Any Real World Experience with Ohlins?

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
I've updated my forks with RaceTech springs and Gold Valve Emulators, and now I'm looking at my shock. For info, this bike will never be track ridden, it's a back-road only ridden bike. As we are all painfully aware, shock upgrades for the FZ6 are very limited. And some shocks that were available years back are just no longer available. I can still buy a Ohlins STX46 (YA403) for $600, but before I drop that much coin on a shock I was hoping to get actual rider input on what you think of it.

I am aware of the R1 conversion...but I'm just tired of doing that type of hackery on my bikes (all of my bikes are, and have been custom). I'd like just put the bike on the center stand, remove two bolts and swap out the shock.
 

mxgolf

Motoup
Elite Member
I do have the rear shock for my 2007 FZ6 and love it. Pretty simple installation but the adjustment cylinder I had to put on the left hand side. Easy adjustments for rebound and dampening. I am a fairly light person at 185 with full gear on. I have had the Ohlin rear for 11 Years now. I added on the front Ohlin springs with Final Impact some years ago.
 

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
Thanks for the info. When you say that the "adjustment cylinder" had to put on the left side (I assume for access), looking at the photo the rebound and compression adjustments look like they are at the center of the upper and lower housing.

 

BustedS1

New Member
I raced my 09 R1 for a while on Ohlins, the best way I can explain it is that the bike becomes almost telepathic - granted the chassis is different, but it sits planted in whatever line you're trying to set, and allows more modularity mid-line. The bike also gets "upset" a lot less by bumps/divots, etc. think Cadillac-plush (but strangely firm and supportive at the same time)

Overall, if you're looking for a quick swap, have the coin, and the above description fits what you want - I say pull the trigger!
 

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
Thanks for the input Busted. My experience is that fork upgrades improve handling first and ride quality second, and that shock upgrades improve ride quality first, handling second. The near 15 year old OEM shock is well sprung for the bike, the the damping sucks. I wouldn't mind a more plush ride on my FZ.

Yeah, I'm gonna pull the trigger on that shock.
 

FinalImpact

2 Da Street, Knobs R Gone
Super Moderator
Site Supporter
In Marks case his Ohlins has an external reservoir. It's simply a can and bladder of nitrogen to keep the oil stable. Less foaming on pressure. My ancient revalved R1 the reservoir is attached. What I found over stock with both ends replaced and sprung properly, the bike is very compliant over rough roads and such. If when riding, I jump on the pegs the spring rates, sag, compression rates, and damping rates have the whole chassis behaving as one. Before one end was like a bronco being unleashed kicking you in the tail as the OEM shock had so little rebound control. Having set up dirtbikes to ride with me and not fight me, I was very disappointed that bike with such potential was fitted with such crappy hardware and rode so pour.
After doing some testing and finding that the R1 hardware had potential, then it fitted with an adjustable collar and later re-valved. It was a night and day different getting control of damping rate and adjusting it to my style.

Later I went through a phase of pushing it pretty hard for a couple years and was greeted by the nose damping/tire combo pounding like a jack hammer when braking downhill which is terrifying as one typically is braking for a much needed corner. Well that is our older technology showing it's colors. A simple fix was to add about 1.5 inches of oil to the R6 forks. As the nose compresses, the air pressure builds above the oil adding to the spring rate and reducing oil foaming. It helped a LOT but under some circumstances I could induce especially if the tire was not up to temperature. I think I was running 34.5.

I don't remember the name but there was some purple shock someone on here put on and was very happy with it. It was nearly half the cost of the ohlins. Either way, if you can swing it, you'll be very happy once you get the two ends dialed in.
 

banjoboy

Junior Member
Had an Ohlins on my '86 FJ1200, 'n it was great. Now I have a Wilbers on my FJR, and it too is great. Wilbers USA
Went with Wilbers this time, cuz they build 'em to yer weight 'n riding style, where as the Ohlins is just off the shelf. (Though they usually sping it to yer weight.) With the Wilbers you have more options, but it takes 'em 5 weeks to build. I'm debating whether to get a rear shock too, cuz I'm tiered of riding a pogo stick! Like Impact says, that rear shock really lets the bike down.
 
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