Owner S Manual - High-Performance Motorcycle Products

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Öhlins Shock Absorber for MC Road & TrackOwner’s Manual

IntroductionÖhlins Racing AB - The StoryIt was the 1970’s, a young man named KenthÖhlin spent most of his spare time pursuing hisfavourite sport: motocross.A careful observer, Kenth’s attention wascontinually drawn to one specific detail motocross bikes had more engine power thantheir suspension could handle.It was not long before Kenth realised that betterperformance could be achieved by improvedwheel suspension.Öhlins Racing was established in 1976, andjust two years later the company won its firstWorld Championship title. Despite being in thebusiness for 30 years, the search for perfectionand new functions is still the main focus of thecompany.Congratulations! You are now the owner of anÖhlins Shock Absorber. More than two hundredWorld Championships and other major worldtitles are definitive proof that Öhlins shockabsorbers offer outstanding performance andreliability.Every product has gone through rigoroustesting and engineers have spent thousands ofhours, doing their very best to use every possibleexperience from our 30 years within the racingsport.The product that you now have in yourpossession is pure racing breed that is built towithstand.By installing this shock absorber on your bikeyou have made a clear statement you are aserious rider with a focus on getting the maximalhandling ability and outstanding feedback fromyour bike. Along comes the fact that your shockabsorber will be a long lasting friend, deliveringthe very best of comfort and performance everytime you go for a ride. Go explore!1

Safety PrecautionsSafety SymbolsNote!The shock absorber is an important part of thevehicle and will affect the stability.In this manual, mounting instructions andother technical documents, importantinformation concerning safety isdistinguished by the following symbols:Read and make sure that you understand theinformation in this manual and the mountinginstructions before you use this product. If youhave any questions regarding installation ormaintenance please contact Öhlins.The Safety Alert Symbol means: Warning!Your safety is involved.Öhlins Racing AB can not be held responsiblefor any damage to the shock absorber, vehicle,other property or injury to persons, if theinstructions for installing and maintenance are notfollowed exactly.Warning!The Warning Symbol means: Failure tofollow warning instructions can result insevere or fatal injury to anyone working with,inspecting or using the shock absorber, orto bystanders.Warning!This product was developed and designedexclusively for a specific vehicle model and shallonly be installed on the intended vehicle model inits original condition as delivered from the vehiclemanufacturer.Caution!The Caution Symbol means: Specialprecautions must be taken to avoid damageto the shock absorber.This product contains pressurized nitrogengas (N2). Do not open, service or modify thisproduct without proper education (authorizedÖhlins dealer/distributor) and proper tools.Note!The Note Symbol indicates information thatis important regarding procedures.After installing this product, take a test ride atlow speed to make sure that your vehicle hasmaintained its stability.Note!If the suspension makes an abnormal noise, orthe function is irregular, or if you notice any leakagefrom the product, please stop the vehicleimmediately and return the product to an ÖhlinsService Centre.When working on this product, always read theVehicle Service Manual.This Manual shall be considered a part of theproduct and shall therefore accompany theproduct throughout its life cycle.The product warranty shall only apply if thisproduct has been operated and maintained inaccordance with recommendations in this manual.If you have any questions regarding usage, service,inspection and maintenance please contact Öhlins. Öhlins Racing AB. All rights reserved. Anyreprinting or unauthorized use without the writtenpermission of Öhlins Racing AB is prohibited.Printed in Sweden.2

ContentsIn This ManualpageIntroductionSafety PrecautionsContentsDesign and FunctioningSetting Up your VehicleAdjustmentsSpring PreloadCompression DampingRebound DampingAdjust LengthAdjustment and Set-upInspection and Maintenance12346789101112143

Design and FunctioningÖhlins shock absorbers with external reboundadjustment have an integrated temperaturecompensation.As the temperature increases and thefluid flows more easily the flow is controlledaccordingly. The shock absorbing effect istherefore independent of the temperature.The more advanced models permit individualadjustment of compression and rebounddamping.Öhlins shock absorbers provide thepossibility of adjustment, making themadaptable to most vehicles, drivers and rangesof use. All of the shock absorbers with springshave adjustable preload of the spring action.Many of Öhlins suspensions are high pressuremonotube type shock absorbers. The fluid isput under gas pressure and the gas and thefluid are kept apart by a separating piston. Thepiston is usually fitted in an external reservoir,connected by a hose (Fig. 4) or fixed directlyon top of the shock absorber (Fig 3). In somemodels everything is fitted inside the mainshock absorber (Fig 2).A few shock absorbers are of emulsion type,oil and gas mixed inside the shock absorber(Fig 1). The fluid is pressurized by nitrogen.The pressurisation prevents cavitation ofthe fluid and the shock absorbing action istherefore more even. The external reservoir alsocontributes to better cooling of the fluid, givinglonger service life for the fluid as well as lsion ShockAbsorberInternal GasReservoirExternal PiggybackReservoir4External Reservoirwith Hose Connection

