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Elka shock questions......


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#1 VFR-SPORT

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 11:56 AM

I just removed my Elka shock for some maintenance and a rebuild/re-spring. For those that have this shock, 2-way with remote reservoir, I would like to ask about the orientation of the hoses. In the instructions it says to mount it with the compression hose connector towards the rear of the bike. However, the hose itself heads to the right side of the bike and then loops and exits out the left side to mount on the passenger peg hanger. Ditto with the preload hose. The hose connects on the left side of the shock but loops around the shock to exit past the ABS setup. I have the adjuster under the seat near the rear brake reservoir mostly because the hose doesn't seems to be long enough to reach the right side passenger per hanger. I will take pictures and attach later.

Can the banjo bolts be loosened enought to re-orient the way the hoses point without to much problem? If anyone has pictures of their Elka shocks off the bike I would like to see them to compare. Thanks for all input.

#2 Baileyrock

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:26 PM

I've not installed a Elka so I'm no help on hose orientation, but be very careful trying to loosen the comp. hose as there's pressure(several hundred psi) behind it. You might be able to change banjo angle, but there's a chance of loosing charge trying it.

The pre-load isn't pressurized (for the most part anyway)if you back off the adjuster fully :blush:

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#3 250ninjarider

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 06:16 PM

I just removed my Elka shock for some maintenance and a rebuild/re-spring. For those that have this shock, 2-way with remote reservoir, I would like to ask about the orientation of the hoses. In the instructions it says to mount it with the compression hose connector towards the rear of the bike. However, the hose itself heads to the right side of the bike and then loops and exits out the left side to mount on the passenger peg hanger. Ditto with the preload hose. The hose connects on the left side of the shock but loops around the shock to exit past the ABS setup. I have the adjuster under the seat near the rear brake reservoir mostly because the hose doesn't seems to be long enough to reach the right side passenger per hanger. I will take pictures and attach later.

Can the banjo bolts be loosened enought to re-orient the way the hoses point without to much problem? If anyone has pictures of their Elka shocks off the bike I would like to see them to compare. Thanks for all input.


My banjo bolt is in the front and the reservoir is on the left side. Sorry, I do not have a photo the bike is in the shop getting ready for spring. Also remote reservoir is pressurized and would cause leaking if you loosen banjo bolts and did not let off pressure.

#4 enzed_viffer

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:08 AM

I know this is a wee bit late, but on my VFR, I mounted the shock with the remote hose at the front, so it was coming out to the left side, then made a bracket to mount the remote reservoir on the left pilion footpeg bracket.

I actually found this thread looking for anything about Elka maintenance, as next week we (my wife and I) are doing a Road Trip to have the Elka serviced, revalved and fettled by the local Ohlins/Racetech expert. (This is so it matches the (twice) refettled front end, which I fitted with Sonic Springs myself, then had Racetech and Ohlins parts added. It was WAAAAY too stiff, so I sent it back, had softer Ohlins springs fitted, and the damping rejigged to match). Anyway, it will be a round trip of around 700km or more.
Today I did a trial run of removing and replacing the Elka, as I'll be doing it myself to save some time at the suspension shop. Didn't go too well - took around 4 hours all up. The bolts were all a bit reluctant to come undone, and the original instructions didn't really work. To get the shock out with limited clearance, I ended up unscrewing the bottom mount of the shock completely. The nut for the top mount disappeared into the bowels of the bike somewhere - never found it, but luckily I had another similar bolt of the same thread.

So... I'll report back on what is done, and how it performs. Quite frankly, I'm disappointed with the Elka, particularly now the front end is so sweet - I'm always conscious of the rear wheel, as instead of just quietly going about its business, it lets me know that it's fighting with the bumps'n'ripples. Yeah, it's considerably better than the stock Showa, but I really regret not shelling out the extra 25% for an Ohlins - it would have been cheaper in the long run, and I would have been guaranteed satisfaction as far as performance goes, instead of having to pay extra to achieve it.

