Future Shock: Hyperpro 360, Ikon 3610 and YSS MZ366



BMW K75 shocks

Some enthusiasts might scoff at the notion of including BMW’s 1985-1995 K75 triple in a classic motorcycle magazine, but the truth is, it has become something of a classic, and rightly so.

Introduced for the 1985 model year, the K75 was a smaller version of the revolutionary 4-cylinder K100 introduced just two years before, which featured a fuel injected, double overhead cam, water-cooled inline four – lying on its side. Except for its shaft drive, it was unlike any motorcycle BMW had ever made, and rumors quickly circulated that BMW had a smaller companion to the big four in the works. Nobody expected a triple, however, yet for all its visual and technical similarities to the bigger K100, the K75 proved to have its own distinct character.

The K75 range was successful, too, with almost 68,000 manufactured in K75, K75C, K75RT and K75S variants during the model’s 10-year production run. Built with typical BMW quality, they are long-lasting, high-mileage machines, a fact that means there are tens of thousands of them still running around. And that brings us to their “classic” status. While traditional riders may not see them in the same light as, say, a Sixties Triumph or a Seventies Norton, their ready availability — and the ready availability of parts for them – makes them strong contenders as everyday mounts. Straddling something of a line between old and new, they are an excellent option for commuting and touring. And with almost 35 years between introduction and today, their mid-1980s styling has acquired a dated yet comfortable old school look.

Every bike has its failings of course, and one of the K75’s biggest was the rear Boge monoshock. Softly sprung and under-damped, it was considered a poor performer when new, and today, any owner with a K75 still wearing its original shock should seriously think about replacing it. And while we’re big on OEM parts, this is one case where we wouldn’t even consider OEM as an option. At just over $500 from BMW, the stock shock is hardly cheap, and adding insult to injury, they don’t work any better than they did 30 years ago. Fortunately, there are excellent options on the market, three of which we tested: the Hyperpro 360, the Ikon 3610 and the YSS MZ366.

On board

The stock Boge has 3-position adjustable preload and non-adjustable rebound damping, typical of the era. In addition to adjustable preload, all three of the tested shocks have adjustable rebound damping, a desirable feature on any bike and essential in our opinion for proper performance on K bikes owing both to their weight – our 1995 K75 test bike comes in at around 515 pounds – and their shaft final drive. Shaft drive can induce so-called “shaft effect,” where hard acceleration causes the bike to rise and deceleration makes it fall, upsetting handling. The K bikes (even pre-Paralever models, a feature K75s never got) don’t exhibit the effect as badly as some, but the issue becomes particularly evident running poorly damped and under-sprung rear shocks. Fitted to our 1995 K75, the three shocks tested allow fine-tuning preload as well as rebound, mitigating any shaft effect.

Rebound adjustment on all three is a simple matter of turning a dial, located at the bottom of the Hyperpro and YSS shocks and at the top of the Ikon. Of the three, the Ikon’s was harder to adjust, but only because the shock mounting bracket on the K75’s frame partially obscures the top of the shock, making it hard to access the adjustment dial. This wouldn’t be an issue on many bikes, but it is a minor pain on the K75. At the same time, the Ikon was also simpler to tune, owing to its four-position rebound adjustment versus the Hyperpro’s 50-position and the YSS’ 35-position adjustment, which allow finer tuning while also requiring more experimentation to find that “just right” setting.

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