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Discussion Starter #1
I bought one of the last Varas in 2014, made in 2011 I believe. I’ve done three long European rides (3K to 4K miles) and it’s been brilliant. It’s now done nearly 41K miles and in preparation for another long ride around Europe I’m thinking I should change the rear shock. Just looking at Haynes it looks a bit of pain with having to remove the rear ABS module. If anybody still out there has changed the rear shock please can they let me know if it can be done without removing the rear ABS module? I don’t fancy purging the brakes of hydraulic fluid. Also, can you think of anything else that is likely to be worn out at that mileage?
 

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I'm not sure where the abs lives on your model but I do know once you've removed the shock mounting bolts & linkage the shock removes through the bottom of the bikes swingarm.

The SD01 model has a preload ajuster attached making it a right pain to remove, again not sure on yours.

A centre stand would be a must as would be a second pair of hands to lift & lower the swingarm to aid removal. Iirc the swingarm has to be lifted as high as possible to remove the shock.

After fitting many different rear shocks, Technoflex, 2x Hagon & 2x standard (old & new models) I was out of ideas so gambled & fitted VTR1000 shock. One of the best/cheapest mods I've ever done to the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure where the abs lives on your model but I do know once you've removed the shock mounting bolts & linkage the shock removes through the bottom of the bikes swingarm.

The SD01 model has a preload ajuster attached making it a right pain to remove, again not sure on yours.

A centre stand would be a must as would be a second pair of hands to lift & lower the swingarm to aid removal. Iirc the swingarm has to be lifted as high as possible to remove the shock.

After fitting many different rear shocks, Technoflex, 2x Hagon & 2x standard (old & new models) I was out of ideas so gambled & fitted VTR1000 shock. One of the best/cheapest mods I've ever done to the bike.
Thanks for your reply. I have a 2011 ABS SD03 Vara, XL1000VAB. (It has a centre stand.) The thing that gets me is that when I look at the Honda shocks for Varas is that there are at least 4 different part numbers. Looking at the Honda schematics they physically all look the same but the part number changes for SD02 to SD03 and for those models, whether the bike has ABS or not. Strangely Honda seem to have discontinued SD03 shocks but not SD02 shocks. Not sure what the differences are and how interchangeable they are? Did the VTR1000 shock share the same shock as your Vara, i.e. same part number, or did it just fit? The ABS module is a pain as it sits on the RHS of the shock restricting access.
 

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Hi, have a look/read here.

https://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/varadero/167389-varadero-my-cure-soft-rear-shock.html

Remember though what works for me may not work for you. I've ridden a few thousands of miles over the last year with the Vtr shock on & it's great.

I feel I can honestly say it's as good as any other mods I've done, Vtr cams/ Carbs/ Wheels & now the shock.

I am a big guy & the front has also been upgraded with later model Ohlins springs (longer) with 30 weight oil & now match sag wise.

I've been riding & modifying bikes for close to 40 years & feel with the mods I've done this is the most enjoyable bike I've had as a road bike.
 
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