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Confused by the front shock & how they work

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I just bought a '00 XR200 and I'm not familiar with how the front shocks work. Yes I know what they do but what I'm confused about is the air valves on the top. Am I suppose to add a certain amount of pressure to them or are they for bleeding off built up air? The guy I bought it from said that when I trailer it that I should compress it with the tie-down straps then bleed off the air, then after I take the tie-down straps off to press that valve again and let air back in. Is that right?

Should I make sure there's a certain PSI of air in those things? 🙂

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According to my son's owners manual they should be charged (inflated using a hand tire type pump) to between 4.3-7.2 psi, front wheel off the ground.

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Not sure what manual you have but my Factory Honda Service Manual (86-97) list under the front end specifications,

Front Fork air pressure: 0 kpa (0 kg/cm2, 0 psi).

And when you get to part where you are putting everything back together it says:

Make sure all weights are off the front wheel and charge the forks with air.

Standard Pressure: 0 kpa (0 kg/cm2, 0 psi).

Caution

use a low-volume low-pressure pump to charge the forks with air. &%$#@!???

Seems like Honda may have re-thunk this over the years, or brought it back by making owners of new models with 30 year old technology think that they have some adjustment options! 🙂

I don't think that on the old damper rod style forks it really helped any by adding air, or nitrogen (which is what was used) back in the day, to compensate for fork dive or the lack of any true progressive action.

This was just a gimmick that the factories could put on their production machines (that was cheap and easy), to use as a selling point.

The real "factory racers" back then were probably using the schrader valves to bleed off air that built up during the motos, while we were none the wiser. 🙂 ........Karl

P.S. I bleed the air off of my 200 when I tie it down in the trailer and again a few times throughout the day.

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Page 47 of my Clymer Service manual says the samething;

12. On models with air-assist forks, inflate forks on all except XL200R and TL200R to 4.3-7.2 psi(.03-.05 kg/cm squared [sQUARED? , how about cubed]). On XL200r and TLR200, inflate to 0-5.6 psi....Do not use compressed air; use only a small hand operated pump...

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It's a 1999. Maybe things changed?
Like maybe the old damper rod forks could become cartridge forks by adding a little air? 🙂 Yea I guess, in this day and age anything can happen! 🙂 Karl

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While on the XR200 front fork subject, I just got a set of "gold valve" cartridge emulators off of eBay.

I swore I would never go this route but I got em "NIB" from a guy in the U.K. for 15 pounds (27.90), instead of the $160.00 going price here in the US.

I will be installing them soon and will post a full report on TT for all of us die hard 200 riders.

I may have to spring (no pun intended) for a set of "progressive suspension" fork springs to make the upgrade complete.

Since I am such a cheap SOB, this is a hard thing for me to do since I had already made up mind to bolt up a set of XR250 cartridge forks to my bike.

Full report on TT to follow soon........Karl

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My dad loves the emulators in his 230, he used to need BBR springs for it to handle, with the spacing they give and the way they act he's perfectly happy with his stock springs now.

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