Play in fork legs

I have an 08 CRF 450 with 160 hrs, ride mx only.  I have approximately 2-3mm movement and an audible clunk when I grab the lower fork legs and push back and forth while the bike is on the stand.  I rebuilt the legs 20hrs ago including all 3 bushings (including sliders) and new seals. It is not the steering stem bearings, because when I attempt to move the upper legs there is no movement. Never noticed this before, and was wondering if this was normal.  Thanks for your input.

iv'e never measured it, but there will be a wee bit. even with new bushings.

Thanks Melk, I am probably just overly worried about my girl. 

steering stem is not tight enough

With forks fully extended (bushings at closest point) even a brand new bike has a bit of movement. As the bushings get further apart the forks get more tight.

Thanks Melk, I am probably just overly worried about my girl. 


.. and it's easier to feel on a roadrace bike that has the front end suspended by a front stand that has a pin going into the lower triple. The front wheel is just hanging, but the pin fits into the lower clamp perfect so you know there is no head play that you are feeling.. and the forks will have some play when you pull the front wheel forward/back. on the dirt bike on a stand, the front end is pivoting a bit, then if the rear wheel touches down you get the free play in the swingarm linkage that you feel.. but yea, as someone just posted above, forks extended if ya push/pull just right, you will feel some play even on a brand new bike.

Steering stem play could be a possibility, but there will be some fork play.

with the bike on a stand push up on the forks slightly and try and check for play. They should tighten up

Thanks Guys,

With the forks on the stand there is some play, but when slightly compressed the play is eliminated.  I checked my buddy's just rebuilt Kayabas and they had the same play when fully extended.  There is no play in the steering stem, because when I attempt to move the forks back and forth by grasping it at the fork upper, it is rock solid. Thanks for the info.  All is well now.

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