Author Topic: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice  (Read 4366 times)

Offline Ironhand

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Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:42:39 am »
I've decided that I will be replacing my rear shock over the winter. I have narrowed the choices to either Ohlins or Penske.   As far as dealers go, it looks like there are some good choices for both.  Our buddy Jaxon and Stoltec who several of you have mentioned.  Cost being similiar, what led those of you who upgraded to one over the other?
2012 Super Tenere
1974 RD350

Offline coastie

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 09:17:33 am »
I have the Penske and In hindsight I wish I went for the Ohlin. Why? The remote preload adjuster. It really does not take that much longer to adjust, but it's just nice to have. Also the collar on the Penske is very soft. If you do not make sure the tool is inserted all the way the metal will start to deform. I already have a few holes that have started to oval out. I have not ridden the Ohlin to compare rides, but I'd imagine they are similar.

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Offline avc8130

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 10:24:26 am »
I've decided that I will be replacing my rear shock over the winter. I have narrowed the choices to either Ohlins or Penske.   As far as dealers go, it looks like there are some good choices for both.  Our buddy Jaxon and Stoltec who several of you have mentioned.  Cost being similiar, what led those of you who upgraded to one over the other?

I went with the Penske because it was made in America and Nick was local to my house. The service he provided was literally 2nd to none.  1 phone call and I was sold.

The preload adjuster isn't as nice as the hydraulic on the Ohlins, but it gets the job done.  I don't find myself adjust often enough to be bothered by it.

I do, however, REALLY like the separate high and low speed compression adjustment on my 8987.  Ohlins doesn't offer this.

I don't think you can go "wrong" with either one.  Call the dealers and buy from the one that you get the best feeling ABOUT SUSPENSION from.  Really the tuning is more important than the baseline you start with so you want a dealer who actually UNDERSTANDS what they are selling.

ac
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Offline clint64

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 01:45:22 pm »
I think both would be excellent choices.  I scored a great deal on the Penske so that was what I went with.  For my riding, I do not need to adjust the preload enough to have a problem.  If I rode two up part of the time that might make the choice different.

Online Dallara

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 02:26:22 pm »
~


I went the Penske from Stoltec Moto, and for a lot of reasons...

The biggest two were simple. One, I've owned lots of Ohlins products over the years - on both two- and four-wheels - and over the past few years I've seen the quality slip quite a bit on their "consumer" products, both in materials and support. Oh, their pure, ultra-high-buck professional competition stuff is still wonderful kit, but what they sell over-the-counter to the unwashed masses is not near what it used to be just a few short years ago, Still looks pretty, but *bling* is not what I buy suspension components for. Penske's componentry is exactly the same whether it's going on a factory race bike (or car) or on the motorcycle in your garage...  It might not be a pretty gold color, and the spring you get might be dark blue or a dull red (might be Hyperco or Eibach, the very best spring makers) instead of a bright yellow that screams "look at me", but you only have to look at a Penske up close to see that the materials, alloys, coatings, etc., as well as the fit and finish, are the "real thing", and equal to the very best in the world.

Second reason is Stoltec...  Nick Stolten at Stoltec really and truly *knows* what he's talking about when it comes to motorcycle suspension. Lots of people *say* they know about it, and lots of people like to try and convince people they know a lot more than they really do...  But the truth is there are very few out there selling suspension components for the Super Tenere that know very much at all, period...  And no one has done as much actual R&D on Super Tenere suspension as Nick Stolten has. I would hazard to guess he knows more about Super Tenere suspension than anyone else in the United States, and he's always only a phone call or e-mail away with a *proper* answer, not a guess. He will also steer you the proper way in setting up your suspension components to get it right for *YOU*, and that's what really matters...

How it works for you, and you alone.

Ohlins or Penske? Both will be literally light-years better than stock, IMHO...  But for the long term, especially if you want someone you can trust to rebuild and service what he sold you on down the road, there is only one choice - Nick Stolten at Stoltec Moto and his Penske components.

Ask whoever you are going to buy your shock from this simple question: If I need the shock I buy from you rebuilt or revalved in the future, who will be doing the actual work? If you ask Nick at Stoltec that he will answer that he will be doing it...  Not necessarily the case if you order an Ohlins from numerous outlets.

Oh, and for me...  I actually greatly prefer the Penske's preload adjustment to the available hydraulic preload adjuster on the Ohlins (or the stock shock). It's one less thing to fail, weighs less, always works, and you really don't have to adjust it much. If you do then all you have to do is make sure you use Penske's own tool and have it inserted properly to avoid any issues. I've got over 12,000 miles on mine, with many preload adjustments, and I have never had any problem with the preload collar holes deforming in any way.

I love my Stoltec Penske shock, and the forks I had done by him, as well.  ::008::

Dallara




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Offline snakebitten

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Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 02:53:04 pm »
Bought my Ohlins from Ohlins. (Jaxon handled the details and fork development) Probably won't send the stuff to them for refreshing though.

