BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

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RavenstoneGSA
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BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by RavenstoneGSA » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:49 pm

Hi All,

I asked for a bit of advice recently regarding replacement / rebuild for the rear shock on my 2009 BMW R1200GSA. A new one costs £1300 so I was pretty keen to find and alternative. Big thanks to Rob, (Bimota) for passing on the details of Firefox Racing in Keighley. They charge £190 for a rebuild with original parts and despite it taking a bit longer than expected, (they were a man down,) It arrived yesterday and was fitted this morning.
The refit was pretty simple so I thought it might be worth describing what I did. I've added a few pictures so if you're in the same boat you can give it a go.

Before you start, preferably the day before, give any stubborn nuts and bolts a quick spray. I found that my exhaust clamp bolt was a bit rusty.

1. Strap your main stand to your front wheel, it stops the stand collapsing if you get a bit too enthusiastic with your spanners. (Yes it can happen!)

IMG_1343.jpg
IMG_1343.jpg (61.43 KiB) Viewed 591 times

2. Take off the seat, rear wheel, pannier rack if you have one and the end can to reach the bottom bolt. You'll need a torx T50 and a 15mm spanner. Unplug both cables carefully.
IMG_13471.jpg
IMG_13471.jpg (48.18 KiB) Viewed 591 times
IMG_1349.jpg
IMG_1349.jpg (39.92 KiB) Viewed 591 times

3. When the bolts are out you might need a bit of leverage to free the bottom end, I used a big tyre lever.

4. Wrap your shock in bubble wrap, stick it in a box and get online. I went for Parcel Force UK, £13 and the driver brings the labels. If you've never used a courier its easy and very cheap considering the item weight.

5. About 12 days later the rebuilt shock arrived at home. It typically takes Firefox 3 - 4 days to rebuild but don't forget the travel time too.

IMG_1391.jpg
IMG_1391.jpg (42.57 KiB) Viewed 591 times

6. Refit is the opposite of removal but check the alignment of the top / bottom mounting holes. Mine were slightly off but there is a a grub screw at the top end that allows a bit of a twist if needed.

7. Plug both cables back in, they're shaped and will only fit one way.
IMG_1392.jpg
IMG_1392.jpg (59.74 KiB) Viewed 591 times
8. This is a good time for a cup of tea!

9. Refit your end can, pannier rack and rear wheel.

10. Job done!

When you've stripped down its a good opportunity to clean a few hard to reach areas and give your end can a really good all over clean. A big thank you to Firefox who offer a very professional and friendly service. They respond quickly to any enquiries and seem a really nice bunch of lads. You can contact them via the following website. http://firefoxracing.co.uk/

Cheers,

John.

Adventure Bike Rider New Issue Out Now
misterlaffer
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:48 am

Re: BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by misterlaffer » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:59 pm

Thanks for that, really good alternative option than shelling out for a new one.

Was your ESA faulty, I mean the stuff in the box on the side of the shock ? Would that recon' price cover a faulty ESA too?

RavenstoneGSA
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Re: BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by RavenstoneGSA » Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:01 pm

Mine was losing oil so the seals had gone. Firefox's site states full service with genuine parts but it doesn't mention the bolt on ESA unit. My invoice just says "rebuild," so not completely sure. It might be worth a call to Firefox.

timcrasher
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:51 pm

Re: BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by timcrasher » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:48 pm

That's not a bad price. The shock is a conventional shock so any good suspension shop can rebuild them. Although many won't. The ESA acts like an electronic screwdriver. It is basically a servo motor that adjusts the damping screw and preload to predetermined settings.

One point to note about refitting the shock. You should have fitted a new bottom bolt, and at least a new nut to the top shock bolt. It is also good practice to torque up the top and bottom bolts with the weight of the bike on the shock, ie off the centre stand. This will prevent stress being placed on the bushes.

bimota
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Re: BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by bimota » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:19 pm

RavenstoneGSA wrote:Hi All,

I asked for a bit of advice recently regarding replacement / rebuild for the rear shock on my 2009 BMW R1200GSA. A new one costs £1300 so I was pretty keen to find and alternative. Big thanks to Rob, (Bimota) for passing on the details of Firefox Racing in Keighley. They charge £190 for a rebuild with original parts and despite it taking a bit longer than expected, (they were a man down,) It arrived yesterday and was fitted this morning.
The refit was pretty simple so I thought it might be worth describing what I did. I've added a few pictures so if you're in the same boat you can give it a go.

Before you start, preferably the day before, give any stubborn nuts and bolts a quick spray. I found that my exhaust clamp bolt was a bit rusty.

1. Strap your main stand to your front wheel, it stops the stand collapsing if you get a bit too enthusiastic with your spanners. (Yes it can happen!)

IMG_1343.jpg

2. Take off the seat, rear wheel, pannier rack if you have one and the end can to reach the bottom bolt. You'll need a torx T50 and a 15mm spanner. Unplug both cables carefully.
IMG_13471.jpg
IMG_1349.jpg

3. When the bolts are out you might need a bit of leverage to free the bottom end, I used a big tyre lever.

4. Wrap your shock in bubble wrap, stick it in a box and get online. I went for Parcel Force UK, £13 and the driver brings the labels. If you've never used a courier its easy and very cheap considering the item weight.

5. About 12 days later the rebuilt shock arrived at home. It typically takes Firefox 3 - 4 days to rebuild but don't forget the travel time too.

IMG_1391.jpg

6. Refit is the opposite of removal but check the alignment of the top / bottom mounting holes. Mine were slightly off but there is a a grub screw at the top end that allows a bit of a twist if needed.

7. Plug both cables back in, they're shaped and will only fit one way.
IMG_1392.jpg
8. This is a good time for a cup of tea!

9. Refit your end can, pannier rack and rear wheel.

10. Job done!

When you've stripped down its a good opportunity to clean a few hard to reach areas and give your end can a really good all over clean. A big thank you to Firefox who offer a very professional and friendly service. They respond quickly to any enquiries and seem a really nice bunch of lads. You can contact them via the following website. http://firefoxracing.co.uk/

Cheers,

John.
Hi,
glad the info i gave you was a success my mates all had leaking shocks esa like yours as firefox said the esa never fails its always seals.
glad it worked out.

Rob

RavenstoneGSA
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Re: BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by RavenstoneGSA » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:01 pm

Many thanks Rob, I definitely owe you a beer!

gspod
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Re: BMW ESA suspension rebuild - Firefox Racing

Post by gspod » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:24 pm

I got my Ohlins reburbed by Firefox with an upgraded spring. 30,000 miles and all seems well so a recommendation from me. Oh and I fitted one of their own shocks on the front at the same time - again no issues. (thumbs)

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