Adjusting Fork Oil Level, Forks On Bike

hello, i'm looking for anyone who has adjusted their fork oil level with the forks still on the bike. specifically, what is the stock level and where have folks adjusted the level too? what's your weight? i know 5w is stock and i'm going to give 7w a try as i'm 205 with gear and they're too soft. i've heard about adding 5cc at a time but what about if you lost half your oil and you want to top it off without pulling the forks off/apart?

i've read 4.5" from the top but this seems to be with the forks off/apart. but not sure. i have not picked up a manual yet and am prepping for this weekend. i had a leaking fork seal and think i have it fixed. used a tear off to clean debris from the seal. anyway, i need to set my level and am not sure. any direction would be great. thanks in advance.

rustynuts

2004 DRZ400E

The only way to do it right is to take the forks off and take the springs out and collapse the forks to measure the oil level. Raising the oil level will only noticeably firm up the forks in the last 1/3 of travel.

what about if you lost half your oil and you want to top it off without pulling the forks off/apart?

What's going to happen is this: you're going to futz around with adding oil and then with trying to find some way to take the extra oil out, and you're going to get fork oil all over the bike, and you, and the floor/ground in the process. It'll take you 5 times longer than just pulling the forks off and doing it right, and it work work.

And after all that, you will still have to take the forks off and do it right. So, why waste your time doing it the wrong way? Pull the forks off and replace that leaky seal while you're at it. (The actual seal--not the dust seal.)

The only way to do it right is to take the forks off and take the springs out and collapse the forks to measure the oil level. Raising the oil level will only noticeably firm up the forks in the last 1/3 of travel.

lets say i did as you say, and reassembled onto the bike. would it not be possible to lift the front wheel off the ground so the forks are fully extended, pull the air bleed screw, and measure the oil level from the top of the cap? and use that as a bench mark. i've had both my seals leak some and think i cleared the debris causing the leaks from the seals and wipers. that being said, i'm trying to avoid pulling everything apart for two reasons. one, i've never done forks before and don't have any of the tools. two, i'm leaving for the desert in 3 days and don't have the time to figure it all out.:thumbsup: surely someones got a short cut figured out. i'm not looking for ultra high performance here. just in the ball park.

What's going to happen is this: you're going to futz around with adding oil and then with trying to find some way to take the extra oil out, and you're going to get fork oil all over the bike, and you, and the floor/ground in the process. It'll take you 5 times longer than just pulling the forks off and doing it right, and it work work.

And after all that, you will still have to take the forks off and do it right. So, why waste your time doing it the wrong way? Pull the forks off and replace that leaky seal while you're at it. (The actual seal--not the dust seal.)

i made a tool like the one you can buy (for $50) consisting of a seringe with cc markings, attatched to a 12" lone piece of 1/8" aluminum tubing with a flexible poly hose. no mess, very quick, and easy to maintain consitancy between the two forks.

It takes about 30 min and no special tools. You loosen the top pinch bolts, then crack loose the top cap. Run the damping adjustment all the way out. Remove wheel and fork legs. take the cap off. Loosen the lock nut. Improvise something to hold the spring down. run the lock nut all the way down so it turns the damper rod loose from the cap. turn off the cap, take out the spring. Dump the oil if you are changing it. (hold the rod inside the damper rod so you do not have to deal with the internals falling out). Add oil. pump the forks leg to bleed the air out. Adjust the oil level. reassemble. snug up the cap. tighten the top pinch bolts. Set the damping adjustment.

It takes about 30 min and no special tools. You loosen the top pinch bolts, then crack loose the top cap. Run the damping adjustment all the way out. Remove wheel and fork legs. take the cap off. Loosen the lock nut. Improvise something to hold the spring down. run the lock nut all the way down so it turns the damper rod loose from the cap. turn off the cap, take out the spring. Dump the oil if you are changing it. (hold the rod inside the damper rod so you do not have to deal with the internals falling out). Add oil. pump the forks leg to bleed the air out. Adjust the oil level. reassemble. snug up the cap. tighten the top pinch bolts. Set the damping adjustment.

i'm a very mechanical person and being affraid to pull my forks apart makes me feel like a tard. thanks for the explanation. i have 3 days till my trip and might give it a go.

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