So I’ve finally found some time to sit down and write a review of the OME BP-51 suspension system. It’s been on my 2007 FJ Cruiser for several months now, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. This suspension is so smooth, it’s like driving a touring car. The Internal Bypass technology absorbs every bump in the road, and the easily adjustable rebound and compression has been outstanding. Suspension systems like this should be standard equipment on every vehicle out there.
Like most people reading this site, my truck is a daily driver, so on-road handling is key. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed when driving on pavement is that there’s no more death wobble when taking those high speed slopping corners on bumpy roads. I used to take those white knuckled because I knew a small bump could cause the truck to loose traction momentarily. This certainly inspires confidence, so much so that even my girlfriend likes driving the FJ now. She was really uncomfortable before, especially when we had it loaded down with camping gear.
The off-road handling is every bit as great. This past month, I finally got some time off from work and went out to Green Ridge State Forest, with my buddy Rob following in his Rubicon. I wanted to give the BP-51’s a real shakedown on some dirt roads and needless to say, the suspension performed flawlessly. We took Carrol Road into the forest and then explored for several hours. When we first got to Carrol Road, I might have driven a little recklessly, but I wanted to get a feel for what the suspension would actually absorb. I was driving fast, much faster than I usually would. On back roads, I usually stay under 25 MPH since you never know what might be around the next bend. This section of GRSF has pretty good visibility, and there’s no blind turns, so I felt safe driving faster then I normally would. I was pushing 50 mph at some parts and luckily we never came across anyone else on this section of the trail, no harm, no foul. We drove through every type of terrain we could find, including rutted and rocky trails, mud, stream crossings, steep hill climbs up loose dirt roads, to slow 4×4 only technical sections. In all areas, the suspension never let me down. It really eats up everything at every speed and there was no more bottoming out on the sharp drop-offs.
A couple weeks after the GRSF trip, we headed to the DRT Campout which was held in George Washington National Forest. I got to spend some more time off-road with the BP-51’s. Long Run Road is notorious for it’s long stretches of teeth rattling washboards. With the old suspension, my hands would get numb after a while and fatigue would set in, making steering the truck difficult at higher speeds. This time, I was able to bomb down these roads and still have complete control over the steering. In fact, the only thing slowing me down this time was my buddy Rob who had a full load out with his wife and two toddlers (Sorry for throwing you under the bus Rob).
The ultimate question everyone has is, what am I getting for my money? Well, at first I was a little skeptical at the price of Old Man Emu’s BP-51 suspension. But after some research, I learned that in order to play, you have got to pay. A $3000 dollar investment in your suspension is not something to take lightly for most folks, but after comparing the BP-51’s to other Internal Bypass Suspension systems that incorporate adjustable rebound and compression, it’s a hell of a deal… just ask Ben!