Tip for measuring fork oil height

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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by Jimbo » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:48 pm

I have a large dowel rod marked off at the height of the oil in a fork tube with the spring in it. I know the spec is for a compressed fork without the spring, but I figured as long as the leg was not leaking, why not make it to the level with the old oil? Less work taking the spring and compressing the fork leg. Not to mention having the forks collapsing abruptly since you would have both fork legs open.

With this logic, I remove one fork cap and get my initial measurement of the old oil level with my dowel rod. I put the cap back on and I drain the one leg and pump the forks to evacuate it best I can. Then I remove the fork cap from the leg I just drained and fill to the wood dowel mark. Then put the cap on and do the other fork leg. Granted this can only be done if your fork legs are not leaking fluid or the measurement will be wrong.

This method has worked well for me. It may not be the most precise, but I can not tell and if anything it always feels better afterwards.

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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by 1Oldman » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:28 pm

Using a similar logic, why not just drain the old iol and add new oil in the correct volume specified in the manual?
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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by Tilos » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:54 pm

Jimbo wrote:I have a large dowel rod marked off at the height of the oil in a fork tube with the spring in it. I know the spec is for a compressed fork without the spring, but I figured as long as the leg was not leaking, why not make it to the level with the old oil? Less work taking the spring and compressing the fork leg. Not to mention having the forks collapsing abruptly since you would have both fork legs open.

With this logic, I remove one fork cap and get my initial measurement of the old oil level with my dowel rod. I put the cap back on and I drain the one leg and pump the forks to evacuate it best I can. Then I remove the fork cap from the leg I just drained and fill to the wood dowel mark. Then put the cap on and do the other fork leg. Granted this can only be done if your fork legs are not leaking fluid or the measurement will be wrong.

This method has worked well for me. It may not be the most precise, but I can not tell and if anything it always feels better afterwards.
A good way...even a flush with oms to get the smooge out, if the forks have drain plugs, some don't :blech:

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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by MOzarkRider » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:50 am

I just started riding 2 years ago and although I have fully emmersed myself in all things motorcycle I am still learning, as we all are everyday about motorcycling. It sounds to me like there is a maintenance interval for the fork oil, similar to changing the engine oil. I did not know this.

So as a motorcycle owner I should change the fork oil on given intervals? Like 10K miles or something?
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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by 1Oldman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:54 pm

MOzarkRider wrote: So as a motorcycle owner I should change the fork oil on given intervals? Like 10K miles or something?
I just checked the Yamaha manual and they don't mention an interval. I suspect that most bikes only get their fork oil checked once or twice in their lifetime, mostly when the seals are replaced. That doesn't apply to performance riders, however, who are always tinkering with their bike. I would say that it would be good to include it in an annual inspection such as spring when people are getting their bikes ready to get back on the road.
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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by Jimbo » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:18 am

There really is no defined interval for fork oil changes that I recall over the large number of bikes I've owned and worked on, but there should be one, especially on older bikes like ours. Maybe they don't expect them to still be on the road 20 years later? I would say any bike over 5 years needs a fluid change even if the seals are good. One of the first things I do on any newly acquired used bike is change the fork oil, along with all the other fluids. In almost all cases, the fork oil was shear thinned, dirty and in some cases contained water that must have worked its way in overtime forming an emulsion. Not good. After the oil change, the forks always felt much better. Good time to personalize your bike as you can now choose a oil weight that best matches your weight and riding style too!

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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by MOzarkRider » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:24 pm

Good to know!! :kudos:
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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by arnehulstein » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:04 am

I am with both of them. It is oil, it is getting a hard workout in the forks, so you need to change it every so often. When I got the XJ it was the second thing I did. (After the exhaust that looked more like a cullender than an exhaust.) And it made a huge difference on handling.

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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by sleekitwan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:29 am

Really good info - here's the place I found the Jon Stoodley tips that Radare pointed to (link seems to send you somewhere else?)

http://www.midwestmototrials.com/Pages/ ... -tips.html

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remember the tip the riding test examiner asked me - 'If you were a pillion rider, which way would you face?'

One test, and that was the question. Now look at it. You practically are expected to be able to ride properly before getting something powerful enough to be truly dangerous. I dunno, the good old days (cough). Health & safety's just RUINED stuff (further coughing), what with helmets and everything. Stuff that at 15 seemed really upsetting they were forcing people to do, later in life you end up supporting it.
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Re: Tip for measuring fork oil height

Post by Hadaveha » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:55 pm

Would having the forks over filled with oil damage the forks

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