You’ve been on the road for the last six months traversing the Pan-American Highway—a detour leads you to conquer Bolivia’s famed Yungas Road (you may know it as The Death Road). Twenty-or-so miles after leaving La Paz on your way to Coroico the jagged surface of the world’s most dangerous road does the inevitable. The rear shock on your brand-new BMW R1200GS Adventure decides to eighty-six itself. Why? Because BMW (along with most motorcycle manufacturers) design the specifics of their suspension around a 170 lb rider carrying roughly 15 lbs of luggage with them. We’re guessing after outfitting yourself and your motorcycle with the appropriate gear and accessories that doesn’t leave much room for the supplies you need to survive on the road and you’re a bit over what BMW thought you’d be carrying.
That’s why it’s such a big deal that Touratech has just released the first-ever adventure motorcycle suspension designed with a fully-loaded bike in mind.
A common solution to this problem is fitting a high-performance aftermarket solution, we all know the big names—they’re fitted to every bike competing in MotoGP—but the turns of Monza on a Ducati super bike are drastically different than Ruta 40 to Ushuaia on a dual-sport. It’s not that these suspension guru’s make a bad product, actually it’s quite the opposite, they just generally make the wrong product for adventure motorcyclists.
Touratech’s newest line of suspension in collaboration with TracTive aims to address these issues by creating the first purpose-built shock absorber for long-distance touring on a fully-loaded motorcycle, but how do they do it?
- Here’s a few key points:
- 50% more preload adjustment when compared to other aftermarket solutions. Touratech’s shocks have 15mm of adjustment while others generally have 8-10mm. Some models include hydraulic adjustment to ensure your suspension is always dialed-in properly.
- A floating internal piston separates air and oil to prevent “foaming” that reduces shock performance and consistency.
- The Cold forged 6082 T6 aluminum shock bodies have an excellent weight-to-strength ratio and act as a heat sink to provide excellent heat dissipation properties.
- There are no prone-to-failure rubber or polyurethane bushings on Touratech’s new shocks, instead they’ve used a stainless steel bushing. This means a slight decrease in comfort, but a significant increase in reliability and road feel.
- A 16mm chrome-moly steel shock shaft is fitted and we’re sure it isn’t going to break any time soon.
- Low friction seals with an integrated Teflon back-up ring ensure “stiction” doesn’t occur and degrade the performance of the shock.
Pricing on the line-up starts with the entry-level Explore at $795 and the Explore HP which adds hydraulic preload adjustment for $1,095. More heavy duty options with additional tuning capability such as the Expedition (priced at $1,495) are available which add a remote reservoir and adjustable high-speed and low-speed compression dampening. The top-of-the-line model is the Extreme which will set you back $1,795 and provides, in addition to the features mentioned before on the other models, a position-dependent dampening system to help prevent shock bottoming and 8mm of adjustable shock length