When you’ve been riding around the world for as long as we have, you realize that there are a few mantras to live by; one of my favorites is “if it’s not broken don’t fix it”! It turns out there are exceptions!
Back in August 2012 our friends at Touratech HQ in Germany offered me their new suspension, but based on the above ‘mantra’ I turned the offer down. I’d been using a high-end, custom suspension system for over a decade and thought what I was running was as good as suspension could be. A few weeks later and after some persuasion I was excitedly installing a Touratech Explore shock on the front of my R1150GSA and an Explore HP on the rear. “They’re going to change the way you ride” Martin (worldwide Director of Sales) commented confidently.
After 11 years of Global circumnavigation and over 500,000 kms, the last 12 months have seen us cover an additional 26,000 miles. These kms have seen us traverse Australia (off-road) New Zealand and the USA. We’ve crossed 5 deserts, 6 mountain ranges and cruised thousands of kilometres of highway in the USA. The suspension has performed flawlessly.
Fully loaded and on the winding coastal roads of Australia, the first thing I noticed with my new Touratech set-up, was how ‘planted’ and secure the front end was. It felt as though I was connected to the road. Leaning hard into the curves at speed, the ‘little’ front-end wobble I’d grown accustomed to with my old suspension was now gone. I’d found that feeling of ‘confidence’ that I’d heard other motorcyclists brag about.
Off-road the new Touratech suspension really excels, and that feeling of ‘confidence’ continues.
With the sag adjusted correctly, (which is easily done with a few turns of the pre-load adjuster) my bike feels like new. Easily adjustable suspension is essential! When dehydrated, exhausted and in the middle of nowhere, the last thing I want is to be fighting my bike.
In Australia’s Simpson Desert and after just 10-minutes of riding the punishing washboard tracks, I adjusted the rebound dampening with just a few clicks (the adjuster is easily located at the bottom of the shock) and the difference was both instant and exceptional. At 100 kph (60-mph) over badly corrugated sandy terrain, the bike felt smooth and responded precisely to input via both the foot-pegs and handlebars.
Compared to the Touratech Explore shocks my old suspension felt spongy. Looking back now, I’ve no idea why I just accepted the issues with my old shocks?”
Since upgrading my suspension, we’ve ridden smooth asphalt, corrugations, deep sand and twisty mountain passes, both with and without luggage and I can tell you that it’s an exciting prospect to know that no matter what the terrain or load, that I can always find my suspensions ‘sweet-spot’!
Investing in suspension is hands-down one of the best investment you can make for your bike and one of the few that can fundamentally and instantly alter where, when and how you ‘think’ you can ride.
Without backup or fixers to bail us out, our gear and bikes have to work.
The Touratech suspension has been one of the best performance upgrades I’ve made in a decade.
|▲ Incredibly strong||▼ Premium priced upgrade|
|▲ Totally rebuildable|| ▼ Adjusting the rebound dampening dial on the explore shock could be easier |
|▲ Tailored to suit individual riders weight and riding style|
|▲Exeptional build quality|
|▲ 16mm oversized chrome molly shaft|
|▲ Designed specifically for large capacity Adventure Bikes|