Multistrada 1200 Ohlins Rear Suspension – Spring Change / Upgrade

Multistrada 1200 Ohlins Rear Suspension – Spring Change / Upgrade

See also: Ducati Multistrada 1200S ‘DES’ Suspension

See also: Ducati Multistrada 1200 Ohlins / DES Suspension Information

See also: Multistrada 1200 Ohlins Suspension – Changing The Rear Shock Spring

Many Multistrada 1200 owners have complained that the rear spring fitted as standard to the Ohlins rear suspension is too soft (isn’t a stiff enough rating) for them (‘heavier’ riders and or average weight riders that ride with pillion and luggage regularly) resulting in the rear of the bike ‘bottoming out’. Heavier riders are finding that they have to set the DES to Rider + Luggage even when riding solo and that there is not enough preload adjustment when carrying a pillion and/or luggage.
There’s been a fair amount of discussion on the and forums on the subject (visit the forums and use the search facilities;-) for example this topic:
Shock spring replacement

“…As I have commented in a much earlier thread, the fact that 13 out of 16 standard setting on the DES have the preload at max says something about the rear spring rate. You would at least expect that there was sufficient spring to enable settings like 10-13 on solo with luggage. I changed my spring to the optional heavier one (100Nm instead of std 85 Ohlins Part No.21729-34),

“I read a long term update in Motorcyclist magazine and they said the spring on the Ohlins needs to be replaced if you weigh more than 170lbs as this will really help the handling and feel of the bike….
…They also said if you planned on riding 2 up a great deal then an even heavier spring should be used.


Multistrada 1200 / MTS1200 Rear Shock Removal / Fitting
After an enquiry relating to fitting the upgraded / stronger spring here’s an extract from the Workshop Manual on the removal and installation of the Multistrada 1200 rear shock absorber unit. **NB** this is taken from the ‘draft’ 2010 MTS1200 workshop manual – there may be differences to the instructions in the final version of the manual (but due to it’s format it is not easy to reproduce extracts here – I have not compared the instruction….I recommend you obtain the final version of the manual;-)
Multistrada 1200/MTS1200 Rear Shock Removal/Fitting (PDF download 1294Kb)

Multistrada 1200 Ohlins Suspension – Changing The Rear Shock Spring

Multistrada 1200 Rear Shock Spring Upgrade

Multistrada 1200 New Rear Spring, Rated 100Nm
By Chris Monks (aka ‘ Bikergas..’), Aug2011

I had been looking to get a stronger spring fitted to the rear of my Multistrada 1200S. Even with my 20 odd stone, although the bike was handling ok I knew it could be better. Me and the Mrs are planning to ride to Seville next year, fully loaded up with luggage, so I wanted it to have a firmer setup and reading reports on the Multistrada forums of how a spring upgrade changed the bike, I knew it had to be done.

Having contacted my local Ducati Dealer, being told they could not help me and having read different posts on the forums, I started ringing around to find somewhere to do the work. A few said they would get back to me but never did!, one place in the Midlands made loads of promises and phoned me loads of times saying they would sort a spring for me…..but ultimately never came up with anything. Shouldn’t be that hard to find somewhere to do the upgrade?!

I then read somewhere that a place in Stowmarket were Ohlins dealers but that was 225 miles away from where I live, was it worth the ride that far to get this done? Anyway, I phoned them to see if they appeared any better than the other people I’d spoken to. The guy on the other end of the phone was very helpful and knowledgeable, he asked for the ID numbers on the current 85Nm spring and said they would get back to me……….and he did (! :-), later that day and I placed a deposit for ordering the spring. The following day he phoned to say the spring was in and we arranged a date for the fitting.

I rode the 225 miles, the spring was replaced with a 100Nm unit with the shock just unbolted at the bottom mount, all in about 30 minutes!….worth getting ‘experts’ on the job 😉 They then spent around two and a half hours setting up every single Rider Mode, each individual setting front and back for rider, rider and passenger, with or without luggage, compression, rebound, etc etc. You can sit in the workshop on a nice leather settee and watch all the work being carried out. The owner of the workshop doing the work took the bike out a number of times testing it, then to be sure I was happy, offered me a test ride. The bike used to dive a lot on the front, now hardly anything compared to the old set up.

I always rode previously with the suspension set for rider with pillion plus luggage but now the rider only setting is fine, unless the Mrs gets on as well (along with the top box for her handbag!!) then it goes to 2 up only. I thought the bike handled well before, now it’s just amazing. I love it

The genuine Ohlins 100Nm spring cost only £64.95 plus vat; the total bill was £199.95 plus vat, so just under £240 in total……..which is the best money I have spent on the bike so far. I was being quoted much more for the spring by other dealers/outlets, some over double what I paid in the end!

A big thank you to Darren, Keith and Tom at MCT Suspension in Stowmarket for the work they carried out and help given. A great business setup and wonderful customer service:

I also treated the bike to some new Pilot Road 3’s yesterday, wow don’t they grip. Ride in and fitted at Protyre in Brizzle (Bristol;-) £280 the pair, most local places wanted over £300

Regards, Chris

P.S. my bike went back to my local Ducat Dealer last Monday to have the new rear brake upgrades done and they informed me my warranty on the rear shock is now void for having had the new heavier rated spring fitted and will not be honoured by Ducati if anything should go wrong!!??

[AndyW] I think Chris’s Dealer is saying that they think that the stepper motor etc will no longer be covered under Warranty as it was not designed for the upgraded spring (another Dealer didn’t think that sounded right but was unsure!)!! Sounds wrong to me, Ohlins make and promote the availability of the 100Nm spring for the shock!……..and apparently some American Dealers are actually fitting the upgraded springs FOC for customers….the weird world of Ducati!
Check what your Dealer has to say on the subject! 😉