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Discussion Starter #1
Well gang I tackled the fork oil job this morning. I took pics while doing the process and will upload them in a few days along with a fork oil tutorial.

First I will start with what I found. The Suzuki Manual says when changing the oil to add 482 ml to each fork. Well I drained the existing oil in each fork to find they both only had 450 ml in them. The worst part though was I found metal flakes floating in the oil. Not entirely sure where they came from as I didn't totally dismantle the fork.

I refilled both forks with 482ml of Belray 15w fork oil and reassembled the bike.
Since riding to work I have learned what lane to stay out of due to the washboard road and all the bumps. Well with new fork oil in I sought out these lanes just for the purpose of comparison. The results were very favourable. OMG WOW!the difference was amazing. I wish I would have done this 7000 kms ago. Now I have only had 2 trips or 90 km on the bike since the change but from what I have experienced thus far I would highly reccommend changing your fork oil. Now I weigh 190 lbs and do alot of highway driving. I havent done any short slow running around trips yet. I will keep you posted......WOW!

PS: The job took me 3 hrs to do, but I took my time and pictures . I think I could do it alot faster now. The hardest part was trying to figure out how to use my bike jack to do the job. You will see in my upcoming tutorial with pics how I tackled this.
 

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allwalk, THANK YOU for taking the time to provide this information and photos of the maintenance work that you do, it sure saves time and money for us do it yourselfers. I have had both Burgmans so far and I can't say enough about the 650 exept that my chores around the house take longer to get too. Again Thank You, Jeff 2004 Black 650...
 

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I, too, look forward to your pics and instructions.

I couldn't even find the tops of the forks, buried, as they are, under a roof of plastic and stuff as yet to be identified.
 

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Allwalk,

Was the ride stiffer, the same or softer?

Was the dampining effect slower or quicker?

Is the fork travel the same?

Do you think there is an oil life for forks, as in the transmission and final drive?

I noticed when initally changing engine, transmission, and final drive fluids there was shavings (fileings) there too, there was an improvement in quiteness and smoothness. Is it possible that removing the metal shavings from the fork oil had some effect on shock performace as in the engine, trans, and final drive?

Looking foward to the pics.and thanks in advance.

Jim
 

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Allwalk,

It sounds like I'm going to need to do the fork oil change too. I'm glad your results were so positive.

When I took my 650 in for the 7500 mile service, the service manager gave me an estimate of 2.5 hours to change the fork oil. So I think you did well doing it in 3 hours. It would probably be the the first AN650 fork oil change that the shop tackled too. Their only advantage might be a better lift & tools for the job.

I'm looking forward to seeing your pics and instructions. The service manual is a great thing to have, but I find that sometimes it doesn't elaborate enough - it's kind of like a book of clues...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jim said:
Allwalk,

Was the ride stiffer, the same or softer?

Was the dampining effect slower or quicker?

Is the fork travel the same?

Do you think there is an oil life for forks, as in the transmission and final drive?

I noticed when initally changing engine, transmission, and final drive fluids there was shavings (fileings) there too, there was an improvement in quiteness and smoothness. Is it possible that removing the metal shavings from the fork oil had some effect on shock performace as in the engine, trans, and final drive?
Looking foward to the pics.and thanks in advance.

Jim
First Jim I think removing the shavings is only a good thing. This way there not floating around and interfering with the internal function of the forks.
I have only had a chance to ride it to work 2 times due to weather. I can report though that I intentionally seeked out the bumps that would normally buck me out of the seat if I didnt stand up going over them. I'm pleased to say they no longer buck me out of the seat while hitting them.
The ride to me is a huge improvement over the stock configuration. Right now I think the only way the stock configuration would be better is if your doing an MSF course and riding at greatly reduced speeds. At speeds of 30m/hr or 50km/hr and higher the 15w out performs it in many ways. I now realize that I was bottoming out the front end with the stock oil. The fork travel remains the same and I confidently feel that I am not bottoming out. There's this one section of an overpass onramp that I take and there is a bump about half way through the curve. The bike used to get quite unsettled with the stock oil but now seems just as planted in the corner with the 15w.
I havent had a chance to ride 2 up yet but I am expecting it to be better as well. Last weekend my passenger was stiffed arm just as we hit one of those fork bottoming ,seat bucking bumps and it gave her shoulders a real good jolt. This convinced me to do the oil change pronto. I hope to illiminate or at least minimize these jolts, and I think the oil change will do it
 

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Allan,

What you are getting is very similar to what I got by replacing the stock rear shocks with the Icons & setting their damping to position 3. You upgraded the front, I upgraded the rear. I think for the ultimate currently available suspension fix, both need to be done - so that damping is improved at both ends. And of course, you would then have progressive rate springs at both ends. I hope to get to the fork oil upgrade before too long and find out. I might not tackle it myself though - that process of jacking the machine up and supporting it scares me a bit. I figure it will be about a $200 job to have the dealer's shop do it. I might bring in a couple of your pictures to help them out - particularly the removal of that big plastic console.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
pauljo said:
Allan,

