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:
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