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Offline timur

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RRP rear shock maintenance
« on: July 21, 2019, 07:01:05 PM »
Hello RRP owners! I'd like to share some thoughts about my experience with RRP Level 1 rear shock after 2 years of very intense use.

I installed it on my beloved CB500X and the first 20000 km it was silky smooth. The problems started when I made 22000 km - uncontrolled rear wheel hops on rugged tarmac and pogoing in corners. I swaped back to the stock rear shock and the problem dissapeared. I'm aware that RRP recommends to overhaul the rear shock every 30000 km but in my case only 22000km was enough to KOing the rear suspension. I should state that I never did offroad with my CB500X - only tarmac roads, most of them in very poor condition and at very fast pace. Anyway - still thought that 22000 is way too early for the rear shock wear.

I wrote to Tractive asking for maintenance service - I live in Spain and I was expecting they indicates me the manner to do it - sending it to the Tractive, to their authorised dealer in Spain or any other option. They never replied me and finally I found near Madrid a suspension tuning workshop where I could overhaul it for 130 euros.

Even so - 130 euros every 22000 km seems to be a lot for a rear shock that costs about 500 euros and it's supposed to be reliable enough to withstand the offroad abuse. All of this taking in account that you couldn't make the overhaul by yourself - I have not met anyone until now who has a nitrogen charge equipment in their house or garage. So you need to remove the shock from your bike, take it to the workshop, install it again, etc.

Meanwhile my RRP shock is awaiting the repair in my kitchen and I'm still thinking if it worths the money it costs  - now I'm using the stock rear shock and while it works well I'll continue with it. And I'm seriously considering to buy a Wilbers full adjustable shock for the next year. 

Regards!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 07:02:45 PM by timur »

Offline ThirtyOne

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 09:21:02 PM »
Interesting report. I agree, it's a fair amount of maintenance which will someday cost more than the unit itself. I had a L1 shock for a few thousand miles and have since just gone with the L2. I rode 2 up with luggage for the first 1,500 miles of life on his shock and will continue to ride it as it's intended. Will be keeping an eye on it.

My only question to you is if you have the correct spring for your weight and have set the sag correctly. Maybe the spring too light and is being worm prematurely? Or if it isn't being cleaned/protected enough? I've been considering getting the shock sock or a hugger. My shock was covered in mud after my Guatemala trip.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 09:21:46 PM by ThirtyOne »

Offline JMo

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 09:34:14 PM »
*Originally Posted by timur [+]
Hello RRP owners! I'd like to share some thoughts about my experience with RRP Level 1 rear shock after 2 years of very intense use.

I installed it on my beloved CB500X and the first 20000 km it was silky smooth. The problems started when I made 22000 km - uncontrolled rear wheel hops on rugged tarmac and pogoing in corners. I swaped back to the stock rear shock and the problem dissapeared. I'm aware that RRP recommends to overhaul the rear shock every 30000 km but in my case only 22000km was enough to KOing the rear suspension. I should state that I never did offroad with my CB500X - only tarmac roads, most of them in very poor condition and at very fast pace. Anyway - still thought that 22000 is way too early for the rear shock wear.

I wrote to Tractive asking for maintenance service - I live in Spain and I was expecting they indicates me the manner to do it - sending it to the Tractive, to their authorised dealer in Spain or any other option. They never replied me and finally I found near Madrid a suspension tuning workshop where I could overhaul it for 130 euros.

Even so - 130 euros every 22000 km seems to be a lot for a rear shock that costs about 500 euros and it's supposed to be reliable enough to withstand the offroad abuse. All of this taking in account that you couldn't make the overhaul by yourself - I have not met anyone until now who has a nitrogen charge equipment in their house or garage. So you need to remove the shock from your bike, take it to the workshop, install it again, etc.

Meanwhile my RRP shock is awaiting the repair in my kitchen and I'm still thinking if it worths the money it costs  - now I'm using the stock rear shock and while it works well I'll continue with it. And I'm seriously considering to buy a Wilbers full adjustable shock for the next year. 

Regards!

Hi Timur - I think you are being a little unfair there - you say you've used the LEVEL 1 shock (a short travel, limited oil capacity shock) over 'very poor condition [roads] at a very fast pace', for 22,000 kilometres, and now feel the damping is not as well controlled as it was when the shock was new, and so it needs a service?

