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Old 12-29-2009, 10:21 AM   #21
mcd
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Not really thread jacked, all good info here.

I have moved away from the idea of the Elka shock, now just keeping my eyes open for a used Ohlins/Penske to come up for sale. To be honest, I will probably determine which one to get by what is available at the time I decide to upgrade the rear shock.

I must admit, I am still surprised at all the recomendations to not use the Ohlins. Seems like all the RC51 riders swear up and down that the Ohlins is the best shock ever, and that the support is good too. I am sure there is some brand loyalty involved in that, or some newer guys that hear more talk about Ohlins over Penske, and think it is better. I am probably a little guilty of that too.

Do the double clicker shocks (both Penske and Ohlins) offer the ride height adjustment? Would that be the better option for a bike that is not going to see much, if any, race time, just trackdays? Or is it worth the extra money to get the triple clicker?

As for the rear ride height adjustment I made the other day, I got to try it out on the track and was not very impressed with it. No real noticeable difference over stock. I guess I will try 5mm shim out back, and then start playing with the fork height in the triples.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:04 PM   #22
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They both have ride height, but I have seen an Ohlins in here w/o it for some reason, I think it was an old VF1000r.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:13 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigcat#44 View Post
I've run both a Penske double and an Elka triple on my 05 RC. The Elka was and is a very good product for this bike but with the triple I had ride height adjustment. I got a very good deal on that shock I think I paid around 700 for it shipped directly from Elka. They, like Penske are very easy to overhaul. If you can afford it, get your self into a Penske double like Keith said, easy to maintain and handle great. Elka is leaps and bounds better then race teching your stock shock especially on the RC that loves to squat. Stay away from Ohlins for this bike, I tried both the TTX and the 46 PRXLS and the support from Ohlins was not worth the money. Just my .02


I'm not saying the Penske is a bad shock, but to say to "stay away from Ohlins" is a bit over the top.

I've been working on / tuning the RC's since they came out, both the SP1 and SP2 and I'd say that 99 out of 100 RC51 owners that have changed their shocks to Ohlins have not had any issues.

We've also had good results with revalving / respringing the stock rear shock, and aside from not having easily adjustable rear ride height, they've done well especially considering the cost.
For most track day guys and racers once the initial geometry is set you won't have to change rear ride height often unless you change tire brands.

Bigcat,
I'm curious, what issues did you have? What was the bike doing wrong with the Ohlins that the Penske "fixed"?

As far as Ohlins support, who were you dealing with at Ohlins?
I've never had an issue receiving tech support from either company, so your post intrigues me.
Can you be more specific on what issues you were having and how Ohlins did not address them?
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:18 PM   #24
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I want to debunk some urban legends out there concerning Penske vs Ohlins:


Typical service costs on Penske vs Ohlins:
Labor = Same
Shock seal: Penske = $7.30 Ohlins TTX = $4.25
OR
Shock seal head assy.: Penske = $69.55 Ohlins TTX $70.00

Shock fluid: Penske = $14.95 Ohlins = $28.95

So basically about $12.00 - $14.00 difference.

The Penske does seem to fade more when worn whereas the Ohlins is more consistent, and in my experience the Penske fluids / internals appear more dirty / worn than comparable or higher hour use Ohlins when torn down.

A lot of trackside vendors like the Penske because it requires more frequent service and once serviced it makes them look good because the shock performs better.
To me, both shocks perform well, with neither one really holding any difference in performance of properly spec'd and set up.

As far as revalving either shock, if they are properly spec'd and ordered on the front side, I have not had to reshim them for the majority of riders, so I'm curious, who have you had to reshim them for and what issues were they having that required reshimming?
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:23 AM   #25
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Patrick my comments mainly come from price/performance/use. In order to work on Ohlins products you typically require Ohlins tools. I could not get my shock set and this was purchased through a very reputable Ohlins dealer, first it came under sprung, then I couldn't get it to rebound where it should or where I had liked. I, like every other RC owner had to have the best name for everything until I decided to go race and found that I could get a better shock for near half the price and I could rebuild the thing if I wanted. Being a broke Novice racer I need as much money for tires, gas, and races and getting a pretty good set-up with the Penske was easy. The Traxxion folks have been great help, along with Jim from LE and of course my local tuner Keith. MCD you asked why most RC owners swore by Ohlins, I was one of those Rogue owners from 02 - 07 and had done every mod possible to my RC except BST wheels, I know now I spent waaaaaay too much money on parts for name more then performance look at Sato Banzai prices? you could probably put a cheaper M4 on or Erion racing and make better power but it's always Sato and Ohlins or whatever Kyle Racing is selling this week. Check out a used Penske you'll never look back
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:25 AM   #26
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Another option would be to take a look around the next CMRA race weekend in Feb at Texas World and see what shock most are running and ask them why?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:07 PM   #27
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I probably rebuild more Ohlins than Penske and I don't see the Penske being any more dirty than the Ohlins w/ same amount of time.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:30 PM   #28
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Quote:
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I probably rebuild more Ohlins than Penske and I don't see the Penske being any more dirty than the Ohlins w/ same amount of time.
I guess it depends on the individual.
We probably do 2 to 1 Penske over Ohlins and typically the fluid is pretty spent on the Penske.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Whoopie View Post
You're going to have to adjust that shock length to within 1mm to have it setup correctly. And if you change tire size or tire brand or gearing, you will have to reset the shock length/ride height.
Why must you adjust your suspension if you change your gearing?
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:53 PM   #30
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Changing your swingarm pivot to axle length changes the geometry.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:56 AM   #31
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Why must you adjust your suspension if you change your gearing?
Some bikes are much more sensitive to swingarm angle, like the GSXR.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #32
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We could go on and on as to which system to choose. Find something within your budget and that suits your needs and go from there. You can always find great deals on some of the good used stuff on WERA or CMRA etc...

Also as you start getting faster you will have to change your suspension settings. One set up might work for a 1:44 pace and you will the a completely different setting at a 1:38 pace. That has been my experiance at least, that and to mention riding a bunch of other tracks outside of Texas.
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