RFY Shocks – Overview

with 19 Comments

There has been a great deal of interest in RFY Shocks, not just here, but also on other websites and forums. Rightfully so, the shocks are available on eBay from around $80 to $100 and they come in a myriad of colors and sizes. This presumably allows people to pick and chose to suit their needs and tastes while replacing there bounced out 40 year old models. Given the low price point and the ability to pick your color it’s not a hard purchase to make. There are plenty of people on the web both raving about these shocks and at the same time others are denouncing their quality. Since I’m building my bike and like to take things a part I decided that I too would purchase a set, but before strapping them on my multi-thousand dollar machine would take them a part just to see what is inside. Both for science and safety.

Before taking my RFY’s apart, the best information I had was posted by user Crazypj on the DoTheTon.com¬†forum. He took his shocks completely apart and then made a few upgrades of his own, but since I am not going to steal his information you’ll have to head over there to find his post.

Here is a semi-exploded view of my shocks. Give it a look then scroll down.

RFY Shock exploded view.
RFY Shock exploded view.

The above photo shows the shock almost completely disassembled. All that remains is the shock seal, shaft, and piston in the shock. The bladder fits on the cap and is pressurized externally using the Schrader valve. The gas in the bladder does not come into contact with the damping fluid. This bladder colapses as the shock shaft displaces oil. The circlip holds the bladder and cap assembly in the reservoir of the shock, and bladder seals to the interior of the reservoir preventing fluid from escaping. Upper left in the photo is a semi-translucent washer. This washer goes between the upper spring perch and spring. I assume it’s primary function is to provide a surface that won’t chafe as the spring moves on the perch do to compression.

RFY Shock exploded view.
RFY Shock exploded view.

Here you can see the entire shock rod and all of its components. The piston and stacks are of most interest, though the components are all pretty standard. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing. Overall quality appears good, though there were challenges in disassembling the shock this far. The overabundant use of high strength thread locker was the main obstacle. A nice addition to the shock is the rebound bump stop which has a spring and should help prevent adverse wear and tear when your wheel suddenly extends to full droop.

My impression is that these shocks are more than usable. They do appear to be copied from an Ohlins shock. All things considered, they are in fact very nice. I wouldn’t however buy a set off the shelf and install them expecting a good ride. On my set, the factory assembly would have provided an ill working shock. These shocks are completely rebuild-able, and I was able to disassemble mine without ruining any of the parts. Without modification, I was able to reassemble my shocks while preventing the introduction of air into the system. Additionally, if one were in need of different damping characteristics, the stacks could be changed to accommodate.

The bottom line, if you want Ohlins, pony up the cash. If you want to go racing, get Ohlins. For the rest of us, if you want a shock that has the potential to perform like shocks that cost twice as much, the RFY is a great choice. Just know that before hand that you will need at least a partial rebuild to get them right.

19 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Quentin D.
    | Reply

    I purchased a set of these for my scooter. Do you know of anyone offering a video or photo tutorial on how to rebuild the shocks?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/14-Shocks-Absorbers-Eye-to-Eye-Mount-One-PAIR-Expedited-Shipping-/291031610157?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item43c2d5f32d&vxp=mtr

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      Hi Quentin,

      Unfortunately I do not know of a tutorial.

      Regards,
      Chris

    • Avatar
      L. Petr
      | Reply

      Hallo Kris ik heb net gekocht Rfy schokdempers maar geen manual zat er bij. ik heb een vraag wat voor druk zit er in ? Demper is voor mijn motor hard. Kan ik vullen met lucht o laten vullen met nitrogeen ?. Bedankt en groetjes L Petr.

      • Chris
        Chris
        | Reply

        Hi,

        Try around 75 PSI. Yes, regular air will work.

        -Chris

  2. Avatar
    Andy Wills
    | Reply

    Hi

    How much oil should put in these to perform best?

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      Hi,
      There is not an exact number, the should simply be filled 100%.

  3. Avatar
    Steve
    | Reply

    Hello Chris,

    About the rebuild, are there pieces we need to change to make them work fine or just a good mounting will be ok?

