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Author Topic: Fork oil level measurement please.  (Read 1155 times)

potboiler

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Fork oil level measurement please.
« on: September 13, 2013, 07:53:59 AM »
Does anyone have the depth of the fork oil level  from the top of the filler hole ( with the correct 200cc of oil in place). I measured mine today with a thin cane and one side is 30mm lower than the other. Thanks.

tanker

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 12:17:33 PM »
Here is a link to Thumpers maintenance notes.  Among other things, he references the fork oil level.

http://members.verizon.net/allofusmorrows/RE_maintenance.htm

There is a lot of good information there.
Brian
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tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 01:24:47 PM »
Here is a link to Thumpers maintenance notes.  Among other things, he references the fork oil level.

http://members.verizon.net/allofusmorrows/RE_maintenance.htm

There is a lot of good information there.

            OK, so Thumper says the dipstick method from the top should get you an oil level of 14 1/2" to 15". Does that really mean anything on the road or is it just a guideline to make sure you have ENOUGH in there?

             I recently did my forks. I let them drain a lonnnng time, put 8 oz. (236ml) in each side. Some say 7 oz. (200ml) for the AVLs (Classics, Electras). Is there really any huge difference (200 vs 236)?

             I have a problem with Thumper's carburetor section. He mentions the Main Jet offhandedly, but nothing about Pilot Jet or adjusting the Mixture Screw. Then he goes on about raising the needle height with nary a mention of WHY he's doing it or what it's effect is on the engine. His carb section is actually useless & confusing to a new rider who knows nothing about a Mikuni BS-29 & Thumper never even mentions that that's what kind of carburetor it is.   
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Superchuck

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 02:12:06 PM »
I've noticed on hard stops that my forks occasionally bottom-out.  Looking to swap my fork oil as well.  Let us know what levels end up working for you, and how it feels on the road. :)

D the D

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 02:55:08 PM »
This is all spelled out if you buy a manual.
To quote the Snidal Manual:
" The capacity for replacement oil is 200 ml. Fork level may be checked by inserting a piece of wire, such as a straightened coat hanger or welding rod, down through the top. Feel for the spring retainer at the top of the valve stud (the bottom of the spring). This is the minimum oil level."

Nothing in there about the length of a stick or anything.  Just above the Spring Retainer is the Minimum Level.
Put in 200 ml and then feel for the top of the Spring Retainer - can't miss it with a rod.  If your rod is wet on the end, you're good to go.
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Superchuck

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 05:53:04 PM »
Cool sounds simple enough- many thanks!

D the D

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2013, 06:34:03 PM »
Yep, pretty straight forward.  Even if it takes more than 200ml per fork, a quart bottle should do two bikes.  A 16 oz bottle should be enough for one.
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boggy

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 01:56:26 PM »
This is all spelled out if you buy a manual.
To quote the Snidal Manual:
" The capacity for replacement oil is 200 ml.

I'm trying to figure out where MORE than 200ml came from for AVLs.  I saw 200 in Snidal as well.
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tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 09:56:34 PM »
I'm trying to figure out where MORE than 200ml came from for AVLs.  I saw 200 in Snidal as well.

          I, too, have had Pete Snidal's manual since I bought the bike in 2010 & read the same as you. But for some reason I recall a long time ago some mention of another ounce in the AVL on some thread or another. That's why when I did my forks a week ago I just split the difference. So I'm a half inch (or less) higher than 200 would make it. Can't matter. Next time I'm going to put exactly 200ml in & see what I get with a stick.

       I rode today purposely to a place where there are 3 dead cops laying in the road 30 feet apart. The bike felt fine in the front end with the 15 wt hydraulic oil. I want to try 30 wt oil next time to see if I can tell the difference. Then I'll know.

        I put Mazola oil in my harley last time, but everybody knows they don't handle for shit anyway no matter what you do to them, right?   :)     ;)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 11:16:44 PM by tooseevee »
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boggy

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »
I still have 200ml of atf-f in them and they do dive quite a bit on braking and stay down there while stopped until I let off the handlebars.  I have clubman bars on so the weight is right over the forks.  I figured lighter fork oil might feel the same or even be worse so I was going to try a higher weight.  I was also wonder if was because I was "under-filled" at 200ml.
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tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 11:50:01 PM »
I still have 200ml of atf-f in them and they do dive quite a bit on braking and stay down there while stopped until I let off the handlebars.  I have clubman bars on so the weight is right over the forks.  I figured lighter fork oil might feel the same or even be worse so I was going to try a higher weight.  I was also wonder if was because I was "under-filled" at 200ml.