Design and FunctioningCompression dampingWhen movement of the motorcycle causescompression of the shock absorber, the fluidflows through the needle valve (combinedcompression and rebound valve) in thepiston rod. If the velocity of the compressionmovement is high, i.e., in the case of rapidcompression, this will not be sufficient andconsequently the shims underneath the pistonwill open to allow for a greater rate of flow.The fluid that is displaced by the volumeof the piston rod is forced into the externalreservoir via a separate compression valve. Theseparating piston is displaced, thus increasingthe gas pressure.Fluid is forced through needle valves at alow rate of flow (Fig 6) and through a numberof orifices in the piston (Fig 7) at a high rateof flow. The flow through these orifices isregulated by shims (thin steel washers) thatat high pressure are deflected to open for thefluid. On most models the needle valve can beadjusted from the outside.By altering the size of the shim-stack(Fig 8) (i.e. number, thickness, diameter) thecharacteristics of the damping action canbe changed. This should only be done by anauthorized Öhlins service workshop.Rebound damping6When the spring forces the shock absorber toextend again, the fluid flows back through theneedle valve. The fluid flowing into the chamberis forced by the pressure of the gas back intothe shock absorber via a separate non-returnvalve. If the piston velocity is high, the shims ontop of the piston will also open to allow the fluidto flow through.78Stop washerShim stackReboundflowCompressionflowPiston5

Setting Up your VehicleRecommended MeasuresIf no other recommendations are given in theMounting Instructions follow the recommendedmeasures below:Warning!Before riding, always ensure that the basic settingsmade by Öhlins are intact. Take notes, adjust insmall steps and make only one adjustment at atime.Free sag (R1-R2), (F1-F2)Rear5-15 mmFront20-30 mmStep 1Ride height (R1-R3), (F1-F3)Rear25-35 mmFront30-40 mmSpring Preload - Free Sag - Ride HeightSpring preload is a crucial part of setting yourmotorcycle since it affects the height of themotorcycle and the fork angle.Note!Note!Always check on the Öhlins web sitewww.ohlins.com or with your Öhlinsdealer/ distributor for the latest information.Perform the following procedure on a flat surface.1. Put the motorcycle on a workstand so thatboth wheels are off the ground and thesuspension is unloaded.2. Mark, e.g. with a piece of tape, a pointimmediately above the rear wheel axle.3. Measure the distance from the marked pointto a fixed point, e.g. the wheel axle (R1).4. Measure the distance from the bottom of theupper triple clamp to a fixed point, e.g. thefront wheel axle (F1).5. Put the motorcycle on the ground so thatthe front and the rear suspensions areslightly compressed. Repeat the measuringprocedures (R2 and F2).6. Sit on the motorcycle in normal ridingposition, properly outfitted in your ridinggear. Repeat the measuring procedure (R3and F3).Step 2Adjust spring preload1. If your measures differ significantly fromthe recommendations in the MountingInstructions or the table above, adjust thespring preload. (See chapter Spring Preloadin this manual).2. If the ride height still differs from therecommendations, you may need to changeto softer/harder spring. Contact an Öhlinsdealer for advise.Warning!Incorrect spring rate may result in a front geometrythat is either too steep or too flat. This can resultin a tendency of under or over steering, that couldseriously affect the handling characteristics of themotorcycle.6

