Front fork leak - OEM or AFM - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-16-2018, 3:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

My left front fork is leaking. I'm thinking the seal needs replacing. If so i can go OEM, but I'm always looking for a reasonable mods/upgrades when possible.



I'm considering replacing with racetech or ohlins. not the whole front fork, but maybe replace the innards? What are y'all thoughts on Ohlins vs Racetech. Also I'm thinking to replace OEM with Racetech Type 1 gold valve. I don't see any similar part on Ohlin's site though - just the actual fork or springs. Is there a competing valve they make?


I'm no suspension expert at all and am not sure that I can only replace the valve (along with the seals and maybe bushings?). Will this be an improvement in doing so?


Thanks for any and all feedback.
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-16-2018, 6:23 PM
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

Fork seals on inverted forks are a pain. They require some special tools. Seal driver and spring compressor at least. It gets more complicated quickly when you start talking about valves. Not impossible, just tricky.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-16-2018, 6:37 PM
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post
My left front fork is leaking. I'm thinking the seal needs replacing. If so i can go OEM, but I'm always looking for a reasonable mods/upgrades when possible.



I'm considering replacing with racetech or ohlins. not the whole front fork, but maybe replace the innards? What are y'all thoughts on Ohlins vs Racetech. Also I'm thinking to replace OEM with Racetech Type 1 gold valve. I don't see any similar part on Ohlin's site though - just the actual fork or springs. Is there a competing valve they make?


I'm no suspension expert at all and am not sure that I can only replace the valve (along with the seals and maybe bushings?). Will this be an improvement in doing so?


Thanks for any and all feedback.
I just replaced my seals and upgraded my springs from stock to Race tech 1KG. nto a hard job, but the right tools make all the difference. Seal driver and spring compressor make a world of difference. I choose racetech because it was recommended by a tech, I paid $155 for all parts, springs, seals and oil. you can buy a spring compressor on ebay for $29 and a seal driver for $39 from cyclegear or order one from Motion Pro. you are going to need the ability to raise and hold the bike off the ground on the front end to remove the tire and forks. not hard to do. I used a motorcycle jack that was designed for a harley, i used blocks of 2x4 to put under the motor, i also strap it down to keep it from falling over.
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-16-2018, 6:45 PM
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

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post #5 of 21 Old 08-16-2018, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMooreHarrier2 View Post
Fork seals on inverted forks are a pain. They require some special tools. Seal driver and spring compressor at least. It gets more complicated quickly when you start talking about valves. Not impossible, just tricky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigdaddyPaz View Post
I just replaced my seals and upgraded my springs from stock to Race tech 1KG. nto a hard job, but the right tools make all the difference. Seal driver and spring compressor make a world of difference. I choose racetech because it was recommended by a tech, I paid $155 for all parts, springs, seals and oil. you can buy a spring compressor on ebay for $29 and a seal driver for $39 from cyclegear or order one from Motion Pro. you are going to need the ability to raise and hold the bike off the ground on the front end to remove the tire and forks. not hard to do. I used a motorcycle jack that was designed for a harley, i used blocks of 2x4 to put under the motor, i also strap it down to keep it from falling over.

Thanks guys... I should mention that i don't plan to do the work myself. just don't have the time and don't want to invest in the right tools needed to complete what would be a one time use job.



Bigdadpaz, did you not get the valves too? if so why not? Was your concern or interest more in supporting the bike/rider weight?
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-17-2018, 5:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMooreHarrier2 View Post
Fork seals on inverted forks are a pain. They require some special tools. Seal driver and spring compressor at least. It gets more complicated quickly when you start talking about valves. Not impossible, just tricky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigdaddyPaz View Post
I just replaced my seals and upgraded my springs from stock to Race tech 1KG. nto a hard job, but the right tools make all the difference. Seal driver and spring compressor make a world of difference. I choose racetech because it was recommended by a tech, I paid $155 for all parts, springs, seals and oil. you can buy a spring compressor on ebay for $29 and a seal driver for $39 from cyclegear or order one from Motion Pro. you are going to need the ability to raise and hold the bike off the ground on the front end to remove the tire and forks. not hard to do. I used a motorcycle jack that was designed for a harley, i used blocks of 2x4 to put under the motor, i also strap it down to keep it from falling over.

