Changing the front fork oil XJ6501UK XJ650 G H Lh Rh and RJ

Place the machine on its centre stand so that weight is taken off the front wheel. This can be achieved by placing a support under the crankcase (a wooden crate is ideal), or by removing the front wheel. Of the two methods, it is preferable to remove the wheel because this will lessen the risk of the fork oil contaminating the brake components and will facilitate draining of the fork oil.

It will now be necessary to remove the fork top plug. This is held in place by a wire circlip in the top of the fork stanchion and is covered by a black plastic plug. To gain sufficient access it will usually be necessary to release the handlebar assembly.

The front fork oil drain screw

To avoid unnecessary work place a blanket or similar over the fuel tank so that the entire handlebar assembly can be freed and moved rearward to clear the top of the fork stanchions. Release the handlebar clamp screws and lift off the clamps to free the handlebar assembly. Place it on the protected fuel tank.

Prise off the plastic plug to reveal the metal plug which closes the fork. Removal of this item requires a large screwdriver, a small electrical screwdriver and considerable dexterity. The plug is under pressure from the fork spring and so it is necessary to depress it with the large screwdriver. Holding the plug down with one hand, use the electrical screwdriver to work the retaining clip out of its locating groove. It will be appreciated that the help of an assistant would prove very useful during this operation. Once the clip is free relax pressure on the plug until it is pushed out by the spring. Repeat the procedure on the remaining fork leg.

Place a drain tray under one fork leg and unscrew the small drain screw. Allow the fork oil to drain. If necessary, this can be speeded up by 'pumping' the fork leg up and down, but this is only really practicable if the wheel was removed and each fork leg is being dealt with separately. When all the oil has been expelled, clean and refit the drain plug, using a new sealing washer where necessary.

When refilling the fork, note that Yamaha recommend SAE 10W fork oil for all US models and SAE 10W/30 motor oil for the UK models. In practice, any reputable brand of fork oil of the appropriate grade can be used, this being less prone to cavitation (the formation of air bubbles with the attendant loss of damping effect). Fill each fork leg with the quantity of oil shown below, then complete reassembly by reversing the dismantling sequence.

Fork 6il capacities (per leg)

XJ650(UK), XJ650RH, RJ 236 cc (7.98/8.31 US/Imp fl oz)

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