CRF1000 Honda Africa twin fork re-valve procedure, and fork update

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:
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 install
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.

I chose the left leg.  Follow dis assembly as per manual.

Run both pre load and rebound all the way soft. leave as is. 19mm wrench
19 mm for the pre load

Tape yer nut
Use some painters tape not to f. up the fork cap.

Let the fun begin!

So here’s the business end of things:

fork internals

1-compression components, 2-rebound, 3, male fork bushing

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 above the oil lock
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.
IMG_3769 Oil lock free

I’m not pulling the rebound just yet, as you need to free the compression first. Push the comp stack in a bit, to reveal circlip. Remove valve.

Easier said than done. My left leg came out easy enough, by putting a 15mm wrench between the valve, and treading in the adjuster, then tapping it with a rubber mallet
A little help

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!!

Here we go
Compression Valve

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.
IMG_3777 IMG_3778

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
Comp and rebound valving

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
16 1 15 1
15 1 12 1
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
17 5 17 7
16 2 16 2
15 1 15 1
14 1 14 1
13 1 13 1
12 1 12 1
11 1 11 1
10 1 10 1
9 1
8 x .20mm 1
11 x.40 mm 1

Tubes.  Both fork tubes were in good shape.  Oil had metal residue but mostly from the springs.  It’s way to early for the coating to start falling apart
Fork tube

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 Bushing shim

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
The sag range is about 65mm to 73 mm.
Start with 1.5 turns out on rebound adjuster. This equal to about 6 clicks. Will find 1 turn out is likely the right spot.
Enjoy your new boingers!


I have a mere 1500km more since the re valve.  That said, the front end feels great.  The initial dive is gone, and the forks feel more progressive, through out the travel.  On big hit/air, I still have about 1″ left before the forks bottom completely.
A couple of updates.  My buddy Richard put me on to some Kawasaki seals.  He measured them up and everything. Pics/part # below. Bonus sprung scraper top lip, which Honda seal doesn’t have. Price wise, it cost $28 CDN for two K seals (no dust seals), and $80 for the H seals, including two dust seals.  I will be installing these before my September trip, or if my H seals keep acting up.
Kawasaki seals vs AT seal

At 5800km, my left seal shat the bed.  I managed to save it with a seal saver, but lost a bit of oil in the process.

Free lubrication

BTW..2018 H fork part number here: 51410-MKK-D01.
Tell your dealer you want a set!!
My forks seals are holding up well.  I’ve installed some neoprene booties over the forks, and even after some seriously muddy and shitty rides, no leaks.  No idea about the inner fork tubes, but suspension seems to be working well.
SOOOPER BIG findings by my buddy Richard.  The dude is a constant tinkerer and seriously sharp dood.
Here’s what he found.
The OEM dust seals have weak springs.  He did back to back tests by running OEM vs OEM dust seal c/w 2mm oil seal spring
pics below of OEM

fork seal oem spring

vs OEM c/w upgraded 2mm oil seal spring

fork seal after spring mod

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.

2017 VS 2018


2018 forks on AT


2017 Honda CRF1000 6 speed, thoughts to date


so I finally got a chance to put in some proper seat time on the 2017 6 speed AT.

Richard (on another AT), Evil Greg (2011 DL 650) and Reg (2012 DL 650), Loaded up the bikes and headed south to California.
Plan was to ride roughly 80% pavement, and the rest decent gravel. It was a great trip. Will not go into detail, but fuel was burned, tires well used, wheelies well executed, to date, probably one of the best trips I’ve done to California. Link to Cali album here:

Below, the four Canadian muppets.
The crazy Canucks!<

On to the bike.
Before setting off, I took my sweet ass time to equip the bike.
Check my previous posts for the big ticket items.
The only thing I didn’t really write about was the Tractive rear shock. Yes the rear shock is rebuildable, but it’s a feeble little thing, and I usually default to buying a rear shock. For me it’s a good investment, and I can usually sell it on after I trade in my bike, for about half price of new. Shock was purchased from Ted and Jeff at the Beemershop. Good dudes. I’ve dealt with them on several shocks, and will keep coming back.
touratech shock vs OEM<

Above, Honda OEM boinger and the Tractive shock. Notice how beefy the shock shaft is. With the correct spring, I have one or two turns of preload in, while riding with zero added luggage. The shock rides nicely.

Fork worked a treat on the trip. The bike was nicely loaded. Two 36L tin cans and my camping gear.

AT Thoughts to date.