Thanks guys... I should mention that i don't plan to do the work myself. just don't have the time and don't want to invest in the right tools needed to complete what would be a one time use job.



Bigdadpaz, did you not get the valves too? if so why not? Was your concern or interest more in supporting the bike/rider weight?
I didn’t change the cartridge out, only the spring, it was for weight purposes. Big boy at 225. But now that you mention it. I may consider doing valves next year when I service the fork fluid again.
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-18-2018, 8:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

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Originally Posted by BigdaddyPaz View Post
I didnít change the cartridge out, only the spring, it was for weight purposes. Big boy at 225. But now that you mention it. I may consider doing valves next year when I service the fork fluid again.

Thank you for sharing.



I was looking at a table on Racetech's site comparing OEM spring rates vs what they recommend based on rider weight, riding style/conditions & suspension changes. They indicated stock spring rate is 0.71 kg/mm and recommend a 0.95 kg/mm for my needs. Almost 33% more -That is huge difference! Anyone know the stock spring rates on 954's?


Now I'm wondering if changing the springs would be a better move than changing the valves? Or if changing the springs would be of better value than changing the valves? Can't afford to do both at this point
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-18-2018, 10:41 AM
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post
Thank you for sharing.



I was looking at a table on Racetech's site comparing OEM spring rates vs what they recommend based on rider weight, riding style/conditions & suspension changes. They indicated stock spring rate is 0.71 kg/mm and recommend a 0.95 kg/mm for my needs. Almost 33% more -That is huge difference! Anyone know the stock spring rates on 954's?


Now I'm wondering if changing the springs would be a better move than changing the valves? Or if changing the springs would be of better value than changing the valves? Can't afford to do both at this point
Typically, all Honda's are significantly under sprung for us "men" (I've read that their baseline is based on a 15 year old kid who weights just over 100lbs, can't remember where I read that......anyway.......). I'm a 200 pounder and have always used 1.0 springs in my 900's. It's the most instantaneous handling upgrade you can make besides great tires. Its really amazing how the right SAG and travel within the proper range of damping can make the bike feel so much better. Years ago I had my 93 900 suspension done by Lindemann Engineering. I haven't had it done to my 99 900 track bike yet, but plan on getting the internals done in the future with RaceTech specs.

I say go for the spring change first, because then that will determine if you'll need to give the rear end attention as well.

My 99 900RR Track Build Link:Track Build 900RRX

My Red Rocker 93 Build Link: Cafť 900RRP
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-18-2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

If you are only doing one then it would be springs every time, especially as it's quite a way from the standard value. Low speed damping is (somewhat) adjustable anyway so it's mainly the high speed damping you have to compromise on.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-18-2018, 6:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

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Originally Posted by IanDoohan View Post
Typically, all Honda's are significantly under sprung for us "men" (I've read that their baseline is based on a 15 year old kid who weights just over 100lbs, can't remember where I read that......anyway.......). I'm a 200 pounder and have always used 1.0 springs in my 900's. It's the most instantaneous handling upgrade you can make besides great tires. Its really amazing how the right SAG and travel within the proper range of damping can make the bike feel so much better. Years ago I had my 93 900 suspension done by Lindemann Engineering. I haven't had it done to my 99 900 track bike yet, but plan on getting the internals done in the future with RaceTech specs.

I say go for the spring change first, because then that will determine if you'll need to give the rear end attention as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenelliBlade View Post
If you are only doing one then it would be springs every time, especially as it's quite a way from the standard value. Low speed damping is (somewhat) adjustable anyway so it's mainly the high speed damping you have to compromise on.

