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Fork oil change.

I just remove the steering shroud and the front wheel. The drain plug on the bottom of the shock is then unscrewed and the top cap removed (with extreme prejudice). Drain. Replace the bottom plug and flush with mineral spirits. Work the two sides up and down (together) to loosen the crud . Drain and let dry overnight. Replace drain w/Blue Loktite while dry.
Refill w/482cc each of your favorite synthetic flavor and zip it up. While you're putzing around up there, check the steering head play.
Getting lazier or smarter. I haven't decided which.
 

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Re: Fork oil change.

geoffrey said:
The drain plug on the bottom of the shock is then unscrewed and the top cap removed (with extreme prejudice). Drain. Replace the bottom plug and flush with mineral spirits.
:shock: Now I feel really dumb. I never looked for a drain plug at the very bottom of the fork tube. It makes a lot more sense using that, than removing the tubes.
 

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The front forks on the 650 do not have any drain plug on the bottom. I assume you're talking about the "Cylinder bolt" which holds the damper cylinder inside the fork tube. This is not intended to be used as a drain plug. You'd need to be quite lucky to get this bolt out, drain the fork oil and get the bolt back in without the damper turning. I've taken many forks apart and usually the damper bolt turns so you either can't get it out or can't get it tightened back up.
 

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I'd like to add my two cents worth to this procedure. I placed a small block of wood on my floor jack and positioned the jack under the transmission area. From there I only jacked the bike enough to get the front wheel barely off the ground while on the center stand. Using a 10mm ratcheting box wrench, you can remove the two front fender bolts that are behind the forks. Next remove the two forward bolts using a hex key. The front fender will slide right out. From here you can easily remove the two calipers and the front wheel. After the fork work is complete the only thing to be careful about is to make sure the fender bolts are all correctly located on the shoulder areas of the bolts before you tighten them down completely. I feel this is a far safer method of removing the forks than to jack the whole bike up on blocks.

As for my results, both of my forks had the correct amount of fluid. The left fork fluid was red and smelled like transmission fluid. The right fork looked and smelled like yesterday's coffee! I replaced the stock fluid with 15w fork oil, and the ride difference is noticeable. I have over 14000 miles on my 05 650, and this is the first time I've opened up the forks. I guess I'll be checking them more often.
 

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I've got 2 pennies to throw in...

I feel as though the procedure described above is far too elaborate for the result. I felt no desire to disassemble the front end of my bike to swap out the oil. So, when I went to change out the OEM springs with Ikons, I used a Mighty-Vac to suction the oil out. Of course, this is not as thorough as the above procedure, but I plan to change out the fork oil every year or so. Therefore, the oil won't get dirty enough to warrant the standard procedure.

I measured the oil level before I removed any oil so that I could return the new oil to the same level. I am posting this solely as a reminder of alternative methods existing beyond the procedures in the service manual.
 
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Re:

corvairbob said:
well i put in 5wt fork oil and it did nothing for the ride today. looks like the heavier oil is the way to go just what wt did you install alwalk? it is not hard to replace. but i want a smoooooth ride and not one that just about throws you off the bike. like others on this site the burgy has way to hard a ride for a scooter. i miss the helix ride alot. thanks bob p
Yes, if you know how hydraulic shock absorbers work, then understand that a THICKER, more viscous oil is more difficult to pump or 'squeeze' between chambers because oil, like water is incompressible. The shock absorber works by taking a, well, force from one of the pistons and applying that force to squeeze or push oil thru a small orifice into a second chamber (this is a very down and dirty discussion). If the oil is thin, or less viscous, then that piston will be able to move much easier (and faster) when it pushes that incompressible oil into the next chamber. When you take a walk and walk thru air, as wel all do, we hardly NOTICE it's resistance or 'drag' on us. TRY to walk underwater and you are soon aware that water is more viscous than air, and now OIL is even thicker than water. And there are varying degrees of oil viscosity. If the oil is thin, then that force or 'shock' of the piston is simply transmitted faster and further than if it was trying to push a thicker fluid....that's about the bottom line. Very thin oil in a shock is no better than using water.
 

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I ran into an issue today while changing the oil in my fork tubes that I think you need to be aware of. While pumping the tube in and out to get all of the old oil out one of my tubes stuck in the down position and I had a devil of a time getting it to come back up. I even called the local dealership and talked to one of the machanics. He said this happens once in a while and you just have to keep twisting on the tube and pulling on it utill it comes free. I ended up clamping the slider in a vise, wrapping a towel around the tube, grabbing it with both hands and pulling as hard as I could for 5 or 6 minutes before it finally came loose. When it finally popped loose it slid up and down with ease. I think what happen was that because it had no oil in it a vacuum formed that kept it from comming back up.
 

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by Colchicine on 05 Aug 2008, 03:08

I've got 2 pennies to throw in...

