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Replacing the Rear Shock on a K1200RS


by Deryle Mehrten

On a recent ride I noticed the hydraulic preload adjustment on my rear shock didn’t appear to be working. When I got home further examination confirmed that turning the hydraulic preload knob in or out did not move the spring preload plate. It was time to remove the Ohlins rear shock and send it in for a rebuild. The stock shock will take care of business until the Ohlins is returned.

Replacing the rear shock on the K1200RS is a pretty straight forward process. It’s a lot easier if you use a small adjustable jack to help take the pressure of the rear wheel off the shock. 

To get to the shock you must remove the right side body work. Loosening the rear foot rest/bag mount rack and removing the anti-freeze overflow tank is also necessary in order to remove the bottom shock bolt and to pull the shock out.

From Picture 1 you can see the small scissor jack under the rear hub with the bike on the center stand. Raise the jack just enough to put pressure on the rear drive, not too tight. 

Start with the bottom shock bolt (picture 2). To get to the nut on the bottom shock bolt I used a 24 inch socket extension coming in from the left side of the bike (picture 3). To pull the shock bolt out you need to loosen the rear foot peg/bag mount bracket. The metal break lines give just enough to get the bolt out. If the bolt feels stuck, adjust the jack under the rear drive either up or down until you feel the tension come off the bolt. It should slide right out.

The top bolt uses a 6 mm Allen wrench and a 15 mm open end wrench. A small plastic cap covers the nut and should come off easily. Remove the nut but don’t pull the bolt out just yet.

Remove the antifreeze holding tank bolt and move the tank to the side. Then pull the top shock bolt out and the shock will lift straight out.

Mount the replacement shock in the reverse order – top bolt first, bottom bolt last. Again use the jack under the rear drive to help align the bottom shock bolt. Tighten the antifreeze tank and rear foot peg/bag mount bracket bolts, replace the left side body work and you’re done.


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