Changing fork oil in Gen 1 (and 2 - PROBABLY!) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Changing fork oil in Gen 1 (and 2 - PROBABLY!)

Just because someone asked, here are some pics I did while changing the oil in the forks of my '08 and '09.

Here's the steps in supporting the '09 - note the piece made of scrap 2x4s to support w/out forks IN CASE you decide to service your fork bearings at the same time!





By looking at the pics in my SERVICE MANUAL I could see what the specialty tools looked like (a bit!), so I removed the forks,



removed the cap (be SURE to loosen it BEFORE you take the forks off the bike!), then I was able to look at the damper-rod and take some measurements. Here's a pic of my (draftsman-quality, OF COURSE......) diagram on cardboard, of the upper part of the damper-rod which is "waisted" where you'll need to fabricate a tool to hold it.



I fashioned a piece from stainless steel to fit SNUGLY into that 'waist' (the 11/32" bit), as well as an aluminum piece I could hold w/ two hands to compress the spring (the 13/32" bit), then soldered an appropriate nut ( just measured it at .353", so 9mm) to a foot of copper tubing, which will attach to the TOP of the damper-rod so that IF you let go of it, it doesn't disappear into your fork! In addition I 'sacrificed' a small screwdriver to go thru holes to 'contain' the spring. Here's a pic of what I fabbed.



And here it is, in ACTION........





NOW w/ the copper tube attached



Someone asked IF the oil was dirty...



When you're replacing the fork oil (I use ATF from Walmart) be aware that IF you let go of the damper-rod, oil WILL squirt out the top in DIRECT relation to the speed it was falling at...







I HOPE this will help some of you to do the job, or at least make the decision NOT to....

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Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 07-06-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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In addition - the amount of oil you put back INTO your forks is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

When I had a shop replace my seals (on the '08), they put TOO MUCH in, and the FIRST big 'hole' I rode thru bottomed my forks and blew the seals out....

I was fairly "upset", and they ended up redoing the job w/ ME watching over the mechanic's shoulder, and ME measuring the oil-level!


Ed
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Just because someone asked, here are some pics I did while changing the oil in the forks of my '08 and '09.

Here's the steps in supporting the '09 - note the piece made of scrap 2x4s to support w/out forks IN CASE you decide to service your fork bearings at the same time!





By looking at the pics in my SERVICE MANUAL I could see what the specialty tools looked like (a bit!), so I removed the forks,



removed the cap (be SURE to loosen it BEFORE you take the forks off the bike!), then I was able to look at the damper-rod and take some measurements. Here's a pic of my (draftsman-quality, OF COURSE......) diagram on cardboard, of the upper part of the damper-rod which is "waisted" where you'll need to fabricate a tool to hold it.



I fashioned a piece from stainless steel to fit SNUGLY into that 'waist' (the 11/32" bit), as well as an aluminum piece I could hold w/ two hands to compress the spring (the 13/32" bit), then soldered an appropriate nut ( just measured it at .353", so 9mm) to a foot of copper tubing, which will attach to the TOP of the damper-rod so that IF you let go of it, it doesn't disappear into your fork! In addition I 'sacrificed' a small screwdriver to go thru holes to 'contain' the spring. Here's a pic of what I fabbed.



And here it is, in ACTION........





NOW w/ the copper tube attached



Someone asked IF the oil was dirty...



When you're replacing the fork oil (I use ATF from Walmart) be aware that IF you let go of the damper-rod, oil WILL squirt out the top in DIRECT relation to the speed it was falling at...







I HOPE this will help some of you to do the job, or at least make the decision NOT to....

Best color of course\;]
may consider this myself nextime
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:23 AM
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Thanks for documenting and posting. Big help.

Couple of questions. Do you need a separate tool for spring compression and spring stopper? They look like they are the same tool. Do you absolutely need the copper pipe with nut? I watched the USD fork video on youtube. No special tools were used but there were no preload spacers either. Did you remove the damper rod during the process? Fork oil removed looks dirty - how many miles/kms?
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
In addition - the amount of oil you put back INTO your forks is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

When I had a shop replace my seals (on the '08), they put TOO MUCH in, and the FIRST big 'hole' I rode thru bottomed my forks and blew the seals out....

I was fairly "upset", and they ended up redoing the job w/ ME watching over the mechanic's shoulder, and ME measuring the oil-level!

From experience a $1 turkey baster you can buy at your local dollar store is great for setting fork oil level. Just mark it with the correct oil level with a marker, measured from tip, and insert to the mark. Use it to siphon off excess oil until it sucks air. You can also pick up a syringe at your local pharmacy that will do the same thing as the turkey baster. Just tell them you have a heroin habit
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:03 PM
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Woah...... way too much work just to change the oil. You shouldn't* have to remove the damper just to drain the fluid.

Just get the cap off, and then pump the fork tube until it all drains out. Fill with new fluid and be on your way.

Otherwise you have to do all that extra work that you did. I finalized the height using the twowheels method.

Which he stole from here: Fork Maintenance - EX-500.com

Last edited by Urbanengineer; 07-10-2017 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Thanks for documenting and posting. Big help.

Couple of questions. Do you need a separate tool for spring compression and spring stopper? They look like they are the same tool....
SAME tool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
...Do you absolutely need the copper pipe with nut?...
I did it so IF I let go of the rod it wouldn't disappear inside the fork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
...Did you remove the damper rod during the process?...
Just as in the pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
...Fork oil removed looks dirty - how many miles/kms?...
Sorry - my records are 1700 miles S of me right now..., but by memory the oil has always been "dirty" whenever I've changed it.

Ed
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