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Having grown up riding on conventional front suspensions, the first time I tried the BMW R1200R telelever suspension I didn't know what to do. It felt so different to me since the front wasn't diving under braking like conventional forks. How does it work though? And why isn't it used on other bikes?
 

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BMW is known for their experimentation with other forms of suspensions. Unfortunately, my F800 still has a conventional fork, so i'm curious about the R1200r telelever suspension myself. it must feel weird when you're braking for a turn and the bike isn't nose diving.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
After a google search, this explanation of the R1200R telelever suspension both entertained and educated me. His example of the puppy sliding on the floor was an interesting analogy in my opinion.

BMW Telelever Explained
 

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That's a good explanation. I did a little reading up on it myself and lack of feel from the front seems to be the nagging issue with the system and why you still see almost every other bike with traditional forks.
 

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So from reading what you guys posted here, technically speaking, what type of suspension setup do you think/know is "better", telelever or forks??
 

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I've ridden a GS for years with Telelever and now have an R12R. On the GS with it's long travel, it was a joy. Much less brake dive than you'd get with telescopic forks. I really like telelever on that bike.

On the R12R it's totally different. Two things I notice that bother me. On-off throttle up and down movement. It's more pronounced than with conventional forks. The telelever was engineered so that there would be some brake dive, but I think that causes the exaggerated up and down with just throttle movements. Second is the choppy action over small sharp bumps. On bigger bumps, the TL is great, but on the smaller ones, you get a jolt.

I swapped out the stock shocks for Ohlins sprung to my weight and that improved the bumper reaction, but it still goes up and down. Requires careful throttle control when you're on the boil in twisties.

I think the GS application is better because the extra 3 inches of travel. Just my opinion.
 

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I've ridden a GS for years with Telelever and now have an R12R. On the GS with it's long travel, it was a joy. Much less brake dive than you'd get with telescopic forks. I really like telelever on that bike.

On the R12R it's totally different. Two things I notice that bother me. On-off throttle up and down movement. It's more pronounced than with conventional forks. The telelever was engineered so that there would be some brake dive, but I think that causes the exaggerated up and down with just throttle movements. Second is the choppy action over small sharp bumps. On bigger bumps, the TL is great, but on the smaller ones, you get a jolt.

I swapped out the stock shocks for Ohlins sprung to my weight and that improved the bumper reaction, but it still goes up and down. Requires careful throttle control when you're on the boil in twisties.

I think the GS application is better because the extra 3 inches of travel. Just my opinion.
Thank you for sharing your experience with the Telelever suspension! :)


I'm not too familiar with the Telelever suspension system like some of us here. While trying to find things to give me a better and clearer understanding of the Telelever suspension system i found this video. It's a Telelever suspension animation

 

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Yep Street,

I get what you mean about the diving when shifting and accelerating. When I test drove mine it was pretty rough. I just thought it was me. I guess I'll just have to
work with it. I take delivery a week from Sunday.

James
 

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Saxon-Motodd (Telelever)
BMW Telelever fork on an R1200GS
The Saxon-Motodd (marketed as Telelever by BMW) has an additional swingarm that mounts to the frame and supports the spring. This causes the trail and castor angle (rake) to increase during braking instead of decreasing as with traditional telescopic forks.[5] In the 21st century, BMW's boxer twins are equipped with Telelever forks.
Source:Wikipedia

Duolever front fork
[edit]Hossack/Fior (Duolever)
The Hossack/Fior (marketed as Duolever by BMW) separates completely the suspension from steering forces. It was developed by Norman Hossack though used by Claude Fior and John Britten on racebikes. Hossack himself described the system as a 'steered upright'. In 2004 BMW announced the K1200S with a new front suspension that appears to be based upon the design. As of 2006, the Duolever is on the K1200S, K1200R, and K1200GT.
Source:Wikipedia
 

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Racetrack: (No ABS) Conventional forks give crisp feedback.

Touring with passenger&luggage: Telelever & ABS, absolutely! Rock steady.
 

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Currently have the F800R. Being away from riding for awhile and all the positive reviews it seemed like the perfect training bike.

I will be moving to the R1200R in the fall and have a couple of questions. Right now the F800 puts the engine directly under me the R1200 will put me behind the cylinders and adds the Telelever suspension.

