The Andreani-Ohlins Parts
Here is what I installed in the Showa BPF's. This is the Andreani piston upgrade kit for the
XR1200, Ohlins progressive rate fork springs, and Ohlins front fork oil.
The Andreani piston kit is very nicely manufactured. Even the packaging reflects quality.
The pistons and miscellaneous washers and parts are packaged in stacks for each fork. (The
coils are piston rings.) The pistons and their corresponding shims and spacers should be left as shipped until it is
time to transfer them onto the piston rod assembly, so that they remain in the proper order.
(The red pieces are just packing clips.)
And a closer look at the metal pistons. These metal pistons with two rings, replace the plastic
one-ring stock pistons. When installed, the triangular shims shown above, cover the three, 3-holed chambers in
each of the pistons.
To further improve the front end, Ohlins springs will replace the OEM ones and I'll
top it off with this high-grade Ohlins front fork oil. (The Ohlins oil is 15 cSt, while the stock oil supposedly has
a viscosity of 10.)
Fork Rebuild Kit
And for good measure during the parts swap, here are the miscellaneous fork seals available in the
HD Fork Rebuild Kit. (This includes the single piston ring seal for the OEM piston, that won't be used with the
But, in general, unless the fork is showing signs of wear, the parts in the rebuild kit will not
be needed during the dis-assembly/re-assembly for the piston upgrade.
If the forks are showing signs of leakage or other wear and require a rebuild, one kit is used for
each Big Piston Fork leg.
And here is a closer look at the parts...
The lower left ring in the above picture is the piston ring for the OEM piston. This would
not be needed with the Andreani piston kit.
Proper installation of the oil seal and larger metal bushing in the above picture, requires a 43
mm seal driver such as the MotionPro 08-0124.
If the end of the upper fork leg is heated until warm, the oil seal, intermediate washer, and metal
bushing can be easily driven into place with a couple taps of the driver. A little oil on the outer edge of the fork
seal will help it slide into place easily. This driver will seat the oil seal perfectly, but for work rebuilding
the fork legs I made a short extension out of a piece of PVC pipe that I split, to fully seat the bushing.
Also, the rubber fork seal and dust cap are more easily installed using a Fork Seal Bullet like the
MotionPro 08-0275, but tape and some care can be used in place of this.
The Preload Adjuster
The Andreani-Ohlins upgrade will affect the feel of the compression and rebound adjustment.
Selection of the proper fork spring based on your weight will help also. This is good because the OEM preload adjuster
is not modified.
Just FYI, the below picture shows the preload adjuster in the bottom of the Big Piston Fork.
There is not a lot of adjustment range here, so the upgraded fork spring should be a big help.
The plastic cup at the bottom of the fork end is effectively a "screw jack". It is shaped to
mate with the spacer at the bottom of the fork spring. It is raised and lowered by turning the adjusting wheel
on the side of the fork bottom.
There are 16 full turns of preload adjustmant in the XR1200's Showa BPF. That equals 0.170"
or about 4.3 mm. That means that lock-to-lock, there is less than 1/2 cm of preload adjustment.
Each 1/4 turn click of the wheel therefore, adjusts preload by about .08 mm. Just FYI, for those who think there is
a big change in feel from adjusting the preload a few clicks...
First, I've got to give huge kudos to Dave Behrend at FastBikeIndustries for his excellent service and support. I had the Andreani pistons and Ohlins springs within about two days of ordering.
Andreani provides its instructions in picture form. Having done this once, their instructions would be easy for anyone
with any fork experience to follow. But, it was my first time in the BPF's, so I had a few questions over my weekend
install. I texted and e-mailed Dave, and he responded almost immediately. I found out later that the reason I
couldn't reach him by voice was that he was on the road between Canada and North Carolina, plus had a sick family. And,
he felt guilty about only being able to answer my questions after a 15-30 minute delay. I would say that Dave
goes above and beyond!
The install was not trivial, because the forks need to come off the front-end, in order to drain
and clean them, but it was not a difficult procedure. Anyone comfortable with a wrench, and with following mechanical
instructions, should be able to comfortably do this install. There are a couple of special wrenches needed, but beyond
that, this is simple bolt-on work.
Also, this is an excellent time to inspect the forks for any damage. The lower sliders
should slide smoothly in and out of the upper fork tubes, throughout their full range of movement. If they do not,
and especially if they stick at any point, the forks should be carefully inspected and repaired. There is obviously
more that can be dis-assembled and worked on with the BPFs, but that would need to go in another write-up.
As for the ride improvement, I'll have to wait a few days to post about that. I had time to
do the install, but have not had a moment to get a feel for the suspension improvement. I am expecting great things!
To Take a look at Installation of the Andreani-Ohlins upgrade,
To see some of the Specialized Tools needed for this work, click here.
To return to the XR1200 Tech Info page, click here.