Forks removal and replacement

Place your machine on level ground, on its centre stand and remove the front wheel. If you just want to remove the sliders (fork legs) proceed as follows; if, however, you want to remove the complete leg (stanchion and slider together) start your reading now, although the meat of it is a little further on, at the start of the paragraph after next.

To remove a slider, drain the fork oil, obtain an alien key of the correct size and place it up through the bottom of the fork leg. (The best alien keys are those connected to sockets). The alien screw connects the slider to the damper rod inside the stanchion. Hold the slider with a suitable rod through a caliper bracket hole (disc models) or with a piece of rag twisted around the mudguard bracket, with the mudguard still attached. Loosen the alien screw (sometimes the alien screw twists around with the damper rod — remove the whole fork leg). Remove the mudguard bracket at the fork legs. All models use either eight bolts and nuts or eight setscrews. The SFC uses two hose clips. Remove the alien screw and carefully slide the slider off the stanchion (release the fork gaiter if one is fitted). Do this carefully, otherwise you may damage the fork seal(s) located in the slider.

To remove a fork leg, leave the slider intact at the outset, instead first remove the mudguard as just described in the previous paragraph. Remove the handlebar clamps (the early models use two separate 'IT type clamps, while later ones use integral clamps with the instrument bracket. The SFC uses conventional clip-ons which need to be loosened). Let the handlebars hang conveniently — you are only going to need to undo the two fork caps. With an appropriate socket or key, carefully loosen the fork cap. (On early Twins watch the instrument brackets). There is little purchase on the alloy nut so be very patient and careful. Remove the nut and stow it in a safe place. With an alien key undo the alien screw in each fork yoke on the side from which you want to remove the leg. Now carefully pull the fork leg straight down. The fork leg uses a parallel stanchion and they should pull out. Perhaps a slight twist might help. The shrouds and/or headlamp brackets should remain in place.

(If you have removed the fork leg because the slider alien screw twists around with the damper rod, replace the fork top cap with the spring still inside. Up-turn the stanchion, pre-load the slider onto the stanchion and try to undo the alien screw. With luck this will hold the rod while you undo the slider alien screw). Sliders and complete fork legs are replaced in a reverse sequence of the above. The perfectionist will want to make sure that his forks are re-installed in exactly the right position so that each leg is the same length, once fitted, to the yokes, and that the front axle is parallel to the fork yokes and the ground. Measure the forks lengths and check the 'level' of the front axle. Make sure the legs actually slide equally (this can be done by removing both springs and operating the forks so that they are allowed to 'drop' together). Don't forget to refill each leg with fresh fork oil in the proper fashion. Take great care when fitting the slider so that the fork seals are not damaged. Take even more care when fitting the fork top cap (it should be clean and rubber O ring in good condition) so that its thread is not crossed. Cleanliness is essential when assembling forks. Use graphited grease on the threads of all the components.

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  • cleo
    How to replace a fork seal on a laverda 650?
    6 years ago

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