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I recently installed a Bitubo rear shock on my TLS, and thought I'd take a few pics and do a write up while I was at it as lots of people have issues installing them, some don’t have instructions, and I couldn't find a decent how-to anywhere.

This is how I did mine, hopefully this will help a few with the install without having any issues.
I’ll let the mods decide if they want it sticky it in the Frequent TL Mods section.

These are the latest installation instructions from Bitubo:










First off, loosen all the bolts you will need to remove before putting the bike on stands. The bolts on mine were hard to move, I needed a breaker bar on some of them.

Rotary damper bolts. Yes, the very first bolt I touched started to round off, thankfully there is a nut on the other side of this one:



Notice one missing. ;)



SOAS linkage bolts:





SOAS top mount bolt:



Next you need to get all of the weight off the rear suspension. I used a metal bar (16mm is a perfect fit) through the swingarm with two axle stands.



I removed the rear wheel for better access, as well as the brake side rearset.

Take out the bolts from the rotary damper and remove it.



And the same for the SOAS and linkage.

Separate the SOAS from the linkage.



Don't loose the two washers!



I also cleaned and re-greased the linkage before it went back in.


Before you think about putting the Bitubo in, a few things to think about first.


1.Bubble wrap the spring. It will be almost impossible to get it installed without scratching up the spring if you don't protect it.



2. Loosen the set screw on the preload adjusting collar. If this ends up in a bad place after installing it, you're going to have a hard time adjusting it. :)



3. You may want to put more preload on the shock before installing it, it is way easier to back the collar off once mounted than it is to tighten it.

I attached the Bitubo to the linkage, and fed it in to place. Once it is in there, loosely put the bottom linkage bolt in to stop it from slipping out again.



Next up is to remove the engine bolt and spacer above where the Bitubo will sit so you can feed the reservoir through and route the hose as per the instructions.
Some people have managed to get the reservoir in to place without removing the bolt and spacer, though I'm not sure how you could do this without kinking the hose.

I chose to remove it, and managed to install it without kinking the hose, but be warned, that spacer it a real pain to get back in. :banghead

Once you have manoeuvred the reservoir into the correct position, you can replace the bolt and spacer. Did I mention what a PITA that spacer is to get back in? :rant

I ended up putting a VERY slight taper on one leading edge of the spacer, just enough to get it started, then persuaded it home with a hammer and a bar. You may have better luck, but getting this spacer back in took way more time and effort than I expected.

The reservoir bracket MUST be mounted on the top eye of the shock for correct spacing. You will notice the top spacers on the shock are different sizes, the reservoir bracket mounts to the left side (engine side) of the shock, the same side as the smaller spacer.

Spacer sizes (shock needs to rotate 180 degrees for install):



Tighten the set screw on the reservoir bracket before you mount it fully, it is really tight to get in there afterwards.

Once you have the top bolt back in, take off the bubble wrap and you should be looking like this:



Look, no scratches!



Now re-torque all the bolts to the values in the manual:





Put your back wheel in and you're almost done, all you need to do now is set the sag of the shock so it is correctly adjusted for you and your bike. If you've had enough for today, you can do this another day. :laugh

Steve has some good links on his site for suspension set-up:

http://wotid.com/tls/content/category/6/25/53/
 

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...Did I mention what a PITA that spacer is to get back in? :rant ...
Worse than the horrific "PAIR-induced headaches" that rear cylinder's got to offer Brian? TLS-->
<--owner


Perfect write-up, thanks for adding to the glorious wealth of knowledge in the TL forums and updating the older version bud :thumbup


 

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Even though i did mine awhile back, actually a couple of tl's ago, i do remember the spacer being the hardest part of the whole fit :laugh Everything else went together without problems. I didnt have to remove subframe either , no problems sliding the shock up in there
 

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Worse than the horrific "PAIR-induced headaches" that rear cylinder's got to offer Brian? TLS-->
<--owner


Perfect write-up, thanks for adding to the glorious wealth of knowledge in the TL forums and updating the older version bud :thumbup

Much more trouble than the PAIR removal Pete. :laugh

Good to give a bit back to the forums. :thumbup

Even though i did mine awhile back, actually a couple of
tl's ago, i do remember the spacer being the hardest part of the whole fit :laugh Everything else went together without problems. I didnt have to remove subframe either , no problems sliding the shock up in there
A right pain eh? :laugh


Very nice write up, Zippie! :thumbup
Thanks Six. :thumbup
 
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