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Author Topic: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30  (Read 1337 times)

REpozer

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Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« on: April 25, 2013, 07:48:06 PM »
Just switched from 10w-30 motor oil in the forks to ATF-III.
Was hopping to make the spring action a little softer. Not a big difference to me.

Does using "real" fork oil make much difference?

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GreenMachine

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 08:46:58 PM »
I replaced that original substance in the forks with Spectro 15 wt fork oil...Been three years and haven't had any problems...If memory served me right, I did notice a difference in feel. Sometimes I think we talk ourselves into believing that we do.  ;D
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GSS

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 09:53:18 PM »
I put Amsoil synthetic ATF. Distinct improvement in handling and ride compared to the greenish liquid that it replaced. I think ScooterBob might have also recommended ATF type F in one of his posts.
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singhg5

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 11:44:13 PM »
Just switched from 10w-30 motor oil in the forks to ATF-III.
Was hopping to make the spring action a little softer. Not a big difference to me.

Does using "real" fork oil make much difference?

I prefer Fork Oil and have used 10W and 5W on different occasions in RE. The 5W is thinner and the fork moves much more freely absorbing all the bumps, cracks and uneven patches of road. The handlebar has less vibrations and overall it is so much better for me (I am a light weight rider).

Fork oil is not very expensive and one can try different weights out of many available 2.5, 5, 7, 10, 15 and even 20W. Some riders prefer 10W fork oil. 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 12:46:25 AM by singhg5 »
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barenekd

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 11:49:37 PM »
I had a bottle of 10 wt fork oil to replace the sludge that came in the forks. Immediate and amazing improvement! Can't compare it to ATF, though. I've never used ATF in forks.
The biggest problem I've heard of with motor oil is that it tends to foam (aerate) with used in forks. It doesn't like the pumping action
When I get the new C/R the fork sludge will be amongst the first things to go! Then the spark plug and a few other bits that are known to be below standard.
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« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 12:02:44 AM by barenekd »
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REpozer

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 03:09:58 AM »
I'm not against using real fork oil.
Just takes some effort to find it.

The ATF will act as a cleaning agent till I can try 5w fork oil.

I can find ATF type F .
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 04:16:33 AM by REpozer »
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WillW

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 05:54:38 PM »
I've been messing with the fork oil in my G5 this afternoon. I've been using Silkolene 10w fork oil, but lately I've felt the bike has been diving a bit on heavy braking. I'm 160 pounds, so not a heavyweight. I tried Silkolene 15w, expecting only a slight difference, but the forks barely compressed at all and the ride on a bumpy road was horrendous, rock hard. When I got back from my test ride I realised I'd put 300ml in each fork instead of the recommended 200ml, so perhaps this was to blame.
Finally I mixed a quarter 15w to three quarters 10w, and put 200ml in each fork, and it seems about right. A longer ride tomorrow will tell.
I should add, re the diving, that my front brake has always felt a bit grabby, so I fitted a set of Ferodo organic pads from Hitchcocks at the same time. Big improvement.
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barenekd

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 07:03:00 PM »
Quote
I'm not against using real fork oil. Just takes some effort to find it.

You need to become good friends with Motorcycle Superstore!
Bare
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boggy

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 07:39:21 PM »
The ATF type F won't foam.  I found it at an Autozone, even though another Autozone did not carry it.

I just put 200ml in my forks - It feels good to me.  Not too stiff, not too soft.  Just the way Goldilocks likes it.  Found some speed bumps and hit them at a good clip and the forks felt great.

Will, I'm about your weight, for reference.  A little heavier with gear and pack.
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REpozer

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 10:17:41 PM »
Yeah, got some type F today.

Is a Yamaha dealer in town.....but.

Next time I travel to the " outside" will have motorcycle fork oil on my list.
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singhg5

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2013, 03:23:01 PM »
I've been messing with the fork oil in my G5 this afternoon. I've been using Silkolene 10w fork oil, but lately I've felt the bike has been diving a bit on heavy braking. I'm 160 pounds, so not a heavyweight. I tried Silkolene 15w, expecting only a slight difference, but the forks barely compressed at all and the ride on a bumpy road was horrendous, rock hard. When I got back from my test ride I realised I'd put 300ml in each fork instead of the recommended 200ml, so perhaps this was to blame.
Finally I mixed a quarter 15w to three quarters 10w, and put 200ml in each fork, and it seems about right. A longer ride tomorrow will tell.
I should add, re the diving, that my front brake has always felt a bit grabby, so I fitted a set of Ferodo organic pads from Hitchcocks at the same time. Big improvement.

Hey WillW - Where have you been ?  Good to hear from you.

All good points that viscosity and volume of oil affect the performance of forks.

The big advantage of using fork oil is that you know exact viscosity of oil added to fork. That in turn allows you to mix and match different viscosities till you get it working to your liking, body weight, driving terrain, fork condition etc.

Using ATF F oil is like One Size fits All approach that may not be the best for everyone.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 04:19:16 PM by singhg5 »
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WillW

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Re: Fork Oil : ATF vs 10w30
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2013, 04:53:22 PM »
Hi Singh,
Yes it's good to be back. It was a long cold & wet winter and I was hibernating - I think I'm part bear... ;)
Good biking weather currently and I've been out and about a lot, making up for lost time. I was out on the Kwaka most of today, but mostly I'm on the Enfield. No getting away from it - it's always going to be my first love.
I've ordered that good looking little tacho Ekatus Atimoss posted about recently, and hopefully it will be on the bike before next weekend - I decided it's time I overcame my irrational fear of vehicle electrics and just got on with it. Nice Bullet bling, and useful too  8) :)
Hope all's well with you & yours.
Will
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
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