INSPECTION PROCEDURE (Figures 2-31 and 2-36)

If the hydraulic fork does not work properly or an appreciable amount of oil leakage should develop, inspect the fork as follows:

Check the oil level in each fork side by completely draining and refilling fork as described in "CHANGING FORK OIL." Insufficient oil in either fork side will result in faulty recoil action and excess oil will cause leakage from the top of fork tubes. When checking oil level in each fork side, also check for water in fork oil which will cause leakage from fork tube cap or oil to bypass fork slider bushings and seals. Oil will appear emulsified, aerated or light brown in color.

Oil leakage developing at upper fork tube taper may also be caused by imperfect fit in fork bracket taper. This can be remedied by applying Harley-Davidson Seal-All to fork tube cap threads.

Check slider oil seals for wear or damage to lip which could cause oil leakage.

On 1972 and earlier models, if the fork does not function correctly after eliminating the possibility of water contamination of fork oil and incorrect oil level in fork sides, inspect the fork tube breather valve (2) for defective condition. Remove fork tube cap (1), submerge in water and blow compressed air through cap vent hole. Breather valve should not leak below 1 5 lbs air pressure. If breather valve is faulty, renew valve as described in "REPLACING BREATHER VALVE."

absorber assembly Fork spring

Spring guide (1972-1974) Fork slider

Fork slider bushing (2) (1972 and earlier) Tube end bolt and washer

Upper bracket pinch bolt Upper bracket Upper bracket spacer Stem sleeve

Stem and bracket assembly

Upper bearing cone

Upper bearing cone

(1975 and later)

Lower bearing cone

Ball bearings (28)

Bearing cone

(1975 and later)

Steering head cups (2)

Bearing race (1975 and later)

Drain plug and washer

Cover screw (2)




Tube cap


Fork boot (1971-1974)


0-ring (1972 and earlier)

1 A.

Cap washer (1973-1974)


Retaining ring (1973-1974)


Vent screw and plain


Tube breather valve


Retaining washer (1973-1974)

screw (1970)

(1972 and earlier)


Seal (1971-1974)


Boot retainer (upper) (1970)


Tube cap seal


Fork side


Boot gasket (1970)


Pinch bolt


Spring retainer


Boot retaining disc (1970)


Fork boot (1970)

(1972 and earlier)


Boot retainer (lower) (1970)



Fork tube and shock


Stem sleeve end nut

Figure 2-31. Front Fork and Steering Head - Exploded View

Exploded View

If snubbing action of the front fork remains unsatisfactory, bottoms on compression, stops suddenly on recoil and does not operate smoothly after eliminating malfunctions previously covered, disassemble fork as described in "DISASSEMBLING FRONT FORK SHOCK ABSORBER." Inspect shock absorber giving particular attention to the following parts (see Figure 2-34 or 2-35): Check fit of damper piston in fork tube and fit on shock absorber tube. Check seating washer on upper and lower valve body faces. Replace worn or damaged parts.


The front fork shock absorber parts for the 1975 and later fork are sealed in the bottom end of the fork tube and are non-serviceable.

See Figure 2-31. Examine fork tube (8) for scoring and badly worn sliding surface. Inspect fork slider bushings (11) in fork slider (10) for wear and scoring. Insert tube (8) in fork slider (10) and work up and down. If tube has appreciable play in slider, replace slider bushings. See "REMOVING FORK SLIDER BUSHINGS."


1973 and later sliders do not have removable bushings. If slider is worn to excessive looseness on fork tube, slider must be replaced.

If the front fork has been damaged, check the fork alignment. Inspect fork tubes and the fork stem and bracket assembly (24) for bent or damaged condition. Tubes and fork stem and bracket assembly, that are badly damaged, must be replaced. If fork tube and fork stem and bracket assembly are only slightly damaged, they can be repaired as described in "STRAIGHTENING FORK TUBES," and "STRAIGHTENING FORK STEM AND BRACKET ASSEMBLY."


Remove fork tube cap (1). Place in vise and break three stake locks securing breather valve (2). Free valve from cap. When reassembling, coat breather valve seat with a sealing agent. Seat rubber valve in cap and stake lock in three places.


