Ohlins or Penske

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Feb 14, 2015
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Indiana
#1
So I'm looking into getting a shock for my 2012. I have a stronger spring on the stock one now, but really looking for something that soaks up the hits a little better especially off road or the occasional two up. I've been reading a lot here and guys mainly seem to be going with either Ohlins or Penske brands.
Are we comparing apples to apples here or why did you choose the shock you did? Cost? Maintenance? Looks? Ease of adjustment? Got a deal on price?
Is the piggy back on the Ohlins really that much bigger than the Penske's or does it just look that way ?
Guys with the Penske, has changing pre load with a tool instead of a knob been ok?
So with that , if you have the Ohlins or Penske are you happy with it?

thanks everyone
 

blitz11

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SW Montana
#2
So I'm looking into getting a shock for my 2012. I have a stronger spring on the stock one now, but really looking for something that soaks up the hits a little better especially off road or the occasional two up. I've been reading a lot here and guys mainly seem to be going with either Ohlins or Penske brands.
Are we comparing apples to apples here or why did you choose the shock you did? Cost? Maintenance? Looks? Ease of adjustment? Got a deal on price?
Is the piggy back on the Ohlins really that much bigger than the Penske's or does it just look that way ?
Guys with the Penske, has changing pre load with a tool instead of a knob been ok?
So with that , if you have the Ohlins or Penske are you happy with it?

thanks everyone
I have the Penske with remote reservoir on both my Super 10 and my Duke 690. I have an Ohlins rear shock on my (2002) GasGas EC300.

1. From an engineering point of view, if you rebuild your own suspension (or even just change you own oil / gas), the Penske is BY FAR much easier to service than is the Ohlins, and parts are much much much easier to source.

2. I can't compare to an equivalent Ohlins in terms of ride/comfort/handling, but when I made the change, it was like night and day. (I also upgraded compression damping with Traxxion Dynamics compression valving, Race Tech Rebound damping, and sonic springs at the same time, so the effect might be commulative.) My buddy has a Ducati Multistrada with the electronic Ohlins suspension, and my S-10 is easily as good as the Ducati. (It helps that we're the same weight, so we're comparing apples/oranges).

Would I buy the penske again? Yes. I was so happy with the Penske on the s-10, that i had one built for the duke 690. I could not be happier.

Both were about $1K.

Plus, easy to service yourself.

This is biased 'cause i haven't ridden the Ohlins on this bike, but i have worked on Ohlins hardware). I just really like the Penske. I've backed it up by buying 2.
 

escapefjrtist

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#4
I have double-adjustable Penske's on both the Tenere and FJR. As mentioned above, a big selling point for a Penske is ease of rebuilding. With a tool investment of ~$450, I can rebuild mine with new seals, oil and N2 for $10 and an hour of my time. After having been screwed by a reputable (so-called) local suspension shop, knowing the shock(s) have been serviced properly is priceless. My local riding buddies also take advantage of the rebuilding services!

On the Tenere, preload is easy to adjust but it does take more effort than hydraulic. I have two springs (for solo & two-up loaded) and swap them when I'm packing the SO and kitchen sink. On the FJR, I can swap springs in place...

Strictly looking at price, IMHO the Penske is a better buy. I did pick up my Tenere's on a black Friday sale for less than $700, which was a steal.

~G
 

escapefjrtist

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#5
How often does the Penske need to be rebuilt vs. the Ohlins?
Service intervals are comparable. Most shops recommend freshening up street performance shocks every two years or ~25,000 miles. However, many ignore the interval and let them go MUCH longer without too many problems.

~G
 

Thomas21

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#6
I have the Penske on my 2012 and love it. I bought it as an extra when I bought my bike used so I got to ride the stock for a while before changing it. It was a very noticeable difference.
 

spam16v

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#7
I’m happy with my Penske. Less exotic than Ohlins and easier to have serviced. I send my stuff to Konflict on the S10. I have a nitrogen tank and know-how but didn’t have the motivation to shuffle shims on something I prefer to ride than tinker.
 

Paul466

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Mar 16, 2013
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Littleton, Colorado
#8
So I'm looking into getting a shock for my 2012. I have a stronger spring on the stock one now, but really looking for something that soaks up the hits a little better especially off road or the occasional two up. I've been reading a lot here and guys mainly seem to be going with either Ohlins or Penske brands.
Are we comparing apples to apples here or why did you choose the shock you did? Cost? Maintenance? Looks? Ease of adjustment? Got a deal on price?
Is the piggy back on the Ohlins really that much bigger than the Penske's or does it just look that way ?
Guys with the Penske, has changing pre load with a tool instead of a knob been ok?
So with that , if you have the Ohlins or Penske are you happy with it?

thanks everyone
I have Penske shock. Go with Ohlins, trust me, stay away from Stoltec moto. If you want reasons email me. I Have plenty of them
 
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#11

jrusell

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#12
I don't have experience with either on my tenere, but have used both brands on other bikes in the past.
Penske all day every day.

The remote hydraulic adjuster is the only perk the ohlins has. Not a deal breaker for me. Set it up for your weight and note the preload. Take some time and redo for your loaded weight and make another mark or use some method to record this preload setting.
 

escapefjrtist

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#13
I’m happy with my Penske. Less exotic than Ohlins and easier to have serviced. I send my stuff to Konflict on the S10. I have a nitrogen tank and know-how but didn’t have the motivation to shuffle shims on something I prefer to ride than tinker.
No reason to change shims unless you're unhappy with the dampening performance. When serviced regularly, all that's required is oil, new viton shaft seal and N2. Good luck with your choice of suspension shop...see post #4.

~G
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
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#14
Key is that the shock is truly setup for your riding style, weight and they understand what you are looking for in overall feel.

On other bikes, I've had Ohlins shocks and forks setup by a purportedly top-shelf Ohlins shop here in the US that just sucked...as in the spring rates were so far off the bike sat topped out, zero sag, and the shop wanted to argue with me that the spring chart for my weight "had to be right" and I was mistaken....until I sent them video.

I've also had Race Tech forks on at least a half dozen bikes and they all came out very nicely.

My absolute best experience was when Traxxion Dynamics rebuilt the forks and rear shock for a 2005 FZ1 that I owned. Live conversations about riding style, what I'm looking for in feel, experiences with other bikes I've owned and how those were setup, etc. I didn't have to adjust a n y t h i n g out of the box, it was perfect.
 

spam16v

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#15
I resprung both ends so shim change was prudent.
No reason to change shims unless you're unhappy with the dampening performance. When serviced regularly, all that's required is oil, new viton shaft seal and N2. Good luck with your choice of suspension shop...see post #4.

~G
 
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