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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 916 SP3.

I was thinking of Ohlins front forks to replace the stock Showa fork.

There are a lot of other parts I need to add too, so really it's a question of budget.

Let me simplify:

HOW MUCH BETTER WOULD OHLINS FORKS BE THAN MY SHOWA?!

Honestly, I ride mostly on the street (with one or two track days a year).

Thanks.
 

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IMO springs and a cartridge kit or even just a revalve of the Showas will achieve the same result as off the shelf ohlins for less $$$
Yup, I agree. The Ohlins are nice because they provide a lot of adjustability, but if you get a decent re-valve with correct springs on the Showas they'll perform fine. Cost difference is pretty huge.
 

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We installed ReaceTech gold valve with a custom shim stack setup in the Showa forks on my race bike. They works great!

I looked at swapping the Showa for Ohlins and asked the suspension Ohlins tech about it. He said it would cost me quite a bit of money to re-valve the Ohlins to improve what I already had with the Showa/racetech

One advantage with Ohlins is that they are easier to pull apart quickly if you're at the track and need to do quick adjustments.

My 0.02c...
 

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Yup, I agree. The Ohlins are nice because they provide a lot of adjustability, but if you get a decent re-valve with correct springs on the Showas they'll perform fine. Cost difference is pretty huge.
+1, I had my Showas rebuilt with new internals etc and they are very good.

I can't directly compare to Ohlins as I've not tried them but the cost was significantly less.
 

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Its worth while to note: Old components are well... Old. So a simple re-valve and oil change will rejuvenate them to the point where you might be very happy. I suggest doing a spring swap at the same time, to insure they're matched for your riding style and weight.

Ohh and I agree with everyone else above, ya don't need Ohlins to ride around town or do track days, the Showa's with some re-valving work plenty good enough. The difference between the Ohlins racing setup and Showa's is night and day. I just swapped my stock Ohlins 749R shock for a racing version and just that difference is teaching me, REAL suspension costs a lot of money, but its worth every single penny. Mind you, I don't think you'd need or want that sorta setup on the street, its way too stiff even after properly sprung, you're fillings would fall out! LOL :D



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The Showa forks and shock on my 1098 were reworked by Traxxion Dynamics and I am very happy with the results.
 

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You're saying 2 extremely, drastically, different things here. If you are asking academically, Ohlins are a LOT better than Showas. You don't have to look outside Honda's factory team and the fact that they were awful until they quit using their effectively in-house Showas. Look at Pedrosa since that decision.

However, you are also saying you're primarily a street rider. You meant that in terms of you don't need to focus on lap times. But I read it to mean that you are not an expert rider. Suspension changes are fun to make and feel good to have but if you are anything short of an expert, it's a waste of money. Tires can be appreciated by many but suspension changes often make the bike harder to ride fast because they are meant to go along with expert smoothness and very sticky tires rather. Stock suspension that gives you good feedback will actually make you more comfortable, confident, and faster.
 

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I have a 916 SP3.

I was thinking of Ohlins front forks to replace the stock Showa fork.

HOW MUCH BETTER WOULD OHLINS FORKS BE THAN MY SHOWA?!
It might not be as much as you might think,

The 888SP5 and 916SP were both fitted with "Showa Special" forks (an upgraded version of the Showa's fitted to the other models).

Unfortunately by the 916SP3 Ducati was in a dire position and many of them were built using whatever was available, meaning the actual specification of the SP3 can vary enormously. So I'm not sure if you have Showa Special forks or not - from memory the lower stauncions were gold (or copper) coloured on the Showa Specials and Silver on the regular ones. I can look this up if you want.

Reagrdless, after 15 years the forks will benefit from fresh oil and with revised springs (for your weight) and new valving you'll find these forks will be transformed and for much less cost then Ohlins

However Ohlins has a name that offers cachet that Showa doesn't.

Andrew...
 

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Replaced both the shock and then later, the fork w/ Ohlins stuff! I have a base 999 (Showa) It made a huge difference in the way the bike handled - no doubt! Anyone who says the Showa stuff is on par w/ the Ohlins is nuts. The thing is if you just replace the cartridge in the Showa, your not getting a stiffer, massive lower triple tree. The thing is billet aluminum and HUGE.Had to contribute to the overall improvement of the Ohlins R/T forks.
 

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I have found the same as ZDM

After riding a 996BP for years with UPGRADED showa forks i was amazed at the improvement from my 916SPS ohlins shod bike.

I upgraded the rear ohlins shock to racing item.Night and day difference.Then upgraded to Ohlins R&T Fork kit which are a big improvement again over standard DUCATI ohlins forks that where previously fitted.

The R&T's come with a billet bottom yoke as mentioned above but i havent tried this as i went the DP magnesium yoke set route.


Imho the more you spend the better it gets if set up correctly.I also added a corse swingarm which again i found the difference like night and day.

Keep your eye out on ebay for a saving over new prices or classifieds if you decide on ohlins imho
 

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First, you can get great results for modest money by upgrading the internals.

Second, ANY forks will feel better after they are serviced. Fresh Showas will be an improvement--possibly even feeling as good as neglected eight year old Ohlins with original oil.

