Ok, now that the rear is sorted, it was time to look at the front.
I looked into the pricier options, but frankly wanted to go el cheapo and try the re-valve, re-spring option. I was also curious to the state of my fork tubes at a mere 4500km.
Link to picture gallery here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmknkQRB
You can either read the write up, or go pic by pic, in order. I’ve described them as best possible.
First off, a big thanks, to Motociclo (aka Mr. S) from Adv rider. He was extremely helpful both on his on going posts, and emails back and forth to answer various newb questions I had about my first shim stack job. Both excellent posts below. Hopefully the below, will further assist someone else.
Fork revalve guide
I mainly tackled this job to get better feel from the front end, and the correct springs for my weight.
You will need the following to pull this off:
- Honda manual. Print out pages 17-14 to 17-21, for additional help, I printed out Mr.S write up on the revalve procedure
- Fork spring compressor tool
- Park tools AV-5 Spindle axle vice tool (or similar)
- 45mm seal driver. Turns out neither a 43, or 48 mm driver will do. A 1/1/4 PVC pipe cut in half, does the job half assed!
- Height measuring tool. A ruler will do the job too
- Shop rags, preferably the micro fiber blue jobbies
- Some amount of skill/confidence
- Honda seals (not recommended) $80 for the set including dust seals, Kawasaki seals part # 92049-0118 $24 for a set of seals, or SKF seals (pricy, $150 for the set including dust seals but excellent quality)
I’ll largely base this on pictures, and shit I learned along the way.
Start with one fork.
So here’s the business end of things:
Start with the rebound valve. You’ll need to remove the oil lock, in order to free the rebound valve from the cartridge. Don’t do this:
Clamp the rod above the oil lock. Use a small terminating screw driver to peel back the peened portions of the oil lock. Once that’s done, give the oil lock a decent whack and it will come off. I’ll expose the circlip shown below.
It wasn’t so easy on the right leg. Luckily I removed the oil lock 1st, then simply used the rebound valve to tap out the compression valve.
Here’s the compression valve freed!!
Mr.S gave me a suggested comp and rebound stack that would work for me. I went with a .75kg spring. Note, Race tech spring is 35mm longer than the OEM. I to cut the spacer back. White end, re drill holes for compression tool to go into.
You may need to order new shims to get the desired stack. I ordered mine from Rod at RMR in Vancouver. Good dude.
Pay particular attention to how the stack comes apart. Lay it all out. Take your time. Don’t drink beer just yet. Make sure that all shims go back on. I forgot to put the .4mm last shim on my compression stack…I’ll be going back in shortly to install it. OCD…
Here’s both OEM shim stacks
Here’s my shim stack, with a .75kg spring. This will vary from rider to rider, and it’s not meant to be a go by. You will need to figure out what works for you. But the general idea is that by increasing the initial shims, i.e the 17 x .10 to a thicker 17 x .15mm shim this will errrmm….make thing better..Again, I know nothing. The formatting below is a bit f. up but it will give you a basic idea.
Refer to the above picture for actual stacks. Picture is accurate off my right fork leg.
|Rebound stack. Left leg. Single shim/Valve to nut||Stock Shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm)||# of shims||new rebound shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm)||# of shims|
|17 x .40mm||1|
|17||3||17 x .15mm||4|
|8 x .20mm||1||9||1|
|12 x .20mm||2|
|15 x .20mm||3|
|Compression stack (actual)||Stock Shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm)||# of shims||new compression shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm)||# of shims|
|8 x .20mm||1|
|11 x.40 mm||1|
At any rate, the fork bushing has too much play, and this may contribute to the slop/wear in the outer fork tube. Cut a 0.05mm shim 19mm by 135mm. Sand the edges down. Don’t sweat it too much, it sits behind the bushing
Below is the link to my buddy Richards video. His forks had about 13k km.
We’re ready to put it all back together.
Follow OEM manual for re-assembly, except for:
- Run rebound 3.5 turns, then screw fork cap on to rod, seating gently. At that point tighten the nut, and pre load adjuster
- Set oil at 50mm from top, c/w spring, fork fully collapsed. Each leg should take about 700ml.
- Torque all components except bottom triples. I have mine at 12Nm.
- Torque mark all your bolts
MID JUNE UPDATE!!
vs OEM c/w upgraded 2mm oil seal spring
I’ll be tearing into my forks prior to warranty expiry this december. I’ll check the tubes etc, if they appear ok, and have no play with the bushing shim removed, then I’ll install the KWAK fork seals, re-use the honda oil seal spring on the dust seal, and Bob is someone’s uncle.
Moving on to the 2018 forks. Richard got his forks warrantied by Honder. Sadly the forks may have better coating, but the shims are still very much needed. Oh well.