How To Change Fork Oil | MC GARAGE

Refreshing your fork oil should be part of your yearly motorcycle maintenance schedule.

You change your bike’s engine oil regularly, but when was the last time you changed your fork oil? The oil in your fork loses lubricity, gets dirty, and should be changed every 10,000 miles or once a year. Here’s the quickest way to do it—and, yes, we know there’s a better way to do a cartridge fork. Just not a quicker way.

1. Lift the front end of the bike off the ground with a rear stand and a triple-clamp stand or with a rear stand and a jack under the engine. Remove the front wheel, fender, calipers, and any other parts attached to the fork legs.
2. Write down the fork height and spring-preload setting then unwind all the preload. With the upper triple-clamp pinch bolts still tight, crack the fork caps loose. Place a paper towel under the socket to prevent marring the aluminum fork cap.
3. With the fork removed, unscrew the fork cap, noting that there will likely still be some preload on the spring. For a traditional upright fork like the one shown here, you’ll be able to fish out the preload spacer and spring. Lay the components out in the order they were removed.
4. On a cartridge fork, like the one shown here, the spring and damper assembly will remain in the fork. For both kinds of fork, empty the oil into a graduated receptacle, pumping the fork leg repeatedly to expel all the old oil.
5. For both types of fork, measure the amount of oil removed then refill your receptacle with the correct quantity and weight of fresh oil; then pour that into the fork. Pump the leg several times to expel air bubbles from the damping circuitry.
6. Change the oil in the other fork leg then reassemble the fork, reinstall the fork tubes on the bike, and reinstall the wheel, calipers, and other parts, ensuring that all fasteners are properly torqued. Torquing the fork caps is best done once they’re installed in the triple clamp.