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I don't get why oil in a fork tube would not mix or circulate well. I'm not saying that what you've said isn't true, just that it doesn't make sense to me. Can you say more?
The cartridge pulls/pushes from the bottom of the tube only. The oil doesn't really circulate, it just sort of gets shook by road vibration. I suppose given a sufficient amount of ride time it would eventually blend completely. The "beat" oil in the cartridge will be of less viscosity. It would tend to be pulled though the orifices more easily. In more sophisticated "closed chamber" fork designs the oil doesn't circulate at all, the smaller volume of cartridge oil is held separately.

bouncing up and down on the fork a few times helps evacuate a bit more oil.
I thought of pumping the fork but it is pretty difficult to get much travel with the spring in place. I guess you could add some fresh oil and pump it, drain some more, and see if you can "exchange" the oil in the cartridge. The problem is that, I don't think you could bleed the cartridge properly without being able to stroke the damper rod fully. Mounting the fork back on the bike with air in the cartridge will certainly result in less than desired performance.
 

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Eddie- Did you see my posts #19 and especially #20 on page 1 of this thread about ATF actually being an SAE weight ~10W with slightly higher viscosity than original fork fluid? What brand and type of ATF did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Eddie- Did you see my posts #19 and especially #20 on page 1 of this thread about ATF actually being an SAE weight ~10W with slightly higher viscosity than original fork fluid? What brand and type of ATF did you use?
Yes, thanks. Here's a picture of my ATF (from WalMart). :thumb:
 

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Yes, thanks. Here's a picture of my ATF (from WalMart). :thumb:
Made by Warren Performance Products (WPP), WalMart's Super Tech High Mileage ATF is most likely the equivalent of http://www.wd-wpp.com/greases/greases008.pdf which has a viscosity of 7.3 cSt @ 100°C and 34.5 cSt @ 40°C, compared to 7.24 cSt @ 100°C and 36.47 cSt @ 40°C for the original Showa SS8 10W fork oil. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Just finished a 400+ mile ride today with two friends, one on an '09 V, the other on a Yamaha "something". My forks felt quite a bit better to me, so I swapped rides for about 15 miles with the '09, and his response was that he loved the ride on mine because it was way better at BOTH ends, and more composed, than on his. Riding his reconfirmed for me that between the R1 shock and the ATF in my forks, I've done SOMETHING right...! :clap:
 

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Yeah, at 100°C (212°F) for automatic transmission's operating temperature rating purposes, your ATF may have a viscosity of 7.3 cSt which is very comparable to the original Showa SS8 (10W)'s 7.24 cSt, but with its excellent viscosity index of 187 and actually lower viscosity of 34.5 cSt @ 40°C (104°F) compared to 167 VI and 36.47 cSt @ 40°C (104°F) for Showa SS8, your SuperTech HM ATF's lower viscosity difference may be even greater at actual fork operating temperature of 26~33°C (78~91°F) in 21-28°C (70-83°F) ambient temperatures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yeah, at 100°C (212°F) for automatic transmission's operating temperature rating purposes, your ATF may have a viscosity of 7.3 cSt which is very comparable to the original Showa SS8 (10W)'s 7.24 cSt, but with its excellent viscosity index of 187 and actually lower viscosity of 34.5 cSt @ 40°C (104°F) compared to 167 VI and 36.47 cSt @ 40°C (104°F) for Showa SS8, your SuperTech HM ATF's lower viscosity difference may be even greater at actual fork operating temperature of 26~33°C (78~91°F) in 21-28°C (70-83°F) ambient temperatures.
Invader - I really appreciate your posts (which I can NOT usually follow :huh: )
and wish I knew enough to understand them better. :thanx: What I BELIEVE you said, was that I "done good", through bullsh*t luck.
 

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To sum it all up for the record, I estimate your SuperTech HM ATF's viscosity to be about 7% lighter than the original Showa SS8's (10W) viscosity, at the temperature that your forks actually operate at. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Folks - here's an update on what I posted after changing fork oil in my '08, using WalMart "High Mileage Automatic Transmission Fluid". Early in this thread I said how impressed I was (am) with the fork's action on the ATF, and how the front forks NOW seem more a match for the R1 shock at the rear. In another post, somewhere, I mentioned that I would "do" the forks in the Green Hornet, my '09, when I could get some more of the same ATF, apparently NOT available in Canada (or at least NOT in my local WalMart). On my recent ride down south into WA, I picked up 2 qts.

