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Old June 16th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #41
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Yeah, the service manual says removing the Allen bolt is one of the first things you do.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #42
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Attached is a printable PDF version of ShortStuff's DIY from post #1 of this thread.

The original PDF file was truncated and difficult to read. This one was manually created so hopefully I didn't leave anything out.

Thanks ShortStuff for this very informative DIY.
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File Type: pdf DIY- Replace fork seals, dust seals and fork oil.pdf (1.98 MB, 81 views)
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Old January 30th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #43
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Fork Seal Leak

I only have 3k miles on my bike and the right fork seal is leaking! Im pissed at myself for not checking more often on the tube. on the underside, it has a small rust patch that messed up the dust cover/seal (whatever it is). Is steal wool enough to clean that crap off or do i need to use something else?

im planning on changing them out myself to save money by following the DIY( http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=23200). Any other tips to offer me? But if i decided to take off the forks and bring them in to get the seals, bushings, etc changed out, how much could I expect to spend?(just to see if the amount of work Im going to have to deal with is worth it)

im on the heavier side(200lbs +)(im not fat, lets get that straight...haha) so im looking to stiffen up the front as well, but i will be keeping the stock handle bars(if that matters). What can i do to do so? heavier oil? what weight? anything else?

another thing, Where is the best place to get the replacement seals, bushings, etc from?

Thanks
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Old January 30th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #44
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Most of the bigger bike shops here will be charging between $2-300 for an oil seal replacement. DEFINITELY worth DIY.

It depends on how much rust there and if there's any pitting. Get a picture up. Try steel wool first though. If it's just surface rust with NO pitting, you should be good to go.

If you want to stiffen up your front, I'm not completely sure about newer bikes, but you can try going up a weight in oil (I believe 5w is stock? So go 10w).

Regarding any tips or tricks, the allen bolt at the bottom of the fork tube CAN be a pain to get out, so be wary. Other than that, replace the circlips (the ones that hold the oil seals in place) even if they look good. They're super cheap, and better safe than sorry. If you have access to an oil seal bullet, definitely use that, but don't go out and buy one. The PVC pipe and old seal will do the trick.

You can get replacement everything from either of the kawi dealers, or any of the places that can order from partsunlimited/partsnmore. You're military right? I think cycle city has the discount, but I'm positive south seas has it.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #45
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So, this is the parts list: (2x of everything)
-Fork seal, outer
-Seal-oil, fork outer
-bushing, front fork
-bushing-front fork, inner pipe
-ring snap

is this what i need? too much? am i missing anything?
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #46
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Nah. Your forks are still relatively new, and I'm sure you haven't been abusing them, so you don't really need the bushings, unless they look worn out.

So you just need the dust seal, oil seal, and snap ring (all x2 of course).

Of course that's just my opinion. I'm sure someone will argue that you should replace them every time.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #47
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yep, no abuse...i like to keep 2 wheels on the ground. ill try to get a pic within the next hour or so. going to walmart to get some steel wool later today and try remove rust spots tomorrow. i hope its just surface rust.

of course, i'll wait for others to chime in about my parts list, advice, etc..
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #48
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #49
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Oh, that's not in the suspension travel area (right?).
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:49 PM   #50
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It is...
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Old January 30th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #51
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Oh okay, I see it now. The fork tubes are shorter than I thought..
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Old January 30th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #52
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would anyone else like to chime in? I'd like to order my replacement parts ASAP
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Old January 31st, 2012, 01:54 PM   #53
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...bump
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Old January 31st, 2012, 02:00 PM   #54
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It looks like the rust is above the travel area. For some reason I have seen a lot of right fork seal failures. Including my own bike. Don't forget to get 350cc of fork oil
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:19 PM   #55
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Thanks for the reply. I am going to get a heavier oil to stiffen up the front. Someone recommended 10w. Is that too heavy or is it ok?
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Old January 31st, 2012, 10:03 PM   #56
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Damn. Prices went up since the DIY was made. $83 shipped. Oil seals, fork seals, snap rings. Now to buy fork oil at the dealership tomorrow. Any other advice on oil weight to stiffen up front end? So far, I got suggested 10w.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 11:33 PM   #57
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How in the hell does it cost that much? That should come out to like <$50 at a dealer (without the oil)
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Old January 31st, 2012, 11:42 PM   #58
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dealer was 75ish, without tax or oil, and i'd still have to wait for the parts to come in because it was not in stock
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Old January 31st, 2012, 11:49 PM   #59
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Lightbulb Nice

so, since no one has been replying about stiffening up my front end, besides mountain dew, i had some time to google it.

