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  #1  
Old 05-16-2007, 09:20 PM
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Default Air in front forks??

Ok guys, I haven't seen much on this in the threads, so here goes. Ahem, I am a small man, "moves aside for lightning strike", (300+) lol. The front seems to dive quite a bit when I brake. Yes I intend to get progressive springs, but am like most people, can only do a thing or two at a time, and I want to get the doohickey done first. So my question is, even though the manual says to run no air pressure in the forks, can I add some pressure, maybe 5 to 10 lbs, to help keep the front end from diving so bad? I can't see how it would hurt, but thought it wise to get your input before doing this.

Thanks,
DWayne
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:56 AM
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A cheap fix to the front dive would be to change the fork oil, add a heavier wt oil, you can also add to the length of the spacer in the forks to stiffen them up a bit.
I think adding air would only cause a blow out of the seals, ( just my guess)
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:47 PM
Aaron Codling Aaron Codling is offline
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Adding air could indeed blow your seals. 2 or 3 lbs makes a big difference.
10lbs no good. I enjoy the shocks as they were set up by the factory and I work the poor bike. The shocks are designed to adjust on their own depending on the conditions. Progressive springs will probably be the safe way for you to go. I would ride it for a season first, you may like "stock" after all.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:51 PM
klrBruce klrBruce is offline
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Most people use progressive springs, heavier fork oil, or you can increase the length of the fork spacers to increase preload. I couldn't afford progressives tried heavier oil and wasn't ready to pull apart my forks. I reaserched all i could, and air in front forks is a very touchy subject. Some say never do it some say do it. All I can say is my thoughts were if the the valves were only to release pressure why not use spring loaded pressure relief valves, instead of a valve allowing air to be added. So I added some air and messed around with pressures, found most people ran around 15 psi, I liked 14 psi. It totally changed the feel of my bike I love the way the front end feels now, no problem with seals and have been unable to find any air related blown seal info. Most blown seals are result of dirt or overfilling oil . I'm not saying to do it or not, just I researched it tried it and I like it...
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:31 PM
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I appreciate the input guys. I am thinking I might try some air pressure for a day or two and see how it feels and go from there. I do know that I don't care for how deep the front end dives when braking, even modest braking sinks the front down pretty easy.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:03 PM
theotherbigjoe theotherbigjoe is offline
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I've never run any air.... so I dont have an opnion on air blowing seals or not.
I've heard it dont bother them.

I put progressives, 10 wt oil and cut the stock spacers in half. 2 3/4 inch.
It would still bottom out on some of the stuff I flung it off of. But, was a
much better ride in the woods over stock.
I changed the spacer to 3 1/4 in. and I like it a whole lot better now. Even on the street. I'm 230lbs. and will be doing more 2-up riding then before, so it should work out just right.

Oh yeah, I've got EagleMike's RL-2 raising links too boot.

put air ...dont put air... it's your call. Larryboy has replaced 2 set's of seals on his 30,000 mile (i think) plus in his 05'.... he dont run any air. 24,000 on my 04 and the stock seals are fine... no air.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klrBruce View Post
Most people use progressive springs, heavier fork oil, or you can increase the length of the fork spacers to increase preload.

I'm one of most people.. I ended up going to ATF for fork oil, as it's 7.5w. I tried 10w, along with the Progressive springs and longer spacers, but it was a bit slow. The 7.5w seemed like a nice middle ground, and the stuff's dirt cheap, too..

(I am a KLR owner, after all)
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:34 AM
blimpman blimpman is offline
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I run 15lbs of air in the forks when going off road but bleed them down if I intend on riding the street for a long stretch. You will NOT blow any seals by putting in air. Paging HOLYCAVEMAN...

I am 5'10" 210lbs.

The air in the forks is an easy way of reducing the dive that was mentioned and giving a bit stiffer front end. Just try to make the pressures the same on each fork tube. A fork brace will stiffen up the front alot too, mostly noticable off road.
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:49 PM
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OK, update, added 15 lbs. to each fork this morning. Road it today, and I like it much better. The forks still absorb bumps just fine and the front end is only diving about half as much, which is probably the normal rate now. Also noticed doing figure 8's in the yard this afternoon, felt much more stable. Figured I could use the practice, been years since I tried the real close turns. The big cruisers just don't like doing that kind of stuff, LOL. This is supposed to be an awesome weekend, weather wise. I hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy their bikes this weekend. Am planning on finishing up my last 150 miles for the 500 miles service.
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:10 AM
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As I heard from a good source.

Air does not blow fork seals though too much fork oil does. Air compresses (becomes smaller than its original volume under pressure) and fork oil does not. Fork oil under pressure has to go somewhere and the fork seal is usually the weak link. The general fork oil level is measured at 170mm from the top of the fork tube.

Drain as much of the old fork oil as possible. Fill the fork tube with new fork oil, 5w, 7.5w, 10w, 15w, etc. Use a tube marked at 170mm. Insert the marked tube in the fork tube and siphon the excess fork oil out. Do both sides. The whole process takes about 10 minutes. I make a simple Fork Oil Siphon though I usually give them away. It cost me about $3 and takes 10 minutes to make the FOS.
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