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REPOST Enforcement Mod
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Discussion Starter #1
So, my '06 OEM Ohlins steering damper finally sprung a leak yesterday while out riding yesterday. I did a couple of wheelies, but nothing I would consider harsh on the damper that would cause it to fail suddenly. When I stopped, there was oil on my left control housing and the left inside of the windscreen. I know guys have had problems with the stock damper before, but mine held out for 1.5 years and 5,500 miles. Guess that was longer than most.

So, here I am, out of warranty on the thing and would like to get it fixed. I suppose I could take it to the dealer, but Kawasaki doesn't sell a rebuild kit for it that I could find, so I'm sure they'll try to sell me a new one and not fix the old.

Does anyone know where I can send it for a rebuild? Can I rebuild it myself and buy the seals somewhere? Am I screwed and should scrap the OEM and get a "real" damper? Any help is appreciated. :eek:ccasion1
 

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I don't know if this helps ya, but GP Supension will revalve that sucker for $70 It will work a whole lot different when you get it back.

The stock valve has a small hole down the middle to allow oil to pass thru it. There valve does not. The feel of the modified damper adjustments is much better. It functions now like it should have from the factory.

And did anything happen to blow you seal, like a big slapper or spill?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info guys. I'll look into both of your suggestions. I'd love to have it revalved if I'm going to go through the trouble of rebuilding it.

Gang - No, nothing happened of signifigance to seemingly cause the failure. No slappers, no shimmy, no hard maneuvers, nothing. Seems like it just failed at some point during my ride. I don't really run it on that hard of a setting either. Normally between 4 and 6 clicks from the lightest setting. :dontknow:
 

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Right after buying my New 06, I found a lot of info on the net about these OEM Ohlins dampers leaking. Several on this forum. It was already obvious it wasn't the same performer as an aftermarket Ohlins.

So, I sold mine new on eBay. Got almost $200.00 for it. I was shocked I got that much for it, especially considering I was very honest about it being the OEM unit off the bike and not an aftermarket one.

I then put another 204.00 to that and bought a Scotts.

I wanted a GPR, but saw to many horror stories across the net about them leaking. Then a friend of mine bought a GPR V1 (older design) 2 weeks ago and the black paint is already flecking off the mount and rust is showing on it.

I have never like the GOLD color on the Scotts, but the aluminium mount looks awesome, and the new Scotts mount for the 06-07 that doesn't use the stem nut with allen screws is a great improvement and fits perfect.

The Scotts fits and works awesome and I have found no reports on the net about them leaking.

Hard racing told me they would sell me a GPR, (had em in stock) but they recommended the Scotts because they have had a lot of customers report back leakage on the GPR.

I had an Ohlins on my 94 ZX9, and it was working perfect 13 years later when I parted it out. Never even rebuilt it and the new owner reports back it is working great.

This leads me to beleive the 06-07 OEM Ohlins has a design flaw causing the leaks, and it is purposely valved to have little change in adjustment most likely for product liability.

In summary, I think Kawi had the Ohlins damper made for the 2 Gen more as a marketing ploy, than as a real damper.

I'm not sure there worth fixing. That really is the dilema you face. Is it worth fixing?

JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
JJ - Thanks for the update bud. I had read several posts and have been following the reports on the POS OEM damper. I fully agree with you that it is a marketing ploy based on reports of the Gen I's headshake problem.

As for rebuilding the POS vs. buying a new one, well, I'm not going to argue with you on that one cause I agree that the money would be better spent on a new one.

Here's my reasoning though - The Gen II's don't need a damper to begin with! I've never had a reason for the damper on there at all. I don't ride on the track, just agressive street riding and mild stunting. I've never noticed any need for one and would run the OEM damper really light on the settings. The bike is just stable under all of the conditions that I've experienced. I'd take the thing off all together, but then I'd mentally know that "something" was designed to go in its place.

So, I'd rather rebuild and re-valve the POS and put it back on for less than $100 rather than spend $300-$400 on a damper I've never really needed up to this point. Especially when I can't really recoupe any investment off the OEM one now that it's leaking.

I certainly appreciate the info, and your point-view, however. If I can't get the OEM rebuilt for a reasonable $$$, then I'll probably use your review of the Scotts to upgrade eventually.
 
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