth from uttering: "Well, you know, because you're. a. girl..." I smirked at him because he knows he is in trouble and it is written all over his face that he knows. He was just powerless to stop his mouth. No harm...but I let him know that, while Mr. Oilburner will more then likely be helping, I will indeed be installing my shocks tonight.
As SonjaM says "It hurts a little to see that Beemer stripped to its entrails, even it is for the best possible reason." But it has to be done. And I would rather see loving hands doing the work. Besides saving the 3+ hours in labor charges...
I have always been apprehensive about removing the fuel tank. I've seen it done on an R1150R and was not relishing the task ahead. Reading through the "shock removal" steps we were hoping to finagle our way around it. Alas, no realistic way with the tools we had on hand. However, I will say with certainty that it is supremely easy to remove the R1200R fuel tank, albeit with four hands. The quick disconnects come standard on this model. Unless the previous owner had changed them out prior to my owning her. It was actually distressingly easy to remove it. However, I am happy to say that the task no longer scares me. And I would happily and easily do it again if necessary, especially to access the accessory light relay that someone kindly put under the damn fuel tank(!!).
Little tank looks a little lonely.
I'm not going into a step-by-step installation. It is boring and I didn't exactly take pictures of the important steps. Suffice it to say, it was an extremely easy job. It does require some heavy duty tools...which we have in abundance luckily. And Mr. Oilburner has the knowledge to use them.
The only snag came while trying to reinstall the fuel tank. We were putting all of the connections back together and flipping it into place when we heard the dreaded little metallic tinkle of something sneaking loose and falling down through all those wires and metal engine parts. We searched and searched. Shone flashlights in all the little nooks and crannies. Set me to wondering how all of the sand got on top of the engine?? And why a hunk of tempered glass was sitting there too. But we couldn't discover any parts that shouldn't be there, nor any parts that seemed to be missing. We took a break to let our minds settled and set back in to looking. Agreeing that we couldn't see anything we put her back together and zipped everything up.
Later, while taking measurements and moving her around a metal clip tumbled off of somewhere. Looks like we had found the culprit. I think it might have been a clip for the fuel pump plug/electronics. I'll need to remove the side panels to take a look and see what can be seen. Later... LOL.
I took her out for a post-installation ride check and all was peachy keen. I was only intending to go around the corner. But I took a right instead of a left. Then a left and another right. I realized I didn't have my phone, if something went wrong, nor my driver's license, if something else went wrong. It was late, I rode sanely and enjoyed the new feel.
I had sworn to Mr. Oilburner during installation that I was never going to tell him if these were good or bad because I wasn't about to let him covet mine and want to purchase some for his. So I just shrugged my shoulders and see-sawed my hand to his questions of "How are they?" I could see the disappointment in his face and wound up spilling the truth out. It would have been difficult hiding the truth anyway with the smile that was again plastering my face whenever I ride this beauty.
See a little yellow and gold peeking out?
Yes, we did ride the Dragon. Yes, it was great. :)