AdjustmentsAdjustmentsMost Öhlins shock absorbers for motorcycleare equipped with spring preload, compressionand rebound adjusters. Due to limited spacein some vehicles it is not possible to have alladjusters in certain models. The three adjustersmentioned above will be discussed in thefollowing chapters.A deeper understanding for the differenttypes of adjustments will give you a goodknowledge of how you can get betterperformance from your Öhlins shock absorber.When you adjust the spring preload, youmove the spring seat. This will lower or raise theride height.Compression damping controls the energyabsorption when the shock absorber is beingcompressed, thus controls how easy the shockabsorber compresses when you hit a bump.Rebound damping controls the energyabsorption when the shock absorber is beingextended and, thus controls how fast the shockabsorber returns to its normal position afterbeing compressed.Stability and TractionAll motorcycles are designed with a suspensiongeometry that includes height and fork angle.Changing components can affect this and it istherefore essential that both the front and therear ends match each other.Changing to Öhlins suspension givesoptimum performance only when both the frontfork and the rear suspension interact properly.It is very important that the front and the rearloaded heights are within the specified values.Front Fork SpringsTo optimize the stability and traction of yourmotorcycle the front fork must match the rearsuspension. Öhlins Racing has a variety of frontfork springs available for a large number ofmotorcycle models.The springs in combination with the Öhlinsshock absorbers contribute to superior stabilityand traction. See the Öhlins RecommendationList, contact an Öhlins dealer.Warning!If there are no matching springs for yourmotorcycle model, use the original springs,however, they must be in good condition and notfatigued.Note!When riding with a passenger or changing theload, the spring preload must be adjusted forproper function and vehicle balance.FGK kits and Piston kitsÖhlins Racing also produces complete RacingCartridge Systems, for front forks, as well aspiston kits to upgrade your front fork to a higherperformance level.1.2.3.Prepare the SettingsBy adjusting the shock absorber and testing bytrial and error you can learn how the differentsettings affect your motorcycle.Always begin your setting by taking a testride with all adjustments at their recommendedbasic setting. Choose a short run of varyingcharacter, for example with long as well assharp bends, hard as well as soft bumps. Stayon the same run and adjust only one setting ata time.4.7First, check the headlight angle by placingthe vehicle about 5m from a wall, with therider in normal riding position.Turn on the headlight.Mark the centre of the light on the wallwith a piece of tape. When you have apassenger or when you put packing on thevehicle, the headlight angle will be too high.Adjust the spring preload until theheadlight angle is the same as before butwith the passenger or extra load on thebike.

Spring PreloadWhen adjusting the spring preload you move thespring seat. This will decrease or increase theinitial spring force, which will lower or raise themotorcycle rear ride height.The spring preload is fundamental for thesuspension function. If the preload is incorrectlyset, any other adjustments will not help to getthe intended performance from the suspension.Spring PreloadABA Free spring lengthB Installed spring lengthShock absorber fully extendedA - B Spring PreloadSpring Preload is the difference betweenthe measures A and B.How to Set the Spring Preload1 Mechanical AdjusterUse a C-spanner. Loosen the lock nut (1A).Move the lower spring platform (1B) to thedesired position. Turn clockwise to increase thepreload, turn counter clockwise to decrease it.2 Hydraulic AdjusterTurn the Hydraulic Adjuster knob to set thespring preload. Turn clockwise to increasethe preload and turn counter clockwise todecrease.11A1B3 Integrated Hydraulic AdjusterTurn the hexagon screw on the hydraulicadjuster to set the spring preload. Turnclockwise to increase, turn counter clockwise todecrease.24 Mechanical 3-Step AdjusterUse two C-spanners. Turn the adjustment rings.There are three [3] adjustment positions (A, Band C).35 Mechanical AdjusterUnlock the nylon screw on the spring adjuster witha screwdriver (5A). Use tool 03199-01 and turn thespring adjuster clockwise to increase the preload(5B), turn counter clockwise to decrease it.4B454A5A4C85B

Compression DampingReset the adjuster1. Turn the adjuster clockwise to fully closedposition (position zero [0]).2. Turn counter clockwise to open, and countthe clicks until you reach the recommendednumber of clicks.See recommended Set-up data in the MountingInstructions for the shock absorber.Compression damping controls the energyabsorption when the shock absorber is beingcompressed, thus controls how easy the shockabsorber compresses when the rear wheel isbeing loaded or hits a bump.Compression Damping AdjusterAdjuster Type 1Adjust by turning the knob on top of thereservoir. Turn clockwise to increase damping,turn counter clockwise to decrease.Caution!Do not use force, delicate sealing surfaces can bedamaged.Adjuster Type 2Adjust by turning the knob on top of thereservoir. Turn clockwise to increase damping,turn counter clockwise to decrease.3Adjuster Type 3Adjust on top of the reservoir. Turn the slottedscrew clockwise to increase damping, turncounter clockwise to decrease.Adjuster Type 4Adjust on top of the reservoir.High speed: Turn the hexagon screw.Low speed: Turn the slotted centre screw.Turn clockwise to increase damping, turncounter clockwise to decrease.41alt29

