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What type of oil to use in '86 XR250 Forks?

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This may be kind of a dumb question, but what type of oil should be used in the old '86 XR250's forks? The manual just says ATF, is this ATF the manual talks of the Automatic Transmission Fluid? 😢 I just want to make sure before tearing into the forks.

Thanks

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I put in ten weight fork oil, I forget what brand. My service manual calls out something with a misleading number in it, i.e. not the actual weight. I just got my shock rebuilt by a very experienced guy (Lindeman Engineering).

He said the stuff specified in the manual is 5 wt, but that 10 was probably better. I think he was right. Surprising to me, he said the difference in weights (say 5 vs 7.5) is not that great, and that he usually jumps up by 5, because you won't notice the difference. I did a search here, and it looked like 10 was a good number.

-Toby

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I used 7.5 wt recently, felt pretty nice! Got it, in BMW brand quarts, for $5 per quart.

Robert 😢

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To answer your question, Where the manual says to ATF, Yes they are refering to Automatic Transmition Fluid.

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I am on my fourth 1986 XR250. I use 12 wt PJ1 (a mix of 10 and 15wt.

the problem with the 1986 and 1987 XR250 is that they ar waaaay underdamped on both the compression and rebound, which is further exaserbated by the ultra soft spring. I swear that when stock, they will bottorm out just riding in the back of the pickup!

The key to tuning the forks is to find the correct weight to slow down the rebound damping and adjust the oil height for bottoming resistance. From there you can adjust the compression damping to suit your terrain.

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