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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To anyone who has a suspension fork with a "lot" of miles on it without it being serviced... CHANGE THE OIL! I can not believe the difference it made.

Lately I was noticing that something just felt wrong with the fork... like it wasn't real smooth... I was having handling issues going around rough or rooty turns. So I went out to an LBS that had the 5wt and 15wt oil and went at it tonight. I had researched this a bit on mtbr before and felt comfortable doing this job. I took the entire fork apart to clean and inspect it and found that the main air chamber was bone dry, the oil in the negative air chamber had turned to a Vaseline consistency, the oil in the motion control chamber was thick compared to the new 5wt, and the foam rings in the dust wipers were gummed up with black stuff and half rolled over. Everything else looked good :skep:

Having read on a thread or two that you can do away with the foam rings, I took them out, cleaned everything up real good, and replaced all the oil per the manual. O.k., maybe it's sketchy to take the foam rings out, but so what.

The difference in this fork is UNBELIEVABLE :thumbsup: I had forgotten how it felt when it was new because this degradation in performance was so slow, but now it just flows like butta and makes those nice oil-sucking sounds again!

Do this service if you even THINK it might be time to do it.
 

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the goose is loose!
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yeah, after only 500 miles on my vanilla, i needed new seals and the crap that came out of my fork resembled the tranny oil from my 250. after breaking in the new Enduro seals, my fork is insane. it feels a little more supple, and maybe i put a bit more oil in, but damping seems to be improved too.
 
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oh my god who would have thought that regular maintaince would make a difference in how a fork performs.
 

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Chillin the Most
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Yeah I gotta agree with Whoaohohohoh on this, maintaining your equipement does wonders!?!?!

All that aside, you had to have ridden that Reba a whole [email protected] load to have the oil in the MOCO damper be that bad. I rode my Boxxer for @ 6-8 months before I did my first oil change and it was still pristine.

One tip I'd like to pass on, cleaning & lubing your seals after every ride will help keep the in top shape. :thumbsup:
 

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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, there's no denying it should have been done sooner.

Note to self: Do regular maintenance per the manual.
 

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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MC oil

red5 said:
Yeah I gotta agree with Whoaohohohoh on this, maintaining your equipement does wonders!?!?!

All that aside, you had to have ridden that Reba a whole [email protected] load to have the oil in the MOCO damper be that bad. I rode my Boxxer for @ 6-8 months before I did my first oil change and it was still pristine.

One tip I'd like to pass on, cleaning & lubing your seals after every ride will help keep the in top shape. :thumbsup:
Well, the MC oil wasn't like syrup or anything... but changing it sure did bring this fork back from the dead.

I probably had 8mo of riding on the fork, but rode about 5 days a week, so I guess I now know to do this service maybe every few months. I'm going to make a note of the miles and total time currently on my bike computer and aim to make this a regular thing. :thumbsup:
 

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Oil changes are the best.
Changed fluids and seals on my R7 after a good hard year of riding and I have to admit that I'm amazed at how much better the ride is. In fact, I don't remember it ever riding this well, I guess because that golden period when the fluids were all new last time was also the time the fork was breaking in. It seems strange that it would take a year and a fluid change to get the most out of the fork, but there it is.

Makes you wonder how many riders dismiss a fork after a while because they never think the remedy to poor performance is basic maintenance?
 

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I just did an oil change on my 1 yr old Bomber today because I was too sick to ride. Oil was real dirty as well as crud covered seals(which still looked good enough not to change). All lubed and back together now and can't wait to get on it. :rockon:

Next change will be sooner(6-9 months).
 

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I had only done about 600ks when I serviced my Tora 318 (solo air). I was surprized that the oil in the motion control damper was pretty cruddy looking. I would have thought that the oil in the botoom of the legs would have been dirtier than that (it was cleaner than the mc).

Regular oil changes are certainly not that hard to do, and doing it yourself means less downtime too. If you don't have a bike computer then make it a regular interval like every 6months etc depending on how often you ride.

And if you're pretty confident and do the servicing yourself you could reward yourself with a new bike part for the money you saved compared to letting the shop do it!
 

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Great thread! Maybe some people will read this and actually learn something from MTBR for a change. Regular maintenance + common sense = good performance. Or we could all just forget about the regular maintenance listed in the manuals of all of our cycling components and complain when they fail mid-ride!
 

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Ha ha, yeah I read your site about oils before doing my Tora service. But in the end I just ended up buying Maxima 15wt & 5wt as it was pretty much the most suitable one I could get at the time.
 

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Tonight we ride.
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Rich A. said:
I now know to do this service maybe every few months.
You should consider doing an oil change after the initial break-in on a new fork as well. You will amazed at how much metal dust is suspended in the oil after just ten hours of riding, and how semi-baths are already a dark goop.

I have used Bel-Ray fork oil for years, but just about any motorcycle fork oil is fine.
 
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