Why? Because I have visited AF1 and saw their Ohlins expertise on display. Why wouldn't I just hand the stuff to ED and have him freshen things up?
Bet he can do it with his eyes closed. Even if it isn't the "good Ohlins stuff" :)

You're a wild man Dallara. In fact, it was you that introduced me to AF1 and Ed. But I bet Ed will defend my choice of Ohlins.
Note: nothing against Penske. I believe every word you say about them.

My only hesitation to ever drive over to New Braunfels again is that gorgeous Guzzi on the showroom floor. I got a little weak in the knees looking at it.
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Online Dallara

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 03:41:16 pm »
Bought my Ohlins from Ohlins. (Jaxon handled the details and fork development) Probably won't send the stuff to them for refreshing though.

Why? Because I have visited AF1 and saw their Ohlins expertise on display. Why wouldn't I just hand the stuff to ED and have him freshen things up?
Bet he can do it with his eyes closed. Even if it isn't the "good Ohlins stuff" :)

You're a wild man Dallara. In fact, it was you that introduced me to AF1 and Ed. But I bet Ed will defend my choice of Ohlins.
Note: nothing against Penske. I believe every word you say about them.

My only hesitation to ever drive over to New Braunfels again is that gorgeous Guzzi on the showroom floor. I got a little weak in the knees looking at it.



I've bought a ton of Ohlins stuff from Ed....  Ohlins on my Tuono, including Ohlins fork internals for its Showa pegs...  And I probably had the only Yamaha/Star Stratoliner S in the United States (or maybe the world  ::025:: ) that had a remote preload adjuster Ohlins on it - and Ed put that rig together!  ;)

I bought those Ohlins from Ed, and I would gladly have let Ed and his boys service them...  And sure, he loves Ohlins, partly because he does sell and service them. OTOH, if you sit down and talk with Ed you will quickly learn he knows there are other great brands of shocks out there, and he thinks Penske makes wonderful stuff. He doesn't say things like "learn more about the system out there and go with the world leader in suspension and go Ohlins". Just not his style.

I think you make a great point about having your Ohlns serviced by Ed at AF-1. He has a *HUGE* amount of actual hands-on experience with Ohlins kit, and his guys race and wrench on Ohlins stuff week in and week out. If I wanted Ohlins components on my Super Tenere AF-1 is where I'd go to get it, and AF-1 is where I go if I need any work on the Ohlns components I have on other bikes that I don't do myself. That said, Ed and AF-1 have next to no experience with Ohlins kit on the Super Tenere...  Even Ed will tell you that.

Nick has a ton of experience with Penske components on the Super Tenere.

Let's try to remember the OP's original question...

"Our buddy Jaxon and Stoltec who several of you have mentioned.  Cost being similiar, what led those of you who upgraded to one over the other?"

Given the specifics of that question I would go with Nick Stolten every time. That's no slight to Jaxon at all. I'd choose Nick at Stolten over Ed and AF-1, too, in this case. It's simply that Nick at Stoltec has much, much more pure suspension experience, both in set-up and service expertise with the S-10, and he has also done a lot more Super Tenere suspension set-ups than probably anyone else in the USA.

Pretty simple, actually.  ;)

Dallara



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« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 03:42:52 pm by Dallara »
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Offline snakebitten

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Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 04:00:23 pm »
That being said, I still have no qualms with Ed freshening up the very first set of Ohlins Tenere forks that he has ever likely seen.
There ain't nothing in there to throw him for a loop.

As for the shock, it's an official Ohlins product. Again, Ed would not think it's something unusual.

By the way, for those who don't know, the reason I'm saying that AF1 is a great place to get your Ohlins serviced, is because I got a glance at all the Ohlins equipment\tools that were setup to do just that. It's what they do. :)

I'm happy to support an American company with Americans working there. (Texans too)
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Online Dallara

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 04:03:05 pm »
That being said, I still have no qualms with Ed freshening up the very first set of Ohlins Tenere forks that he has ever likely seen.
There ain't nothing in there to throw him for a loop.

As for the shock, it's an official Ohlins product. Again, Ed would not think it's something unusual.

By the way, for those who don't know, the reason I'm saying that AF1 is a great place to get your Ohlins serviced, is because I got a glance at all the Ohlins equipment\tools that were setup to do just that. It's what they do. :)

I'm happy to support an American company with Americans working there. (Texans too)


I'm proud and glad to say I've done business with, and had work done, by both - Stoltec and AF-1.  ;)

Dallara



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« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 04:05:12 pm by Dallara »
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Offline hANNAbONE

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 04:08:09 pm »
Lads, what's the "take" on Wilbers ???

http://www.wilbersusa.com/hyperpro-motorcycle-shocks.htm


gotta love purple, I guess... B^)
hANNAbONE
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Offline avc8130

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 04:14:42 pm »
One other point to make about Ohlins vs Penske:

Ohlins makes their shocks to "stock".  In other words, Ohlins builds shocks and puts them in a warehouse.  Distributors then order by part number a shock.  Sure, they can adjust the spring rate, but the damping and configuration is pre-determined by Ohlins.

