Stiff Front Suspension?


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rjlv25
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Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:38 am



Hi everyone,
I have an 87 Interstate that I replaced the fork seals in. I added the recommended amount of transmission fluid according to the Honda manual. It has the original springs in each fork. When I hit a bump, it doesn't have hardly any give to it. I let all the air out thinking maybe that was the problem. The forks are replacements that I bought from someone off this website because the originals were bent. What could be causing it to ride so hard?



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virgilmobile
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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby virgilmobile » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:24 pm

Bent forks could have also bent or misaligned the tripe tree.
Had one.
When I slid the fork tube into the triple tree,one went easy,the other one took a bit to get it to go in.
I also laid a piece of plate glass across the fork tubes.They were not parallel.
I replaced the whole thing on mine to get it aligned straight.
Before I put in the springs(after new slide bushings and oil) I did bolt on the wheel and hand lift the wheel to check for dragging.
It went away with the rebuild.
Bolt tighten sequence is a must.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:29 pm

Thank you. I did the glass thing when I replaced the forks last summer. I think they were OK, but my memory could be a little fuzzy. I'm thinking I'll take the caps off this weekend and try what you suggest. I just stood on the bike on the center stand, and I can only compress the forks about 1/4 inch. Something must be screwed up someplace.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:56 pm

Before you put the springs back in,attach the front wheel(supporting the bike) and lift the wheel.It should easily rise full stroke and drop smoothly.
Also remember the forks only have about 4" of travel from unloaded to bottomed out.Check this before you put the main springs back in,just incase there was a assembly error (rebound spring).

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rjlv25
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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:18 pm

Thanks again. I'll let you know what I find. I gotta believe it'll make a huge difference in the ride.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:02 pm

Do you think it would be worth it to buy a set of Progressive springs? I remember the originals are a real bugger to get the caps back on.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:49 pm

Progressives are a good replacement for worn springs.they have a bit firmer ride,or so I hear.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:29 pm

Took it apart yesterday and couldn't raise the forks until I took the fork brace off. Got everything back together, but I can hear fluid moving when I push the handlebars up and down. Kinda sounds like a new shock absorber until you get all the air out. Haven't ridden it yet but at least now there's movement. Still have all my teeth and fingers from getting those fork caps back on.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:58 pm

The sloshing noise is normal.just be sure there's the right ammount of oil in it.
It sounds like the fork brace was twisted when the fork was bent.
If you just set it on the fork you will see it rock.you can file down the pad on the high side till it sets flat on all 4 then bolt it back down.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:00 pm

I replaced the brace and added a support plate under it after I bought the bike because the original was cracked. Maybe I tightened it before putting the wheel on. It was last summer so I can't remember. I took it out for a short ride and it still seems a bit stiff, but at least there's travel now. Thanks again.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby Ed Z » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:24 pm

It's either mechanically binding or hydraulicaly binding... You say you added the amount the book stated, how much was that ???

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:06 pm

I believe the manual said 10.9 oz, so I'm guessing I put in 11. It was last summer and I haven't taken them apart other than removing the caps.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:10 pm

Well, it still rides like it has a solid front end. Ordered Progressive springs and o-rings for the anti-dive. Manual says a plugged orifice could cause a stiff ride. Since I'm not removing them from the bike, I assume the 10.9 oz per fork is correct. I have some old Chrysler ATF that should work for oil. My old GS had a more forgiving ride if you don't count the stepped seat.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby WINGER3 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:49 pm

Hi rjlv25; I would remove the forks from the bike, they are not hard to remove and much easier to do the work and replace the caps with the use of a vise. You can clean out the tubs, clean the upper ends of any crud/rust, replce bussing, seal, dust caps and refill befor you re-instal them. Mark the caps and tubes just befor the threads mesh, that way you are not trying to turn the caps a half turn befor they mesh, also prevents the possability of cross threading, you have better feel, once you start the caps keep pressure on until at least 3 full turns as the springs are strong enough to distroy the first couple of threads without the pressure, use a ratchet if you don't have a fork tool. You also might need a impact gun to remove the lock bolts at the bottom of the forks, and if you have to you can drill out the head of the bolts (I had to on mine and replaced with SS allen head bolts) to remove the forks. good luck and hope this helps. :mrgreen:
DON'T DESTROY IT-RESTORE IT

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rjlv25
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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:47 pm

Thanks. I had them apart last summer and replaced all the seals and o-rings, but wasn't smart enough to take the anti-dive apart at the same time. I had them apart once since then because I couldn't compress them at all by pushing on the front of the bike. I think maybe I tightened the fork brace before the wheel, but I can't remember. I remember it was a pain to take off the shelter and try to get inside and loosen the fork clamps. There doesn't seem to be much room for the throttle and choke cables between the carbs and the shelter. I'm thinking this time to just replace the springs and the o-rings in the TRAC and put in new oil. If it doesn't get better, I'll be doing it again later. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

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rjlv25
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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:06 am

Well, after rebuilding the TRAC units and replacing the fork springs with Progressive units, it still rides like a truck. Only thing I can figure is that the steering stem must be bent. Another project for another day! Should have kept my GS and sold this thing.

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rjlv25
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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby rjlv25 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:40 pm

Well, today I finally decided to replace the steering stem. Had it in and out 3 times and every time I tightened the fork bridge, it would bind up in the center of turning. Put it all back together and decided to go for a ride. Went about 3 houses down and came back. Something is terribly wrong here someplace. Since I already replaced almost everything, I'm guessing the fork bridge must be bent also. Found one on eBay, so another project for next weekend. Should have left it alone in the first place I guess.

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Re: Stiff Front Suspension?

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:44 pm

Unless it's bent enough that it's contacting the inside of the frame, I can't see that binding - unless it's putting excessive force on the bearings and making them bind up - that would be a lot of force.

I would pull it out and put the stem against a known good straight edge, maybe also double check your bearings.




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