I trust you have also checked the shock for leaks, as generally speaking a rapid deterioration in damping control is unlikely, rather a slow reduction in the damping effect is usually the symptom of prolonged use, and which [in the mid term] can often be compensated for by increasing the damper adjuster a few clicks.

for info. TracTive are a business to business company, they do not sell/deal directly with the public, which is probably why you didn't get a personal response with regard to servicing. As I understand it they do publish a list of authorised service centres in Europe and rest-of-world on their website, and certainly if you had contact Rally-Raid [the original retailer of your shock] directly, they would have been able to advise who to contact for shock servicing.

Indeed in that regard, a 'shock service' is always a specialist job, required special tools and equipment as you've ascertained - no shock is user serviceable if it needs the oil replacing and re-pressurising/gassing.


With regard to the LEVEL 1 shock specification - it is designed as an affordable and higher quality direct replacement for the OEM shock, with the additional benefit/functionality of adjustable damping (primarily rebound, together with a proportion of compression too - via single adjuster), and the option of fitting a remote preload adjuster.

While it's overall build quality is a dramatic improvement over the OEM shock, it's limited size [oil volume] and travel characteristics still precludes it from being ideal for more aggressive off-road/rough terrain riding - which is why the [fully-adjustable] LEVEL 2 shock features a remote reservoir for significantly greater oil capacity, and longer travel so that the shock itself is not cycling between it's extremes of travel and heating up as rapidly.

By all means consider a different brand of shock in future if you wish, but if the Wilbers you mention has the same oil capacity and travel as the OEM and LEVEL 1 shock, then you are likely to suffer just the same fade characteristics in future too I'm afraid.

Ultimately, small diameter [bore/capacity] short-travel shocks are not ideal for prolonged aggressive riding, particularly once you also factor the weight of the bike and if rough terrain is regularly encountered - but they remain an affordable option for many people. Hence why Rally-Raid offer a range of suspension products depending on what use you intend for your bike.

Jx
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Offline timur

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2019, 09:58:31 PM »
*Originally Posted by ThirtyOne [+]
Interesting report. I agree, it's a fair amount of maintenance which will someday cost more than the unit itself. I had a L1 shock for a few thousand miles and have since just gone with the L2. I rode 2 up with luggage for the first 1,500 miles of life on his shock and will continue to ride it as it's intended. Will be keeping an eye on it.

My only question to you is if you have the correct spring for your weight and have set the sag correctly. Maybe the spring too light and is being worm prematurely? Or if it isn't being cleaned/protected enough? I've been considering getting the shock sock or a hugger. My shock was covered in mud after my Guatemala trip.

Hello ThirtyOne! Well - in my case I'm quite lightweight rider - 65 kg and I usually ride without luggage and pillion (except during long trips of course, when I'm carrying soft panniers). And the sag is well setted - 30-32 mm rear and 25-28 front. So I'm not sure where the problem comes from. I should recognize that I used to go pretty fast through poor tarmac roads but these roads are the same ones where GSs, RTs, F800s and Tiger 's 800 goes at the same speed without suffering any problem (or even enjoying the experience). The dirt is not an issue - the shock is well protected by mudguard and additional rubber fender and I never did offroad with my bike.
 
Rgds

Offline timur

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 10:56:23 PM »
*Originally Posted by JMo [+]
Hi Timur - I think you are being a little unfair there - you say you've used the LEVEL 1 shock (a short travel, limited oil capacity shock) over 'very poor condition [roads] at a very fast pace', for 22,000 kilometres, and now feel the damping is not as well controlled as it was when the shock was new, and so it needs a service?

I trust you have also checked the shock for leaks, as generally speaking a rapid deterioration in damping control is unlikely, rather a slow reduction in the damping effect is usually the symptom of prolonged use, and which [in the mid term] can often be compensated for by increasing the damper adjuster a few clicks.

for info. TracTive are a business to business company, they do not sell/deal directly with the public, which is probably why you didn't get a personal response with regard to servicing. As I understand it they do publish a list of authorised service centres in Europe and rest-of-world on their website, and certainly if you had contact Rally-Raid [the original retailer of your shock] directly, they would have been able to advise who to contact for shock servicing.

Indeed in that regard, a 'shock service' is always a specialist job, required special tools and equipment as you've ascertained - no shock is user serviceable if it needs the oil replacing and re-pressurising/gassing.


With regard to the LEVEL 1 shock specification - it is designed as an affordable and higher quality direct replacement for the OEM shock, with the additional benefit/functionality of adjustable damping (primarily rebound, together with a proportion of compression too - via single adjuster), and the option of fitting a remote preload adjuster.

