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Thread: Ulysses rear shock - maintenance?

  1. #1
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    Ulysses rear shock - maintenance?

    Hi guys. My ride is a 08 Ulysses. When I ride 2 up (girlfriend and myself) I feel the rear of the bike swings too much up and down. Our combined weight is around 160kg or 350lb which I think is the maximum load of the motorcycle.
    My doubt is: is this something related to maintenance/service needed on the rear shock? Or it is just because the shock is not supposed to handle all this weight?
    Rear shock is stock and has never been serviced. I’m not sure if servicing it will improve the handling in this situation, didn’t want to spend the money only to discover afterwards that it wasn’t worth doing.

    Thanks for those who share their knowledge/experience on this.

  2. #2
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    Worth mentioning that I did all the setup according to the owners manual, so yes it is correctly tuned.

  3. #3
    Hi
    Suspension setup according to the owners manual is only valid of the shock is not worn.
    My 07 Uly with 42k miles on didn't handle like I wanted, and I did get the shock rebuilt (details here https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...e-like-an-XB*R)
    My rebound clicker was 0.8 of a turn from fully in and the compression about 1.5 from full in, IIRC. The hydraulic preload had lost some oil too (weeped past seals?) and the first 13 turns did nothing, so I was using about 18 turns of preload to support my 80kg weight.
    The suspension guys changed the spring, replaced seals and re-valved the rear shock back to where the factory settings for compression, rebound and hydraulic spring preload worked, but it cost more money than a new shock would have (in the US anyway) and it didn't actually change the way the bike handled. The shock dyno printouts showed that the damping was the same before and after rebuild, albeit now at factory settings instead of clickers almost fully wound in. Buell's Showa dampers are high quality and though they wear, they maintain good damping. The only reason to rebuild the shock would be if its seals are leaking - then you've got no option but to have them replaced, but that a lot cheaper than getting them re-valved to compensate for the wear.
    If the weight you want to carry is not able to be supported with the hydraulic preload wound full up, more likely you need a new spring. Uly's std spring is a 2-rate and quite soft, so not best suited for 2-up riding esp if you think you're near the maximum load. The proper single rate spring will be way better than the std 2-rate spring, since that's the factory's compromise between the various uses they think the bike will see. Any good suspension specialist will be able to find and fit the right spring. Changing the spring is way cheaper than a shock rebuild.
    You can determine the right preload by the vertical 'sag' with you and passenger + luggage onboard. (This and plenty other videos show how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zPk2e19nDY. The Uly has longer travel suspension than sport bikes, so the sag recommendation of 30~35mm you see in most books and videos is too short. The suspension guy set mine up with 45mm sag at rear and that works well. Softer than a sportbike and I still don't bottom the shock, so its just more comfortable, as a Uly is meant to be.
    Once you have the right spring, so long as the rebound and compression clickers have ~3/4 of a turn left when giving you a good ride, I don't think you'll gain much by rebuilding the shock.
    Rgds - jv

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  5. #5
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    JV thanks for the long message.
    I’ve been refered to an expert in suspension tuning. He told me more or less the same you did. He thinks perhaps rebuilding the shock wont solve the bottoming but maintenance is definetely necessary after 10 years. And he mentioned the he is able to tune the shock’s “internal parts” to make it handle better the load I usually put on the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Vreede View Post
    Hi
    Suspension setup according to the owners manual is only valid of the shock is not worn.
    My 07 Uly with 42k miles on didn't handle like I wanted, and I did get the shock rebuilt (details here https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...e-like-an-XB*R)
    My rebound clicker was 0.8 of a turn from fully in and the compression about 1.5 from full in, IIRC. The hydraulic preload had lost some oil too (weeped past seals?) and the first 13 turns did nothing, so I was using about 18 turns of preload to support my 80kg weight.
    The suspension guys changed the spring, replaced seals and re-valved the rear shock back to where the factory settings for compression, rebound and hydraulic spring preload worked, but it cost more money than a new shock would have (in the US anyway) and it didn't actually change the way the bike handled. The shock dyno printouts showed that the damping was the same before and after rebuild, albeit now at factory settings instead of clickers almost fully wound in. Buell's Showa dampers are high quality and though they wear, they maintain good damping. The only reason to rebuild the shock would be if its seals are leaking - then you've got no option but to have them replaced, but that a lot cheaper than getting them re-valved to compensate for the wear.
    If the weight you want to carry is not able to be supported with the hydraulic preload wound full up, more likely you need a new spring. Uly's std spring is a 2-rate and quite soft, so not best suited for 2-up riding esp if you think you're near the maximum load. The proper single rate spring will be way better than the std 2-rate spring, since that's the factory's compromise between the various uses they think the bike will see. Any good suspension specialist will be able to find and fit the right spring. Changing the spring is way cheaper than a shock rebuild.
    You can determine the right preload by the vertical 'sag' with you and passenger + luggage onboard. (This and plenty other videos show how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zPk2e19nDY. The Uly has longer travel suspension than sport bikes, so the sag recommendation of 30~35mm you see in most books and videos is too short. The suspension guy set mine up with 45mm sag at rear and that works well. Softer than a sportbike and I still don't bottom the shock, so its just more comfortable, as a Uly is meant to be.
    Once you have the right spring, so long as the rebound and compression clickers have ~3/4 of a turn left when giving you a good ride, I don't think you'll gain much by rebuilding the shock.
    Rgds - jv

  6. #6
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    Too expensive unfortunately. Complete reasembly with desinstall/reinstall on the bike will cost me about 200 usd.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    That's an AMAZING deal to re-build and tune your factory shock! I'd go that route too! If you like his job could you please post up his info? I have some I'd like to send his way

    I have also heard of the remote pre-load seeping a little fluid and becoming useless as well, I'm sure he'll check that out. FYI a STT shock is the same dimensions and will bolt up in a pinch. You'll lose the 'remote' part of the Uly pre-load adjust, but you can find the STT shocks for $80 NEW!

  8. #8
    $200US is CHEAP. Go for it. Its a new spring you need first and maybe seals while he's got it apart. Not sure any other 'tuning' will improve handling - it didn't on mine, but if that's all in the $200 why should you care. That amount of work on the rear shock alone cost me equiv $800US! - jv
    Last edited by John Vreede; 07-31-2018 at 04:10 AM.

  9. #9
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    Forgot to mention that I live in Brazil, so maybe it will not be worth sending your shocks for service by international mail, Cooter.

    Anyway, I will definetely go for it and see how things change. The guy said he could just rebuild the shock with OEM parameters or he could tune it considering my weight and height so that would make the "sag" more appropriate. I think I´ll take the risk and allow him to tune the shock.

    Cooter BTW you mentioned the STT shocks which I saw on Ebay for 80 bucks. This is a very afordable price. Are these and the Uly´s the same shock, except for the pre-load adjust?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    For $200us it is totally worth shipping

    Quote Cooter:
    "FYI a STT shock is the same dimensions and will bolt up in a pinch. You'll lose the 'remote' part of the Uly pre-load adjust"

    They have pre-load adjust like most (all?) rear MC shocks, but the usual spanner wrench not the Uly remote dial.


    I've been looking into a Uly rear shock for my STT but dang they're pricy!



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