Retaining ring


Valve body, lower


Valve washer


Valve body, upper


Spring (1971 only)


Piston retaining ring




Shock absorber tube


Fork tube

Figure 2-34. Front Fork Shock Absorber - Exploded View




Retaining ring


Retaining ring


Lower piston


Upper piston


Lower stop


Roll pin


Orifice washer


Upper stop




Shock absorber tube


Spring washer


Fork tube


Valve body

Figure 2-35. Front Fork Shock Absorber - Exploded View


To replace fork boot parts that are damaged or worn, or to remove boot parts for straightening or replacement of fork stem and bracket assembly (24), proceed as follows: Stretch fork boot (5) from upper retainer (15). Free front fork sides from motorcycle as described in "DISASSEMBLING FRONT FORK." Remove fork boot plain screw and vent screw (14) and free retainer (15), gasket (16), and retaining disc (17). Lower retainer (18) is a light press fit in fork slider (10). Remove from slider by prying on retainer lip-

Assembly is the reverse order of disassembly. Start fork boot retainer by hand into the counterbore in upper end of fork slider. Insert the pilot end of Oil Seal Driver, Part No. 96310-55, through fork boot retainer and into the upper fork slider bushing. With a soft hammer, use very light blows to drive fork boot retainer to bottom against the end of fork slider.


If fork tube slider bushings (11, Figure 2-31) are being replaced, install them before replacing lower fork boot retainer.



Remove front wheel and brake assembly as described in "WHEELS," "REMOVING AND INSTALLING FRONT WHEEL."

Remove front fender and headlamp housing. Remove fork tube cap (1). Loosen fork tub pinch bolt (4). (On 1970 models, stretch rubber fork boot (5) from upper retainer (15) lip.) Remove fork side (6) complete. On 1972 and earlier models, use Wrench, Part No. 94694-52, and disassemble retainer (7) from top of fork tube (8). Remove spring (9) and drain hydraulic fork oil from fork tube. Turn assembly upside down and remove bolt and washer (12). It may be necessary to insert Tool, Part No. 95991 -69 or a long screwdriver into 3/32 wide x 1/2 long slot C (Figure 2-34) in upper end of shock absorber tube to keep it from turning while removing bolt (12). On 1973-1974 models, use Socket, Part No. 94556-73 with extension on upper end of shock absorber tube C (Figure 2-35) to keep it from turning. Free slider (10) from tube (8).


Shock absorber mechanism is part of fork tube (8). To disassemble, remove retaining ring (1) with Tru-arc Pliers, Part No. 96215-49, and remove lower valve body (2), washer (3) and upper valve body (4).

"N^ove shock absorber tube (7) and remove retaining ring .• ind piston (6).

1971-1972 (Figure 2-34)

Remove parts as described for 1970 model including spring (4A) for 1971 model.

1973-1974 (Figure 2-35)

Remove retaining ring (1) from fork tube (13) with Tru-arc Pliers, Part No. 96215-49. Remove valve parts as follows: lower piston (2), lower stop (3), orifice washer (4), valve (5). spring washer (6), valve body (7), retaining ring (8) and upper piston (9). To disassemble upper piston (9), remove retaining ring (8) with Tru-arc pliers. To disassemble upper stop (11), remove roll pin (10) from shock absorber tube (12) and unscrew upper stop (11).


Remove front wheel and brake assembly as described in "WHEEL" section of this manual. Remove front fender. Remove bracket that attaches headlamp to upper fork bracket and let hang loose by wiring harnesses.


While Figure 2-31 applies to earlier models, parts 30, 32, 4 and 21) are similar and are referenced elow.

Referring to Figure 2-31, remove two screws (30) so the cover (32) can be slid up out of the way, exposing the lower fork bracket. Loosen fork tube pinch bolts (4). Loosen screw (30) in upper fork bracket (21).

Remove the instrument (either the speedometer or tachometer) attached to tube cap (1), Figure 2-36, of the fork side being removed. Unscrew tube cap (1) from fork tube (2). Remove fork side completely by sliding down and out of both upper and lower fork brackets. Drain oil from fork.

Referring to Figure 2-36, disassemble the fork side as follows.

Remove O-ring (3) from inner groove in tube cap (1) and Slide off washer (4). Pull spring (5) out of fork tube (2).

1. Tube cap

2. Fork tube

4. Washer

5. Spring

6. Screw

7. Washer

8. Fork slider

9. Shock absorber tube

10. Wear rings

11. Boot

12. Damper tube sleeve

13. Lock ring

14. Seal

15. Screw

16. Washer

Figure 2-36. Front Fork and Shock Absorber, Exploded View - 1975 and Later

Using an Allen wrench, remove screw (6) along with washer (7) from bottom end of fork slider (8). This will free shock absorber tube (9) so that it can be removed from fork tube (2). Remove both fiber wear rings (10) from slots in shock absorber tube (9).

