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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default Fork oil change

I want to change the fork oil in my 2004 Vegas and by the service manual it looks like the only way to do it is remove the forks and dump it out. I see no drain screws. What the hell kind of design is that?? Am I wrong here? Is there drain screws above the axle at the bottom of the forks? I'm doing an engine oil change this weekend and thought I would do the forks also.

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 01:33 AM
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They are designed to be gone through every 15k miles but a lot of people go much longer at the expense of their front suspension. Yes. It's a pain in the butt and takes a few special tools like a spring compressor and a seal setter. I think I paid around $150 for what I needed plus new seal kit and Amsoil 5wt. You could go 10wt to stiffen up the front forks but it might not be the ride you're looking for.

I'll probably go 20k between rebuilds because it is a bit of a job. I wouldn't just change the oil because once it's apart the seals won't settle back in to where they were and will likely start leaking or seeping fairly soon.

The cool thing is once you have the tools you don't have to buy them again obviously and you might be able to help a friend some time who is willing to donate to the tool fund. The tools do pay for themselves the very first time you use them as compared to taking it to a shop to be done or even just taking the forks off and take them down to be done which is definitely an option if you don't want to fuss with with but want to save a few pesos.

JMHO, YMMV, FWIW, Peace Out.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 12:22 PM
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Seal installer http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0221/

fork oil level gauge http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0121/

fork spring tool http://www.toolsource.com/front-fork...-p-106653.html

Your best bet would be pull tubes and take to dealer.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visionjohnny View Post
Your best bet would be pull tubes and take to dealer.
That's a really good suggestion. I wonder how much they'd knock off the job if I brought them in that way?




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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 12:04 PM
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That's a really good suggestion. I wonder how much they'd knock off the job if I brought them in that way?
My local dealership quoted me 1.5 hours labor plus parts/oil.

Depending on what you are buying the parts for; you need to be careful because the book said I needed 2 sets of the seals at $100 each for a KP but in reality the kit comes with 2 sets so you only need 1 set. You can also buy aftermarket seal kits that don't have the hardware/bushings that hardly ever wear out; just the actual seals.

On the X bikes the book words it differently and the price is significantly lower. Why, I don't know, because they are the same forks on the KP and X bikes. Could be because I was buying for an 04 KP and the newer ones have upgraded kits or something.

Basically it would have cost me $300 to let the shop do it if I brought the forks in. Subtract $50 for an X bike.

I elected to learn how to do it myself, buy the tools, found the seal kits from Victory for a discounted price of $75, and using Amsoil 5 wt (takes a little over a quart so you have to buy 2 quarts) at $50 for 2 quarts delivered. Cost: about $275.

I am a few bucks ahead on the first fork oil change but the next one will only cost me about $100 if I use the Vic parts plus 1 quart of oil since I still have plenty left and about $50 if I use aftermarket seals.

It's easy to see the long term savings once the tools are paid for and they pay for themselves on the first use. It's not rocket surgery. The book lays it out well. The first time is always a little time consuming but after that it goes quickly. I know because I put a seal in upside down on my first try and had to go back in to fix it. Went way quicker the 2nd time after I got done being mad at myself for putting it in upside down.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBob View Post
My local dealership quoted me 1.5 hours labor plus parts/oil.
Thanks for all the info B.

I was wondering how many times it would take to recoup the cost of the tooling, but if it's the very first time, that certainly makes doing it oneself more appealing.




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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 05:38 PM
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My local shop charged me 120 bucks out the door. I went with 10w oil and it transformed the bikes handling.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 07:05 PM
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My local shop charged me 120 bucks out the door. I went with 10w oil and it transformed the bikes handling.
With the forks on or off the bike?




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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
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With the forks on or off the bike?
I rode in, went for a little lunch came back, shot the crap with the guys who work in the parts department for about 30 mins. And next thing you know guy comes and says it's done.

By the way I highly recommend 10w fork oil. After PMing Kevin X for a possible fork spring change he said "Go with a little heavier oil first. Victory vegas has a pretty good spring rate from the factory" And boy...was he right.

Now I have no problem keeping up with fishslpr on his XR.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 10:12 AM
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I suck my forks dry with a vacuum pump (my brake bleeding kit works great) and a long piece of tubing... then I refill with the same amount of fork oil.

Don't mess with the seals unless they leak... "If'n it ain't broke, don't fix it!" has always been my motto.

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