Good deal. Thanks guys, springs it will be. I kind figured the springs are based on a rider between 150 - 190#, but plugging in that range of values on Ractech's suspension table, showed all of those weights were still "undersprung" & significantly as you indicated Ian. I didn't go any lower than a 140# rider. I weigh between 175 & 185 depending on health & lifestyle. so for now the sexy looking valves will have to weight


But I'm still curious to know the actual OEM spring rates. Are they that much under (33% or more) for a more typical sized rider?? yikes!
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-19-2018, 12:27 PM
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

springs can make a real improvement. as will fresh oil and seals. bushings only need replaced if they are worn which can be determined during the rebuild.

im pretty sure honda oem seals are made of a NOK material that reduces stiction, but if you go aftermarket be sure they are NOK.

racetech is certainly a reputable company.

the valve kit is really a waste unless you have a well upgraded rear shock. suspension is a balance between front and rear. if the front out performs the rear it just gets dialed back until it matches whats going on in the rear.

consider your riding style and what you require, but the oem springs are progressive. which is fine for general easy riding, but the issue is compression and dampening work in synergy with the spring rate.

if a suspension is set well compression and dampening in the middle of the suspensions travel on a progressive spring, when it reaches either end of the spectrum it becomes under dampened/over dampened.

progressive springs are a compromise to achieve a comfortable ride, but if youre an aggressive rider i would suggest linear springs. your overall suspension set up can be more effective where it counts in terms of performance. ie deep in a corner and under braking/exiting forces.
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Last edited by 954Kevin; 08-19-2018 at 2:15 PM.
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-19-2018, 2:12 PM
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

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springs can make a real improvement. as will fresh oil and seals. bushings only need replaced if they are worn which can be determined during the rebuild.

im pretty sure honda oem seals are made of a NOK material that reduces stiction, but if you go aftermarket be sure they are NOK.

racetech is certainly a reputable company.

the valve kit is really a waste unless you have a well upgraded rear shock. suspension is a balance between front and rear. if the front out performs the rear it just gets dialed back until it matches whats going on in the rear.

consider your riding style and what you require, but the oem springs are progressive. which is fine for general easy riding, but the issue is compression and dampening work in synergy with the spring rate.

if a suspension is set well compression and dampening in the middle of the suspensions travel on a progressive spring, when it reaches either end of the spectrum it becomes under dampened/over dampened.

progressive springs are a compromise to achieve a comfortable ride, but youll if youre an aggressive rider i would suggest linear springs. your overall suspension set up can be more effective where it counts in terms of performance. ie deep in a corner and under braking/exiting forces.
Well said Kevin
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-20-2018, 3:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

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Originally Posted by 954Kevin View Post
springs can make a real improvement. as will fresh oil and seals. bushings only need replaced if they are worn which can be determined during the rebuild.

im pretty sure honda oem seals are made of a NOK material that reduces stiction, but if you go aftermarket be sure they are NOK.

racetech is certainly a reputable company.

the valve kit is really a waste unless you have a well upgraded rear shock. suspension is a balance between front and rear. if the front out performs the rear it just gets dialed back until it matches whats going on in the rear.

consider your riding style and what you require, but the oem springs are progressive. which is fine for general easy riding, but the issue is compression and dampening work in synergy with the spring rate.

if a suspension is set well compression and dampening in the middle of the suspensions travel on a progressive spring, when it reaches either end of the spectrum it becomes under dampened/over dampened.

progressive springs are a compromise to achieve a comfortable ride, but if youre an aggressive rider i would suggest linear springs. your overall suspension set up can be more effective where it counts in terms of performance. ie deep in a corner and under braking/exiting forces.

Thanks Kevin. This confirms my intent to go with linear instead of progressive springs, but what is NOK material?
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-20-2018, 3:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

never mind that question. i googled it and this is one of the hits that seemed to explain on page 2:
https://www.allworldmachinery.com/im..._MATERIALS.pdf


so i'm guessing hydrogenated nitrile rubber would be the preferred material?
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-20-2018, 4:34 PM
 
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Re: Front fork leak - OEM or AFM

honestly, im not sure, just that NOK is a material that reduces stiction. i used the bikemaster NOK seals last fork rebuild and they have held up well.

i think i might give these skf a try next time.



https://www.motosport.com/skf-comple...seal-wiper-kit
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