Separate fork tube (2) and fork slider (8) by pulling the two apart. Slip fork boot (11) off end of fork slider (8). Remove damper tube sleeve (12) from inside fork slider (8) by carefully pulling out past seal (14). Remove seal (14) only if it is o be replaced. Remove lock ring (13) and then pry out seal . (14), discarding the damaged seal.


To prevent damage to the lip of fork slider (8), the lip can be heated to expand the metal and thereby make seal removal easier.

Thoroughly clean and inspect each part. If inspection shows that any parts are bent, broken or damaged, those parts should be either repaired or replaced.

Inspect seal (14) for wear. If seal was removed, a new one must be installed. Inspect both wear rings (10) on damper tube (9) and replace if worn excessively or damaged.

Check boot (11) where it rubs on fork tube (2). The tube should show a bright, shining surface, free of scoring or abrasions and the boot should present a good, continuous seal and not show excessive wear.

Replace spring (5) if broken.

Inspect small hole in groove in lower end of fork tube (2) and see that it is not obstructed.

Make sure O-ring (3) is in good condition, without irregularities, and that it provides proper sealing when in place.

Check both washers (7 and 16) to see that they provide a good seal when used with their respective screws (6 and 15) to prevent oil leakage.

Repair bent or damaged fork tube (2) as outlined in paragraph "STRAIGHTENING FORK TUBES" below. Reassemble parts in reverse order of disassembly.


Disconnect wires from panel. Remove front wheel and brake assembly as described in "REMOVING AND INSTALLING FRONT WHEEL." Remove front fender and headlamp housing. Remove fork tube cap (1). Loosen fork tube pinch bolt (4). (On 1970 models, loosen fork boot (5) from upper retainer (15) lip.) Remove fork side (6) complete. Remove handlebar clamp cover.

Remove headlamp and bracket as a unit.

Remove fork stem sleeve end (19) and loosen fork upper bracket pinch bolt (20). Lift handlebar assembly from steering head with fork upper bracket (21) attached. Carefully position assembly away from working area. Be careful not to bend control cables and wires more than necessary.

It is not necessary to disconnect clutch and brake hand levers from handlebar, wiring from ignition switch and wiring panel, or control cables, unless handlebar assembly is to be removed from motorcycle.

Remove washer (22) and fork stem sleeve (23). Free fork stem and bracket assembly (24) and at the same time carefully remove bearing cones (25 and 26 or 25A) and bearings (27 or 27A) from steering head. Inspect bearings, cones and cups for wear. If worn or pitted replace. If necessary to remove head cups (28 or 28A), insert a piece of bar stock through upper cup to drive against lower cup. Reverse operation to remove upper cup.


Straightening fork tubes requires several special tools including a hydraulic or arbor press, dial indicator and straightening blocks (straightening blocks available for 1972 and earlier models only).


Do not attempt to straighten a fork tube that has a sharp angle bend. These tubes should be scrapped because the metal is stretched.

Before beginning the straightening operation, clean the fork tube. Locate bends with a dial indicator as shown in Figure 2-37. (A fork tube is usually bent in two or three places - seldom one place.) Then, place fork tube on straightening blocks. Using an arbor or hydraulic press, straighten tube as much as possible as shown in Figure 2-38.

See Figure 2-37. With a dial indicator find the highest point out of round and mark with chalk. Press on high point of fork tube as shown in Figure 2-38. Repeat pressing operations until fork tube is within .003 to .004 in. of being straight. Always check with a dial indicator after each pressing operation.

Sometimes a fork tube is out of round, especially at the point it is clamped to the fork brackets. Place tube in straightening blocks as shown in Figure 2-39. Press until perfectly round and check with dial indicator or micrometer. Check fork tube by inserting into a new fork slider. Work tube up and down in slider, if it does not bind, it is straight.

Figure 2-37. Indicating High Point
Figure 2-38. Pressing High Point

Figure 2-39. Pressing Fork Tube Round

Figure 2-40. Straightening Fork Stem and Bracket Assembly

Figure 2-41. Correcting Bracket Bow

Figure 2-39. Pressing Fork Tube Round


Yaightening a fork stem and bracket assembly not only quires a great deal of practice to become proficient, but jiso several special tools and fixtures, including an arbor press, surface plate or suitable heavy metal plate that is perfectly smooth, bending bar, four straightening blocks (W), two improvised steel gauging bars or legs 1-5/16 in. diameter x 12 in. length (X, Figure 2-41), two steel support blocks (Y), and several steel press blocks (Z).

Do not attempt to repair fork stem and bracket assemblies that are badly bent or broken. These bracket assemblies should be scrapped.

