Wilbers Install Guide for the BMW K1200RS / Contributed by Jim Douglas

If you ordered the Wilbers with any additional length, you need to mount the front shock first, otherwise you will have difficulty gaining clearance to drop out the front wheel.(I now place a 2Ēx6Ē under the center stand to drop out the front wheel, but the additional clearance in corners is worth the hassle.)The following directions are simply modifications and or outright plagiarism of Scott Marburgerís directions for mounting Ohlins <http://gunsmoke.com/scot/k12/ohlins.html>, with some additional details so you donít screw up like I did.Use this as a supplement to Scottís when you go to mount the Wilbers on your K1200RS.Also, be aware that once mounted, the pre-load adjustment is very difficult to access and change, whether due to the frame in the front or body panels in the rear, you did give Jerry the right info when you ordered! If you are looking at this before you order...GET the remote pre-load adjuster!While we are speaking of the information provided for the factory to pre-set your shocks, verify those settings now.Go through the adjustment directions...find the part that discusses the original factory settings for your shock, and check the settings.


Warning: The photos that came with my rear shock from Wilbers show mounting the remote compression damping reservoir on riderís left on the hand grab for placing the bike on the center stand.I recommend against this.It was tough to grab due to its size and shape.Being over the exhaust, it was hot enough to brand me, and that canít be good for the compression damping, plus it requires the hose being routed under the fender exposed to the mud etc.......


In general, be aware that anyone elseís instructions may or may not be directly applicable to your bike.I have a 2000, and many minor details of my bike are a little different from Scottís, totally different fuel pump/filter assembly, etc.Take many grains of salt and remain calm.



Remove Fairing lower and side panels.


Remove Fuel Cell or at least detach it and move back ensuring it does not impinge on the solid brake lines and the top shock mounting nut is easily accessible.


Jack up the front and support the engine, remove the front brake calipers, then the front wheel.


Remove the screw holding the brake line bracket to the side of the frame at the steering head, cut the zip tie holding the flexible brake line to the fairing stay on its way down to the front fender, then remove the nut holding the brake line support to the top of the fork sliders at the fender.Failure to do all 3 steps will result in damage to your solid brake line crossing to the left side caliper when you pull the forks down to get the shock out.


Remove about a quart of radiator fluid via the riderís right lower radiator hose Ė release hose clamp, pull off hose and drain into clean container for re-use.You may need to remove the radiator cap to release the vacuum.Make sure you have drained enough to see the top of the fins inside the left radiator when you remove the cap, i.e.: the fluid level is below the two cross-over hose mounting points Ďcause you are disconnecting it.


Disconnect at least the riderís left side of the cross-over radiator hose and either push it aside, or disconnect both sides and completely remove it.


Remove the top shock mounting nut, you may wish to support the forks here, as they may drop precipitously when the nut is removed, and you still want to be sure not to mess up that brake line.Remove the nut, the washer and the rubber bushing and place them safely aside for re-use.


Find and remove the lower mounting bolt in the tele-lever swing link.Box end on riderís left, ratchet on riderís right worked for me.


Once the shock is free, force the swing link down, monitoring your brake line (yes, I bent mine here), forcing it down as far as possible, be very careful about the overall balance of your bike.


Now, push the shock as far up through the top mounting hole as possible, twist the body around till it comes free at the bottom, Scott says 90 degrees then drop the eyes down through the mounts, but it worked better for me to simply swing the bottom forward to clear the lower mounting points.The idea is to drop it down in front of and past its lower mounts till the top stud clears the frame etc.Do that, lifting the radiator hose, throttle cable, and wiring harness over the mounting stud, this may require clipping another zip tie holding the wiring harness...mine did.Move the top forward and up towards riderís left clearing the fairing mounts, till the bottom clears the swing link and you can swing the bottom to riderís right and drop it out.


Now you have the front shock in your hands.Inspect it.Is there a rubber bushing stuck to the top?Is there a brass sleeve in the middle of the bushing?If so, remove them and save them for re-use.If not, then they are stuck to the frame and you need to retrieve them.The bushing is identical to the one you removed from the top side, only inverted...


