Trike/sidecar fork oil


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Sidcar
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Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by Sidcar »



If you have a trike or sidecar outfit are you still using ATF fork oil or have you gone for something thicker?

Sid



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newday777
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1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

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Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by newday777 »

Hopefully you have changed the fork springs and yes a heavier wt oil. ATF is @ 7 wt. You should be @ 15 wt minimum.

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Sidcar
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Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by Sidcar »

Thanks,
The previous owner replaced the springs and I'm in the process of fitting new fork bushes.
I changed the fork oil about 3000 miles ago but it was as black as your hat when I drained it.

Sid.

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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by tfdeputydawg »

There is no reason to change fork springs(unless they are worn out)nor to use heavier fork oil! All you'll do is make the front suspension very harsh.
If you have added a rake kit, then you need to add fork extensions and appropriate length spacer so you can level the trike.
There is an excellent trike forum called TrikeTalk where one can find answers to an trike/sidecar related questions.

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newday777
Posts: 1779
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by newday777 »

Sure if you like a mushy ride.

A heavier wt fork oil helps in rebound action. It depends on how you ride.
Springs....the stock springs were designed by Honda for 150 lb rider. Undersprung. You add a trike or sidecar..as was mentioned...and you need to put heavier weight rated springs in. Yes old springs sag and loose effectiveness.
And yes....you need to change your fork oil at maximum of 20,000 miles or you'll destroy the fork lowers. They get egg shaped.
tfdeputydawg wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 2:26 am
There is no reason to change fork springs(unless they are worn out)nor to use heavier fork oil! All you'll do is make the front suspension very harsh.
If you have added a rake kit, then you need to add fork extensions and appropriate length spacer so you can level the trike.
There is an excellent trike forum called TrikeTalk where one can find answers to an trike/sidecar related questions.

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Ravyn
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1980 Honda cx500 turbo..."SOLD" My latest bike is a 1994 GL1500SE, side car rig.

Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by Ravyn »

I am driving a 1994 GL1500 sidecar rig. It has the 6 degree triple trees, they are not rake kits, they simply change your trail.
My fork tubes are two inches longer to get the bike sitting level. I am using progressive springs and there is a two inch spacer installed on top of the springs. I am using synthetic ATF as ATF is about 15 weight not 7. Because the tubes are two inches longer I am using 30cc more oil in each tube. I have played with the oil level and this seems to work best for me. Add a little more oil and it becomes stiffer because there is less air to compress. I am not using any air pressure in my forks. Every time you change the fork oil it will come out looking black. I change my fork oil every other oil change and I do the same for the differential. It's easy to do on the 1500 hundred. If your fork tube caps do no have schrader valves in them find someone to drill and tap them for you. Makes changing fork oil piece of cake not having to deal with getting that damned spring compressed. unless you have the tool for that.

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Ravyn
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1980 Honda cx500 turbo..."SOLD" My latest bike is a 1994 GL1500SE, side car rig.

Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by Ravyn »

Sidcar wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:55 am
Thanks,
The previous owner replaced the springs and I'm in the process of fitting new fork bushes.
I changed the fork oil about 3000 miles ago but it was as black as your hat when I drained it.

Sid.
Sidcar..... here is my rig.





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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by tfdeputydawg »

newday777 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:15 am
Sure if you like a mushy ride.

A heavier wt fork oil helps in rebound action. It depends on how you ride.
Springs....the stock springs were designed by Honda for 150 lb rider. Undersprung. You add a trike or sidecar..as was mentioned...and you need to put heavier weight rated springs in. Yes old springs sag and loose effectiveness.
And yes....you need to change your fork oil at maximum of 20,000 miles or you'll destroy the fork lowers. They get egg shaped.
Have you ever owned a trike. Probably not.
You need to check out Trike Talk. I'm sorry to be so blunt but the need for heavier fork oil and stiffer springs is completely wrong!!!!
Tell you about a person I know that started a Trike business. He told his first 6 customers they needed to include stiffer springs with their conversion. When 5 of the 6 came back asking for the OEM springs be put back in, he quit telling people to install stiffer springs.
Now the truth is, especially with Gold Wings, after approx. 20,000 miles it is time for new OEM springs. They do wear out!!!! You are to change fork oil about every 12,000 miles.
As I said, the only thing you'll do adding heavier springs and fork oil is make the front end very harsh!!!!

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newday777
Posts: 1779
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by newday777 »

:D Whatever.
Well I do. I work in a trike shop and do suspension.

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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by tfdeputydawg »

newday777 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:55 pm
:D Whatever.
Well I do. I work in a trike shop and do suspension.
OK, good for you.

what trike shop do you work at?
what heavier spring are you using in 1800 Wings?
Ever had anyone complain their front was to harsh after the heavier springs/fork oil?
Thanks

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newday777
Posts: 1779
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by newday777 »

Racetech straight weight springs, by their load chart for the rider's weight and normal load he carries.
Only one complaint and we changed to the next lighter rate spring.

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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by tfdeputydawg »

Thanks
I should clarify my statement. I was speaking of Progressive springs making the ride harsh. No experience with others.
Still invite you over to TrikeTalk. The owner of that forum owns a conversion shop and is very knowledgeable about many bikes and brands of conversions.

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Ravyn
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1980 Honda cx500 turbo..."SOLD" My latest bike is a 1994 GL1500SE, side car rig.

Re: Trike/sidecar fork oil

Post by Ravyn »

tfdeputydawg wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:14 am
Thanks
I should clarify my statement. I was speaking of Progressive springs making the ride harsh. No experience with others.
Still invite you over to TrikeTalk. The owner of that forum owns a conversion shop and is very knowledgeable about many bikes and brands of conversions.
Well for what it's worth here is what I did. First off my rig is a 1994 gl1500 SE with a Calif. side car friendship 3 , so it's quite heavy, add all the crap I haul around and you get the picture. so.......
When I bought the rig it had OEM springs with two inch spacers and the fork tubes were two inches longer. It was way to soft and mushy.
I had a set of progressive springs that I took out of a 1993 Aspencade because they were way to stiff so I thought I'd give them a try in the rig because of the extra weight.
I didn't know what the fork oil level was in the rig when I started out so when I did the fork spring swap I added the proper amount according to Honda stock oil levels and then added two more inches in each tube to make up for the longer tubes.
When I went for a test ride, and not just one but many because I wanted to know I was not mis-understanding what I was feeling. It was way to stiff. So I started reducing the oil level by 5cc at a time until I found a level that was ok but not perfect. And for and the weight of the rig that level was 30cc or so added to the stock Honda level.
I stuck with synthetic ATF because I didn't want to start playing around with different oil weights adding more variables to the equation.
So now the fork action is acceptable but not perfect. At slow speeds and sharp bumps or pot holes it is a little harsh but not to bad.
I am thinking the next time the front end has to come apart I might try racetech gold valves and there springs.
I had a Honda xr400 set up by the local Racetech guru a number of years ago here in Vancouver, Wa. and it was amazing the difference it made.



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