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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I seem to read quite often ‘can I change the fork oil without removing the forks?’
I have a feeling that the question is being asked due to fear of the amount of work required so since I was doing the job myself this afternoon I thought I would show how easy it is!
I use a stand for this job but I have done it in the past using blocks of wood under the centre stand.
So start by loosening the front wheel nuts and bolts, then loosen the fork caps (remove the spring clips just below the fork caps.
Lift the bike and remove mudguard and remove brake mounting bolts from both sides (pic 1)
Remove wheel and tie brake callipers out of the way.
Remove bars from top of forks (I always cover tank and panels with sheets to protect them from any brake/clutch fluid that might escape (never happened) (pic 2)
Loosen triple clamp upper bolts.
Get to the front of the bike and loosen the triple clamp lower bolts – hold the fork leg as you do this they will slip down (pic 3)
Remove the fork top cap, this is just a lock nut (need 13 & 14mm open ended spanners) (pic 4)
Remove spacer and seat.
Remove fork spring. (pic 5)
Repeat for second fork. (pic 6)
Hold the fork upside down over suitable container (that oil had only been in for a year so don’t keep putting the job off!) (pic 7)
Pump the fork and the damper rod a dozen or so times, this will release more oil, drain this off.
Leave to stand upside down for half an hour min and get the final dregs out – look at the colour of that oil (pic 8)
Refill the fork with the oil of your choice and set the levels (pump damper rod a lot of times as you go and give the fork tube a few pumps as well)– you don’t need the tool I have shown in pic 8 but for a couple of pounds it does an accurate job and makes life easy.
Put the spring spacers and collars back in and replace the cap – the forks are ready to go back in.
Including the draining time, that took me one hour and 5 minutes, hardly a major job!
For anybody interested I change the oil every year and do a full strip of the forks every two.
Fork oil change 001.JPG Fork oil change 002.JPG Fork oil change 003.JPG Fork oil change 004.JPG Fork oil change 005.JPG Fork oil change 006.JPG Fork oil change 007.JPG Fork oil change 008.JPG Fork oil change 009.JPG

EDIT full strip down added here https://www.cbrxx.com/honda-cbr-xx-resource-center/13519-quick-fork-oil-change-4.html#post517761[SUB][/SUB]
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Hi Duck
Thanks for teaching :thumb: I will also try it your way when it's my time ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

How often is this supposed to be done? Mileage or time based?
I don't think the Honda manual specifies a period or mileage (happy to be proved wrong here)
As I said in the write up I carry out the task every year (daily Bird is used daily after all!) but I believe perceived wisdom is that it should be carried out at least every two years.
My thinking is simple (suits me!) the front suspension on the Bird needs all the help it can get so why not provide it with decent oil if the job only takes a couple of hours.
The other point of a regular check is that you can look out for pending problems. When you drain the oil you might see small black 'flakes' in it. This is usually the teflon coating which should form the outer coat on the bushings - nothing to worry immediately about (unless you see copper as well since this is the bushing inner surface) but something to remember i.e. the bushings need inspection/replacement at the next service.
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Thanks for the write up Duck, amazing what a few piccys will do, makes the job a whole lot easier,
Do the springs, spring out, under load as you remove them, and how hard are they to compress to get them back in,
Cheers,
Brian,
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

I do not know the history of my bird beyond 2 years. I was dreading the service bill from the local Honda dealership when it came time to take it in before the snow flys around here. Alas, you have given me the courage to embark upon the Fork Oil adventure that has ever so plagued my thoughts this last summer whilst touring around. I applaud you for taking the time to give me the tools to try the job myself. I'll give'r a whirl after I get back from hunting camp!

Thanks

G:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Thanks for the write up Duck, amazing what a few piccys will do, makes the job a whole lot easier,
Do the springs, spring out, under load as you remove them, and how hard are they to compress to get them back in,
Cheers,
Brian,
No they don't spring out (you don't need compressors as you do with USD forks) there is a little pressure as you unwind the top caps but that is it. Nothing will fling itself through the garage roof when you reach the end of the top cap thread!
Simple to put back in, moderate hand pressure until the thread on the top cap is well caught. Do the final torque setting for the top cap when the fork is back on the bike, so much easier than trying to hold onto stanchions when you have oily hands - just don't forget to do it :D

Glad to see you are going to get stuck in there 01blackbirdXX it really is a simple job. One other thought, I knew my fork springs were in good condition, it is worth measuring the distance between the bottom of the nosecone and the front mudguard before you start stripping the bike down 90 - 100mm springs in good condition (assuming that the forks have not been dropped in the yokes) anything less and it is worth putting new springs in at the same time.
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

...it is worth measuring the distance between the bottom of the nosecone and the front mudguard before you start stripping the bike down 90 - 100mm springs in good condition (assuming that the forks have not been dropped in the yokes) anything less and it is worth putting new springs in at the same time.
while the bike is on the sidestand? or holding it upright? or centerstand maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

while the bike is on the sidestand? or holding it upright? or centerstand maybe?
Bike standing upright is the best followed by sidestand, the centre stand generally takes weight off the front end.

The quicker version of this is to make a fist (presuming 'normal' sized hands) and seeing if it will fit (thumb up) between nosecone and mudguard - tight fit means the springs are starting to sag too much.
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Glad to see you are going to get stuck in there 01blackbirdXX it really is a simple job. One other thought, I knew my fork springs were in good condition, it is worth measuring the distance between the bottom of the nosecone and the front mudguard before you start stripping the bike down 90 - 100mm springs in good condition (assuming that the forks have not been dropped in the yokes) anything less and it is worth putting new springs in at the same time.
Good advice. I'm actually looking forward to this now... Funny how that works:hmm:
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Do you measure the amount of oil that drains out of the forks or are you adding a specified amount to each tube. I have contemplated installing new springs in mine and I may do it this winter now that I have seen this thread. Good write up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

The volume of oil that you put in is determined by the air gap that is left in the fork.
To set to the Honda recommendations you measure the oil level from the top of the fork tube with the tube fully pressed down (springs out). This measurement should be 142mm (5.6"). I mentioned in the write up that you need to pump the fork tube and damper rod - this ensures that all air is expelled, make sure you do this since if it is missed the air gap setting will be worthless.

The tool that I showed in the final photo makes life easy since you set the gap required with the adjuster on the metal rod, overfill the fork slightly and then suck out the excess. You can of course do this 'manually' with a 'measuring stick' and just gently drip oil in until you reach the correct level. If using this method and you overfill, tip some oil out and start again .................. if you are tempted to just suck the excess oil out with a bit of plastic tube be warned it tastes terrible and probably causes every disease known to man!

That is the official version, many of us have experimented with air gaps, oil weights etc and use slight variations but use the air gap given here and you will be using what Mr Honda suggested.
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

I don't know about the 99 and newer Birds but the 97-98 forks air gap is set to 6.1" or 154mm. Honda calls for 486cm3 amont of fork oil but unless you can be sure ALL the oil is out it's only a good starting point. Good write up Duck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Thanks for that, the 142mm is for injected 99 (and presumably later) - I had to look that figure up since I don't use the std settings!
 

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

Good information...one last question. Where can a tool like that be found and for what price? I personally like to avoid as many headaches as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Re: Quick Fork Oil Change

So if you don't use the standard setting duck. What do you use..
 
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