-Ergos. I swapped the OEM bars to my flat-ish renthals. No complaints or aches after long day, getting stuck in snow, or having to detour, due to errmm…more snow
First snow in Oregon<
-Seat. For shorter days, say under 300km, the seat is really decent. But after 5 non stop days on the bike, I was in agony. The bit between your ass, and thigh…was in pain. For shorter days, I’m happy with the seat. It works well off road, if you need to stand up, shift your weight back towards the passenger seat. I’ll leave it be for the time being.
I may just need to switch the foam out to something a bit higher quality. The overall fit and finish of the seat is holding up well, and staying clean unlike the red ATs.
-Suspension. I spoke about the shock. Winner. The front forks, for road work actually did ok. A bit of dive on them, but not bad. Regardless, I’ll be tearing into them next week to fit SKF seals, linear springs to my weight, and shims to take up the slack behind the main fork leg bushing. I also have shims coming, and will re-valve the meh..OEM shim stacks (comp and rebound). There is a but…The longevity of the outer tubes remains to be seen. My buddy has issues with his tubes at 13k km. I’ll speak to it on the next blog post.
-Brakes. No complaints. They’re not brembos, but this bike doesn’t need brembos. They do the job well. Rear brake has a bit of travel, and nice wide take up. It’s not grabby or anything like that
-Motor. This motor was never going to set anyone’s hair on fire. That said, it’s good. It did great from sea level (wheelies, yes please!) all the way up to 6000′. It’s linear, and has a decent step in power around 4500rpm. Pulls nicely to the low-ish red line
-Fuel consumption. The entire trip, the bike averaged 5.4L/100km of spirited riding.
-Controls, and dash. Straight forward and easy to use. I didn’t find issues in seeing the dash, it worked well for me. Lots of useful settings on the dash, between the trip meters, avg. fuel display, and remaining liters/km’s to empty
-Electronics (TC and ABS)
TC. Compared to my 2012 XT1200, and my 2015 FJ09, the TC fucking rocks.
The on the fly adjustment is awesome. Additionally, the settings all do a different job. E.g. TC1, in 1st gear, pre-load the suspension a bit, and give it a handful on rebound..instant wheelie.
and up!<
For Gravel roads, and minor wash board. TC2 does a great job. TC3 work well on fast and smooth gravel. Happy days.
ABS. Good set up. I like the fact that the brakes are not linked. I played around with the rear ABS off button, but didn’t need it in Cali as we never did anything that crazy. I’ll be useful at home on the hairier shit.
-Tires. I was brave/cheap/stupid enough to keep the Dunlop OEM tires on after I fitted the Outex kit. Surprisingly, they did great on road. Wet, dry, on the side of the tire, mid corner corrections, and overall confidence. The good out of the way, they flat out sucked off road. I had so many close calls on wet gravel, that I was super happy to lever on my set of Mitas E07 dakars waiting at home.
-Lights. OEM LEDs were great. The Chinese bought LEDs did a good job too. High beam melts paints off cars.
-Exhaust. I ditched the OEM slip on for a Staintune. The baffle stayed in all of a day. Great noise with the baffle out.

Overall riding impression. Very good. We mostly road paved roads, ranging from smooth as glass, to bumpy shitty pot holed side roads. The AT did great. Off road, in California with the dunslops, it did great in the were the limiting factor. I can report that with the E07s, the bike rocks off road. Light enough, changes direction well, and there’s a lot more confidence in the 21″ rim with deep gravel, ruts etc. Surprisingly, it’s very good at changing lines mid corner if you screw up. And I screwed up regularly.

Looking forward to logging more time on the AT.
Oh...this snow..<


Honda Africa Twin, the cheap and not so cheap add ons

Right, first up, the cheap stuff. Apologies for the crap pics. Had my phone in the garage. I’ll post up some decent pics eventually. You’ll get the gist of it.

Fork shield deflector.
I rode a buddy’s AT last year with a TT shortie, and a fork shield deflector that he made at home.  No turbulence, no funny business.  Had to build one.  Went out and got some 1/8″ black puck board.  After many failed attempts,
fork infill tries

I finally drew a shield to scale on some 11*17 engineering paper, cut out a shield that actually fit, and we were off to the races.  Went to my local bolt place, procured some not so flashy, but functional bolts, and slapped it on the bike.  Job done. fork infill finished product
It took a bit to get it right, but I got it done. On the plus side, a few versions were gifted to buddies with ATs, and I still have a boat load of puck board left over. Ride report to follow.

Rox fender riser kit.
Ordered the kit on a recommendation. Well made, easy to follow instructions. Sprung for a t-shirt as well. Install was straight forward. Pretty sure I broke a couple of the small tabs on the black parts of the fender. Oh well.
rox package

Kit installed
rox installed

I bought this pipe used off fleabay. Got it modded to fit my tenere (see staintune blog post here:
Since I sold the ST, this had to go on the AT. My buddy Richie, got to work, cut/fit, welded the staintune to fit the AT. All in, it cost me 1/10th of new. Staintune pipes are not cheap, but they last.
staintune side

He also designed a tasty bracket for the pipe staintune bracket
Will post up a vid with and without baffle on full chat!

Tractive rear shock.
Got this ordered up from Ted and Jeff at the Beemershop in California.
Not cheap, but that’s why its called a shock!
OEM shock went out without too much fuss. To make the removal easier, remove the hand wheel, and raise the rear wheel to maximum. No need to remove the wheel or swing arm, as per below.
Also, when removing the shock, keep in mind that the top bolt is slightly longer than the bottom one, mark them accordingly, or else they will not work when interchanged.
rear shock removal

Tractive shock went in with no fuss. Interestingly the shaft is 2mm larger in diameter than the OEM swinger. Side by side shot: touratech shock vs OEM
I have to change the spring in the shock. We originally spec’d a 100Nm spring, but the shock showed up with a 90Nm spring. I’m currently at max preload to get static and rider sag. I’m working with Jeff to get things sorted out. Additionally, I either lied about my dressed weight, or gainded a few lb’s as I’m 13LB heavier than originally advertised.
Stand by for more updates.

Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 Tool kit and Tool tube

Right, I’m getting into the small stuff that needed doing on the AT.

First up: tools.
The OEM tool kit is a joke. It comes with a screw driver (phillips and flat blade), and an allen key. You do get a helmet lock loop…wow wee!
The key for my tool kit was to fit all of it on the bike. I needed to fit all the below on the bike. In the provided cubby hole, under the seat. The plastic cover got modified to slip the OEM tool pouch, in side, as well as CO cartridges.
What ever didn’t fit, went to the tool tube (spoiler, 18 and 21 inch tubes, and electric compressor)
As usual, all pics here:

Here’s what I put in for contents:
Sockets and socket driver:
8,10,12,14,17 mm, a 3/8 ratchet, and 3/8 short extension.
I orginally packed a 22 and 27 socket, and 3/8 to 1/2 reducer.  After much haruumphing, I ditched the 22 and 27 mm sockets and reducer for the front/rear axle. They were  too bulky, and the solution turned out rather elegantly. My buddy Richie is a whiz bang in autocadd, and has a local place that can cut his designs in any thickness and metal, for a nominal fee. I have a small extension that fits nicely over both wrenches.
27 mm axle wrench
Here’s the actual wrenches
22 and 27mm wrenches

Open end wrenches: 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 3/8 (for spokes)

Misc. tools:
-Needle nose pliers and small side cutters.
-Allen key set. 3mm to 10mm .
-two rim protectors (Motion Pro).
-three CO cartridges.
-12V compressor.
-valve core tool remover/fishing tool.
-OEM Clutch lever.
-Tire plug tools and snooty plugs. For those of you that follow this sorry excuse of a blog, are aware that I converted my AT to tubeless. The front tire still has a tube but the rear is now tubless. If I need to plug the tire, I can.

All of the above fits on the bike. front seat
Under seat layout
As pictured/numbered above:
Under the front seat:
OEM clutch lever
4 CO cartridges
#1 in picture: OEM tool kit, pic of contents below
#2 in picture: needle nose, and side cutters
Under rear seat:
#3 in picture: 3/8 driver
# 4 in picture: tire spoons,
Tire plug tools and snooty plugs (not pictured, between 3/8″ driver and spoons).

Below, OEM tool kit and contents.
OEM tool bag contents

Tool tube.

Once again Richard delivers. He designed a nice bracket to bolt up to the inside of the SW motech rack. My original plan was to install a small tool tube and stuff it with stuff.
Old vs new Unfortunately, it’s tiny, so it barely fit a 18″ tube. No matter, off to Home depot to get some 4″ poop pipe. You have two choices. ABS (Black thicker wall), or PVC (white thinner wall). I went with white..white bike white pipe. You could use electrical PVC pipe, it comes in 4″ variety but might have issues finding a screw on cap. Overall all length has to be no more than 18″ c/w cap. Tool tube ready to go on
The finished product holds both tubes, and with a bit of dremel work, my compressor, power cable and air cable.
Snug fit
Job done.
SW cases on
37L cases, and rotopax

Next up: Fork infill panel /fork shield panel, and Staintune pipe.

Honda Africa Twin Altrider full crash bars and skid plate install. Pivot pegs too!

More stuff came in the mail.  Right around my birthday too! bonus.

Let’s get started.  First on the list.  Pivot pegs.  The OEM pegs are garbage.  They are tiny.  Likely from the left over stock of xr50 parts.  When you’re riding the bike, it feels like your legs are going to snap.
I opted for the pivot pegs due to area, and the fact that they pivot back and forth by about 20 degrees.
Crap OEM peg vs Pivot peg
The pegs are about 40% larger in area than the oem crap jobbies

Finished product below:
Finished product

Ok, on to the big stuff.
Altrider bits came well packaged, marked, complete with decent instructions.
They were all printed on black and white paper, and easy enough to follow.
All the bits ready to bolt on

Lowers went on first. Tip. Alt rider suggest to loosen the exhaust. Do yourself a favor, and remove the entire exhaust. When you get to installing the front bracket, it’s almost impossible to get one of the long allen head bolts through the AR bracket, OEM bracket and the frame.
Exhaust gone

Little out on the XC after a shitty cold and long snap, great day.

Right, back to it!

All the stuff bolted up very nicely.
I started off with the lowers, and skid plate bracket, and worked my way up from there.
Finished product!

Altrider bars and plate

I’m still waiting on my usb/battery indicator, fog light, and switch from Chiiiina so the plastics are off for the time being.

Obviously the uppers and link bars will need to come off to install the plastics, but that’s relatively easy to do.

Overall I’m really happy with the workmanship, fit and finish.  Time will tell how the stainless holds up.
The finished product c/w all plastics on
Black on white looks great IMO IMG_3382