Fork Oil


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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agedbikeman
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Fork Oil

Post by agedbikeman »



Age old topic, but anyone out there have opinions for a triked 1500, not a real trike but a tow pac instatrike, I NEVER NEVER ride it as 2 wheels, too old, too short too weak so it stays triked 24/7,
I know crystal pistol has a trike, if you read this what do you use.

while I'm about it how do you get ALL the old oil out, I've pumped lots but still hear girgling,

Any input welcome
Alex


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Snowmoer
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by Snowmoer »

The 88 up to I think 94 used Automatic Transmission Fluid and not fork oil. Then they switched to fork oil. My Clymer shop manual had a chart that told you what years used what. I tried fork oil and the forks would bottom out on the slightest bump. Switched back to ATF, and the forks were perfect. So, it does make a difference. It was the same in my 88 NX 650. It called for ATF, but I put in fork oil that I was told was the same weight from the dealer. Forks were hard as a rock. Put in ATF, and they worked perfectly.

Just pump out as much as you can if you are not taking them apart. I would recommend this though. If you have at least 50K miles on your bike, and they have not been replaced, there are bushings in there that wear out and need to be replaced. If not, just pump and refill with the recommended amount of the type of fluid that is recommended for your year of bike. They only way you are going to get all of it out is to completely take them apart.
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Sassy
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by Sassy »

No trike here but wondering what type atf?
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DarthJ
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by DarthJ »

When I changed mine, after draining, spray brake cleaner (I use the non-chlorinated) till that's all that comes out, then let it sit for a while to dry out before putting fresh oil in.
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Rambozo
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by Rambozo »

Fork oil is available is a bunch of viscosities, so you can't just lump them all together. It doesn't help that viscosity varies wildly brand to brand, even when labeled the same. :( Same with ATF. When these bikes were made and manuals written, there was pretty much Dextron and Type F, (which also have different viscosities and behave very differently). Now there are a metric assload of different transmission fluids and some are known to attack seal materials they are not intended for.
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Sassy
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by Sassy »

Exactly. Thats why I was wondering.
Guess Ill look through the repair section as Im sure people will have explantions for what they used.
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by WingAdmin »

ATF is approximately 10 weight, so it's equivalent to a 10 weight fork oil.

I tried 15 weight oil on my 1500, but the front end was far too firm, so I went back to this Bel-Ray 10 weight fork oil which gives a very nice ride, not too firm, not too soft.
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Rambozo
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by Rambozo »

With a trike you may have to experiment to find what gives you the ride you are looking for. Lots of variables like stock or replacement springs? Easy steer installed? Weight of trike, rider(s), trailering, air forks (SE)? Probably start with a middle of the road 5-7 weight fork oil, then take it out and see how it handles. Too bouncey, go up in weight. Too harsh, go down.

Here is a chart of just some of the lightweight fork oils, with actual measurements in cSt. As you can see it's a mess out there.


DarthJ
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Re: Fork Oil

Post by DarthJ »

WingAdmin wrote: Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:48 pm ATF is approximately 10 weight, so it's equivalent to a 10 weight fork oil.

I tried 15 weight oil on my 1500, but the front end was far too firm, so I went back to this Bel-Ray 10 weight fork oil which gives a very nice ride, not too firm, not too soft.
Same as I use and I agree, it's a nice mid-range feeling.
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