Tiger 1050 Rebuilding the Rear Shock Absorber
So does it work?.  Well the rear feels firmer when riding, but not too bad, it is still softer than a race replica.  The main difference is improved composure.  
When I flick through a roundabout at speed or accelerate hard on a bumpy bend the Tiger feels much more composed and secure.  The new shock and
the standard front forks work well  together.   One week later I stripped and rebuilt my front forks as the left fork was weeping oil.  The rebuilt forks with
fresh oil and new seals are a little firmer and they match the rebuilt shock very well.

Yippee!  I rode a track day at Brands Hatch for the 3rd year in a row.  Previously accelerating hard through Clearways onto the straight (which is just a
long cambered uphill bend) the Tiger would feel floaty and unsettled.  This year my Tiger was rock solid.  Some other road bikes were squirming and
moving around but not me.  So there is no need for an Ohlin's shock, I recommend you get MCT to rebuild the one you already own.
The Tiger 1050 is fitted with a rebuildable Showa shock absorber.  At 20,000 miles I
decided to have the rear shock serviced, revalved and a firmer spring fitted.  I used MCT
Suspension in Stowmarket who completed the job for £250.  (A straight rebuild would have been
£75+ vat).
I am 5’8” so I run my shock on minimum preload.  On smooth roads the Tiger is fine but with
panniers on bumpy roads the rear is soft, the Tiger can get out of shape and I can bottom it
out.  Off road I can bottom it all the time.  MCT told me that the early Tiger 1050’s were fitted
with a 7.3 kg/cm spring and they recommend a 7.8 spring.  They also told me that around 2009
Triumph uprated the spring to an 8.2 which is too hard, so owners of newer Tigers ask to fit a
softer spring.

On my Tiger the standard suspension setting is 15 clicks out which is only 1 less than maximum;
this means the shock has to be revalved if you fit a stronger spring.  I would have revalved it
anyway to give me the option to use stiffer damping when I need it.

Getting the old shock out is a problem without a centre stand because you have to support the
bike and remove the swinging arm (special tool required) or loosen the rear subframe, remove
the 2 top bolts and hinge it down to extract the shock out from above.  I used the 2 people with
the Tiger balanced on a trolley jack method, not ideal but it worked.   Once the shock was
removed I supported the Tiger on 2 axle stands with a bar running through the rear footrest
hangers.  This puts the weight back on the subframe so I refitted the top bolts first.
Freshly rebuilt shock with a stiffer spring in yellow
and the original spring in blue:
If you would like to contact me please email - webmaster@adrianmolloy.com
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