Is front fork cap springloaded??? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
KLR & Other Motorcycle Related Discussion Grab a seat and discuss whatever you like about the KLR or other related topics. Within reason.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Scooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: farmington,michigan
Posts: 170
Is front fork cap springloaded???

If I take front fork cap off,,is that sucker spring loaded from the spring below it??? In other words,,,am I going to need some type of spring compressor to get the cap back on ??? Or will the cap just come off,,no jumping spring below it. Not sure on this one.
Scooter is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 04:33 PM
4th Gear
 
vatrader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,263
Yes, it's spring loaded. Controllable by the fingers of the average adult. Turn the cap counter clock wise until it nears the end of the threads. C-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y turn to release the spring tension. The cap will shoot up a short distance from the fork top...maybe two inches.

Off is not a big issue. Be carefull threading the cap back on. Getting the cap started back on under spring tension can be tricky. Stripping the threads is not uncommon, and will get you the KLRforum Primitive Pete Award complete with custom Avatar.

This is not a good place to store things. May I ask what you are going in after?
vatrader is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 05:01 PM
4th Gear
 
SLO-KLR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paso Robles, CA.
Posts: 1,333
Don't take both of them off unless you have the bike on a lift or the front end will drop quickly when you remove the second cap. Also you need to loosen the top pinch bolts before you try to remove the caps or you will bugger up the caps.
SLO-KLR is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Scooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: farmington,michigan
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
Yes, it's spring loaded. Controllable by the fingers of the average adult. Turn the cap counter clock wise until it nears the end of the threads. C-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y turn to release the spring tension. The cap will shoot up a short distance from the fork top...maybe two inches.

Off is not a big issue. Be carefull threading the cap back on. Getting the cap started back on under spring tension can be tricky. Stripping the threads is not uncommon, and will get you the KLRforum Primitive Pete Award complete with custom Avatar.

This is not a good place to store things. May I ask what you are going in after?
Well,,long story short.I replaced right side fork after a F-250 hit it at 35 MPH,,so the new has oil,,I loosened the drain screw a bit,,and it started to drip reddish oil,,very much like automatic trans fluid for FORD vehicles,,,not sure if thats what it really is, but it looks like it ,,,so I loosened the original,,[left side] drain screw to see what the oil looked like in that fork,,and the oil was almost black in color,,,,NOT GOOD!!! So I want to drain oil out of old [original] fork and replace with new. So the info you gave is a big help because I've never taken the caps off before ,,and I did start to loosen one of the cap cover bolts and as it backed out,,it felt like there was something "pushing" from below,,and I thought" I bet theres a spring under there just waiting to surprise me". So I stopped ,,screwed it back on,,,and thought I should post something to get some info on it.And the kawi service manual says nothing about the spring pressure under the cap.Also it says to compress fork completely,,and check level. How do you compress the fork all the way and check without having 4 arms? Those Japanise are very clever,,indeed! Is there a level [ MM] that you can check without compressing the forks? And what type of oil can be used in the fork,,manual just says 10w20,,didnt say fork oil or what,,not sure. And what are the "top pinch bolts" the cap,,or the air bleeder screw valve? Maybe the fork clamp bolts??

Last edited by Scooter; 07-04-2010 at 06:12 PM.
Scooter is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 06:48 PM
4th Gear
 
vatrader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,263
Fork oil change. I like to flush the old oil and scum out of the forks. I find it easiest to get the front end off the ground. I pull the front wheel off. I take the brake unit off, the reflectors, so that nothing is attached to the front forks that would hinder the forks being removed. Fork brace, if you have one and it comes apart. Loosen the pinch bolts on the triple trees. You may need to pry these clamped places apart with a pry tool. Work the tubes out the bottom. Remove cap, springs, spacer. Hang fork upside down and allow to drain. Once most of the sludge has slowed to a drip, I flush the forks out with solvent. I have used kerosene. The bike did not explode or experience catastrophic suspension failure. Hang, and allow to drip dry.

