Penske Shocks instead of Ohlins

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By Molan on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 01:59 pm:  View Molan's Profile Search for other posts by Molan Edit this post

Have been thinking about the upgrade to an Ohlins rear shock but have heard that Penske make one for a Falco that's really good & maybe more adjustable than the Ohlins.

Anyone ever tried one of these and/or know a UK supplier?

BTW - Ever typed Ohlins into a spell checker? Some of the Microsoft ones come up with holiness as an alternative - maybe Mr Gates is a biker??  

By Iedoubleyou on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 03:41 am:  View Iedoubleyou's Profile Search for other posts by Iedoubleyou Edit this post

Try and check contacts.

Ohlins suggest and rear shock for the Falco without adjustable length. (A must I think)
I send an e-mail to Wim Kroon (distributor in Holland) if there would be an option for that.
Other options is the unit the suggest for RSV.
Don't know about the Penske unit. 

By Scotteq on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 07:50 am:  View Scotteq's Profile Search for other posts by Scotteq Edit this post

Any decent brand will perform very well for street riding. To my knowledge, your choices are: Ohlins, Penske (4 models), Works Performance, Fox, Bitubo, and Technoflex. Shock servicing intervals are either annually, or roughly every 15,000 miles, depending on the maker. For your reference, RSV Mille shocks fit the Falco, though
you need to order one for a 2000 Mille - Aprilia changed the Mille's linkage as of 01.

I have an Ohlins, and it works wonderfully. Put ont on your bike, and I gurantee you'll feel a HUGE difference for the better. My criticisms are all around how lousy the support structure is here in the US. There's only three or four places that can do a comprehensive servicing, and the backlog is usually measured in weeks. Plus, if they have no parts on hand, the delay to order them from Sweden/Japan is interminable. Servicing mine last time took 6 weeks for then to accomplish 1/2 hours labor.

Penske is a very popular and effective shock: They have 3~4 different models. Traxxion Dynamics sell a stripper one for $575 which has no remote reservoir and no adjustable compression damping, but is adjustable for length and rebound. The other three models are separated by the range and quality of their compression adjuster: The lowest has 6 combinations of high and low speed damping built into it. The middle adds a wider range of low-speed compression, and the top model has separate controls for low and high speed compression. $775~1150. Oh yeah - The Penskes apparently run a little long - You might want to inquire/specify a 320mm minimum length, adjustable upwards from there. Http://

Works Performance and Fox both list Aprilia applications, but they need to be built to your order so you'll have to call regarding availability.

Fox's site only lists the 2001 models, but show applications for Falco and Mille. According to their site, the two have identical functions (Preload, Compression, Rebound, and Length), but the Mille one uses the latest tech, and the Falco one is the older TC. Interestingly enough, the Falco one is actually the more expensive model: $769 list, versus the $629 shown for the Mille unit. Traxxion lists the Fox as $700.

Works Performance's site doesn't show applications, so I have no pricing or availability info. But someone on one of the boards said they have one and like it. There are WSB and GP teams out there using their stuff, so I know that the stuff should be damn good (at least the stuff the build for the race teams, anyways...) You'll have to call them to see what they could do for you.

SPRING RATES: The Falco's forks are a bit oversprung for many riders: Race Tech recommends a 0.875KGmm spring for a 180lb street rider, and a 0.9 for a 200 lb rider. The OEM rate is 1.0KGmm, so depending on your weight and riding style, you may be oversprung up front. Fox's site is kind enough to list recommended spring rates for their shocks: 90~140lb riders get a 750KGmm spring, 140~180 lbs=850, 180~230=950, and the big boys get a 1050KGmm spring. That sounds a little light to me, so if your anywhere near a borderline or (expecially) if you regularly ride with a pillion, I would recommend ordering the next stronger spring, just to be sure.

If you want, should take you to Race Tech's valving search application, where you can plug in your weight and riding style to get a more definitive answer on what you need. They do tend to run a touch soft, which is fine for the street.

SHOCK LENGTH: The stock Falco shock is 315mm long (about 12.5") at the centers of the eyelets. A little but longer helps the bike handle LOTS better: 320mm (a hair more than 12 5/8") is a good place to start, and you may adjust upwards from there, if you like. GO EASY with this: The linkage provides nearly a 2.5:1 ratio, so your 2mm additional shock length actually nets you close to 5mm in real height, which is more than enough change for you to feel.

Hope that helps!

Scott :) 

By Redlionfalco on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 08:45 am:  View Redlionfalco's Profile Search for other posts by Redlionfalco Edit this post

I was in the same position 6 months ago. Wanted to buy a 46PRCLS AP840 but could not get a sensible delivery date (a guesstimate was about September) so I was about to buy a Penske which I reckon is as good as an Ohlins for all but maybe race use, when as luck would have it a nearly new second hand AP840 came up which I purchased. Had this not come up I would have definitely gone for the Penke as I dont like giving my money to outfits who clearly have no regard to their customers and provide a zero level of service. I have to agree with all those who have made the change that it really does make a big improvement to the ride and handling, which translates to increased confidence. A couple of things to bear in mind is that the AP840 has hydraulic preload and adjustable length whereas the standard Penske although a bit cheaper than the Ohlins does not not have Hydraulic preload. My advice is do not go for the standard Falco Ohlins replacement as it does not have length adjustment which is in my opinion a must have.  

By Litre1 on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 11:04 am:  View Litre1's Profile Search for other posts by Litre1 Edit this post

I just bought an Ohlins from a 2001 RSVR. I thought it was the '02's that had a different linkage. If it is the '01's, what will I need to do to fit it?  

By Scotteq on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 12:30 pm:  View Scotteq's Profile Search for other posts by Scotteq Edit this post

Install a stronger spring: Ohlins recommended a 140~150 Newton Meter spring for my 180 lbs.

Scott :)  

By Tokas on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 03:26 am:  View Tokas's Profile Search for other posts by Tokas Edit this post

Won't a 2001 or newer RSV schock need any changes in the damper part, like different chims or whatever?

What if I find a 2001 or newer RSV shock AND LINKAGE would this fit to the Falco swingarm without any changes?
Or would I have to fit the RSV swingarm, and would it fit then?  

By Litre1 on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 04:57 am:  View Litre1's Profile Search for other posts by Litre1 Edit this post

Scott, do you have a person at Ohlins I can contact? I want to ask them some questions, and I think I would get a quicker response if I sent my questions to an individual rather than the general email box! Thanks.  

By Racerxlilbro on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 07:07 am:  View Racerxlilbro's Profile Search for other posts by Racerxlilbro Edit this post

Hello, all! I have had the same fact, Scott was instrumental in getting the answers I needed.

Call Morris at CompuTrack (310)640-2825. He has the "magic book," and will tell you the Falco wants a considerably stiffer rear spring than what you've got. I found I could not get the sag set correctly with the preload ring screwed all the way in...

Morris got me an Eibach spring to replace the stocker...  

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