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Front Fork Tuning

2421 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Ishabaka
I can't claim credit for any of this, it came from an old article in "Motorcycle Consumer News" called "Tune Your Forks". I was only able to perform 2 of the 4 steps they suggested but got a noticeable improvement.
First - "stiction" - this is friction between the fork sliders and the fork tubes - it's bad. You want the forks to be controlled only by the springs and damper mechanisms.
If you want to measure your stiction get a helper and a millimeter tape measure.
With the bike off all stands first pull up on the handlebars HARD then let the bike settle gently - measure the distance from the top of the dust boot to the lower triple clamp.
Then push down on the forks HARD and release gently - same measurement - if they are not exactly the same you have stiction.
The first two things the recommended need the whole front fairing and fender off - I didn't do them but for the adventurous:
1. Just sight down the forks - are they straight or cockeyed? They actually suggest putting the fronk wheel between you legs and yanking the handlebars until they looks straight - sounds crazy but with all these steps they got a streetbike from 4cm to 0 stiction.
2. Measure the fork oil level in each fork - it should be exactly the same (theirs was different)

Now the easy stuff - first - PLEASE only do this if you have a torque wrench and Loctite - you are risking having your forks or front wheel come loose if you don't :shock:

Undo (one at a time) the bolts that hold the fork tubes to the triple clamp. Mine were WAY too tight. Put a drop of Loctite on each and torque to 22ft-lb (30Nm).

Then - and this is what I think worked - the axle is threaded into the left fork slider. It is a steel rod held by a pinch bolt on the right side. If the fork sliders are not aligned perfectly (100% parallel) you will have stiction.

Loosen the pinch bolt on the underside of the right fork slider. Put the front wheel agains something sturdy - I used a 2x6 piece of wood. Vigorously rock the front end up and down about 6 times. This allows the axle to slide to the best position on the right side. Then Loctite and torque the pinch bolt to 14ft-lb (20Nm).

Again I can't stress enough the need for a torque wrench and Loctite - these are absolutely critical fasteners that cannot be allowed to fail.
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