Fork Fluid. The fluid in the fork is not a magic elixir. What ever is in there needs to act as a suspension fluid. Automatic transmission fluid matches that description, is readily available, is cheap, has additives that benefit the forks and seals. Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF is roughly the equivalent of a claimed 10W fork oil. There was a time many motorcycles with this type of fork system specified ATF for fork fluid use.

The amount of fluid. The book calls for the fluid to be added WITHOUT the springs /spacer, fork collapsed, to a level of 190mm below the top of the fork. I am among those that think a tad bit more is good. I run mine right at 170mm below the rim. Let me de-mystify this a bit. 12 fluid oz dumped into the fork tube will get you so close you'll button it up right there. What do you have that holds 12 oz, or 355ml? And has BEER wrote on it? One more oz will bring it up into the 170mm range. Re-install spring and spacer, replace cap. Carefully. Your hands are oily, things are tough to grip. You will be tempted to force things. You will get a new Avatar if you strip the cap threads.
Reverse the process. Insert one fork, then the next, just snugging the lower pinch bolts. Insert the wheel axle. This is to assure some alignment is going on. Set tube tops flush with top of triple trees. Make sure the axle slides in and out without binding. Tighten pinch bolts to 18 lbs. Go over these four sets of pinch bolts for torque settings a few times. As one tightens, another can loosen...Remember that this is half of the suspension system that keeps you off the asphalt. Put on wheel, brake and reflectors. Be careful with that speedometer tab.

The additional fork fluid, along with about 10 pounds of air in each fork leg has reduced my fork dive, and provided a much more stable front end. I have not experienced any fork seal leakage from operating like this. Any fork seal leakage has been from grit, and all leakage stops when the grit is cleaned out. To achieve 10 lbs of pressure, I use a small 12v air compessor, hit the shrader valve there on top of the fork with a pfft of air and check it witha tire air gauge. When both sides register a few lbs over 10, I bleed each side down to 'zackly 10 lbs. Or 8, or 5, whatever works for you. It is easier to come down to a level than to accurately rise to a level.
vatrader is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Scooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: farmington,michigan
Posts: 170
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
Fork oil change. I like to flush the old oil and scum out of the forks. I find it easiest to get the front end off the ground. I pull the front wheel off. I take the brake unit off, the reflectors, so that nothing is attached to the front forks that would hinder the forks being removed. Fork brace, if you have one and it comes apart. Loosen the pinch bolts on the triple trees. You may need to pry these clamped places apart with a pry tool. Work the tubes out the bottom. Remove cap, springs, spacer. Hang fork upside down and allow to drain. Once most of the sludge has slowed to a drip, I flush the forks out with solvent. I have used kerosene. The bike did not explode or experience catastrophic suspension failure. Hang, and allow to drip dry.

Fork Fluid. The fluid in the fork is not a magic elixir. What ever is in there needs to act as a suspension fluid. Automatic transmission fluid matches that description, is readily available, is cheap, has additives that benefit the forks and seals. Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF is roughly the equivalent of a claimed 10W fork oil. There was a time many motorcycles with this type of fork system specified ATF for fork fluid use.

The amount of fluid. The book calls for the fluid to be added WITHOUT the springs /spacer, fork collapsed, to a level of 190mm below the top of the fork. I am among those that think a tad bit more is good. I run mine right at 170mm below the rim. Let me de-mystify this a bit. 12 fluid oz dumped into the fork tube will get you so close you'll button it up right there. What do you have that holds 12 oz, or 355ml? And has BEER wrote on it? One more oz will bring it up into the 170mm range. Re-install spring and spacer, replace cap. Carefully. Your hands are oily, things are tough to grip. You will be tempted to force things. You will get a new Avatar if you strip the cap threads.
Reverse the process. Insert one fork, then the next, just snugging the lower pinch bolts. Insert the wheel axle. This is to assure some alignment is going on. Set tube tops flush with top of triple trees. Make sure the axle slides in and out without binding. Tighten pinch bolts to 18 lbs. Go over these four sets of pinch bolts for torque settings a few times. As one tightens, another can loosen...Remember that this is half of the suspension system that keeps you off the asphalt. Put on wheel, brake and reflectors. Be careful with that speedometer tab.

