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Discussion Starter #1
I had a fork seal leak yesterday. Today I cleaned the seal using my Sealmate and it is good. (Cheap crap getting a fork seal leak with only 217,700+ km! :) )

Anyway thinking maybe it's time to change the fluid. I have the shop manual but it's almost too much info. I simple terms can I pretty much take off the forks, invert them and pour out the old fluid? I think some pumping is required. Is there anything else I should do or pitfalls to watch out for?

Thanks,

..Tom
 

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Changing the fork oil on your DL1000 is more involved. To get all of the fluid from the fork, you'll need to remove the springs and the cartridges. Without removing the cartridges (but removing the springs), you can get most of the fluid removed. If you do not remove either the springs and cartridges, forget it- you'll be messing up your oil height. To set the fluid height, the springs need to be removed.

You probably can remove the springs without a spring compressor tool with the assistance of some strong friends, but the cartridges will definitely require a special ~$60 tool from Race Tech. I built my own fork compressor and now that task is a very easy one person task.
 

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Anyway thinking maybe it's time to change the fluid. I have the shop manual but it's almost too much info. I simple terms can I pretty much take off the forks, invert them and pour out the old fluid? I think some pumping is required. Is there anything else I should do or pitfalls to watch out for?
Thanks,
..Tom
They are much like any other. Here is a video that should set you straight. Very straight forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They are much like any other. Here is a video that should set you straight. Very straight forward.
...
Wow that makes it look pretty straightforward!

So I don't need to take out the springs to don this and don't have to worry about a spring compressor?

Thanks,

..Tom
 

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Tom, I changed my fork oil according to the shop manual and have been happy with the improved smoothness in the front end.
I also found this info on the Racetech site helpful as the photos are very clear. IP FMGV S252502C V-Strom 2015

My mate did his by just loosening the caps and draining the oil, then replacing it, as you are thinking of doing. He finds the fork operation stiffer with less travel available so he probably added too much new oil.

The main benefit of disconnecting the cap from the damper shaft is so the spring can be removed. This enables the height of the new oil (air gap) to be measured.
My pitfall was not checking and adjusting, as necessary, the number of clicks available on the top damper screw before removing the spring compressor and putting the fork cap back on. When I realised this I had to loosen the fork caps, compress the fork springs, loosen the damping shaft nut and adjust it to allow the correct number of clicks on the damping screw.
 

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Tom,
I do everything on my bike, except the forks on the V2 and the shock. I sent them out to get the oil changed and re-build to reflect my desired riding characteristics. I sent mine to Daugherty Suspension but there are others that do the same. I am sure there is someone in Canada. The front floats over broken up pavement and the rear is now set to zero preload (riding single) and gives the correct sag. The stock shock before the rebuild was cranked to 100% preload. He did re-spring and re-valve the lot and it was reasonable cost, even including shipping.
At your mileage I am sure the forks can do with new bushings and the same is probably true for the shock. You might be "shocked" how much nicer the bike is after the suspension refresh and ride the bike a few more years than without doing it.
 

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The method shown in the video will indeed replace most of the fluid, but it's only doing half of the job. It's sort of like draining 3/4 of the bath tub and adding fresh water. After some mileage, there gets to be some crud settled on the bottom of the fork tube. Crud meaning- Teflon from the fork bushings, fork spring scale, debris which transferred from the fork tubes past the seals, and so on. You want to get that dirty stuff out of the tubes and the only way is to take stuff apart.

As Blaustrom pointed out, a new set of fork bushings would be a very good maintenance idea at your mileage. And a new set of seals and wipers too. Also, I totally agree on the revalve of the forks and shock. In stock tune, I thought the forks were a tad on the firm side and the shock is undersprung if you ride two up or a heavier rider. I do my own suspension work and I arrived at some pretty good shock & fork settings for stiffer springs front & rear. My bike rides like a champ now- soaks up the expansion cracks yet holds up in the travel on the big hits and G-out rollers. I'm sure the tuner shops have some great settings too.

V-Tom- You asked about the fork spring compressor tool. Race Tech sells one but I made my own fork and shock spring compressors. It's fairly easy to make these if you have access to a welder. I can post some pics if people are interested. Very likely, some of the creative folks here will think of a less complicated fabrication method using more basic materials.
 

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Race Tech sells one but I made my own fork and shock spring compressors. It's fairly easy to make these if you have access to a welder. I can post some pics if people are interested. Very likely, some of the creative folks here will think of a less complicated fabrication method using more basic materials.
Love to see some photos, thanks.
 

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Here are some fork spring compressor pics. It's kind of crude and in the terminal prototype stage, so no flames please, but it worked very well. I'll have to put some touches on it sometime. The black plastic piece could be a lot more simple. Watch the video on Race Tech's compressor for a better construction method. Also note that the RT tool has a peg + a threaded screw to connect with the two holes in the fork's spring spacer.

Race Tech's instructions have some really good info.




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And while we're talking about suspension, here are the shock spring compressor pics.

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Discussion Starter #13
@Bazooka Joe

Thanks for posting the pics! Well beyond my ability at this point. If I'm looking at the right part Race Tech's least expensive spring compressor is $200 (US$) so beyond what I want to spend on this.

I will likely just do the drain, pump, repeat to get out what I can

..Tom
 

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@Bazooka Joe

Thanks for posting the pics! ... so beyond what I want to spend on this.
I will likely just do the drain, pump, repeat to get out what I can
Probably the best way to go.
One thing that has been eluded to but maybe not said right-out-loud: On the fork that was NOT leaking, measure as best you can how much oil comes out (after hanging it over the measuring cup and a few pumps). That is the amount that goes back into both legs.
As regards the spring compression tools; If you have a full size helper you can compress that spring in order to get to the lock nut using a wooden board, two flat bicycle wrenches and two C-clamps (or two pair of vice grips).
Drill a hole in the center of board (say a 2x4) large enough for the spring to fit through. The flat bicycle wrenches are larger than the damper rod and small enough to catch the coils of the spring.
"Slot" the wrenches into the coil from opposite directions. Drop the 2x4 on top of the wrenches and clamp both wrenches to the one board. Set the fork vertically on the floor and have your helper assume the jack hammer position. Helper pushes down while you loosen the lock nut. I thinks you get the picture.
 

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Yup. and he's taken mine apart twice. mind you I oputnin a new damper kit, but if you were thinking of upgrading, he though he might be able to play i think with R1 valving and not cost a fortune. On the other hand, aren't you getting a 1050? When the sudden interest in changing fluid of so
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Odds are I won't get a 1050 this year. I don't want to spend a ton of money on this bike but will certainly do what needs to be done. (Btw crossed 218,000 km today. Over 7,000 km since jan 1 2020. )


When I had the fork seal leak the fluid looked fairly dirty so figured I could just change the fluid. Didn't realize it is so much more involved than the forks on my 650's. Still changing most of the fluid doesn't look like it will be too tricky.

..Tom
 

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I do have a full set of fork internals that you could have modified at your leisure and then put it in with fluid change so no down time
 
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