Finally, bottom line is to get what fits in your budget, but take care and maintain them, and by all means have someone who knows what they are doing set the bike up! I got an outstanding deal on my Ohlins R&T with Superbike upgraded internals, but the bike didn't really shine until I spent the measley $90 for a professional to work his magic. (Technically I spent $240, but $150 was for a new spring on the rear.)
 

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A properly set up Showa should be just fine for the street.

I had an S4RS and had to respring the front because it was too soft. My mechanic, who has many many years of experience working with Ohlins engineers on various pro race teams, pulled the forks apart to do the work. He said that the Ohlins stuff that Ducati uses on their S models is not all that great.

He said that in the same way that many people have Showa forks with Ohlins internals, the Ohlins forks that Ducati uses look like they have Showa internals. Definitely their lower end "street" stuff.

I would just get the Show forks revalved and save some cash.
 

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Not one person here has said anything about what I consider a top reason to go with Ohlins over Showa, the gold forks baby!

I rest my case. I've been very happy with the Ohlins product, getting them serviced with fresh oil is important.
 

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Not one person here has said anything about what I consider a top reason to go with Ohlins over Showa, the gold forks baby!

I rest my case. I've been very happy with the Ohlins product, getting them serviced with fresh oil is important.
+1, something to be said for the gold look.

Although, I'm not an expert rider, I am a very good street rider with many years and miles of experience. I can't say that I notice a great difference from the OEM Ohlins on my S4RS to the Showa's on my 996. My Showa's will need servicing within the next two years and I will upgrade the internals as all the others recommend.
 

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I have a 916 SP3.

I was thinking of Ohlins front forks to replace the stock Showa fork.

There are a lot of other parts I need to add too, so really it's a question of budget.

Let me simplify:

HOW MUCH BETTER WOULD OHLINS FORKS BE THAN MY SHOWA?!

Honestly, I ride mostly on the street (with one or two track days a year).

Thanks.
If there is a budget concern, here are the choices, from the least expensive to the highest:
1. A revalve (your local shop can do it for substantially lower than the other choices).
2. A cartridge kit, which replaces your internals.
3. Ohlins forks (Occasionally you can find them on eBay, used or new)

Don't know your level but you really can't get aggressive enough on the street to utilize this upgrade. That's your call.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Fellas.

A good range of answers, and you start to see a pattern there.

I didn't want to say too much about what I wanted to do with my bike, but basically I am living my dream by building my own 'ultimate' bike.

I think the lowest cost option is what I want--- which I see as making sure the set-up is very good. and do some track testing to confirm that, maybe acknowledging that a fork rebuild is necessary.

You guys are way ahead of me in this process. I've been riding for years, but I'm not a track day guy.

I know there's a lot to set-up, and then there's all the fuel mapping I could do with my flexible SP3, so I think I'll do those things first before I spend $2,500 or whatever it is for Ohlins.

Meanwhile I have a lot of nice bits to throw on there, more for aesthetic reasons.

Appreciate all your opinions!

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You're saying 2 extremely, drastically, different things here. If you are asking academically, Ohlins are a LOT better than Showas. You don't have to look outside Honda's factory team and the fact that they were awful until they quit using their effectively in-house Showas. Look at Pedrosa since that decision.

However, you are also saying you're primarily a street rider. You meant that in terms of you don't need to focus on lap times. But I read it to mean that you are not an expert rider. Suspension changes are fun to make and feel good to have but if you are anything short of an expert, it's a waste of money. Tires can be appreciated by many but suspension changes often make the bike harder to ride fast because they are meant to go along with expert smoothness and very sticky tires rather. Stock suspension that gives you good feedback will actually make you more comfortable, confident, and faster.
You're a smart ass, turningman.

I never asked, academically, if Ohlins are better than Showa. That's obvious.

What I asked is if I ride on the street, will it make much difference?

Unless you bought a Desmosedici or a few other rare bikes, your Ducati is a streetbike that you could ride on the track-- not a track bike you can ride on the street.

(Clearly, as a high-performance bike, many of us do change our parts and orient our setups specifically for the track.)

But I am a street rider and ride hard on the street. Still, unless you have a death wish, a smart street rider will never push it as hard as a track rider because we know there are always unexpected factors such as cars and gravel.

My suspension has to be set up for all different types of surfaces, roads types and varying quality of pavement. That's my application, not putting on Ohlins just for two track days a year.

While everyone else on here understood that, it was clearly a bit too much for you.
 

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When I spoke to the guys at Ohlins, USA they said that the R/T "aftermarket" fork kit is a much better product than the OEM Ohlins upgrade. I had the chance to buy one or the other and went for the R/T. Basically the guy said that Ohlins works with in the parameters of Ducati when making the fork/shock, so there limited to certain constrictions when producing a cost effective OEM product upgrade over the base Showa. That's why many riders can't feel the difference between the two. I was obivous to me when I got my R/T kit for my 999 that it was of much better quality (billet lower yoke, axle/caliper brackets, etc). If I were to spend the money I would grab the R/T kit. I would do it even today with a 1098/1198. Buy the base cheap and throw on the aftermarket Ohlins.
 

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