Installing Progressive Fork Tubes next week. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 7 Old 10-06-2006, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14
Installing Progressive Fork Tubes next week.

Any input on what to look out for? What fork oil are you all using? I had the info bookmarked at the forum that got nuked, but, well, I think you all know what happened there. Thanx
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-06-2006, 06:51 PM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 173
Welcome, ZeZe. You should bookmark the Marknet KLR650 Site. There are quite a few procedures documented there, including fork service.
I chose to put 10W fork oil in mine and it does fine for me. I'm not real agressive offroad. If I were, I might go to 20W. As for the spacer length, a good place to start for a 200 pound rider might be around 2 1/2". Make it longer if you weigh more or prefer a stiffer front end. Too bad Glenn's site is down... Patman had written a great write-up on setting the sag and I don't have it committed to memory. :?

More fool stabilizer, please.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-06-2006, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14
Hey I appreciate it the info, I have several of pats posts saved on my computer, some just text only, some HTML. I have that one saved in text, but I don't want to post it here as that just wouldn't be right for me to do. I was going to ask over there if they would like for me to send it to them for them to repost, but, i cannot post over there.

Anyway, I appreciate the info, and I am about 200 and it came with the spacers pre-cut to 2.5? I think? I will check that tomorrow. Anyone else want to chime in? I am alsoo interested in the type of oil to use? I have never bought or fooled with Fork Oil in my life lol, and I think the KLR is my sevnth bike over the last 30 years.

Thanx again.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-06-2006, 07:20 PM
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Hey ZeZe,
I have the Progressive with the supplied spacers, just a hair over 200 myself so our settings should be close. I have the 2.5" (or whatever legnth they are) spacers installed and it's working well. I figured I ride on them first and them make an adjustment. And I wanted to keep my stock spacers...just in case I wish to return this bike to stock.

Depending on how long your stock oil has been in's going to come out gray and full of metal powder. It's a natural result of our non-polished or harderdend fork tubes so don't be alarmed. The problem for me was that I did not have enough fork oil to sufficiently flush the old junk out to my preference. I'd recommed getting some extra to do the flush, or probably cheaper is to just use ATF fluid (aprox 7.5 weight oil) to get it all cleared out. Then add your actual fork oil.

On to oil selection. Higher rate oil stiffens the shock action and is for the street. Lower weight oil allows the shock to cycle easier and absorb the bumps. Now the stock oil is supposed to be 10W however I really don't think it is, seems a lot lighter like 7w to me. I went ahead and installed 15W with the progressives as I was planning a lot of street riding and it definitely tightened up the front nicely with a fork brace I think it's a great combo for the street. I plan on doing an fork oil change to finish flushing my forks and will go back to a quality 10W just to see how I like it, I'd like the front to be a bit more compliant than it is right now.

I also put in oil to 190mm mark I think, some go as much as 170mm. That is the distance from the top of the fork tube to the oil, no springs and the tube fully compressed. The less air in the tube, the less "bounce" as the hydralic fluid doesn't actually compress, the air is your other spring. Once the oil level is set, extend the fork, insert the springs, washer, spacer and then the cap. Tuning the oil level and weight is ultimately a very individual preference, once you get through it you'll see it's just 'fun time with the bike' to try different combinations.

Have fun with it and I think you'll be happy with the springs.

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-13-2006, 11:43 AM
1st Gear
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 23
you can use the included spacer (2.6"), & 10 wt oil.

2003 KLR | Eagle Parts

Last edited by markII; 06-06-2008 at 04:11 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-13-2006, 12:39 PM
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The fork oil is about like the motor oil threads, diffrent for everyone.

I just bought a qt of "fork oil" 10 wt is what the dealer had so thaat is what I went with.

Knowing what I know now, I would not buy the progressive springs, I would try longer spacers and thicker oil FIRST. (but I'm not one that races, or has to be perfect).

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-13-2006, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I am no expert, only had my 07 KLR for 3 weeks now. My first bike of this type and personality. One of the first things I knew had to go was the marshmallow front O.E.M. springs. Had Progressives on my Voyager, and loved them. The real drug of choice for front end ills in my opinion.

Anyhow I noticed that the new Progressives were dirty right out of the box. By this I mean lots of dirty graphite machining grease residue on them. This along with a lot of paper fibre off the brown paper they were wrapped in inside the box. I used a can of good brake cleaner on each one, and lots of compressed air to get them good and clean before I stuffed them in. I also found that the forks had an extremely small amount of oil in them. Not near what the book recommends. But the bike only had 124 miles on it, so I was not too concerned.

Maybe this is a little over kill on the clean side. I am not a clean freak, but if you are going to the trouble to do the job. I feel you owe it to yourself and the bike to give it your best shot. But if you do not have cleaner and a compressor, you may need to line up one at a buddy's house. Or have them cleaned and ready to stuff. The spring R&R on the KLR is a walk in the park compared to the Kawasaki Voyager.

Incidentally I used Dexron six, which is a totally new ATF for G.M. mix masters for new fork oil. I am not going to wade in to the fork oil wars, each to his own.

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