What you are getting is very similar to what I got by replacing the stock rear shocks with the Icons & setting their damping to position 3. You upgraded the front, I upgraded the rear. I think for the ultimate currently available suspension fix, both need to be done - so that damping is improved at both ends. And of course, you would then have progressive rate springs at both ends. I hope to get to the fork oil upgrade before too long and find out. I might not tackle it myself though - that process of jacking the machine up and supporting it scares me a bit. I figure it will be about a $200 job to have the dealer's shop do it. I might bring in a couple of your pictures to help them out - particularly the removal of that big plastic console.
I think you would end up with the ultimate handling Burgman thus far if you do the fork oil change along with your rear shocks. You might as well go down to the hardware store and buy that FOR SALE sign for that poor lonely V-Strom. :D
 

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allwalk said:
I think you would end up with the ultimate handling Burgman thus far if you do the fork oil change along with your rear shocks. You might as well go down to the hardware store and buy that FOR SALE sign for that poor lonely V-Strom. :D
Nope. I'm a long way from selling it. Every now and then a romp on the V-Strom is a lot of fun. They are both very good machines, and very different to ride. It's that contrast that makes owning both of them fun.

So, when are you doing your shocks??? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Im going to have to do some investigating on Canadian importers of the Ikon shock and there cost. Right now I would take a bath on them if I tried ordering from the U.S. You know exchange, shipping duties, takes and brokerage fees.....adds up real fast. Maybe what I need to do is order a set and have them delivered to a relatively close U.S. member and then ride down and install them. Hmmmm no thats a thought :idea:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
pauljo said:
You might also check to see if there is a Canadian distributor for Fornales. They made an air shock for the AN650. I'm not sure what the damping characteristics of that shock are, but if you can hook up with a distributor you could probably find out.
Thanks for the tip......hmmmmm wonder if I could get a discount if I do a review for them :idea:
 

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Front Fork Oil Change Completed

With the rough expansion joints and potholes around here, I tried a different tack and changed the fork oil to 5 wt.- this, along with a Pirelli rear tire and shock setting on "1" made the ride considerably better. With a Pirelli on the front, it should get even better. So far no bottoming problems (I weigh 230) and the only negative is a bouncing if the road has just the right distance between "moguls". A fair trade-off.
 

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Re: Front Fork Oil Change Completed

aehansen said:
With the rough expansion joints and potholes around here, I tried a different tack and changed the fork oil to 5 wt.- this, along with a Pirelli rear tire and shock setting on "1" made the ride considerably better. With a Pirelli on the front, it should get even better. So far no bottoming problems (I weigh 230) and the only negative is a bouncing if the road has just the right distance between "moguls". A fair trade-off.
Yeah - I've been thinking about that. We have tons of those cement slab roads out here - and the thump thump gets pretty tiresome. Also frost heaves, tar patches and really nasty railroad crossings. I did lower the adjustable damping on my Ikon shocks on setting recently, and noticed a ride improvement - and no deterioration in handling. So I was wondering if I'd be happier with 15w or 5w oil in the forks.

Did you change the fork oil yourself, or have the shop do it? If you did have it done at a dealer, what did they charge for the job?
 

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Front Fork Oil Change Completed

I did the job myself, but I think I remember someone mentioning a quote from his dealer for 2 1/2 hours labor. It really isn't difficult- the shop manual has a decent description, and as you doubtless know, Allwalk has an excellent tutorial for the job. The worst part was deciding how to raise the front of the bike- I wound up using the center stand and a small hydraulic car jack under the reinforced drainplug boss on the engine.
 

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Re: Front Fork Oil Change Completed

aehansen said:
I think I remember someone mentioning a quote from his dealer for 2 1/2 hours labor.
That was me. It was a sort of "blue sky / crystal ball" type estimate by the service manager at my local dealership. I'm sure they would charge me actual time - whatever that turned out to be - and I also suspect that their mechanic would be "learning" on my scooter.

I think I'm going to get the front tire changed next and see what the scooter rides like with a Pirelli in front. Then I'll decide whether to do the fork oil or not.
 

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front fork oil change completed

Allwalk,
How many miles do you have on your 650 when you have to start to worry about this fork oil change? I'm a newbiee at all of this. I know are dealers down here are charging $70.00 per hour for labor. 2.5 hours is $175.00 plus parts & tax's. I can firgure on $200.00 plus. How often do i need to do this? I'm not a do it yourselfer. Thankx for all the infomation.
 

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Doug,

Allwalk is away camping with his family, so I'll try to answer the question.

There is no scheduled change interval for fork oil. Some folks never change it.

The thing we are after here, it that by changing the WEIGHT of the fork oil, you can change the ACTION of the front forks.

The stock fork oil is 10w.

Allwalk put 15w in his forks. Thicker oil. That increases damping - giving a firmer, but more controlled shock action. He felt that his machine handled rough roads better after he did that.

Aehansen went the other way. He put 5w oil in his forks. Thinner oil. That would make his shocks work more freely, giving a softer ride.

Compared to cars - Allwalk took a sports suspension approach - Aehansen took a luxury car ride approach.

This was done to make the scooters ride differently - not as routine maintenance.
 
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