Fork Maintenance Tips Staff
by Staff
More advice from mikenomad.

Draining and replacing your fork oil is something you should do every couple of years. It's not that difficult if you know how.

Not all forks have drainplugs at the axle end, so the fork tubes have to be turned upside down to make sure you drain out all of the oil and crud. Trying to siphon it out will most likely leave the crud at the bottom, defeating your purpose.

Pulling off the brake calipers, removing the front wheel, and removing the fork tubes from the triple clamp is a big hassle. It's a lot easier to just hang the bike upside down from the rafters in your garage, then go in the house for a few beers while the fork tubes drain.

Of course, before you hang the bike upside down, you'll want to remove the tank, carefully disconnecting and tagging the few dozen gauge wires, vacuum hoses, and fuel supply and return lines. Otherwise, you'll soon have a garage floor full of gas, plus fume-filled air that is easily ignited by random sparks from the garage door opener when your wife pulls into the driveway. (Don't ask how I know this.)

Also, before you hang that 900-lb Goldwing from the rafters, you'll probably want to run by Home Depot and pick up some 2-by-8s to bolt in as reinforcements. A few hours spent beefing up these supports is really worth it in the long run. (Don't ask how I know this).

And don't forget to remove the seat and battery. You don't want battery acid running out and eating away at your frame and wiring and making ugly streaks in your side covers. (Don't ask how I know this).

Then just remove the fork caps and spring retainers (it helps to have a couple of friends push down on the springs to relieve the tension) and let the oil and gunk drain out of the tubes.

It's that easy.

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