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Old 10-09-2017, 11:03 PM   #1
ak602   ak602 is offline
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Fork oil change

I'm looking to change my fork oil WITHOUT pulling the forks.

2009 Vulcan Voyager.

I want to put in 15 w

Suggestions.


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Old 10-10-2017, 06:48 AM   #2
Peg   Peg is online now
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Pull the forks. That's my only suggestion, based on the premise that if the job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly. You have to take the springs out anyway, so the bike really has to be on a lift.

Wait... I have a second suggestion. You could consider replacing the springs with Race Tech springs and emulators as well while you're in there?

I went heavier weight (15W) oil first, slight improvement - then had a shop sort it properly with the Race Tech stuff. It was money very well spent.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:37 AM   #3
ringadingh   ringadingh is offline

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I don't think that its possible, and if you can find a way to suck out the old fluid it won't be a thorough job. There is always a buildup of sludge in the bottom that has to be washed out. Taking the forks off isn't that much work to do anyway. Do it right the first time.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:51 PM   #4
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I agree, remove them so you can get all that nasty stuff out of the bottom. Don't just pour the oil out. Pump the forks while inverted to get as much as possible out. Turn them upright, add a few oz. of clean oil, pump them a few times then pour that out with more pumping while inverted.

Fork oil, like most oils, builds up acids as it breaks down. That sludge at the bottom is acidic and full of particulates. It will not only increase wear, but will also immediately eat some of the acid inhibitors in the new oil.

I have never tried the emulators, but you will probably like the improvement in stability and handling from an increase in oil weight. There is no standard for fork oil weights like there is for engine oils. I recommend finding a brand, and weight that you like and sticking with that. I like Maxima 15 wt. (just be sure to NOT get the racing version!). For a comparison of oil weights by different brands look here: http://mahonkin.com/~milktree/motorcycles/fork-oil.html. Stock is the Showa Suspension Fluid SS8 (10wt), I believe.

I would also highly recommend Garry's Fork Brace while you have the front end apart. It really stiffens and stabilizes the front end. Search "fork brace" on the forum then PM gv550 if you are interested.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:34 PM   #5
ak602   ak602 is offline
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Thanks for all the input.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:50 AM   #6
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Sounds like you are apprehensive to tackle removing the fork tubs. Been there done that. If you can remove the front tire to get a tire changed - you can remove the forks.

4 bolts to remove fender and 6 Triple tree hex bolts and they pull right out.

I suggest you remove the tank - Don't want to drop anything on it.

FYI - Getting them lined up was my biggest fear until I realized the bottom of the front fork is not anchored and kinda floats. (this is why we bounce them when we change the front tire.) (I did final tightening of the front fender after I bounced and aligned the front wheel)

Also, I bought a Fork Oil Level Gauge. I think it would be almost impossible to get the Oil level exactly the same in both sides if you didn't remove from the bike.


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