           As the King said to Anna: "'tis a puzzlement".

            I'll try the 30 wt in the Spring (I love the sound of that) & see if I can tell the difference.
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D the D

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2013, 12:41:41 AM »
People make up all kinds of crap and post it on the internet.  After double checking manuals, you wander if it's a joke or they're just full of themselves.
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Machismo

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 09:17:24 AM »
After a complete flush of the forks, filled in 200ml of fork oil.
Tire pressure at 26 and i got a real bumpy front.
Isnt 250ml a lot of oil in the fork?

tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2013, 02:24:19 PM »
After a complete flush of the forks, filled in 200ml of fork oil.
Tire pressure at 26 and i got a real bumpy front.
Isn't 250ml a lot of oil in the fork?

                 50 ml is 1.7 ounces. This would raise the level in the tube what? about an inch? (I'm not gonna do the math because I don't know the diameter of the tube).

                  Would some guys who actually know the mechanics & hydraulics of front forks please tell me what effect this has on my bike out on the road? (200 vs 250). The only thing I know for sure is that I sure as hell don't know.

                   What I "think" is that the "number" is to make sure there's "enough".

                   Let's put this thing to rest.
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Machismo

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 03:45:50 PM »
                 50 ml is 1.7 ounces. This would raise the level in the tube what? about an inch? (I'm not gonna do the math because I don't know the diameter of the tube).

                  Would some guys who actually know the mechanics & hydraulics of front forks please tell me what effect this has on my bike out on the road? (200 vs 250). The only thing I know for sure is that I sure as hell don't know.

                   What I "think" is that the "number" is to make sure there's "enough".

                   Let's put this thing to rest.
Right sir!
I would also want add one more query to your question.
The way I do the usual flush is by undoing the drain nut at the bottom of the fork.
After that I engage the disc brake, pump the fork a few times to empty the tube as much as possible.
Will this qualify as a full flush and need 200ml(or 250 as few gentlemen said)?

boggy

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 05:31:12 PM »
After a complete flush of the forks, filled in 200ml of fork oil.
Tire pressure at 26 and i got a real bumpy front.

This exact same thing has happened to me - I haven't tried the few suggestions that I received.  I'm hoping in this case it's just an out-of-round tire that needs to be filled up to stretch back out into shape but I was wondering if it was too little oil at 200ml as well.  Shocks also dive with ATF-F in them.  I feel that say, 10-15w fork oil would also dive so again I wonder if 200ml is too little.
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singhg5

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 03:13:03 AM »
After adding 190 ml fork oil in my OFF The Center Stand G5, the oil level was 14" below the filler hole.

The tip of the rod travelled 21 inches below the filler hole, before it touched the top of stud on which the spring rests.

The oil level was 7" above the base of spring.

When the bike was put on center stand, the compression on the spring was released and the fork elongated, the oil level changed by 1".
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 04:00:01 AM by singhg5 »
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D the D

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 04:13:10 AM »
Why is everyone ignoring the manual?  I missed something.
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Machismo

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2013, 12:17:33 PM »
After adding 190 ml fork oil in my OFF The Center Stand G5, the oil level was 14" below the filler hole.

The tip of the rod travelled 21 inches below the filler hole, before it touched the top of stud on which the spring rests.

The oil level was 7" above the base of spring.

When the bike was put on center stand, the compression on the spring was released and the fork elongated, the oil level changed by 1".
So Paaji, is your fork action smooth?
I could understand that 190ml occupies about 8" in the fork tube but then what is the right amount?

tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2013, 01:11:09 PM »
After adding 190 ml fork oil in my OFF The Center Stand G5, the oil level was 14" below the filler hole.

The tip of the rod travelled 21 inches below the filler hole, before it touched the top of stud on which the spring rests.

The oil level was 7" above the base of spring.

When the bike was put on center stand, the compression on the spring was released and the fork elongated, the oil level changed by 1".

              It's a UCE. I thought the correct amount for a UCE was MORE than 200 ml. No? Why are you telling us about an incorrect amount of fork oil for a UCE on an AVL forum?

               Who cares about all these measurements when you're using an incorrect amount of oil?