While it's overall build quality is a dramatic improvement over the OEM shock, it's limited size [oil volume] and travel characteristics still precludes it from being ideal for more aggressive off-road/rough terrain riding - which is why the [fully-adjustable] LEVEL 2 shock features a remote reservoir for significantly greater oil capacity, and longer travel so that the shock itself is not cycling between it's extremes of travel and heating up as rapidly.

By all means consider a different brand of shock in future if you wish, but if the Wilbers you mention has the same oil capacity and travel as the OEM and LEVEL 1 shock, then you are likely to suffer just the same fade characteristics in future too I'm afraid.

Ultimately, small diameter [bore/capacity] short-travel shocks are not ideal for prolonged aggressive riding, particularly once you also factor the weight of the bike and if rough terrain is regularly encountered - but they remain an affordable option for many people. Hence why Rally-Raid offer a range of suspension products depending on what use you intend for your bike.

Jx

Hi Jenny! Well - first of all I'd like to explain a bit my technical background before discussing about the RRP. I worked during 10 years as stress and fatigue engineer in aeronautical industry and before I earned my first money as car mechanic. And I ride motorcycles since 13 years old so my passion for the wheels and engines comes from very far.

And going to the point - IMHO I'm not being unfair when speaking about my experience - as I explained in my previous post I never made offroad and the roads I used to travel are the same ones where another trail bikes goes without problem. A lot of folks changed their CB500X stock shocks with 60000 km and they was still in acceptable condition. That's the type of road I'm speaking about (at 120-140 km/h more or less) and while it's not the best tarmac I've seen it should't suppose a problem for any average car (well - maybe the expression "very poor condition" wasn't very precise - it's my fault):



On another hand - as I stated Tractive didn't reply me when I asked them about the possibility of maintenance. This was another thing that disgust me a bit.

So basically what I'm saying is that the reliability of rear shock could be better - this is my only complain. And I think that a good customer service doesn't consist in a denial of the reality. I know the history of the RRP and I'm fully aware of the effort inverted in the kit development so I understand your position Jenny. And I know that this things happens in any small scale production. Anyway - 22000 km between overhauls at 130 euros each one is way too short and expensive for me when a stock shock can offers quite similar performance and doesn't degrade so fast.

Regards.

Offline JMo

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 11:40:07 PM »
*Originally Posted by timur [+]
Hi Jenny! Well - first of all I'd like to explain a bit my technical background before discussing about the RRP. I worked during 10 years as stress and fatigue engineer in aeronautical industry and before I earned my first money as car mechanic. And I ride motorcycles since 13 years old so my passion for the wheels and engines comes from very far.

And going to the point - IMHO I'm not being unfair when speaking about my experience - as I explained in my previous post I never made offroad and the roads I used to travel are the same ones where another trail bikes goes without problem. A lot of folks changed their CB500X stock shocks with 60000 km and they was still in acceptable condition. That's the type of road I'm speaking about (at 120-140 km/h more or less) and while it's not the best tarmac I've seen it should't suppose a problem for any average car (well - maybe the expression "very poor condition" wasn't very precise - it's my fault):



On another hand - as I stated Tractive didn't reply me when I asked them about the possibility of maintenance. This was another thing that disgust me a bit.

So basically what I'm saying is that the reliability of rear shock could be better - this is my only complain. And I think that a good customer service doesn't consist in a denial of the reality. I know the history of the RRP and I'm fully aware of the effort inverted in the kit development so I understand your position Jenny. And I know that this things happens in any small scale production. Anyway - 22000 km between overhauls at 130 euros each one is way too short and expensive for me when a stock shock can offers quite similar performance and doesn't degrade so fast.

Regards.

Again, I will refer you to my original reply - TracTive are a business-to-business company, and rely on their sales and service centres to deal with customer enquiries - on the contacts page there is an interactive map that shows all the locations, and when you click on the respective symbol, the name, address and contact phone number of those businesses comes up:

https://tractivesuspension.com/contact/

With regard to your specific usage - I feel I've already given you a number of technical reasons why you [personally] may have started to experience shock fade - and certainly a bike with a 4.7" travel [38mm body] rear shock is hardly what you'd consider directly comparable 'other trail bikes', and you are saying you are riding rough pot-holed roads at 120-140kph? - of course your suspension is going to take a pounding.