After my little head injury last Sunday (mentioned in "What Did You Do Today?", Weljo's thread) I figured I'd change the fluid and grease my steering stem bearings while I wasn't riding, and finished last night. Today was just TOO nice to pass on, so I put a face-cloth into my helmet to catch any drips...;), suited up and went for a 2 1/2 hour ride. I selected roads with lots of differing conditions, but avoided dirt (after all, I 'detailed' it once the mechanical stuff was done, and didn't feel like getting it dirty right away!), tho' I'm sure the '09's handling on washboard and gravel will echo the '08's - VERY nice.

Again, I'm just blown away at how much better the front-end feels after this minor exercise! Before the change I was always aware of the front feeling "different" from the rear, not as good, not 'plush'. Now I feel the front and R1-rear are matched! All THIS for less than $5 (and a "few" hours work)! I can NOT say, however, if the improvement is caused by the oil, or by the AMOUNT of oil - I did it as per the 'book': oil 2.6" down in the left, 3" down in the right.

I'm including a few more pics to supplement the ones I've posted before. The first is the ATF. #2 shows it with the wheel OFF, forks still ON, while #3 is on a just-manufactured 2x4 stand to allow removal of the steering stem, forks OFF; #4 is with the damper-rod UP; #5 with the damper-rod down; and #6 shows the "grunge" that was in the forks at 18,500 kms (11,500 miles).

In the service manual, it tells you to pump the damper rod up and down 10 times to get the air out of the oil. What I've seen is that all you need to do is pull the rod UP, then release it to come down under it's own weight. Initially you'll see air bubbles in the fluid, then it clears up as the air's gone (as in my pics). After several times once there's no air bubbles coming - you're done!

I also pulled the steering stem and greased the bearings. Pretty simple once I made the 2x4 stand and had it under my S-W Motech crash bars, altho' rather than take all the controls apart, etc, I just added supports for the handle-bars, then undid the 4 screws holding the "riser" to the top triple clamp. #1 shows the area after the tank is OFF; #2 shows the bars raised by the black belting; #3 is forks OUT; #4 shows the steering stem with lower ball-race still ON; while #5 shows the TWO bearing races.

If you have any questions - fire away.:exactly:
 

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With motor oil and transmission oil you are guessing at the viscosity. The marked viscosity is measured differently for different products too since operating temperature greatly impacts viscosity. 90W trans mission oil is a similar viscosity to 30W motor oil for instance. I would suggest using fork oil for best results, a quart is less than $10 and it takes less than a quart to do both forks. Also fork oil has conditioners for the rubber seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·

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Well, too bad that specific ATF you are using, is not available here in my country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Well, too bad that specific ATF you are using, is not available here in my country.
Somewhere (in this thread, maybe???) Invader chimed in that that particular ATF has a viscosity of about 7.7 (IF I remember right). See what you can get in your country and give it a try. I CAN'T say whether the viscosity gave me better fork action, or the QUANTITY. I did NOT measure how much I drained out, but I was quite 'anal' about the amount I put IN: I cross checked the measuring lines on the container for rough check; and then I removed all that was above where it SHOULD be, according to my service manual, which I seem to remember as 2.6" right, 3" left.
:goodluck:
 

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Original Showa SS8 (SAE 10W) fork fluid has a viscosity of 36.47 cSt @ 40°C (104°F), 7.24 cSt @ 100°C (212°F) and 167 viscosity index... It also looks and smells just like ATF.

Fasteddiecoperman used WalMart's Super Tech High Mileage ATF made by Warren Performance Products (WPP), most likely the equivalent of http://www.wd-wpp.com/greases/greases008.pdf which has a viscosity of 34.5 cSt @ 40°C, 7.3 cSt @ 100°C, and 187 VI... Viscosity and viscosity index vary between different types and brands of ATF, and between different brands of 10W fork fluid.

Fork operating temperature is normally at about 26~33°C (78~91°F) in 21-28°C (70-83°F) ambient temperatures.

With maximum or near maximum fork spring preload, I get sufficient rebound damping and motion control with 12.5W, a half and half mixture of 10W and 15W fork fluid.

http://www.maximausa.com/shopping/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=44

http://www.maximausa.com/shopping/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=45

Motul fork fluid is available in Malaysia (automatically links to your country):

http://www.motul.com/my/en-us/products?f[application]=145&f[range]=21
 

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Forks are serviced without removing fuel tank... Eddie remove his fuel tank for better access to service his steering head bearings.

My steering head bearings were found to be originally greased well enough, when I had checked at 2600 miles as shown in photo... I then cleaned and regreased them with Amsoil synthetic.

 

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At the risk of hi-jacking this thread (sorry for that) I wanted to service the steering bearings (at 15,000 miles) and thought I could do that without removing the gas tank. Is that correct?
 
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