Drain Holes On Forks - Page 2 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #11 of 26 Old 02-09-2019, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Fox View Post
Is the state of the fork oil something that matters? The manual doesn't even mention the forks in periodic maintenance except to inspect them.
Many riders will notice some improvement with fresh oil.

It will remove contaminants so it will slow down the wear on internal parts (no filter like your motor) the old oil will look & feel like grinding paste over time.

Water can sometimes get past the seals and infect the oil and without a change you will never know.

It is a opportunity to use a different weight oil and possibly improve your ride.

If you are on the original oil it will smell like dead fish so you will know you are doing the right thing.
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post #12 of 26 Old 02-09-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolex View Post
Many riders will notice some improvement with fresh oil.

It will remove contaminants so it will slow down the wear on internal parts (no filter like your motor) the old oil will look & feel like grinding paste over time.

Water can sometimes get past the seals and infect the oil and without a change you will never know.

It is a opportunity to use a different weight oil and possibly improve your ride.

If you are on the original oil it will smell like dead fish so you will know you are doing the right thing.
I'm on my second fork rebuild, but it's been almost 60k miles since the they were last open. It definitely smelled terrible the first change. Second change was due to low quality "All Balls" fork seals - second rebuild was done with Honda OEM ones and ATF. I guess I'll wait until they leak again. I've never changed the bushings, might do it if there's a next time. Wiping the crud off seems to make the biggest difference.
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post #13 of 26 Old 02-09-2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Fox View Post
Is the state of the fork oil something that matters? The manual doesn't even mention the forks in periodic maintenance except to inspect them.
On other thing on forks and leaking seals. Carefully examine the leading side of the upper tubes between the lower triple and the top of the dust seals. You'll likely see a bunch of very small nicks and dings. Those have sharp edges, and over time they cut up the sealing edge of the fork seal and causes it to leak.
Get the weight off the front end so that the tube is fully exposed and carefully buff the tube with extra fine steel wool. That will knock the sharp edges off and your seals will last a lot longer. Sometimes it's even enough to make the seal quit leaking. Just be very careful doing it, you don't want to go through the chrome!
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post #14 of 26 Old 02-09-2019, 12:23 PM
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Sometimes its good to have to take things a part to do routine maintenance. On my GS you have to remove you have to swing the rear drive down to drain it (he newer models have a drain port). IN order to be able to move the rear drive you have to remove the rear brake caliper. When I did this I noticed the rear brake pads were shot and just about metal on metal so it was caught in time.

Just this morning on the 1981 Guzzi I'm working on I was doing fork maintenance. They do have drain holes and I though about just a drain and fill and then thought I'm not shortcutting this and am doing a full disassembly to check things. As it turns out as I jacked up the bike and remove the front wheel the fork lowers slid completely off the forks tubes. Do the dampers had separated and the only thing keeping the forks together was the weight of the bike. This could have been catastrophic if I just did a drain and fill.

Here is one of the damper assemblies. Its supposed to be 1 piece.
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File Type: jpg SP1000 Fork Damper.jpg (44.1 KB, 4 views)
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post #15 of 26 Old 02-09-2019, 08:34 PM
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I also mark the front of each tube before I remove them and try to put them back together at 45 or 90 degrees to the original position as most wear is from braking this moves the wear spots a little, of course conventional & USD forks require different parts to be spun and the bushes still wear.


I always put a strip of green scourer pad (the thing the bride uses to scrub the pots and pans) between the dust seal and the oil seal, the pad collects the crud before it can reach the seal and cause a leak, it is easy to change and I do it from time to time depending on the type of use the bike has had, if it looks like a big weekend of mud I may even change it during the ride.


For new players ATF seems to have a very long life in forks so if the oil weight to your liking go for it & also beware that a 10w oil in one brand will not be the same weight as a 10w in another brand.

