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Re: the Wilbers 641 shock. I should add that I ordered the 5mm (from memory) longer shock which negates the need for a spacer. I also have the ride hight adjuster option. With the suspension improvements, my corner speed noticeably increased with the extra confidence inspired by the update. On a negative note, the main shaft seal let go very early and shot all the oil over the back tyre. The seal block is a serviceable item and was replaced with no problems. I’ve never had a problem since, or heard of anyone else’s Wilbers shock having the same problem but in the interests of honesty and information, I thought I’d include it
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thanks everyone for the great replies. I'm rebuilding the bike after taking a tumble this fall. Just bought raceteck front springs to address the front end inadequacies. I see that the Wibers 641 is $839 and am now leaning towards that. Once I get the front end back together and take it for a test ride I will make the final call on the shock. Any other comments of recommendations are welcome. Thanks again.
 

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Not about my BB but I've been looking for a shock for my old Vara so this is a good thread for me. Being a conservative bloke my first thought was a direct replacement but I've been put off by price and the huge number of part numbers that apply to the shocks on Varaderos. SD02 and SD03 are different as are ABS or non-ABS. Don't know why they look the same in the schematics? Honda have also discontinued providing shocks for my Vara even though it's one of the last ones, a 2011. (I know it's not the best looking bike but I like it and it's taken me all over Europe.) Anyway, I turned to looking at aftermarket alternatives, i.e. Hagon, Nitron, Wilbers and YSS. I'm finding it difficult to get a feel for the quality of their products as there seems to be a lot of conflicting views on the web. There's always somebody on Horizon's Unlimited bad-mouthing one or the other because it let them down crossing the Atacama desert or something similar. (I don't do off-road especially on a Vara.) I'm leaning towards a Wilber 640 or 540 because they explicitly state they're for an SD03 Vara. Some of you seem to be happily running one. Reply from Wilber's on the difference is "The 540 Type as spring preload adjustment only and the 640 Type as the same but with the addition of 22 position rebound adjustment". Given that my riding style is fairly relaxed is not having rebound adjustment going to make a difference to me? I'm still going to investigate the Nitrons a bit more as they seem a quality product.
 

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With your application and actually for most others in the above. Going with an aftermarket shock actually has a couple of advantages. The first being it will be rebuildable. Second is that they will actually valve the shock to your weight and riding style. This is a great advantage in that you can run the above 540 and be very happy with it's performance. It will also outperform the stock because it is set up for your weight and riding style. The factory shock is always setup for a happy medium. The rebound adjustment will be pretty much left at one place for the majority of us here. The exception would be some that tracks their bike regularly at different venues. Or the incesant tinkerers (present company included) that can't leave well enough as good:rolleyes:
 

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Just FYI my front and rear were rebuilt by a reputable suspension specialist for about the same cost as buying aftermarket- to my weight and riding style specs, although I had the front tubes rechromed which added to the total cost, the end result is very nice and certainly an increase in useable performance. + completely standard visually... worth every cent of the money spent!
 

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..... I'm still going to investigate the Nitrons a bit more as they seem a quality product.
It will be a nice ride up to Eynsham (Oxfordshire) for you from Dorset why not call in and have a chat? I've been to both their old 'factory' and the new one now, the people there are very helpful and happy to spread information / suggestions. I was even taken on a guided tour the first time so I could have a chat with the guy who would be stripping down my shock ........ and then when I picked it up I was told exactly what had been found ........... basically it was as new after 20K miles. :thumb:
 

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HI i bought a really nice Ohlins new cost was £1012 i paid £355 and about £200 roughly to have it serviced put on the bike and setup
it was a long wait to find one but in total a good price its what you would pay for a lesser product
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I was recently to the UK and spent some time in Oxfordshire. One night in Kelmscott at the Plough Inn where we had quite a pleasant time. Would love to return and try one of those Varas out in the English countryside. Beautiful place.
 
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