So, while I consider my options make some tough decisions re. the bodywork I thought I ought to attend to the very leaky fork seal... Hmm...
I always say that the quickest way to restore or build a great bike is to check and restore every single part. I know that people disagree and say that touching every bit means that it takes longer, but trust me on this; it takes much longer to go back and sort stuff out that you passed over or assumed (the old ‘ass of u n me’ thing for sure) was ok. Plus waiting for parts when you want to keep going sucks, especially when you live in a part of the world where parts always have to come from abroad and that takes week. Anyway, I can prove this for you... I’m back taking these forks off yet again and sorting them out properly this time. No more trusting other people of components I’ve not personally worked on. Capital Full stop! (Remember I’d already removed these once to do work on them after initial fitting)
I also figured these would come apart no problem. They were quite nice forks and were bought as ‘good runners’. I decided I’d just pull the and refurbish the fork lowers using my new method of holding the back of the bike down while on the center stand and removing the brake calipers and wheel etc. Easy enough to do and keeps the headlight and other stuff in line as you don one leg at a time and allows my Goki tops to remain intact as removing the legs means partly dismantling the tops or withdrawing them through the top triples, which means removing the bars... and also covers everything in drips of oil (ask me how I know that lol). Swings and roundabouts etc.
The first sign of trouble was that the bottom bolt on the first leg was very tight. My 105NM small SP Tools electric rattle gun couldn’t shift it. I moved to my larger Aldi (rebadged Einhell unit) with 350NM and that took some time to shift it as well. Hmm... These should not be that tight, ever! I moved to the other side and the same thing happened only the bolt was no match for the Aldi gun and tore the Hex hole round. I tried the old star bit dodge and that did the same. That meant the leg had to come off for surgery – just what I was hoping to avoid. In the end I had to drill the head of the bolt off. So now im a bolt down and have dismantled more than I hoped to... Delightful.
Next I pulled out the polished lower legs that I was going to use with new DU bushes I made and lo n behold I noticed that some rock ape (me maybe?) had scored the surface the seal sits in removing the seals. Well that not going to actually seal now is it?! I could seal them in but Ive other lowers to it was back to the old bottoms... In fact at this point I pulled out all my fork parts in the hope of finding something useable, especially the now missing bolt. When that didn’t work I dismantled the last full set of LC forks I had as spares and canibalised them for this job, including using the lower legs as they already have new fork seals in them and the all important bolt.
What I did find was these dampers. These have had one side of the through holes brazed up. These were the ones that the guy had in the forks with the Goki tops.
Correct me if I’m wrong but the goki tops use air to add preload and help top the fork out ready for static sag. Air in forks compresses at a variable rate as the pressure increases and this is a sharp curve. Modem forks tart at zero pressure, these just help that along by adding 5psi to start with. So the compression is altered as the air presure is higher than it would be with no air, same curve, just earlier on it. This would all be fine if the air didn’t heat up in use making the fork harder. No wonder we stopped using air in forks... Probably its not that back for normal road jaunts but awful on the track etc. Of course Goki probbaly didn’t care about any of that when they made their kits in the 80s, they were just copying what all the big fork designers were doing and offering it for the older fork types as an accessory for those who wanted the latest tech... So how useful these Goki tops are and how quick air bleeds out anyway are the issues I guess. The blanking off of some of the damper holes I believe means slower flow so harder compression unless these are where the rebound happens? Does anyone know. These could be horrible forks when done lol. Perhaps slower rebound stops the forks being jittery due to the air in them? Hmm...
So, this is all back on the bike with new oil in then and I am done, right? No... In the detail checking of all my fork legs I found that this bike has the best stanchions that I own. So what trashed the seal? Well it was these small blisters:
Obviously stone chip and rust damage. So... What to do? I trawled the net and spoke to local chromers and the best value fork legs landed in Aus are from Webike so I ordered one up. Should be here in the new year. So yes one leg has to come off yet again.... The joys!
In the end in order to keep going on other projects I put the warty fork leg in the bike and gently rolled it into the line up to await further work when the fork leg lands.
yeah, thanks guys. What's worse is as usual Ive another set to do as well on the F1 as I want to fit the valves to them and the set to build up for the LC2 and I want to service with the 500s as well... my life seems to be all about forking... kinda like when i was a teenager...
Just working through the logic here of fluid movement, I don’t know if I’m correct or not, however here goes, any Ohlins technicians here?
Less holes I think would be less flow of oil therefore more resistance to the movement of the damper, so the fork would feel harder to compress quickly, the opposite effect I would think that it would also return more slowly to its original position, if I’m correct that means the damping effect would be increased
By harder I don’t mean the suspension is harder I just mean that the action is slowed down making you think the fork has a heavier spring in it
It could also give you more heat affecting the viscosity of the oil which may negate the effect of less holes as the oil may become thinner as it heats up and thus flows faster under pressure
Most modern oils I think would cope with this heating though
Alright... In fact this bike didn’t quite go straight to the line of slumbering projects, it got a new side stand on the way!
To be honest didn’t like how the F2 stand fitted on the LC. I’d drilled the hole larger for it so wanted to make it work but even filing the edges it was still woefully easy to nudge the bike forwards off its stand as it wouldn’t go far enough over center to hold itself solid on the spring. I could have worked some more steel and attacked the frame as well to make it work but in the end decided that as this bike is semi modded I would use one of my stash of ‘other stands’ as something different on this side of the bike mirrors the YZ kicker on the other.
So this was my stash of stands acquired over the years. Mainly from ebay of course:
Triumph, Ducati, R1, OEM and the bare steel one with the home made foot... Which has been welded on the wrong way round. I bought this off a forumer a few years back. Geez, thanks for that mate :/
In the end I chose the one from an R1 from about 2008 (I think). I bought it ‘new; never used’ from a bloke who was setting up a race school and pulled them off his bikes before they went on the track about 7 years back and never got round to finding a use for it. I’d really have liked to have put it on the inside of the bracket instead as it’d have been very neat there, but that would have meant welding to my powdercoated frame so that’s not going to happen. Anyway its different, I’ve never seen anyone fit an R1 stand before so at least I’m not copying anyone
This stand has a steel captive fitting that the stand rotates around that also holds the spring hanger, this is a pretty cool design actually. The leg is a nice alloy unit which is quite slender. Obviously work was needed to make it fit, but I think its come out nicely.
The fork leg I ordered from Webike landed and from the words on the anti corrosion paper that it was wrapped in, it appears to be Japanese. I will say it looked really good, in fact it had more definition in places than the OEM leg I took off. So, happy so far.
I checked and this is defo Japanese text.
Same info (i checked) is also written in English:
Anyway, without any ceremony; its on! no hassle other than the usual of trying to replace a fork leg without dismantling a whole bike to brace it with the front in the air. I used my patented 'Down Shep!' method where i ratchet the rear down on my lift and im free to pull the front end off. No easy, but 'easier'.