How to Change Fork Oil on a Motorcycle
When it comes to regular maintenance of a motorcycle, the first thing that comes to our mind is changing the brake oils and the engine oil. Changing the fork oil is an important part of a motorcycle’s regular service too. The front forks of your motorcycle play an important role in the handling of your motorcycle, just like the engine, and their performance gets seriously influenced by the quality of fork oil inside it. As you ride your motorcycle, dust gets accumulated in its forks and the fork oil needs to be changed on a regular basis. If you are planning to do it yourself, read this oneHOWTO to find out how to change fork oil on a motorcycle.
First of all, you will need to remove the front wheel of your motorcycle. Chock the wheel or engage the front brake and loosen the axle bolt in the front. Jack it up using a jack or a triple tree stand, and disconnect any cables, brakes and speed sensors from the forks.
Different motorcycle models have a cap or a plug that you have to remove using a box cutter or a flat-head screwdriver.
Gently slide the forks down and take them out of those clamps. Now you need to pour out the foil from the forks, but you need to be careful, as the washers, spring and spacers may fall out if you just turn them around. Grab them in place while pouring out the oil from the forks
Once you have poured out the oil, it will still have some oil left in it. You will also find a bolt at the bottom of the fork that you have to remove to clean the fork completely. While unscrewing this bolt, the damping rod will rotate, due to which removing the bolt can become a little difficult. To overcome this, you have to compress your fork and use the spring that you just removed to put it back inside. Doing this will hold the rod in place and you will be able to loosen the bolt and slide out the rod from the fork.
Apply a spray and de-greaser on the inside and outside of the forks, leave for a few minutes, clean with water and let dry. Do the same to the damping rod, spacers and springs as well.
Now it’s time to install the damping rod back. To do that, apply some thread lock on the bolt that you removed, and tighten it while compressing the fork to hold it in place. Once you have done it, you have to refill the fork with new oil. Refer to your motorcycle’s manual to find out how much oil you need to pour, and how much distance you should keep between the oil and the forks.
Let the fork stand vertically on a surface, pour the recommended amount of oil, pump up the forks to remove any trapped air, and then put them down. There is a specific distance which you should maintain between the oil and the fork’s top. To measure this distance, the best thing you can do is to use a syringe with flexible tubing.
Measure the distance from the syringe and let it sit on top of your fork. Pull on the syringe and see what comes out. If only air comes out, you need to pour more oil, and if too much of oil comes out, you need to remove some.
Slide up the forks through the jack or the triple tree, and tighten the bolts, leaving some slack to let the forks move up and down, so that you can correctly position them. Let the forks sit at an appropriate distance from the triple tree, and tighten the bolts according to torque specifications.
Make sure you know more maintenance tips to keep your motorcycle healthy.
Put in the spacers, washers and springs, and finally fit in the fork caps
Reinstall the front wheel and you are done with your fork oil changed
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