Rebound DampingReset the adjusterTurn the adjuster clockwise to fully closedposition (position zero [0]). Then, turn counterclockwise to open, and count the clicks untilyou reach the recommended number of clicks.See recommended Set-up data in the MountingInstructions for the shock absorber.Rebound damping controls the energyabsorption when the shock absorber is beingextended and controls how fast the shockabsorber returns to its normal position afterbeing compressed.Rebound Damping AdjusterTurn the wheel on the piston shaft above theend eye/bracket. Turn clockwise to increasedamping, turn counter clockwise to decrease it.Caution!Do not use force, delicate sealing surfaces can bedamaged.10

Adjust LengthAdjust LengthWe advise to remove the shock absorber fromthe vehicle before adjusting the length. Usetwo 24 mm wrenches. Hold the upper nut withone hand and at the same time loosen the locknut (lower nut). Turn the end eye/bracket to thedesired length. One [1] turn is 1 mm of shockabsorber length. Please make sure to measurethe ride height before and after adjusting thelength (see chapter Setting Up your Vehicle).Tightening torque: 40 NmBy adjusting the length of the shock absorber thesteering geometry as well as the chain force canbe changed.A shorter shock absorber will result in a lowermotorcycle. The fork angle as well as the trailwill increase, and normally the chain force willbe reduced with less anti-squat as a result. Aslight change of centre of gravity is anotherresult of changing the length of the shockabsorber.A longer shock absorber will result in ahigher motorcycle. The fork angle and trailwill decrease and normally the chain force willincrease with more anti-squat as a result. Aslight change of centre of gravity is anotherresult of changing the length of the shockabsorber.Warning!Remember to lock the lock nut after adjusting thelength.Warning!The adjustable end eye/bracket must not bethreaded out more than that the groove is fullyvisible beneath the lock nut. This is maximumlength. After adjusting, make sure that the lock nutis tightened.Note!On modern Hypersport and race bikes all lengthadjustment should be moderate. Also very smalladjustments can make a big difference.Note!After adjusting the length, check the headlightangle of your vehicle.11

Adjustment and Set-upRecommended Adjustment RangeRebound and compression damping: 5 clicks from original (basic) setting.Rebound DampingIf you have got a good feeling for the bike withspring, preload and the ride height feels okbut the bike runs low and packs down underacceleration bumps, with lost line and/or lostcomfort and traction, open the rebound adjustertwo [2] clicks.If the bike is nervous and moving a lot orhas a high feeling entering corners, close therebound adjuster two [2] clicks. Fine tune one[1] click at the time.Test run and make the necessaryadjustments. For original rebound settingsee the Mounting Instructions for your shockabsorber.When you setup your bike you need to do ittogether with the front fork and on all types oftracks that you want to optimize, there are nosetups that will be 100% perfect on all tracks,you will need to compromise.Keep priority at: safe feeling stability comfortThis will allow you to ride safer and use lessenergy.If the vehicle feels unstable loose bouncy.increase rebound dampingIf the vehicle feels hard bumpy.decrease rebound damping12

Adjustment and Set-upCompression DampingIf the bike feels soft, unstable, is using to muchwheel travel and you have the perfect springfor you; close the compression adjuster two[2] clicks. This will control the wheel duringacceleration more, plus, it will help ride heightand falling through the stroke too quickly.If the bike feels high, has bad grip at throttleopening and feels unsmooth over small ormedium bumps during acceleration; open thecompression adjuster two [2] clicks. Test runand make necessary corrections.When you have sufficient feel of themotorcycle you can make further fineadjustments. It is feeling and experience thatcounts.When you feel that you have achieved animprovement, go back to where you started andcheck once more. Note other relevant factorssuch as tires, temperature etc. Test run to makesure whether further fine adjustments should bemade.If the vehicle feels harsh hard has bad grip.decrease compression dampingIf the vehicle feels unstable feels soft feels low is bottoming.increase compression damping13

Inspection and MaintenancePreventive maintenance and regular inspectionreduces the risk of functional disturbance. Ifthere is any need for additional service, pleasecontact an authorized Öhlins Service Centre.CleaningClean the shock absorber externally with a softdetergent. Use compressed air. Be careful thatall dirt is removed. Lift the bump rubber andclean the area below. Keep the shock absorberclean and spray it with oil (WD40, CRC 5-56 orequivalent) afte

motorcycle since it affects the height of the motorcycle and the fork angle. note! Perform the following procedure on a flat surface. 1. Put the motorcycle on a workstand so that both wheels are off the ground and the suspension is unloaded. 2. Mark, e.g. with a piece of tape, a point immediately above the rear wheel axle. 3.

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