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New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

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New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by FJRPittsburgh »

I recently purchased a Gen 3 rear shock and installed it on my 2008 Gen 2 AE this morning. I was thinking of upgrading to a Penske or Olins, but my common sense ruined that thought. I got 14 years out of the original Gen 2 rear shock and the Gen 3 has a little more beef to it.

I weigh 175 lbs and I never ride 2 up. I'm happy with my decision after a test ride. Feels like a new bike!

It was a little bit more of a pain in the ass with the AE shift actuator and part of the air box in the way. I figured it out eventually and didn't have any parts or fasteners left after reassembly.

I did run into a little snag trying to free the bottom of the old shock. I looked at the service manual and it looked like there was no spacer (sleeve) to slide out. After looking at it again, I could see the sleeve that I needed to remove.

Everything is back together and the bike feels new again.
Last edited by FJRPittsburgh on Sat Jun 25, 2022 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by BkerChuck »

When I had my Gen 2 I did that upgrade myself. We'll worth the money and far less expensive than most aftermarket shocks. I got real lucky this winter finding a used Penske.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by rbentnail »

Ditto on my '07. IMHO aA Gen3 shock is a great affordable upgrade for us lighter strictly solo guys.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by Road Runner »

If you guys find you want to carry more weight like tools/gear, and if you eat to many cheeseburgers and fries like me, then the Ohlins is a great value. :stickpoke: JSNS
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by FJRPittsburgh »

I'm sure the Olins and Penske are both excellent upgrades to the OEM rear shock. They make a great bike even better. I'll just stick with the great bike and save some cash. :D
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by FJRPittsburgh »

Updated photos
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by BkerChuck »

If you have a chance throw a digital caliper on that spring and then measure the gen 2 take off. The Gen 3 shock spring is about 2 mm thicker material. Much better suited spring than the one you took off.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by Festus »

Just curious, what, physically, does that Hard/Soft switch do? I know the results but never thought about what it's actually doing.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by raYzerman »

The OEM shock has two springs acting in series when on SOFT. When on HARD, the mechanism locks out the upper spring.

A bit complicated, but there is a formula for two spring rates in series - [(K1)(K2)] / [(K1+K2)]

On a Gen3 shock, K1 = 976.2 and K2 = 1952.8. The SOFT setting therefore results in a 651 lb/in spring. Perfect for the 175-ish person one up. All you need to do is adjust the rebound damping to reduce bounciness.

On the HARD setting the K2 is locked out, leaving you with the 976.2...... mostly good for two up or a heavy person (225-260 lbs. if you use Penske's recommendations for spring rate).

Prior Gens were way undersprung, barely adequate.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by wheatonFJR »

I've never run mine on soft. Ever. And if you've seen my photo with Jason....you know I am NOT a big guy...lol.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by Festus »

So it's just like a wedge on a spring, on a spring rubber in a race car?
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by bigjohnsd »

Festus wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:59 am So it's just like a wedge on a spring, on a spring rubber in a race car?
A good analogy
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by FJRPittsburgh »

wheatonFJR wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:26 am I've never run mine on soft. Ever. And if you've seen my photo with Jason....you know I am NOT a big guy...lol.
There's Wheatie bragging that his is always hard.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by FJRPittsburgh »

wheatonFJR wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:26 am I've never run mine on soft. Ever. And if you've seen my photo with Jason....you know I am NOT a big guy...lol.
At 175 lbs, I've never run mine on soft either. I haven't experimented with this Gen 3 shock much yet, but in the twisties, the Gen 2 shock was a little sloppy when set to soft.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by BikerGeek »

FWIW, I have jwilly's Gen 3 stock shock on my bike. He sent it to me when my Wilber's shock decided to no longer be very shocky.

Here are a couple of observations:
1. I couldn't really tell the difference between my stock Gen 1 shock and my Wilber's (bought from someone in the other sandbox wayyy back when). My stock Gen 1 shock had 75K miles on it.
1a. Until the Wilber's stopped being shocky. Then it was bouncy. Not good.
2. I haven't really noticed much difference with Jason's Gen 3 shock except for this one time, 2-up, on the BRP chasing Jason and Sonya. It got a little woogy, so I slowed down a bit. I'm not sure if that was the car tire or the shock that caused the woogyness.
2a. I have noticed a difference between the Hard and Soft settings based on riding solo with no baggage and 2-up fully loaded. Solo, with the shock set to Hard, beats the hell outta me. 2-up, fully loaded, with the shock set to Soft, gets a tad bouncy.

