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Symtoms of old fork oil?

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How do your forks feel when it's time to change the fork oil? What will you notice? Harsh? Less plush?

It's been 1500 trail miles since the last service.

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I don't think you'll notice much. The viscocity may break down a little making it a softer ride but really you just want clean fluid in there to decrease wear. I don't know if 1500 miles is time to change. It depends on your riding conditions. If in dount change it its only about $10. I try to about every year or two.

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I did it a few months ago, didn't notice a difference. I hated it too because you have to pump the damper rod like 50 times to drain all the oil out and bleed them.

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According to my last change, an awful smell that will make you lose your lunch. :banghead: Everybody that smelled it said they had never smelled anything worse.

All the motorcycle guys say that they have never smelled forks like that.

The bikes a 97, and I got it about a year and a half ago. It has probally never been changed. :banghead:

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I try and do it approx once a year if I'm riding twice a month or so. Its not expensive and is a good way to inspect bushings for wear.

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I think that nasty smell comes from leaving fish oil exposed to heat too long!

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I just recently had my forks and shock serviced, they changed the oil in the forks and shock, and recharged the shock with nitrogen. I have an 03 CR125, and doubt it has ever been done in the past. Overall, I am glad I had it done, the suspension seems more plush. Not a night and day differance in performance, but is better.

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Oil is at its best when you are actually pouring it into the forks. Its all downhill from there. Most fork oils possess a range of synthetic aditives to reduce friction, foaming and thinning out due to heat. As the oil is subjected to use, some of these additives can gradually break down, finally reducing the oil to its base value. Regular services maintain consistancy ensuring performance. Obviously different oils of varying qualities can breakdown at different rates. If you are happy with the way your suspension feels, then continue to use the same oil at the same level. How often you change it is up to you. A good rule of thumb is, if you feel a difference after you changed your oil, then you left it too long.

The Duck

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I usually can tell when mine is do. Having to add compression by using the adjusters to achieve the same results is a sure sign.

Russ

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I noticed my XR400 bottoms out more often than it did when it was brand new. Could a simple fork oil change fix that??? I ride about 2-3 times a month. I bought the bike brand new in '04. If I had to guess there is about 1500 miles on it.

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As the Duck pointed out

"Oil is at its best when you are actually pouring it into the forks. Its all downhill from there. Most fork oils possess a range of synthetic aditives to reduce friction, foaming and thinning out due to heat"

You would be surprised at what fresh oil will do. But I must add just pouring the old out and new in isn't the way to go. You must also give those babbies a good cleaning.

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I noticed that my suspension felt less harsh after chaning the oil. Overall, I am happy I did it. Not only does the suspension perform like it should, but wear and tear will be reduced.

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