Can anyone comment on the change in handling characteristics? I believe I am now behind the center of gravity, how will affect my low speed turns and general handling around the city? Of course the bike is more suited to the open road which is why I am making the move.

There is one comment from bmw fan about the front on-off movement of the front end? Is the movement caused by hard acceleration. The R1200 seems to have a lot of torque which would explain the front end surge. Combined with a softer suspension a softer launch might prevent the Telelever from raising the front end.

Any thoughts on the above would be appreciated.
 

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I purchased my bike with the electronic adjustable suspension. This gives me several options to sort of tune in the ride to the riding I'm doing. I can set it on comfort, normal, or sport each one a little stiffer than than the next and then adjust if I have luggage or passenger on the bike. As far as the torque lifting the bike, with the traction control off I can easily power wheelie in first and have clutched the front up in second. I'm about 220 lbs so larger than ideal on the bike but just rode it over a thousand miles to and from deal's gap. I also rode it a couple times through the gap and had no problems keeping up with my friends Buell 1125cr. Hope this helps
 

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telelever = forks?

hi all
the telelever is a great design , works well , yes not so much feedback and a choppy feel over smaller bumps , knocking sounds as well..its worst downfalls ,the plus side are can leave braking real late into corners ,no fork dive .it also feels more rigid ,stop starting is a bonus with the telelever ,no bounceing around . back around 20 years ago i can recall the saxon system and the norman hossack duolever. seen the duolever on a modified kawazaki,think it was a eddie lawson 1100.it was around 1992 time... i can also recall john britten and his racers . he also done a article in preformance bikes a few years back with a modified harley motor with some big bhp in a racer.
when i use my gs the telelever does feel a little different to the 1200r.
i cannot say though that a prefer normal forks over the tele lever
piston:).
 

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I'm very new to the r1200r (and bmw). I bought my 2013 model about a month ago and have only put on 350 miles. I'm somewhat familiar with motorcycles in general and have been riding for over 40 years. I really appreciate the anti-dive characteristics of the tele-lever suspension. I might add that the brakes are exceptional and may be the best I've ever experienced. The bike does have a tendency to teeter totter (lack of a better descriptive term escapes me) if you you're not smooth with the throttle. I've found that you can really control this by just being more deliberatley smooth while shifting and riding in general. This bike is teaching me to be a smoother rider. It doesn't take long either. These bmws have unique engineering and I'm glad to be learning and experiencing something new and different. The things I've learned from riding this bike help me ride my other bikes better and thats a good thing.
 

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That's a good explanation. I did a little reading up on it myself and lack of feel from the front seems to be the nagging issue with the system and why you still see almost every other bike with traditional forks.
You don't suspect BMW has a patent on that? I suspect cost and weight are also factors as to why it isn't used universally, and maybe fitness to purpose. Whatever it is, I LOVE it! :clap:
 

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You don't suspect BMW has a patent on that? I suspect cost and weight are also factors as to why it isn't useduniversally, and maybe fitness to purpose. Whatever it is, I LOVE it! :clap:
IMHO, perhaps the best thing about the Telelever is that the rider doesn't know that it's different to conventional forks - it just works unobtrusively and does its job to perfection.

I recall reading a long time back that (apparently) Honda had made serious overtures to BMW to acquire the technology (and/ or patents) but had been rebuffed.

L of S
 

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My new 2013 R is my 6th BMW in a row (previously I had a 2009 GS with ESA for 2 years and loved it, for different reasons). I use my new “non ESA” R for everything, canyon carving with sport bikes, to all day rides and “I” find that the “stock” shocks / telelever / shaft perform just fine, in fact I’m surprised how well it works!!!!! IMHO and for “me”, the R is better than my previous “ESA” GS, particularly when it comes to curvy roads, leaning it all the way over (no chicken strips), in fact the R is one of the most stable, predictable handling bikes I've owned (I’ve had Ducati’s, Aprilia’s and Triumphs).

Anyway, for me I rate the stock suspension at 85 to 90/100, when the stock shocks wear out in the next 15K to 20K, I’ll then get some 100/100 Ohlin’s, Wilber’s, Hyperpro’s, until then I’ll suffer with the darn good and very livable factory O.E.M’s
 
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