    I have ordered a set and will receive them tomorrow. I will see what is inside before putting them on my bike. I’m from France

    What kind of oil do you put in them? SAE 10W or 7,5W or else?

    thanks a lot for your answer

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      Hi Steve,

      You should use shock oil, which is designed specifically for dampers.

      No need to change any parts.

      Regards,
      Chris

  4. Avatar
    Meeners
    | Reply

    Chris,

    First off, thank you for posting the information that you have. It is awesome. I have just recently purchased a set of the original series shocks for my girlfriends 150cc scooter she just bought. At the time and after a lot of research, this seemed like the best option to replace the blown and terrible quality stockers. In addition to these I also purchase a set of forks. Based on your knowledge it would be in the best interest to open these up and replace the fluid with actual shock oil. Do you need to fully disassemble the shock to do this, or can I just remove the cap on the lower end of the shock cavity, pull the seal down the shock shaft, and fill? Is it hard to remove this cap? I haven’t seen any pictures of what the bottom looks like.

  5. Avatar
    AMEEN BAKARE
    | Reply

    Chris,

    First off, thank you for posting the information that you have. It is awesome. I have just recently purchased a set of the original series shocks for my girlfriends 150cc scooter she just bought. At the time and after a lot of research, this seemed like the best option to replace the blown and terrible quality stockers. In addition to these I also purchase a set of forks. Based on your knowledge it would be in the best interest to open these up and replace the fluid with actual shock oil. Do you need to fully disassemble the shock to do this, or can I just remove the cap on the lower end of the shock cavity, pull the seal down the shock shaft, and fill? Is it hard to remove this cap? I haven’t seen any pictures of what the bottom looks like…

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      Hi!

      You need a puller type apparatus to remove the seals and shaft. You can not just pull the seal out. Additionally, you have to remove the bladder and bladder cap to properly fill the shocks. I have a host of special tools that I use to do this.

      Regards,
      Chris

  6. Avatar
    GIlberto
    | Reply

    you mentioned “the RFY is a great choice. Just know that before hand that you will need at least a partial rebuild to get them right.”
    why do I need to partial rebuild them?

    I plan to install them this weekend and I want to get prepared

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      Hi Gilberto,

      There is a lot of info out there on this. But in short, they are not filled correctly with oil, they are not charged correctly, and generally speaking they can be assembled awfully bad. While you can install them and go ride, it is not recommended. They will not function correctly.

      Regards,
      Chris

  7. Avatar
    carmine
    | Reply

    hi Chris, i got a set of similar chinese product (JBS shocks, australia dealer)..want just change the spring because it’s stiff.. how to get the original spring off?
    thanx in advance

    carmine – italy

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      Hi Carmine,

      All you need is a spring compressor and two (19mm) wrenches.

      Regards,
      Chris

      • Avatar
        carmine
        | Reply

        Chris, thanx a lot for your kind and quick reply! the shocks are these:

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/SUZUKI-PE400-400mm-JBS-REAR-AIR-NITROGEN-CELL-SHOCK-ABSORBERS-PE400-SW-/141298606421

        i bet they are just the same RFY people’s republic product, probably you alredy had a pair on your bench..

        probably i dont need no spring compressor: the spring is short enough so i can just unscrew the double preload adjusting “rings” (really dont know the correct word in english..)

        i would like to send you the shock to improve\rebuild, but i’m so far.. maebe the next winter (now want enjoy my fresh finished project)

        thanx again and sorry for my primitive english
        carmine

        • Chris
          Chris
          | Reply

          No worries, Carmine. Your English is much better than my Italian, you have me beat. And I understand what you are saying just fine.

          The last set of JBS shocks I had did not have the drilling that connects the reservoir and the shock body. I avoid them now. I can’t say or not if this is true for all JBS units or not though.

  8. Avatar
    Mariano
    | Reply

    Hi Chris, is possible use rfy shocks as front shock in a yamaha banshee? Are too weak? Regards, Mariano.

    • Chris
      Chris
      | Reply

      It’s possible, but probably not advisable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *