Senior VR Member
Join Date: May 2014
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Word of warning when changing fork oil
I did this task today. What I thought would be simple turned into an afternoon of sweating, cursing and sore hands.
Jacked the front end up, wheel off the ground.
Top caps came off nicely, with a towel wrapped around so it didnt shoot into the ceiling.
Swapped out the oil, then went to reassemble.
I think they changed the design at some point, because i've read posts where people claim you undo the top cap, then there is a large allen bolt keeping the spring compressed. Well on my 05 bike that was not the case. The spring seats against the rim of the top cap. On removal you have 2 to 3 inches of spring sticking out. The thread on the cap is very fine and quite soft.
So what you have to do is somehow push the cap down with enough force, while not allowing the cap to slide off (because the spring doesn't even seat INSIDE the cap, only the edge) then line up perfectly and start bolting it up.
Really its a 2 man job, its barely possible on your own. Even with 2 people it took a few goes. Absolutely awful design though, it would be so much easier if the spring sat inside the cap to give more control but it doesnt. Add to that the fact that the threads are picky, you have to have the cap perfectly centered and perfectly flat.
That said it was well worth doing, the bike no longer nose dives at any given opportunity and cornering feels a lot nicer. It had about 150ml of old oil each, so it was well low