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General_ulysses
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 11:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I've been a little worried that my stock WB shock on my '97 S1 will eventually give out and spew oil on my rear tire at the wrong moment. As much as I like the looks of the horizontal shock, I just don't believe the sealing system is really designed to hold up in that position indefinitely. I know the Penske shock is considered good, but quite pricey IMO. And even then, the basic problem remains. It will always be a worry as the years go on. I like a bike as trouble/worry free as possible, especially when it comes to a potential safety issue.

I was looking at the bike and wondering if anyone had ever retrofitted an S1 with standard lay down shocks? Not sure how that would look or how best to incorporate mounts and reinforcements on the frame. Or maybe do a single vertically mounted shock conversion?

Any thoughts or experiences appreciate.
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Upthemaiden
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Penske is expensive, but Twin motorcycles makes a very nice one you can buy for $500-600 something. Not AS nice as the Penske, but still very nice, and a handful of cash cheaper.

I'm not entirely sure which was you're looking to go with a "standard laydown shock". Do you mean you want a shock in the same position, but compression instead of the original pull shock, or you want an upright one like the XBs have? Both styles have been done, but both options will probably cost you more time and money than buying the Twin or Penske, and having one of those leak all over your rear tire isn't likely to happen.
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Upthemaiden
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

This setup lets you put a standard compression shock on your bike, looks very nice, but if I remember right, the cost was around $1200-1300. You can almost buy a whole 97 Buell for that price...











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Upthemaiden
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 11:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

As far as upright shocks, they've also been done, but it typically involves a swap to an XB swingarm and a ton of work that goes along with that, like making the swingarm fit, welding on an upper shock mount, making custom oil lines, and sorting out the gearing combo and belt. In theory you could have a new shock mount welded to your stock swingarm, but then the oil talk will be in the way, which is why the XB swingarm is the logical part, unless you come up with some kind of custom oil tank that fits somewhere else on the bike. I'm sure there's more details to it but I haven't done it so I can't give you all of the specifics. Ken/S1owner is just wrapping up his bike which now has an XB swingarm...

http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/476 23/733746.html?1503634093

Dig through there to see plenty of pictures and what he's gone through. There's also the white/red Buell mutant you'll see pop up on here.

I assume after you dig through all of that, you'll agree the Twin Motorcycles shock is probably your best bet. If you're worried about oil leaking, maybe coming up with some kind of bellypan would be the cheapest way to go?
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Natexlh1000
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

That's just plain silly.
The "pull shocks" of our bikes is just a normal compression shock in a simple steel can.
Look at the Penske shocks and the older unenclosed shocks. They are compression shocks within a reversing apparatus.
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General_ulysses
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks Maiden. What I mean by lay down shocks is how dirt bike shocks were configured in the mid-late 70's (other than Yamaha's mono-shock system). Two shocks vertically mounted on both sides of the swingarm and extended at a "lay-down" angle where they bolt to the frame.



Do you have a link for the Twin Motorcycle one? Might be interested in taking a look at that.

The other looks very cool, but it still maintains an essentially horizontally mounted shock. Also, by inspection, it appears as if the mounting system is made out of aluminum components. And the forward mount - a critical and heavily stressed unit - is enshrouded by the exhaust collector. Not a great idea IMO. Plus the price. So I'd probably opt out of that option.

Otherwise, I have pretty good metal fab skills (and a welder, lathe and Bridgeport). The steel tubular frame on the S1 should be pretty easy to modify if it came to that. But then, the labor of tearing the whole bike down to do it right is a big job. So a bolt-on solution would be preferred obviously.
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General_ulysses
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Maiden - Thanks for the XB conversion link. I have seen those before, but they're not really to my taste/preference. I was thinking more (other than twin lay-down shocks) of a conversion that simply uses the existing swingarm and mounts a single beefy shock vertically on the swingarm close to its pivot point. The shock would extend vertically up to where the oil tank is now and be secured to a reinforced steel member welded to the frame. The oil tank would obviously have to be moved and/or heavily modified. But in the grand scheme of things, building a small custom oil tank out of sheet steel or aluminum is a relatively easy task.

Question: the recall shocks that replaced the earlier shocks with exposed springs (like mine) have a metal tube covering up the spring and shock. Is that a sealed metal tube? I assume its purpose is to catch any oil the shock may puke in the event it takes a shit while you're riding? Was that its intent?
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Upthemaiden
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 12:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Oh! that makes more sense. That's 100% doable, and probably very easy if you still have the original steel swingarm. Stripping the bike is extremely easy. Thumbscrew on the seat, one bolt to remove the gas tank, 2 bolts to pull the rear bodywork, disconnect the battery, and you probably have access to everything you need. Obviously you'll need something to shield the belt and oil tank, or just drain the oil and remove the oil tank. With your tools and skills it sounds like a simple weekend project. At most you might need to reinforce that part of the swingarm as the whole thing is hollow.

Twin shocks come in both sizes, 14" and 16".

https://www.twinmotorcycles.nl/webshop/artikel.asp ?guid=YXHFSC&aid=4323&cid=9865&s=&a=&aname=Buell_M 2X1S1S2S3_rear_shock_42cm=1654_inch

https://www.twinmotorcycles.nl/artikelen.asp?cid=1 8&aid=213
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Upthemaiden
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I'd really like to build a metal tank someday. I polished aluminum one would be nice but I don't I'll ever have the welding skills to make one that would look vaguely nice. Steel would still be nice.