#5 zRoYz

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 05:11 AM

Ok it doesn't matter were you mount the compression remote canister or the preload adjuster, it doesn't effect how they work were you mount them unless you place them against exhaust.

YOU CAN'T UNDO COMPRESSION CANISTER HOSE FITTINGS, the canister has a nitrogen pressure charge for some of the volume & the rest is oil which is under pressure constantly from the nitrogen charge pushing a piston in the canister. You will lose oil which will also stuff up the compression settings range.

Rreload adjuster is just a hydraulic ram so if you completely back off adjuster you can get away with slightly undoing bajo to move fitting because if you do get a drip of oil it won't matter that much, REMEMBER BACK OFF ADJUSTER FIRST.
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#6 enzed_viffer

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:36 PM

A bit delayed, but here goes. The trip was great - a total of about 740 miles, including some of the best riding in NZ, like the Forgotten World Highway, which is just under 100 miles of twisting, turning road, with some tight corners turning back on themselves and signposted at 10mph. Another great thing is that it was pretty much deserted - very light traffic due to being midweek.
Anyway, on the trip down, I have maybe an extra 90-100kg of weight, with the wife and luggage aboard. The shock's performance was rather disappointing - it felt a bit wooden and seemed to get worse as the ride progressed.

At the workshop, the removal took a speedy 20 minutes, helped by having done the practice run, and having the bike up on a bench so it was easier to access things.
When Dr Bob took the shock apart and measured everything, it turned out that the shock tube was identical in diameter to an Ohlins commonly used on the VFR. He was impressed by the quality of the components, but somewhat bemused by the shim stack, and by the workings of the compression damping bleed screw, and showed me that the porting holes in the piston were around half the total area of those of the comparable Ohlins. So... we decided between us that he'd chuck all the internals, and just rebuild it as an Ohlins. The rider was that because the remote reservoir and compression damper was so different, he'd leave that alone, so "This will either all work, or I'll have to take it all out and start again". Gulp...
I asked about just fitting the Ohlins remote res, and he said that would cost around NZ$880; given that the "Roadline" Ohlins for the VFR was only around NZ$1100, this was a crazy idea.
We were both surprised that the spring (which he said was very good quality), was ideal for my weight (83kg). He tested it, and the "900#" spring actually measured 859#.
The 10-shim stack was replaced with an 8-shim Ohlins one. Dunno what the difference in shims was, as Dr Bob didn't measure them.
Everything was carefully cleaned, measured, fitted, and the oil (Redline? ATF? Raspberry cordial?) was replaced with $50/litre Ohlins oil, of the exact kind in the Ohlins used in MotoGP bikes.
I replaced the shock in the VFR, losing the top nut into the V4 Black Hole again, so Dr Bob machined me a similar one, whereupon the other one fell out on the floor, so I've a spare for next time. The sag was set up for my weight, and off went Dr Bob for an extended test ride around Taranaki, never to be seen again...

... for about 20 minutes or so. "It feels pretty damned good to me! Your turn! You'll notice it feels like it's working more in the top of its stroke, but even though it seems more compliant, it's actually effectively stiffer."

I agreed, and when we (my wife and I) piled all our gear on and did more sight-seeing/riding, the Elkins/Ohlka felt even better: much more compliant, and VERY responsive to changes in preload adjustment. This went along with what Dr Bob said: "When you're setting the preload for two-up, you may feel like you need to dial in more damping, especially rebound, but in fact, as you get the shock operating in the right range, there's less tendency to rebound anyway." And so it proved.

So, I'm now very pleased. The Elkins/Ohlka now feels like it matches the Ohlins/Racetech front end, rather than fighting it to some extent, is much plusher when carrying extra weight, and much more responsive to adjustment. I haven't even had to touch the damping yet! Dr Bob set it up with the original settings, then apart from one extra click of rebound, that was it!




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