Motorcycle Classics Garage: Works Performance
Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS Shock Absorber Install
Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS shock installed on 1991 BMW K100RS
Product: Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS Single Shock
Subject Motorcycle: 1991 BMW K100RS
First introduced in 1982, BMW’s K100 “Flying Brick” has been around a lot longer than most of us care to realize – over 25 years, long enough to qualify for “historic” tags in some states.
That means early K bikes are starting to get old, with more and more of them needing the kind of fettling and rehab work we generally reserve for the classic Harleys, BSAs, Hondas and Ducatis in our garages.
While early K bikes aren’t likely to incite the sort of passion as, say, a 1973 Norton Commando, they are solid, overly-engineered machines. More at home on the open road than the confines of the city, they make excellent commuting machines, which is exactly what I was looking for when I bought mine last year; something to carry me comfortably and reliably on my daily 60-mile roundtrip ride to work.
And while my Brick has delivered on all counts – great fuel economy, easy to maintain, reliable, and comfortable – the one area where it suffered was the rear suspension. Overly soft, it wallowed under compression, especially in tighter turns. Throw in an off-camber, decreasing radius with a bump in it, and it was almost scary.
With 64,000 miles on the clock, I knew the rear mono-shock on my K100RS was suspect, so I decided to check out my options. After looking at a stock replacement and even a rebuild, I settled on an aftermarket replacement from Works Performance Shocks.
Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS
The shock I ordered was a Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS. Featuring triple-rate springs (hence the “TRS” designation), the Steel Tracker TRS also features adjustable spring rates and comes with a remote fluid reservoir. Adjustable rate springs allow the rider to adjust spring performance for different load and road conditions, while a remote reservoir allows a larger supply of damping oil, helping the nitrogen-charged damping oil stay cool in high-load/high heat situations.
There are three springs on this unit; one above the stepped cup, and two below. The springs all work together to give a soft, initial response to inputs from the swingarm, but as loads increase the short springs quit compressing and the load transitions to the longer and stiffer main spring.
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