Jump to content
  • Sign up now

    Registration is quick and easy 

How often do you change your fork oil?


potatobroxd
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think it's recommended once every two years but I've heard stories about people riding their bikes for years without a leak despite not changing the fork oil ever.

It's neither listed on the owners manual :scratch:


So how often do you do so?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many miles is that usually?

 

I dunno. Depends on loads of things - Normally they last a good few years but I've had some cheap pattern parts that only lasted a couple of years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess mine will get changed when the nice man at the yamaha dealer tells me on the phone that it needs doing, he's about to do it, and am I happy for him to bend me over "why yes of course Dave - crack on".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had the bike in to MCT suspension in stowmarket in June last year, I'd been riding the bike for 6 years and had never changed it and with the bike being 17 or 18 years old by that time it had probably never been done previously and it was like treacle what was pourable the rest he had to scrape out, safe to say what went back in has made the bike handle like it's on rails

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just did mine because one seal had started to leak and I've never bothered doing it on previous bikes unless there's been a leak. However, that said, the oil I just took out was so disgusting that I don't think it's ever been changed in the 8 years the bike has been on the road (I've only owned it a few months) - it was thick, gunky, grey and would not have gone easily through the dampers I suspect, minging! I reckon I'll start changing mine every 3-4 years from now on - it's too much hassle to be an annual thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm contemplating doing my MSX forks, since it is now 4 years old. No leaks yet, but different weight oil apparently helps stop them bottoming out over big bumps which is mostly why I want to do it. Only thing that's really stopping me is that they are usd forks.... And I don't have a way of holding up with bike without the forks just now :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're sealed units, with a lot less heat and stress put on the oil, so it's not vital to really do it every year.

Most do it when the seals leak, which for me has been between the 30-40k mark mileage wise.


I would always advise doing it ahead of schedule, as Arwen is debating doing. My old Blackbirds front forks were an absolute state. They ended up fully refreshed, upgraded, and even a change of colour on the lowers, but when the seal came out I was amazed it could still seal. The dust seal had jammed itself in as well. And you have to really make sure you don't mark or scratch the stanchion, so prying it out was a forceful but delicate process.


My dads blackbird on the other hand came apart a piece of piss. Because someone had butchered it with emulators and done the seals when they did that. Took me less than 90 minutes to do both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My service manual just tells me to check operation every 7.5k miles, and visually inspect for an oil leak once a year (and if I find any, replace/repair)


So based on that with my limited mechanical knowledge I'd just be waiting until there was a problem.


Question though: how obvious is it when there is an oil leak? I've assumed to now I'd spot it pretty obviously when cleaning the bike.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question though: how obvious is it when there is an oil leak? I've assumed to now I'd spot it pretty obviously when cleaning the bike.

 

Immediately obvious, first you'll see a tide mark on the stanchion, just above the dust seal, then as you ride farther on it you can end up with big blobs of oil sitting on top of the dust seal and eventually running down the fork lower. If it goes on for long enough it can end up coating the caliper and/or brake disc, so not one to sit on too long once it's been noticed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Question though: how obvious is it when there is an oil leak? I've assumed to now I'd spot it pretty obviously when cleaning the bike.

 

Reasonably obvious. Fork oil is usually a yellowish colour I think. From what I have seen they usually "weep" rather than full on leak. Depress the forks, let them bounce back and see if there is any residue, streaks or otherwise left on the fork. If so, stick a seal mate down and around the seal. Perform the test again. If no change then the seals need replaced, and if you are replacing the seals you may as well replace the fluid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since 1991 I have had 3 bikes, a Yam XJ900F and two 1300 Pan Europeans. The Yam I owned for 14 years and 100,000 miles - all routine maintenence carried out but never changed the fork oil. The first Pan I had for four years adding 100,000 miles to the 40k already on it when I bought it. All routine maintenence carried out but never changed the fork oil. The second Pan bought new in 2009 went in 2017 with 180k on the clock and, again, the fork oil was never changed.


The moral of this tale? Don't sweat about changing fork oil, only do it when you have to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Question though: how obvious is it when there is an oil leak? I've assumed to now I'd spot it pretty obviously when cleaning the bike.

If so, stick a seal mate down and around the seal.

 

If you've not got a Seal Mate, just cut a strip out of a plastic milk carton - works just the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My bike is 22 years old . If got 90% of all the work that's been done on the bike I don't see any work.on the fork seals . There is no leaks or oil marks on the forks but as you guys saying needs to be changed every so often I'm thinking I need to have mine done now .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.