Change your fluids! - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Change your fluids!

My 2009 Nomad had the original brake and clutch fluid until this past week. I have 18,000 miles in three years on the bike but due to circumstances have ridden less this past year than in the first two years. Anyway, I changed the brake and clutch fluids this week and was appalled by what I saw coming out. They were both badly discolored and full of particles. I used almost an entire quart of fluid to get them both running clean and particle free. Believe me when I tell you I will do this annually from now on)

I also changed the front fork oil and frankly I don't know what the engineers were thinking when they created a design that requires you to take the whole front end of the bike apart and put it back together in order to do routine maintenance. Why isn't there a drain in the bottom of the forks?? I spent half a day working with a local mechanic to get this job done. What a pain in the %^&*.

Coolant change will be next, but I gotta get over the fork oil change first before I start into that.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 08:07 AM
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Brake fluid is hydroscopic. It absorbs moisture and deteriorates once opened to the air. I've head about the fork oil and haven't yet gotten motivated enough to change that on my 800. Good advice though. Even anti-freeze has a usable life. It retains the ability to not freeze but the anti-corrosion components get consumed and you have no protection.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 08:08 AM
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just did my brake fluids as well, 09 classic with 12,000 kilometres, filthy like you said.
I have the flushing and replacement fluids for the radiator flush, but have not done that as yet. hmmm fork oil, must look that up to see whats involved.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 09:38 AM
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Is fork oil on the routine maintenance list?
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post
Is fork oil on the routine maintenance list?
Changing the fork oil is not on the routine maintenance list but it was recommended by my mechanic Todd. The fork oil was very dirty after three years and 18,000 miles. Here is verbatim what the manual does say, including all of the grammar mistakes from the poor Japanese to English translation: "Front forks operation inspection: Pump the fork up and down 4 or 5 times, and inspect the smooth stroke. If the forks does not smoothly or noise is found, inspect the fork oil level or fork clamps (see Front Fork Oil Change in the Suspension chapter)."

In order to change the fork oil you need to disassemble the entire front end of the bike - remove windshield and headlight, remove brake calipers and front fender, remove front wheel, remove forks, compress the top plug in the fork with a gear puller, drain the oil, measure and refill with the correct amount of oil, and then reassemble everything. It is a LOT of work. It will be a few years before I do it again)

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post
Is fork oil on the routine maintenance list?
It should be changed every time you put a new front tire on the bike.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 09:13 AM
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I went to a heavier fork oil when I added my front fairing to the bike, made a big difference in the ride


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 09:17 AM
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The problem with not changing fork oil is the same problem with not bleeding brakes. You'll lose a seal! Every see guys with bikes that have some miles and some years on them fighting brake problems? Calipers going bad, lines corroding, etc.? If they'd change the brake fluid annually, that wouldn't be an issue! (Plus it's super easy)

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 09:57 AM
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All good recomendations.

Here's the link to a thread i started back in March in the "How To" section regarding my experience with hydraulic systems on bikes .

The care and feeding of hydraulic systems

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 10:27 AM
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Let's hear some fluid brand recommendations!
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