I'm sorry to hear that YOUR particular example of this shock has started to fade what you consider prematurely - but I can assure you there are hundreds of other riders with LEVEL 1 shocks out there who have experienced no such thing for many tens of thousands of kilometres, including a good number who have ridden regularly on far rougher terrain for prolonged periods too - so that would suggest the shock itself is more than capable of offering what it was designed to do - which is to offer a higher ride quality and added functionality than provided by the OEM shock.

As I suggested above, if your particular example has suffered a significant loss of damping control over a short period of time, there may well be an issue with your particular shock. If it is not clear after a visual inspection, then any suitable service centre ought to be able to advise, and ultimately check/change the seals, and replace the oil/re-gas the shock if that is what is required.

In the meantime, if you are content with the ride quality offered by the OEM shock in the conditions you ride, then by all means refit that and see how you go.

Jx
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 11:43:30 PM by JMo »
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Offline Mister Paul

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 01:43:09 PM »
Would it be fair to suggest that a little less defensiveness and a little more neutral objectivity might help the customer?

Offline JMo

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 03:31:39 PM »
*Originally Posted by Mister Paul [+]
Would it be fair to suggest that a little less defensiveness and a little more neutral objectivity might help the customer?

Here's the thing Mister Paul - he is not MY customer (something you continue not to differentiate between on this forum as I recall) he is presumably a customer of Rally-Raid Products - which is kind of the point.

Had Timur contacted Rally-Raid directly [presumably where he bought the shock from originally] with his concerns about what he considers is a premature wear issue with the damping characteristics of his shock, I'm sure they would have been able to advise - and if it were a warranty issue for example, taken steps to sort out the problem on his behalf. They could certainly have advised him where the nearest TracTive authorised service centre is located.

Instead Timur has made a random post on an internet forum (something Rally-Raid themselves have neither the time nor the inclination to monitor on a regular basis, either during the working week, and especially at weekends) - dismissing the product, and criticising the manufacturer of the shock for a lack of communication.

I have offered an answer as to why TracTive may not have replied to his email. I would agree that a quick - "please look at our website, it lists all our service centres there" reply might have been a courtesy originally - but they too are a small and very busy company, and do not have the facilities to deal directly with customer/public enquiries, hence why they list their sales and service agents on their contacts page.

I have also countered his criticism of the product with a technical explanation of the possible causes of his shock oil overheating and deteriorating - useful information for anyone else reading this thread I'm sure - and hopefully illustrates the fundamental difference between a LEVEL 1 shock which is designed as an upgrade/replacement for the OEM shock, and the LEVEL 2 shock with is the heavy-duty/larger capacity shock, which is going to be more suited to off-road and prolonged rough terrain riding.

I have also suggested that if he feels his use is 'reasonably' within the bound of what the shock was designed for, and there has been a significant deterioration in the damping recently, that he consider getting it inspected, as there could be leak/seal failure for example. These things are rare, but ultimately everyones use and circumstances are different - and it only takes a stone chip on the piston rod for example to create a pit that can agitate the seal, and cause either loss of pressure or oil to leak.

As I say, if you feel something you've bought has failed to live up to your expectations, your first port of call is to always contact the company you bought it from and discuss that with them. Running to a random social media outlet to make potentially inaccurate claims and generalisations about a product is not going to help if you genuinely want the company in question to help you.

Jx
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 03:35:35 PM by JMo »
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Offline Mister Paul

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2019, 03:41:13 PM »
I'm merely suggesting some objectivity rather than jumping to the defence of RR each time there is a negative comment made about one of their products. Sometimes the defence is warranted, sometimes not so. Sometimes RR's customer service appears very good, sometimes it appears to be left wanting. As is the case with most companies.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 03:42:38 PM by Mister Paul »

Offline JMo

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Re: RRP rear shock maintenance
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2019, 03:51:27 PM »
*Originally Posted by Mister Paul [+]
I'm merely suggesting some objectivity rather than jumping to the defence of RR each time there is a negative comment made about one of their products. Sometimes the defence is warranted, sometimes not so.

I appreciate that - and I feel I've been objective - I've discussed all the possible scenarios I can think of which might have let to the deterioration in damping that Timur has experienced, and offered a response to his concern that TracTive didn't reply to his original enquiry - something other people not be aware of (ie. it isn't initially obvious how you contact the various sales and service locations unless you click on the interactive map on their contacts page).

As I suggested above, your first port of call should always be to contact the company you purchased the product from (in this instance Rally-Raid, presuming it was a new purchase originally) and engage with them in a civil manner, not air your grievances on social media, as that helps no-one (least of all yourself) and can potentially undermine any goodwill you might have with the company in question.

Jx
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