Motorcycle Classics Garage: Works Performance

Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS Shock Absorber Install

| April 6, 2009

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    Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS shock installed on 1991 BMW K100RS
    Richard Backus
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    Here's our BMW with its original shock, a Sachs unit, still mounted.
    Richard Backus
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    The upper shock mount seen from below. It's much easier to get to with the seat assembly removed.
    Richard Backus
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    Lower shock mount.
    Richard Backus
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    A closer look at the rear assembly and the two nuts that must be removed inside the tool storage area. They should have plastic caps on them to protect the storage contents.
    Richard Backus
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    The seat/rear cowl assembly with the actual seat already removed. Remove six screws/bolts and it lifts out of the way.
    Richard Backus
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    Original shock at bottom and new Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS at top. The blue zip ties keep the needed split bushings from falling out during shipment.
    Richard Backus
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    Upper shock mount bolt. Note the wavy washer at left, which goes under the nut. The thicker flat washer goes under the bolt head, at right.
    Richard Backus
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    A block of wood gently wedged under the rear wheel will take the load of the shock and make shock removal and installation easier.
    Richard Backus
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    Here's what the bushings look like before they're installed. They'll only go in one way, with the protruding shoulder facing into the shock eye and the larger washered edge out.
    Richard Backus
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    The upper shock mount with the seat assembly removed. You can see how much easier it is to get to.
    Richard Backus
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    Torque the shock mounts to 25-30ft/lb with the bike off the centerstand so there's weight on the suspension.
    Richard Backus
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    The remote reservoir mounts (above) and clamps to hold the reservoir in place. The wider groove in the rubber mounts matches to the reservoir.
    Richard Backus
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    Lower shock mount with half of split bushing in place (threads for mount not yet cleaned).
    Richard Backus
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    A close up shows the adjustment lever and the stepped cup. Rotating either the lever or the cup so the lever and the steps in the cup are directly opposite each other sets the spring rate
    Richard Backus
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    The complete installation, after a bit of clean up to make things look nice. Handling has been significantly improved over the stock unit.
    Richard Backus
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    The remote reservoir attached to the right frame rail.
    Richard Backus

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Product: Works Performance Steel Tracker TRS Single Shock
MSRP: $489
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.



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