I feel as though the procedure described above is far too elaborate for the result. I felt no desire to disassemble the front end of my bike to swap out the oil. So, when I went to change out the OEM springs with Ikons, I used a Mighty-Vac to suction the oil out. Of course, this is not as thorough as the above procedure, but I plan to change out the fork oil every year or so. Therefore, the oil won't get dirty enough to warrant the standard procedure.

I measured the oil level before I removed any oil so that I could return the new oil to the same level. I am posting this solely as a reminder of alternative methods existing beyond the procedures in the service manual.


--
did you manage to pump out the oil ok with a mighty vac ?

I have a small oil pump (bit like a cycle tyre pump but meant for oil),

would be interested in your success or otherwise of this method.
 

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Yes, I used a Mighty Vac. As long as it can move oil uphill, I think it would work!
 

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Colchicine said:
Yes, I used a Mighty Vac. As long as it can move oil uphill, I think it would work!
eXcellent

I must give this a a go.

Did you measure the quantity of oil you removed out of each tube ?

thanks
Robin...
 

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No, because it's not as important to measure what you take out as what you put back it. I measured the depth of the oil before I removed it, then replaced it to the same level after. I know I didn't get all of the oil out, but with it only being a year old I didn't care.
 

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Colchicine said:
No, because it's not as important to measure what you take out as what you put back it. I measured the depth of the oil before I removed it, then replaced it to the same level after. I know I didn't get all of the oil out, but with it only being a year old I didn't care.
sorry I forgot to ask

what size was the tube pipe you put down into the forks to remove the old oil ?

I take it you just removed the plastic covers on dash/handlebars, undid the nut on top of the forks and just sucked the oil out, am I missing anything ?

thanks

robin...
 

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Colchicine said:
Yes, I used a Mighty Vac. As long as it can move oil uphill, I think it would work!
Thanks for that tip, because I was wondering if I could use either my Mity Vac or my Pela oil extractor (a hand-pump one that I use to suck my car's oil out through the dipstick tube) for this. Good to hear that it works!
 

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If you remove the front axle there is an allen head bolt on the center inside of the fork tube. Removing this bolt will drain the oil. This bolt screws into the damper (Suzuki calls it a cylinder) in the bottom of the fork. This damper cylinder is prevented from turning by spring pressure from the fork spring. If you remove the fork cap first, releasing pressure on the spring, then it is possible the damper will rotate making it impossible to remove the bolt. Since this cylinder is captured inside the fork tube it can only move about 1/16" from side to side. Reinstalling the bolt is fairly easy.

So loosen this bolt several turns then remove the fork cap. If necessary push down on the fork spring to provide enough resistance to finish removing the bolt. It may be necessary to again push the fork spring down against the cylinder when reinstalling the bolt.

My point is - It makes NO difference if the fork is on or off the bike, removing the bolt is exactly the same circumstance. The fork spring provides the resistance to keep the cylinder from turning. If for some reason the bolt cannot be removed because the cylinder turns it makes no difference if it is on or off the bike.

I see absolutely no reason to remove the forks from the bike to change fork oil. (Yes I have done it several times).
 

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Well, I decided to pull the forks anyway, rather than sucking the oil out with a MityVac. I had a new front tire to put on, so I figured I might as well just disassemble the whole thing and bring the shop the wheel rather than the whole scooter. The fork removal isn't difficult, though it takes a couple of specialty tools -- a 12mm and a 17mm allen wrench. I happened to have a 17mm wrench from doing a transmission oil change on my VW, so all I spent in tools for this job was $10 at sears for the 12mm allen wrench.

I put together the following pictures of the tupperware removal. If Allwalk and/or others want to use these images, please feel free:
http://burgmanusa.com/gallery/frugality ... r_removal/

I also made a Powerpoint and saved it as a .pdf, but the gallery doesn't allow us to upload .pdf's. If anyone would like to have a copy or would like to host it somewhere, please send me a PM.

I used 15W fork oil, but have not gotten the wheel back from the shop yet, so I haven't reassembled everything yet and can't make any comments on the ride.
 

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If you are going to vacuum out the oil or let it drain from the bottom is there any real need to jack it up? Say I want to change the oil; can I just remove the plugs in the top of the forks, suction out the oil after marking the oil level and refill the oil to the marked spot after cleaning the spring, spacers, etc. all without the danger of jacking the front wheel off the ground? We have to admit that the Burgman was not designed well in respect to jacking the mid-section up. Gene
 

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No, you wouldn't have to jack it up if you suctioned the oil out as Colchicine did.

I wonder if Colchicine removed or rotated the handlebars in order to get the spring, washer, and spacer out, because they look to be in the way.
 

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There isn't a need to jack it up, as long as you only do one side at a time. You might be able to guess what happens when you do both sides!

I did remove the handlebars, just four bolts, to remove the springs.
 
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