Fork oil/seals? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Fork oil/seals?

How do I know when the oil or seals need replaced in my forks?
Bike seems to take bumps kind of hard and I have to go over 2 speed bumps when leaving work at less than 10 mph, I kind of hear a sound that sounds like a puff of air coming out of them.

Thanks

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 02:31 PM
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I'm a little curious too only because mine have never been done

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 04:30 PM
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you can have your fork oil replaced with a heavier oil to stiffen the "recoil" so to speak. If your seals are bad you'd be seeing oil leaking down the tubes. I once hit a deep pothole so hard,that after pulling over I immediately visually checked everything out since I was sure I had done some damage somewhere. I later on I saw a small drip of oil coming down from one tube,but havn't seen anything since and it's been about 2,500 miles. Had my fork oil changed awhile back,but seals are still original at 58,000 miles.

Last edited by xxxxxxRTL Rider; 07-11-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 04:36 PM
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The oil breaks down over time just like motor oil. It needs to be changed the local guy says about 10k per change is right. You can change it without replacing seals as you don't have to pull them to change the oil. Mine was taking bumps harsh as well I drained flush and replaced with 10wt and it is a night and day difference. As mentions seals need to be replaced when they leak. Mine looked like someone put ATF in them was thin runny and burnt smelling.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 07:35 PM
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Yella how did you drain the forks? Just take them off and turn them upside down? Lol or is there an easier way?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 07:38 PM
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Wanna give someone who has never changed fork oil EVER a newbies guide? I'm fairly handy I've just never done it!

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
Wanna give someone who has never changed fork oil EVER a newbies guide? I'm fairly handy I've just never done it!
Yes, this is what I need!
I am going to change the oil to see if it gets a bit smoother.
Also what kind of oil and where to get? I assume I can get it at the stealership or my local mc shop.

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2006 Vulcan 900 Classic
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Hard-Krome 2.5 Inch Strippers
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:10 PM
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I had my seals, bushings and oil changed in the spring. My seals were leaking, and if yours are you will see the fluid on the tubes or running down the lower legs. My bike is night and day difference since they have been done. It corners better rides better you name it.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 01:50 AM
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I put my bike up on stands so the front wheel is off the ground. You don't need much maybe enough to put a 2x4 under the tire to aid in aligning the axle upon reassembly. Remove the four bolts holding the front fender onto the fender frame. I think they are 4mm allens. Then loosen and remove the brake caliper leaving the line attached. Hang it up out of the way. Remember do NOT pull the brake lever!!!. Now I removed the axle nut, pinch bolt and axle making sure to note where and how the spacers went. I removed my fork cover caps with a small pick be VERY CAREFUL they are plastic and pretty soft. You may be able to slide the forks out with them on I didn't want to chance it. Remove the bolts from your blinker bar I wrapped mine with a cloth as to not scratch anything let them rest down to gain acces to the lower tree bolts that hold the forks. With a 8mm allen loosen the lower fork clamp bolts. Then turn the bars and loosen the top fork bolts from the trees. Once you have the bolts loosened or removed you can now slide the forks out of the trees. If you have a classic the upper fork cover will try to fall and has two rubber grommets one at the top and bottom of the cover that you will have tocatch and set aside. The lowers will stay with the forks til you lift them off. I wrapped the forks with a microfiber cloth and put them in a vise vertically do not crush them you just want them to stay still. Push down on the center of the fork cap(remember you removed the chrome so you are looking at plain steel. While pressing down pick put the retaining ring with a small flat blade or pick. gently release the pressure. Take out your spring. Now tip the fork over and let it drain. I disassembled mine to see what was in there but it is not necessary and I could see it being a pain for some(me included) as you need a special holder to properly dis and re assemble. I flushed mine out well make sure to pump the fork in and out while draining. Once your happy they are drained and clean you can put them back in the vise vertically and plumb fully compress it and from the book:
Front Fork Oil Level (Fully compressed without fork
spring)
Standard: 160 2 mm (6.30 0.08 in.)

When you obtain the proper level put your spring back in and cap on and do the other one. Reassemble you front end and enjoy. Now is also a great time to check your steering stem bearings for play and wheel bearings for wear. It may sound like alot but it isn't bad I think it took me two hours total and I was not right after it I was just poking along and I disassembled the entire guts cause i had to know what was in there. There isn't a reason to do the disassembly of the fork for an oil change. I put 10wt back in.

08' 900 Classic solar indy yellow

Last edited by Ol'Yella; 07-14-2012 at 01:53 AM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtsitler View Post
Yes, this is what I need!
I am going to change the oil to see if it gets a bit smoother.
Also what kind of oil and where to get? I assume I can get it at the stealership or my local mc shop.

Sent from my HTC Evo4g.
local MC shop support the little guys and it made mine alot smoother.

08' 900 Classic solar indy yellow
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