I will also be following this DIY(http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=29141)
instead of 3/4", i will use 1/2" because im in the 210-230 lb range and he is 250lbs.

i will be picking up 10w oil and filling the recommended amount.

shopping list:
-1 1/2" PVC pipe, at least 2 1/2 feet long
-1quart/1liter10w fork oil
-(2) 31mm OD washers
-(2) PVC couplers - 28mm dia (any length, will cut to 1/2")
-(4) replacement allen bolts (need to find size), Mines are ugly, surface rusted
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Old February 1st, 2012, 03:45 AM   #60
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From the theoretical point of view:

Spring is what it is, and making things stiffer is acchieved by making the spring stiffer (adjusting the preload, buying a different spring). You cannot do this on the front of a ninjette I think (adjust preload).

Damper is what makes the spring stop oscillating. Resistance to oil flow is the damper; specific weight of the oil is of no consequence, viscosity is, but you are reffering to viscosity.

Therefore, by changing the oil to a more viscous one, you will increase damping effect, and make your suspension slower to compress or extend. While what you really want to do is make your spring stiffer, or farther from max compression while sitting on the bike normally.

From theoretical point of view this is not wise, because your spring will be pushed equally hard, only it's reaction time will extend, which in fact may actually worsen the performance.
You would want to increase viscosity of fork oil if your front end cannot stop itself from up-down motion after you hit a bump.
If you feel the forks bottom out at a bump, you need stiffer springs, oil won't really help it.

At least that's the way I understand it.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 06:41 AM   #61
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i read your side of the argument last night as well. in my post above yours, a fellow ninjette member did infact adjust his preload and increase to 10w instead of the 5w. i wont be adding more oil to compensate, i will be adding the oem amount (12.2oz). If you did not catch it from the above posts, i want a stiffer front end because im on the heavier side. my rear spring is maxed on the preload and the front is too mushy.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 07:00 AM   #62
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Race teck will make you springs and recommend the proper oil for your weight and riding style. Oil weight is a complex issue . That is why I did not comment on oil weight. But I have found heavyweight oil will make the suspension harsh not stiff.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 07:07 AM   #63
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ive read a lot on the oil and came down to no more than 20w (which i think is really thick). riding style is street riding, occasional twisties, and no track time(none in HI).
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Old February 1st, 2012, 07:59 AM   #64
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Gorilla25, your on the right track, but only use the recommended amount of oil, no more no less, the weight you can play around with.

here is a link to the same thing your looking at doing, as we do it on 30 year old bikes, just to give you more ideas, and shows you it's being done even on older bikes

http://members.dslextreme.com/users/...rk_Springs.pdf

here is a link on fork seal replacement, I know it's not a Ninja, but the principal is still the same...

http://members.dslextreme.com/users/...nt_GS850GT.pdf

hope some of this info helps you out
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:38 PM   #65
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$25 later


Just waiting on my seals to arrive and i still need to find replacement handle bar bolts or clean the ones i have
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Old February 10th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #66
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Seals came in last week and now i have a chance to replace them tomorrow. going to replace seals then use the 10W fork oil. i will see if the front end suits me or not. if not, then i will be adding the fabricated preload adjusters.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 11:11 PM   #67
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Just got done not too long ago. Total time apx 4 hrs. disassembly and reassembly honestly took WAY longer than the actual changing of the seals. I've been posting and updating for a while but it seems like im just talking to myself. oh well. some day someone will actually read this and may be able to pick up a tip or two.

about getting that allen bolt loose on the bottom of the forks...I figured out a way to get it loose without putting it in a vise..mainly because i dont have one. i haven't found this method while searching so i'll type it out and try to describe because i did not have a second set of hands to take pictures.

This step is done before removing the forks from the tripple tree. Once you have the front tire off, put the allen wrench into one of the bolts. Now slide the axle bolt back on from the other fork to the one you are working on. push bolt until it touches the allen wrench. This keeps the fork from rotating when breaking the bolt loose. Now get something that can give you leverage, if you dont already have, then just break the bolt loose. Dont screw it out or even couple turns. oil will def. leak out. now repeat for the other side and continue with removing the forks etc.. heres a pic for the visual people:



EDIT: the 10w oil does stiffen up the front just a touch. will decide later if i still will do the preload adjuster DIY or not.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #68
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Damn. I wish I had thought of that when I was rebuilding my 550's forks.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #69
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Update: I rode a while with the 10w fork oil and decided to put in the preload adjusters. The parts i originally bought did not work. they were too big. M16 washers and 1/2" couplers are the correct size. i cut them to 1/2", sanded, and washed them before installation. installation took only 5 mins. So far, i love it.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 09:03 PM   #70
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Sounds like things are working out for you!