Insert two steel gauging bars in the fork bracket and secure in place with two bracket pinch bolts as shown in Figure 2-40.

Sometimes the steel bars cannot be inserted into the bracket because the holes are distorted. In this case, press the bars into position using an arbor press. Then, press on the forward edge of bracket to correct "bow shaped" distortion (3) as shown in Figure 2-41. Repeat pressing operation until bar is loose in bracket. Secure in place with two pinch bolts.

A bracket assembly is usually out of alignment from a horizontal centerline (1) with both legs bent or just one leg bent. (See Figure 2-41).

\both legs are twisted, place bracket assembly in position i arbor press as shown in Figure 2-40. Place two

Figure 2-41. Correcting Bracket Bow

Figure 2-40. Straightening Fork Stem and Bracket Assembly straightening blocks under low legs (A and B). With press block (Z) placed straight across bracket assembly, press until legs (C and D) are forced down and into alignment with legs (A and B).

it one leg is bent, place bracket assembly on three straightening blocks, two blocks under straight leg and one block under the low leg. Place press block diagonally across bracket assembly to high leg and press until high leg is forced down and into alignment with the other three legs.

Place the fork stem and bracket assembly on the four straightening blocks located on the surface plate, (Figure 2-42). If the legs rest squarely on straightening blocks, the bracket assembly is correctly trued.

If bracket is not true, press again, checking alignment after each operation.

Figure 2-42. Checking Bracket Alignment

Use a square and check to see if bracket assembly is bent or distorted (to either side) as shown in Figure 2-43. If so, place in vise and straighten, using Bending Bar, Part No. 96806-40, as shown in Figure 2-43.

Check to see if the fork stem is straight, true on a vertical centerline (2, Figure 2-41) by using a fork upper bracket as a gauge (Figure 2-44). If not, place in vise and use Bending Bar to bring into position.



1973 and later forks do not have removable bushings. If slider is worn to excessive looseness on fork tube, slider must be replaced.

Figure 2-43. Bending Fork Stem and Bracket Assembly
Figure 2-44. Gauging Fork Stem

Insert the fork slider bushing puller and cap (1, Figure 2-45) into the fork slider a sufficient distance to allow the claws to extend below lower end of the upper fork slider bushing (11, Figure 2-31). Place puller cap into oil seal counterbore. Apply oil to screw threads and steel thrust washer and turn nut down against puller cap to remove all slack from puller assembly. Use a Big Twin engine sprocket nut wrench and continue to turn nut against puller cap until bushing is removed (see Figure 2-46).

To remove lower fork slider bushing, follow same procedure used in removing upper fork bushing.

oil. Fork bushing driver and guide (2, Figure 2-45) is used to install fork slider bushings as shown in Figure 2-47. Insert the bushing guide into the fork slider oil seal counter-bore and insert the new lower fork slider bushing into the guide. The fork bushing driver has two grooves cut around its outside diameter which are used as depth gauges when driving in the bushings. The groove nearest the top of the driver is the depth gauge for the lower bushing, and the lower groove is the depth gauge for the upper bushing. The lower bushing is driven into the fork slider to the point where the upper groove on the bushing driver aligns with the top edge of the bushing guide.


If the lower bushing is driven into the fork slider farther than specified, it will contact the bottom of the counterbore at lower end of fork bushing and bushing may be collapsed to the extent that it cannot be finish reamed.

When installing upper fork slider bushing, follow the same procedure used to install lower fork slider bushing. The upper fork slider bushing is driven into the fork slider the correct depth when the lower groove on the bushing driver is aligned with the top edge of the bushing guide.

Figure 2-46. Removing Fork Slider Bushing


tfore installing new fork slider bushings (11, Figure 2-i), thoroughly clean slider bore and lubricate with engine

Figure 2-46. Removing Fork Slider Bushing


tfore installing new fork slider bushings (11, Figure 2-i), thoroughly clean slider bore and lubricate with engine

Figure 2-47. Installing Fork Slider Bushing


Figure 2-48 shows reamer with long pilot attached as required for reaming upper bushings to finish size. The long pilot is of correct size to fit into the unfinished lower bushing and guide the reamer through the upper bushing.

CAUTION — Do not drop cutting edges of the reamer into bushing.

Slowly start cut, turning reamer clockwise. When removing reamer after bushing is reamed, continue turning clockwise and apply a slight upward pressure to remove reamer from the finished bushing. Install the short reamer pilot, shown under 3, Figure 2-45 on reamer to ream the lower bushing. The Allen wrench provided with the tool set is used to tighten or loosen reamer pilots on the reamer body.

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