Harsh Feeling Forks

Hey all,


    I have a 2004 crf250x and recently the front forks have been what I can best describe them as dead and slow feeling. The initial first part of the stroke feels very harsh and slow to react to sharp breaking bumps and feels very unstable on rock at any sort of speed.It doesn't feel plush over anything and I am having a really hard time getting any feeling with the front end diving into corners. It just pings off of any big rocks you hit and does not seem to absorb the hits at all. Compression is one click softer than factory and rebound clicker is at factory. Have notices a minor leak in the right fork seal but not enough to make this dramatic of a difference I would think, because it has not always felt this way.Any ideas on how to aid this? Any input would be a big help, thanks.

How long ago were the forks serviced? It sounds as if they are due. Have you put a new tyre on recently? Have you checked or changed what pressures you are running lately?

Fork alignment?

How long ago were the forks serviced? It sounds as if they are due. Have you put a new tyre on recently? Have you checked or changed what pressures you are running lately?

I have a new front tire and run about 13 psi but I don't think that is the problem because even when you hold the front break in at a stand still and compress the forks they just have no plushness and seem very slow on the rebound. I suppose it is time for them to be serviced I was just wondering if there was anything else possibly wrong that I could fix myself. What does a service run about $400 or so for seals, valves, oil, and labor?

Fork alignment?

And yes forks are aligned

It does seem a little off.  I would imagine as the oil breaks down rebound would be faster.  If you are unsure of how long ago they were serviced, I would start with that.  Your bushings may be worn, causing the harsh feeling.  I wouldn't imagine a fork service would cost much more than $150 over there.  Extra parts like bushings, seals ect which may bump up the price.

Service the forks then get back to us.....

Asking how to make your forks plush when they haven't been serviced for ages, makes about as much sense as asking for a cure for tummy pain when you haven't had a crap for three days. It's best if you regularly go through the motions.

I second a basic service for your forks if you can't say if or when they were ever done.

For a weekend fun rider like myself, once a year during the wintertime as a minimum works.


Double-check what is done when installing the front wheel (like after a tire change):


Grab a flashlight and see if the odometer cable drive gearbox (black gearbox the odometer cable connects to down at the wheel axle) is misaligned and pushing the right-hand side fork leg to the side and causing binding.

This is the fork alignment mentioned above.


If that looks to be the case, loosen the axle nut and fork-to-axle pinch bolts and repeat the wheel installation procedure shown in the Honda Service Manual for your CRF-250X.


Even if the odometer cable drive gearbox looks to be not interfering with the fork leg alignment, I'd at least loosen the right-hand side fork-to-axle pinch bolts (while leaving everything else tight), grab the front brake, and see if the fork moves up and down easier.

If so, hold the front brake and keep the fork partially compressed while tightening the pinch bolts and then test ride.


I owned a 2009 CRF-450X, a bike that also comes with the Showa dual-chamber fork.

Even on the rocky Connecticut trails I ride, once they were setup for my 150 pounds of weight, they felt very good, overall.

They were also surprisingly easy to take apart and put back together.

Edited by YZEtc

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