Fork oil: different in each fork (?) - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-06-2016, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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NH Thumper's Avatar
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Location: Ashland, NH
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Fork oil: different in each fork (?)

I'm changing the fork oil for the first time (also replacing the springs with Progressives) and I found something odd. Each fork had something different in it.
It's an 09 with 19k miles.
I removed the forks and dumped them out.
The left fork oil looked like oil. Yes, dirty oil. But under the dirt I could tell it had a light amber color.
When I dumped the oil out of the right fork, it was red. I am assuming it was something like ATF (which I understand a lot of people use for the forks).
I am the original owner. So it has been that way since day one; I assume from the factory. Anybody else seen this?
I am going to let them drain overnight. Do you think I am okay just refilling them with the 10w fork oil? Or should I be making every effort to thoroughly clean up whatever was originally used?
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-07-2016, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2016
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NH Thumper,

I just did my 2011 forks and I also had the same thing as you, one side was real red and light and the other side was an amber color and thicker. I pushed on and drained the tubes changed my springs and added 18oz of 10wt to each fork and she is working just fine, actually even with the stiffer springs the fork action is a lot quicker and smother then before just with a lot less brake dive. Not sure what kawasaki was thinking having two different oil wt in each fork leg, kinda weird. The only thing i can think of is trying to off-set the twist in the fork legs during braking only having one brake up front in stead of two.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-07-2016, 07:56 PM
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Location: Indiana/ Michigan line at the Lake
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Mine too. '09. Just did the fork oil at 19,000 miles.
The oil lookd like the same oil but one side was darker.
I thought it was just micro dust.

Then again I wasn't looking for anything and missed the possible red tint.

Put in spacers and Screamin' Beagle 15w anti-foaming.


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post #4 of 6 Old 03-08-2016, 08:29 AM
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10w in one side and 20w in the other gets you something like 15w dampening.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-09-2016, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Now that I have thought about it, here's my theory (FWIW).
In the factory, I am assuming the left and right forks are assembled on different lines or at different times (or both). At some point they were using different oils/fluids. (For all I know, choices of fork oil may be limited in Thailand). Then one of each fork ends up at the final assembly line and go into the bike.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-09-2016, 08:20 PM
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Maybe these forks are meant to be like the KX's Showa SFF where each fork leg has a separate function?

'11 KLR 650: KLR Full Bag Kit, 22 Mod, Thermo-Bob w/ Overlay, Angular Mirrors, Studebaker Doo, Tusk Drain Plug, UNI Filter, K761's, ODI Emig Grips, LED Cluster & Tag, Digital Clock w/ Temp, Eibach 400# RR, Progressive FR w/ adj Pre-load caps, ZG Double Bubble

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