Here is where the Wilbers and the Ohlins differ.The Ohlins appears to have a flange included on the top mounting stud, the Wilbers does not.The Wilbers has a washer floating around in a baggie in the box...retrieve it, slide the washer over the top of the mounting stud, slide it down to the brass nut, follow the washer with the rubber bushing, then follow the bushing with the brass sleeve.


Now, feed the new shock up in the reverse of the manner that you took the old one out.I found it easier, once the shock was in the swing link, to feed the top mounting stud up into the frame, and loosely attach.Be sure to place the upper rubber bushing, washer, and nut in that order. Then twist and push the shock around till you get the lower eyes properly aligned, insert the mounting bolt and torque per BMW specs.Then torque the upper mounting nut to specs.


Reverse dismantling: Reconnect radiator tube, re-attach brake line mounts (if it is too tight, do the lower one after you reinstall the wheel/brakes, etc and bounce the front end, which you always do to align the forks before you tighten the pinch bolts, right?), any zip-ties you cut, fuel cell, etc.But, wait on the body work till you are done with the rear shock, as you need to remove the right bag mount and a rear body panel for that.


Variation of Scott Marburger's instructions with a few ideas specific to the Wilbers


Remove the right bag mount rail and rear body panel.Follow Scottís advice and remove the rear brake line attachment bolt, I also had to release the rear brake master cylinder from the frame to get any clearance out of this, and you canít get the shock mounting bolt out unless you move the brake line mount.I thought this was ridiculous, so I determined that when I re-installed the shock mounting bolt, I would replace it from the inside, where there is TONS of ROOM and place the nut on the outside near the brake line...This way, you donít have to remove the brake line stuff in the future when removing the shock.


Remove that lower shock bolt, support the swing arm or slightly lowering the front as necessary, and then remove the upper bolt, careful not to let the nut fall down into the network of hoses, etc on the inside. Detach the lower end, lift up and back to pull the upper end free, pull the shock out the back.


Insert the Wilbers shock in the reverse of how you pulled the other out.With the compression damping remote reservoir option, the shape of the upper shock body allows only one way to fit the upper end into the frame, that is with the hose connection to the inside at the top.Align the swiveling eye and secure the top bolt.Lifting the swing arm is un-necessary with the longer shock, but the stock length may require raising it to insert the lower shock mounting bolt.Remember to insert it from the inside out.


The Wilbers ďinstructionsĒ are a set of photos with German captions.They show routing the remote reservoir under the fender and attaching it to the center-stand grab handle on riderís left.DONĒT do this.It makes the grab handle useless and the reservoir gets extremely hot over the shock, making it hard to grab and undoubtedly degrades the performance of the damping oil, and the hose is subject to all the stuff your wheel throws up. Mount the reservoir on the right.If yours is like mine, the hose gets routed under the coolant reservoir and up over the mud guard curling back towards the right seat stay.My understanding is that the remote preload adjuster mounts to the right bag mount attachment point facing the rear, but I did not have one.Finley has some nice photos of a good install with both remote pre-load and remote reservoir on the right side.



Hose routing for left side mount



Right side mount, screw clamps straddle the brake reservoir mounting bolts


Once you have ensured your mounting bolts are properly torqued, re-attach the brake line units as necessary.If you donít have the remote preload adjuster, check your sag settings before you remount your body work.Use Scottís recommendations for solo measuring devices, they save lots of time, effort and avoids potential injury.


When you are done with the sag settings and have remounted all your body work, and checked to ensure you have not forgotten to torque anything...you are set to begin your adjustment runs.The Wilbers literature I received on this was pretty good, follow it pretty directly, except for the order of one thing.If you have not already done so, check the settings to ensure that they are indeed what the factory says they sent.


As far as adjustments, your road conditions and riding style will dictate where you end up.I did not have the time to devote an afternoon to proper adjustment, so I fiddle with it everyday on my commute back and forth.I live in the boonies on two lane twisty roads, but the last ten miles of my daily commute is on an older California Freeway with sharp drops after the slab cuts, so one of my first adjustments was to back off the high speed damping.I followed that with gradual increases in rebound damping for both front and rear.After about a week or so, I think I have it pretty well dialed.