I'd like to upgrade my rear shocks at some point when I fall over the right deal, but at the same time I don't see me ever spending $800 on Ohlins or similar given how much I have in to the rest of the bike and what I need versus what I might like. So I thought it would be useful to try to grade the alternatives in some sort of order of how good they actually are. For example of the ones I have some familiarity with:
4) Sportster Shocks?
Middle ground) I'm interested in experiences people have had with some of the replica shocks or anything else that works
Last place) Probably the 30-40 year old originals, although I've heard some bad reviews on some of the Chinese ones with problems including actual breakages.
If we could formulate some sort of reference list, I think it would be a useful resource as it is one modification/repair that is very common. On my KZ650 I upgraded with some Sportster shocks, nothing special, but they were better than the stock ones and being brand new had nice chrome. It would be handy to know the options from the cheapest to the more expensive in terms of bang for your buck and then be able to decide where on the list you budget lies.
Bang for the buck its is hard to beat progressive and most riders cannot benefit from more expensive shocks now if you have 1,000s in upgrades including frame bracing modern wheels , tires etc then if you feel you can use them which 90% cannot then I would say spend the coin. also if interested I have a like new set of take off chrome progressives that measure 13 1/4 center to center I am going to list for sale if interested.
1984 GPZ 1100
1170 wiesco 10.5 cr
Larry Cavanaugh head
Bored Throttle bodies
Web .415in cams
Kerker K2 with comp baffle
RC Hp inj
Pogue Adj Regulator
VITON VALVE SEALS $22.00 SET OF 8 SHIPPED TO LOWER 48 PM ME.
I bought these because of the price. I wanted duel rate shocks. Very happy with them. I had stock replicas and before that I had HP progressive shocks. They were too tall. I bought the copies and felt like I was on a pogo going through the turns.
YSS shocks come in a variety of options, several of which are reasonably priced. Works shocks also come in different options but all are quite expensive.
I've vote for Progressives as best value overall, partly because they are tried and true. I know several guys that ordered Hagons, supposedly customized to their needs, and they feel they are quite stiff.
I found a pair of Koni shocks for my 750 twin and paid $100 for them. Ikon took over production of the Koni motorcycle shocks a few years ago and their importer sells the rebuild kits. New Ikons are in the $300-400 range.
I just got the cheap Chinese eBay piggyback reservoir shocks. I had them rebuilt and modified by CL MotoTech. $250 total including the price of the shocks. I have not got to ride on them yet, but they seem legit. I wouldn't recommend these shocks without the rebuild service.
Almost quit riding because of progressive shocks. They absolutely SUCK! I would rather ride with an old set of stockers with no oil in them then those. Every time I got on the bike it rode hard and bounced over bumps . This was after buying them new and having them custom set to my weight. I had the standards and air shocks.
I now use ZRX shocks on my 2 KZ riders and LOVE them.
I like the look of the ZRX shocks on the KZ's and I'm sure they are a good unit, but all the ones I see for sale are $250-$350 a pair, that's a lot to pay for used IMO. Also they don't fit with the stock bushes do they?
I quite like the idea of going with something that has that obvious "not stock" look if I'm not going with a stock or regular replacement, something that looks like a performance upgrade .