ETA: With the Wilber's installed, yamafitter took sag measurements at a Tech Day wayyy back when. By his description, with that shock, it was a tad hard for riding solo and a tad soft for 2-up, so basically in the middle. With Jason''s Gen 3 shock, my crap-tastic lower back and I do like having the Hard / Soft setting options which is one of the reasons why I haven't had my Wilber's rebuilt.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by raYzerman »

FJRPittsburgh wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:29 pm
wheatonFJR wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:26 am I've never run mine on soft. Ever. And if you've seen my photo with Jason....you know I am NOT a big guy...lol.
At 175 lbs, I've never run mine on soft either. I haven't experimented with this Gen 3 shock much yet, but in the twisties, the Gen 2 shock was a little sloppy when set to soft.
Gen2 - K1 = 519.6, K2 = 708. On soft, the calculation comes to 300 lb/in spring rate. Putting it on Hard would be 519.6

You can control bouncing to a good degree, but it's a compromise when the spring rate isn't correct for you. Where have you got the rebound damping set at? Start at 8 clicks out, but you'll likely end up at 7 or 6 depending on how aggressive you are.... this is what Chuck needs to check for his "woogy".

IF this Wilbers has no hydraulic preload adjuster, then it's a pain to adjust preload for one-up vs. two-up...... one would have to know the spring rate that's on it to decide what to do with it... any numbers stamped or printed on the spring?
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by FJRPittsburgh »

raYzerman wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:25 pm
FJRPittsburgh wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:29 pm
wheatonFJR wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:26 am I've never run mine on soft. Ever. And if you've seen my photo with Jason....you know I am NOT a big guy...lol.
At 175 lbs, I've never run mine on soft either. I haven't experimented with this Gen 3 shock much yet, but in the twisties, the Gen 2 shock was a little sloppy when set to soft.
Gen2 - K1 = 519.6, K2 = 708. On soft, the calculation comes to 300 lb/in spring rate. Putting it on Hard would be 519.6

You can control bouncing to a good degree, but it's a compromise when the spring rate isn't correct for you. Where have you got the rebound damping set at? Start at 8 clicks out, but you'll likely end up at 7 or 6 depending on how aggressive you are.... this is what Chuck needs to check for his "woogy".

IF this Wilbers has no hydraulic preload adjuster, then it's a pain to adjust preload for one-up vs. two-up...... one would have to know the spring rate that's on it to decide what to do with it... any numbers stamped or printed on the spring?
I started at 8 which is ok for my riding around home. I may take it down to 6 for SEO riding. I'll play with the adjustment over there. Thanks Ray. I got the 8 click setting from the service manual.
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by BikerGeek »

raYzerman wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:25 pm You can control bouncing to a good degree, but it's a compromise when the spring rate isn't correct for you. Where have you got the rebound damping set at? Start at 8 clicks out, but you'll likely end up at 7 or 6 depending on how aggressive you are.... this is what Chuck needs to check for his "woogy".
I assume you meant me and not Chuck. I have no idea what the rebound is set to - I just pulled it outta the box and installed it. Dunno if Jason woulda changed anything or not.

raYzerman wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:25 pm IF this Wilbers has no hydraulic preload adjuster, then it's a pain to adjust preload for one-up vs. two-up...... one would have to know the spring rate that's on it to decide what to do with it... any numbers stamped or printed on the spring?
Nope - no hydraulic preload adjuster. We can take a look at it on Tech Day. Speaking of Tech Day....
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Re: New Gen 3 Shock for a Gen 2 AE

Post by raYzerman »

BikerGeek wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:14 pm
raYzerman wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:25 pm You can control bouncing to a good degree, but it's a compromise when the spring rate isn't correct for you. Where have you got the rebound damping set at? Start at 8 clicks out, but you'll likely end up at 7 or 6 depending on how aggressive you are.... this is what Chuck needs to check for his "woogy".
I assume you meant me and not Chuck. I have no idea what the rebound is set to - I just pulled it outta the box and installed it. Dunno if Jason woulda changed anything or not.

raYzerman wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:25 pm IF this Wilbers has no hydraulic preload adjuster, then it's a pain to adjust preload for one-up vs. two-up...... one would have to know the spring rate that's on it to decide what to do with it... any numbers stamped or printed on the spring?
Nope - no hydraulic preload adjuster. We can take a look at it on Tech Day. Speaking of Tech Day....
Yeah, sorry, I meant you...... who knows where the rebound is..... lay down under the bike, looking up, turn rebound adjuster knob clockwise until lightly seated (count the clicks to know where it was). Then turn counterclockwise 8 clicks, or 7..... go for a wee ride and try it.

The Wilbers is no good two up if you can't adjust the preload..... some solo rider would like that shock.
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