Penske, on the other hand, makes each and every shock to order to the specifications of the DISTRIBUTOR.  What does that mean?  That means that when Stoltec orders a Penske, he doesn't order a "Super Tenere" shock from Penske.  He orders a shock built to HIS specifications for the CUSTOMER.  Penske then builds the shock per his order, and runs EACH AND EVERY shock through their shock dynometer and provides Nick and the customer a print out of the ACTUAL damping response of the exact shock the customer receives.

What does this mean?  This means you can order and Ohlins and probably have one off the shelf within a few days.  If you order a Penske, be prepared to wait while they custom build the shock to Stoltec's specification based on YOUR load/riding style.  This usually takes a few weeks, but it is worth the wait.

ac
ECU Flash: Hearsay.

Online Dallara

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 04:51:20 pm »
Lads, what's the "take" on Wilbers ???

http://www.wilbersusa.com/hyperpro-motorcycle-shocks.htm


gotta love purple, I guess... B^)



I had a Wilbers on my last KLR650...  In fact, my son has that bike now and the Wilbers is still on there. But that said, I bought that Wilbers when Klaus Huenecke at EPM Performance was still the Wilbers USA distributor, and he built Wilbers shocks to specs. He and Wilbers split, and I never bought another Wilbers. I have bought a set of YSS shocks from Klaus, though, that he built just the way I wanted them for Harley XR1200.

If you will notice, even though your link says "wilbersusa", Hannabone, they don't sell Wilbers...  Just YSS and Hyperpro. Klaus still does repair, rebuilding, and service work on Wilbers, but he no longer sells them. The home page for his outfit is http://www.epmperf.com/

Just FYI...

Dallara



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Offline snakebitten

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 05:04:54 pm »

One other point to make about Ohlins vs Penske:

Ohlins makes their shocks to "stock".  In other words, Ohlins builds shocks and puts them in a warehouse.  Distributors then order by part number a shock.  Sure, they can adjust the spring rate, but the damping and configuration is pre-determined by Ohlins.

<snip>

ac

True in most instances. But that Ohlins shock, the YA013 to be specific, was specifically built for the Yamaha XT1200Z. And so that damping and configuration that was pre-determined by Ohlins, as you put it, is XT1200Z specific. It's not like we are putting an Ohlins designed for a Hayabusa on our Tenere. :)

As for the Ohlins fork cartridges on our Teneres, they are not a normal product of Ohlins. There is nothing in their catalog built for our Tenere.
So much as you describe the Penske "process", it's pretty much how our Ohlins forks came to be.

I said it before: None of us would have Ohlins forks if Jaxon hadn't shown the tenacity he did to convince Ohlins (USA) to make the effort to build them.
It cost him 6 months of riding time to do that too. I gravy-trained off him because I wouldn't have made the sacrifice. 
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Online Dallara

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 05:38:49 pm »
True in most instances. But that Ohlins shock, the YA013 to be specific, was specifically built for the Yamaha XT1200Z. And so that damping and configuration that was pre-determined by Ohlins, as you put it, is XT1200Z specific. It's not like we are putting an Ohlins designed for a Hayabusa on our Tenere. :)

As for the Ohlins fork cartridges on our Teneres, they are not a normal product of Ohlins. There is nothing in their catalog built for our Tenere.
So much as you describe the Penske "process", it's pretty much how our Ohlins forks came to be.

I said it before: None of us would have Ohlins forks if Jaxon hadn't shown the tenacity he did to convince Ohlins (USA) to make the effort to build them.
It cost him 6 months of riding time to do that too. I gravy-trained off him because I wouldn't have made the sacrifice.



Except we're not talking about forks...

From the OP's original post in this thread:

"I've decided that I will be replacing my rear shock over the winter. I have narrowed the choices to either Ohlins or Penske..."

AVC's point is well taken...

While Ohlins may very well build a shock for "a" Super Tenere, Nick at Stolten has Penske build a shock for "you and your" specific Super Tenere, and your size, weight, riding style, and type riding you do.

There is a difference.  ;)

Dallara



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« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 05:40:24 pm by Dallara »
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Offline Ironhand

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Re: Ohlins vs Penske shock advice
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 07:18:53 pm »
Thanks for all of the helpful input so far guys.  Points taken about having a guy essentially custom build a shock for "me."  Doing something with the forks is on the list too, but the budget may only allow for springs this round. 
2012 Super Tenere
1974 RD350

 

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