The additional fork fluid, along with about 10 pounds of air in each fork leg has reduced my fork dive, and provided a much more stable front end. I have not experienced any fork seal leakage from operating like this. Any fork seal leakage has been from grit, and all leakage stops when the grit is cleaned out. To achieve 10 lbs of pressure, I use a small 12v air compessor, hit the shrader valve there on top of the fork with a pfft of air and check it witha tire air gauge. When both sides register a few lbs over 10, I bleed each side down to 'zackly 10 lbs. Or 8, or 5, whatever works for you. It is easier to come down to a level than to accurately rise to a level.
That has got to be the most understandable,,clearcut description on how to do that I have ever heard,,,very cool!!! thanks,,,,and I didn't know about the option of adding air to the fork,,,the manual says "atmosphere pressure" is good,I dont know,,but If i can add a bit to help front stability that would be even better! Thanks again!: Also,just for fun what does that "primitive pete" avitar pic look like? I'd like to see it!

Last edited by Scooter; 07-04-2010 at 11:25 PM.
Scooter is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 07-05-2010, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Scooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: farmington,michigan
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
Yes, it's spring loaded. Controllable by the fingers of the average adult. Turn the cap counter clock wise until it nears the end of the threads. C-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y turn to release the spring tension. The cap will shoot up a short distance from the fork top...maybe two inches.

Off is not a big issue. Be carefull threading the cap back on. Getting the cap started back on under spring tension can be tricky. Stripping the threads is not uncommon, and will get you the KLRforum Primitive Pete Award complete with custom Avatar.

This is not a good place to store things. May I ask what you are going in after?
I'm happy to say that I don't get the new avitar pic this time around! The fork oil change went perfectly!!!! No crossthreaded cap either. Jacking the bike up and releasing the spring load helped greatly when it came time to reinstall cap. I used DEXTRON-MERC ATF,,,so I should be ok with that,,,,,its alot cleaner and newer than what was in there. Now,,,,with that said,,,,can one put more than 10 LBS of air in fork,,,or not? I put in approx,,,8 lbs and it feels a little soft now,,,but I dont do a whole lot of rough off-road,,,trail stuff right now. Just wondering. Well thanks for the info.
Scooter is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 07-05-2010, 11:39 AM
4th Gear
 
vatrader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,263

Meet Primitive Pete.



Primitive Pete was a Disney creation and star of General Motors instructional cartoon that would show people how to use hand tools safely. The movie was released in 1946.



The book, prior to making the movie.



They did what they could at the time to keep it interesting.
vatrader is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 07-05-2010, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Scooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: farmington,michigan
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
Yes, it's spring loaded. Controllable by the fingers of the average adult. Turn the cap counter clock wise until it nears the end of the threads. C-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y turn to release the spring tension. The cap will shoot up a short distance from the fork top...maybe two inches.

Off is not a big issue. Be carefull threading the cap back on. Getting the cap started back on under spring tension can be tricky. Stripping the threads is not uncommon, and will get you the KLRforum Primitive Pete Award complete with custom Avatar.

This is not a good place to store things. May I ask what you are going in after?
I do remember seeing this "primitave pete" movie a long time ago in high school,,and from what I remember,,,it was a very funny movie to say the least..Thanks again.
Scooter is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 07-07-2010, 12:59 AM
1st Gear
 
sarthurk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Central Oregon coast
Posts: 61
Hey Vatrader,
have you ever tested the pressure after the forks were hot or had been used vigorously? I think the Clymer manual says that pressure builds up over time and they need to be bled to atmosphereic pressure. Also, has anyone tested the pressure at high altitude after adjusting them at low altitude. I'm at sea level, and testing them at the crest of the Cascades would be an interesting excersize.
sarthurk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stripped allen bolt on front fork excavator nut 1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods 5 04-10-2009 09:59 PM
Fork Oil flash 2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions 8 02-26-2009 05:55 AM
Fork Boots derek 1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods 1 05-27-2008 04:54 PM
KLR Fork questions rotaryboots KLR & Other Motorcycle Related Discussion 3 01-27-2008 07:51 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome