Friday, May 3, 2013

Working on the Front Forks

I decided to take advantage of Dom's willingness to help with airhead maintenence by changing the fork seals. They had started to leak this winter and I had ordered replacements a while back. Of course, by now they were lost in the black hole known as my desk but, fortunately, the local Harley/BMW/Honda/Polaris dealer had a pair in stock. I went to pick them up and talked to Justin, aka TheSeeker on ADVrider, for a while. He wanted to take a look at my Airhead rig. He asked me if I had met the guy with the orange Ural that had an unground valve seat from the factory. I guess the story is getting around.

Anyway, with the fork seals in hand as well as replacement fork gaiters (which have been sitting on the shelf for about three years), we tied up the brake calipers, removed the front wheel, drained the forks, removed the fender, removed the fork brace (more on this later), and pulled off the lowers. After cleaning the parts with solvent, there was some head scratching as it seemed like there may be a part missing in one of the forks. We decided that it was just grime that had collected over the last thirty years and reassembled everything. The next task was refilling the forks with 220cc of oil through a small hole at the top of each fork leg. Enter the honey bear. 220 cc is just below the bear's eyes and the spout allowed us to refill through the small bolt hole. Very easy.

The test run showed that the forks still worked though I coudn't really say whether it actually worked any better. Still seeing vibration in the fairing at any speed higher than 60mph. Dom had picked up some silicone bumpers at Home Depot so we used them between the fairing and the tank. I've yet to see if it made any difference.

I thought the Mickey Mouse cup behind the honey bear was appropriate as that's what some BMW purists may say about my choice of "tools". The forks no longer leak and the new BMW rubber gaiters are installed. The old gaiters, which were on the bike when I bought it, were flimsy plastic ones sold for Rancho truck shocks and they were cracked after my first Summer of riding and by now they were falling apart. The BMW ones seem to be much tougher and should last longer though gaiters were never installed on the RT models as they interfere with the fairing boots and limit how much you can turn the bars. I just didn't re-install the fairing boots. The fork brace wasn't bracing anything as the two bolts holding the two halves together are missing. As far as I know, they never worked. Off to Lowes to pick up an 8mmx40mm allen head stainless bolts along with spring lock and flat washers.

Dom just took off as his Ural parts have finally arrived at Frozen Motorworks and he's looking to continue his adventure tomorrow. It was wonderful to have him choose to stay here. Everyone, especially me, enjoyed his company.



redlegsrides said...

Make sure you store the super-scientifically designed and crafted Honey Bear Fork Oil Dispensing Container in a safe never know when the next Airhead owner will need it for their forks!


VStar Lady said...

Great choice of containers for oil. Nice to see you had some help with the tasks at hand (I've never met Dom but am sure he was thrilled to help.)

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

So, when is Dom planning on swinging through Minnesota???

RichardM said...

Safely put away for the next use!

RichardM said...

The suggestion for the honey bear came from my daughter in law. The oil had to be poured through a small hole.

RichardM said...

Dom was a wonderful person to have around. I'm not really sure what the schedule nor destinations are.