                Or is it me who's wrong? Again?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 01:15:03 PM by tooseevee »
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singhg5

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2013, 01:19:17 PM »
So Paaji, is your fork action smooth?
I could understand that 190ml occupies about 8" in the fork tube but then what is the right amount?

Fork is smooth. What weight fork oil did you use ?

I have tried 5W, 7.5W and 10W fork oils. 5W is too thin and front dives too much. 10W is heavier and pretty good for most riders. Some people prefer even stiffer fork and use 15W or 20W fork oils. Heavier/stiffer oil is preferred for riding on smooth twisty roads. Lighter oil is better for bumpy straight roads. Too light not good, too heavy not good.

Same goes for volume. Some have tried 200 ml and others more 230 ml or 250 ml. As long as oil level reaches minimum level to do its job it is good enough to go. Too much oil will tend to spill out. Somewhere between min and max will be fine. Too little will not do a good job and too much will cause leaks.

You decide what is right for you, your riding conditions, style, weight..... ;)

Using 190ml, the oil level reaches 16" from the bottom tip of fork (about 9"+7" in picture) .

PS - High tire pressure will give bumpy ride.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 02:15:43 PM by singhg5 »
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singhg5

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2013, 01:28:43 PM »
              It's a UCE. I thought the correct amount for a UCE was MORE than 200 ml. No? Why are you telling us about an incorrect amount of fork oil for a UCE on an AVL forum?

               Who cares about all these measurements when you're using an incorrect amount of oil?

                Or is it me who's wrong? Again?

AVL and G5 are almost same frames for all practical purposes. 

Wrong or right or whether 200 ml is correct or absolutely incorrect is in your head since many factors affect ride quality - read my post before this.

I am writing what I have tried, what works for me and has worked for many other riders on this Forum and outside this Forum.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 02:13:09 PM by singhg5 »
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tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2013, 02:27:00 PM »
AVL and G5 are almost same frames for all practical purposes. 

Wrong or right or whether 200 ml is correct or absolutely incorrect is in your head since many factors affect ride quality - read my post before this.

I am writing what I have tried, what works for me and has worked for many other riders on this Forum and outside this Forum.

            I did read it & I guess my real question comes down to why are we still beating this dead horse?

            I remember saying long ago in this thread that I thought the "number" was just to make sure there was "enough" oil in the forks.

            I think we're both saying more or less the same thing.

            Another question: If the forks are "more or less" the same, why the wide disparity in amount recommended by UCE vs AVL owner's manuals? (Not to say I put much faith in the owner's manuals. I bought one from CMW when I first got my AVL. Total waste of money).
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singhg5

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2013, 05:47:38 PM »
                      I remember saying long ago in this thread that I thought the "number" was just to make sure there was "enough" oil in the forks.

            I think we're both saying more or less the same thing.

            Another question: If the forks are "more or less" the same, why the wide disparity in amount recommended by UCE vs AVL owner's manuals? (Not to say I put much faith in the owner's manuals. I bought one from CMW when I first got my AVL. Total waste of money).

The problem was that factory fork oil volumes did not match with what is printed in Manual. Even though manual has 265 ml but when the factory-installed forks were drained out, there was always less oil coming out of forks - way less, something like 160 to 180 ml or 200 ml. Moreover one fork had more oil and one fork less oil in many motorcycles. Some had reported leaks with large volumes.

All this lead to search for a fork oil volume that was enough, that works but does not leak.

That is why you see volumes ranging from 200 to 265 ml.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 05:50:01 PM by singhg5 »
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tooseevee

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2013, 08:18:09 PM »
.... but when the factory-installed forks were drained out, there was always less oil coming out of forks - way less, something like 160 to 180 ml or 200 ml. Moreover one fork had more oil and one fork less oil in many motorcycles. Some had reported leaks with large volumes.
That is why you see volumes ranging from 200 to 265 ml.

           Yes. My very own bike's forks, that as far as I knew were oiled right from the factory, had way less than 200 & I think the left one had no more than 100 in it & no apparent sign of leaks (dirty cap or fork bottoms). At least now they at least have the same amount in each side.
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GreenMachine

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Re: Fork oil level measurement please.
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2013, 09:01:37 PM »
Its apparent that the factory doesn't preform a precise measure of fork oil (or whatever it is that they use)..It would be nice if the dealers just replaced it as part of their purchaser prep/inspection...What a PIA for the newbie that just wants to ride their new bike...
Oh Magoo you done it again