I did want to touch base on what @Domagoj was saying.

Forks and rear Shocks (as well as shocks elsewhere) are relatively simple. They usually (sometimes gas) use some sort of oil (as you know) that travels between two volumes. In between the two volumes is a valve. This fluid system is a damper. Around that you usually have a coil-over or in our case a coil through, which is simply a spring.

Increasing the weight of the oil will increase the strength of the damper. What I mean by that is, the faster you push/pull, the faster it reacts. This is why RacerX tends to exhibit a harsher ride from the heavier (higher viscosity) oil. Changing oil alone will not stiffen the front end. For a heavier rider, you apply a constant force onto the bike (your weight). If your sag is too high, you want to increase your spring force.This is done through preload or respringing as you have delved into.

You do have to be careful, though. Ideally, there is a balance of both preload and damping force to where you will have ideal handling in the majority of road surfaces. The main purpose of the damper, as Damogoj was saying, is to reduce vibration of the system (up and down oscillation of the front end of the bike after a disturbance), not just the spring [minor nitpick!]. This is important when you hit surfaces that are repeatedly bumpy or you accelerate. It helps control the oscillations and prevents the system from getting unstable [see steering-damper for steering issues!].

TL;DR:

Higher viscosity oil makes the forks stiffer when hitting something fast and hard (IE: unexpected pot hole, or short small bumps at speed). It will not, however, prevent the rider from bottoming out when travelling over a speedbump at recommend speed.

Too high and you'll feel like you can feel every bump, too low and you'll feel like you're floating up and down a lot after/during bumps.

Springs and preload are what you need if the forks travel too much for your weight. Too high and you'll feel like you're sitting on a brick. Too low and you'll just feel like a low rider.

EDIT: I should note: Damper force is a function of velocity, where as spring force are simply a function of displacement.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla25 View Post
Update: I rode a while with the 10w fork oil and decided to put in the preload adjusters. The parts i originally bought did not work. they were too big. M16 washers and 1/2" couplers are the correct size. i cut them to 1/2", sanded, and washed them before installation. installation took only 5 mins. So far, i love it.
This is exactly what I was trying to tell you, and what @leed told you in more detail, and more correctly.

Changing oil viscosity did not help much, while adjusting the preload did, becuase, as you said it yourself, the bike is a bit heavy with you on it. Heavier vehicles have stiffer springs. Not necessarily more damping.

forgot to add: We do read your posts. But I had nothing to add, as I never changed my fork seals.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #72
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haha..thanks for the replies guys. sometimes, it takes 1st hand experience to figure out what someone is trying to explain to you..in a good way or bad :/....in this case, over thinking + school crap + work crap = info hard to absorb in the dome. but yes, i think if i went with a 1/4" or 3/4" preload adjuster it would either be still a little soft or too hard.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #73
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Quote:
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haha..thanks for the replies guys. sometimes, it takes 1st hand experience to figure out what someone is trying to explain to you..in a good way or bad :/....in this case, over thinking + school crap + work crap = info hard to absorb in the dome. but yes, i think if i went with a 1/4" or 3/4" preload adjuster it would either be still a little soft or too hard.
I know this all too well, haha. 1st hand is by far the best way to learn.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 10:34 AM   #74
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Wish/Hope all this was getting added to the DIY thread.

For the record, it was my right fork seal too. It may be because the right side gets exposed to more weather when the bike leans left on the kickstand.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 09:06 PM   #75
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Thanks. I hope so too. if not, its in my blog. That makes sense. my right fork seal was the one leaking too.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 09:13 PM   #76
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/merged with DIY thread
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:04 PM   #77
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Nice..since its linked to my blogs, i made an edit stating to start from 2nd page to find my posts
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 02:28 AM   #78
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Nice..since its linked to my blogs, i made an edit stating to start from 2nd page to find my posts
Page numbers differ by user settings. Best to point us to a post number (upper right of each post).
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 06:27 AM   #79
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i see..i did not know that, but did specify it also starts from post (#43)
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 07:30 AM   #80
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coming from a mechanic never put a fork in a vice like shown in the picture. first off there should be a rag to prevent scratching, secondly never clamp the tube, use the flat bolt spots to clamp it as you can wreck your tubes very easily.

Other than that nice DIY
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