I believe the canisters are sealed. Never actually seen one cut open or pulled apart, but I don't think it's as simple as cutting of the cover to reveal an old style shock
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Edv
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I think you are worrying about a nonexistant problem, I had a shock that started leaking at 56,000 miles, had Race Tech rebuild it and I now have 87,000 on it with no issues and when it did start to leak it was more a dampening issue than a leak issue
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S1owner
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 11:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Just my thought but why would you take 60 yr old tech and put it on a machine designed with tech that was way above its time in handling. Seams like you would be shooting the handling in the foot?
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General_ulysses
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 11:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Maiden - Yeah I'm not an aluminum welder either. I can do basic steel sheet metal welding though. That's probably what I would build a custom tank out of, just for simplicity's sake.

Edv - Thanks for the info. Do you know exactly why the recall was issued? I seem to recall a few different versions as to why. One was that the shock could actually break causing the rear suspension to collapse. The other was that the shock could have a dampener seal blowout, leaking oil all over the rear tire at the wrong moment. And looking at the steel can the revised shock has, it seems to support this theory.

S1owner - I like the horizontal shock configuration on the S1, mainly because it looks cool. Although IMO I don't think it's superior in handling to any other single shock system I've ridden. Twin shock systems tend to be heavier and more expensive, but if quality shocks are used and they're set up properly, the handling will be just as good or better than the stock Buell design. Plus, since the shocks are orientated vertically and not directly in line with the rear tire path, the issue with oil leaking is pretty much eliminated. I haven't really inspected my bike for the feasibility of mounting a single upright shock, but that would probably be the preferred method if I was to take the plunge. But I dunno, if you guys really think it's no big deal, maybe I'll just upgrade the shock that's on there now? I like riding the bike through the twisties and I keep having these visions of the stock shock squirting oil on the back tire at very worst moment, if you know what I mean?
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Cyclone8u
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 01:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I keep having these visions of the stock shock squirting oil on the back tire at very worst moment

I can safely say that in 40 years of riding, I've never had that happen or even heard of it. I've had shocks fail, but when the seal lets go the oil slowly weeps from the dead seal. I've never seen one dump its full load of oil in one catastrophic event. Maybe if you hit something hard enough and at the right angle to snap the hose or a banjo bolt off the remote reservoir, but then you'd have bigger issues I'm guessing.
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Two_seasons
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I've never seen complete failure either, ending in a soaked rear tire.

Dried seal will slowly leak, running the oil alongside the shock can (OEM shock), or dripping in your garage when parked, until empty.

As Cyclone8u said, you'd lose damping, making your bike pogo in the back as you run down the road.
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Edv
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2017 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

General, The story I got was in testing Buell had one of the mounting eyes fail on the White Power shock that is why they went to replacing them with the inferior Showa shock. I have two S2 Buells with the original White Power shock both with north of 80,000 miles and no failures, I have a 96 S1 that I have ridden like a dirt bike for 56,000 miles with the original WP shock and no failures, this bike I actually jump on occasions so if it was going to break it would do it on this bike.
I have an extra S1 chassis and was at one time thinking of mounting the shock like the late XB bikes behind the engine with a side mounted oil tank like the S2 has but too many other projects have had priority.
On a side note I have raced motorcycles most of my adult life and have blown engines oiling the rear tire and have not gone down due to oil on the tire, the engine locking up is more of a worry to me than oil on the tire. If you ride in the center of the lane on the highway you are riding on a strip of oil so let that sink in for a minute.

(Message edited by Edv on August 27, 2017)
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General_ulysses
Posted on Saturday, September 02, 2017 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks for the info everyone. Sounds like the worries about the stock shock design failing - either from outright breaking/disconnecting, or from the oil cartridge suddenly dumping its contents on the rear tire - are a bit overblown. Although I checked and there was a factory recall on the broken WB shock which led to the Showa unit all sealed up in a can, which in turn made me suspicious the can was added due to oil leakage also being a part of the problem.

I can only assume the documented cases where the shock broke were caused by real fat guys riding the bikes hard and zooming over speed bumps or something?

I don't want to sound paranoid, but I've been riding for about 40 years now. I've always avoided serious injury, never been seriously hurt in the dirt and never been down on the street...even despite doing lots of stupid shit when I was young. I got away with it all this time, so now I have a growing awareness and desire to keep it that way as I go into my "elder years."

In fact, I deliberately make myself watch youtube motorcycle crash videos once in a while that remind me of what can happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Jm8nL5JvC8

As I'm sure everyone knows, there's some real doozies out there. It's good to see it once in awhile to keep the consequences for foolishness in mind. In the bible it says "the wages of sin is death." On motorcycles "the wages of reckless and careless behavior is death." Doesn't mean I'm going to ride like a grandpa the rest of my life, far from it. But I want to be as smart about it as possible. Hopefully that makes some kind of sense?

And Edv I would absolutely love to hear more about your dirt-bike S1! Or maybe you're not saying it's a dirt bike per se, but you ride it like one. Whatever the deal is that would be cool to hear more about that and especially see some pics. Did you put knobbies on it and blast down fire roads in some rural area with it? Love to see some pics and learn more. I've actually wondered if the S1 would be good for that sorta thing.
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S1owner
Posted on Saturday, September 02, 2017 - 03:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

As I recall the failures on the original WP were during internal testing while pushing it pretty hard. Court could chime in on it. I dont think there were any documented consumer failures. Theres a whole lot of brothers cousins sisters boyfriend was launched because his shock failed stories though!!!!
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