Some of the 19 rides in my shed
2014 V2, Snoopy
2009 Wee, Pumbaa the pig
WR450F, The Blue Postie Bike
YZ250N smoker with rego, Stinky.
Yamaha MT09 (FZ09), The Scud missile.
Club Lead not Club Med.
He with the most toys wins.
Out of my depth in a puddle.
Live life on the edge you will see more that way.
Ridding a motorcycle keeps things in balance.
At the end of each trail and at the end of each day history is made.
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post #16 of 26 Old 02-09-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan_Banjovy View Post
Motorcycles had these for decades. Probably adds $2 to the cost of making a motorcycle. 2 holes, 2 screws. Anyone who has changed fork fluid on a Vstrom would probably appreciate having those drain holes, especially those of us who couldn't afford a stand at the time & had to wing it. Yep, 2 day job. Fun. Sort of like removing the engine to change the oil. So, maybe drain holes on the forks next time Suzuki? I'll cough up another $2 somehow. I'll buy a stand next time. I hear they're more than $2.
Having just done my first fork oil change on my Vee, I can say there's more to it than just draining the oil through 2 holes at the lowest points, like perhaps draining the engine oil. Oil remains in the damper until pumped out. You can't get that out by simply opening the hole at the bottom of each fork tube and letting it drip out. And if it so happened that the damper would actually drain that way, how are you going to pump the air out of the damper and get oil back into it by just using a drain hole for changing the fluid? Besides, to get your oil back in that you drained through the two bottom holes, you still have to remove the fork tube caps. So to me it seems that you've done 75% of what I just did by taking my tubes off and disassembling them.
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post #17 of 26 Old 02-10-2019, 11:18 AM
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One other thing on forks and leaking seals. Carefully examine the leading side of the upper tubes between the lower triple and the top of the dust seals. You'll likely see a bunch of very small nicks and dings. Those have sharp edges...
I read this yesterday, but didn't grasp what you're trying to tell us. I've just read it again.

I think you're talking about the forward-facing portion of the smaller-diameter (inner) tubes - the portion that might be struck by small stones (by following other vehicles). And you're talking about the section of the smaller (upper, as you say) tubes that the seals travel over.

If all true, that makes good sense. If I do this job this summer/fall, I'll check that area. Thanks for the tip.


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post #18 of 26 Old 02-10-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by HokiesRWee View Post
I read this yesterday, but didn't grasp what you're trying to tell us. I've just read it again.

I think you're talking about the forward-facing portion of the smaller-diameter (inner) tubes - the portion that might be struck by small stones (by following other vehicles). And you're talking about the section of the smaller (upper, as you say) tubes that the seals travel over.

If all true, that makes good sense. If I do this job this summer/fall, I'll check that area. Thanks for the tip.

Yep, you got it.
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-10-2019, 11:54 AM
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I always put a strip of green scourer pad (the thing the bride uses to scrub the pots and pans) between the dust seal and the oil seal, the pad collects the crud before it can reach the seal and cause a leak
My v65 Honda came stock with a piece of foam rubber there. Not a bad idea.

I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride my motorsickle. A. Guthrie.
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post #20 of 26 Old 02-10-2019, 12:15 PM
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I used foam rubber for about 30 years and always thought it helped then I thought about what it was doing and how dried up bugs were hard to remove just like stuff sticks to pots & pans.

When cleaning pots & pans I would use the scourer so why not my bike, being plastic it does wear down and will not stick to the tube like the foam did.

Also with the foam the crud would stick to the surface, with the scourer the crud would hide in the spaces.

Some of the 19 rides in my shed
2014 V2, Snoopy
2009 Wee, Pumbaa the pig
WR450F, The Blue Postie Bike
YZ250N smoker with rego, Stinky.
Yamaha MT09 (FZ09), The Scud missile.
Club Lead not Club Med.
He with the most toys wins.
Out of my depth in a puddle.
Live life on the edge you will see more that way.
Ridding a motorcycle keeps things in balance.
At the end of each trail and at the end of each day history is made.
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