If you own and ride an older bike, obtaining upgrades for it can be frustrating. A year ago, I had Race Tech rebuild the fork on my 1976 BMW R75/6 (Rider, June 2013), and experienced a renewed joy in riding it. Not only was the ride improved, but it no longer leaked fork fluid on the front brake disc. So when the rear suspension likewise needed attention, I again turned to Race Tech, this time for its G3-S IFP Custom Dual Shocks. They’re custom built in the USA based upon rider specs and type of use, so my order form included a detailed questionnaire that asked about my weight, type of riding, how often I carried a passenger, the length of my existing shocks and more. I was able to custom order them with adjustable rebound damping, and in a style that complemented my vintage bike.
Because the shocks are custom made, there is a 3-4 week lead-time from order to delivery. As ordered they were equipped with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping adjusters, and a ride height adjuster. They feature twin internal floating pistons (IFP), which separate the high-pressure nitrogen gas from the oil, providing similar benefits to reservoir shocks without the bulk and expense. And they exhibited custom styling with their polished caps and rebound damping adjuster, and black springs.
The shock adjusters were preset at the factory, based upon the information I had provided, and came with a tech sheet offering suggested settings for the preload and damping adjusters. There was also a detailed sheet that specified the valving and spring setup on my particular shocks.
As I went riding, I experimented with the shocks and soon arrived at a good, optimal setting for the majority of my riding. Over several months, I’ve ridden with them in every situation from solo sporting to two-up touring with luggage, and have found that they provide a good range of spring and damping adjustment that allows for a cushy, easy ride while riding solo locally, to a much more firmly controlled ride for two-up with luggage. The only criticism I have is that, with about 60 clicks, it was a tedious process to dial in the rebound settings, but with that said they worked well.
The base price for Race Tech’s custom dual shocks is $699 per pair, and they’re available for bikes of all ages. With the optional adjustable rebound damping and certain cosmetic considerations, mine came in at $850. All G3-S shocks are built to order per customer-requested features such as colors, length, etc. The price for twin shocks tops out at $1,499 for fully adjustable piggyback reservoir shocks in optional all black or black/gray custom anodizing, with custom spring colors, etc.
For more information, Call (951) 279-6655 or visit racetech.com.
(This Gearlab review was published in the March 2015 issue of Rider magazine.)