Fork fixes

I have a problem with an overly stiff front end on my 2000. I have front forks that act like 2x4's. We are guessing that I am only using around 2 inches of travel and for some reason they don't respond to the compression clickers like they should.

What has anyone else done to soften them up? My plans are to do the following one step at a time and sneak up on the right setting:

1. Change to 3 weight fork oil.

2. Mess with oil level.

3. Change to a lighter spring.

Someone has to have some experience with softening up the forks.

Roostn in Denver

I would load the bike up and take it right back to the dealer, if your only getting 2 inches of travel something is locked up in the forks . Before tearing into and trying to fix things yourself, go back to the dealer and have them looked at otherwise you'll be tring to fix something that you should need to.


It's possible that your axle is clamped so that the forks are being pulled into a "V", causing them to bind. Loosen the pinch bolts on the right side (at the axle) and bounce the forks up and down until they find a neutral resting spot on the axle, then tighten the pinch bolts.

It's common for the axle to be installed incorrectly when the dealer "sets it up", before you get it.

I agree with the last post. We recently purchase a CR125 for my son and the forks were not compressing all the way. We untightened the axle pinch bolts, bounced the forks, retightened the pinch bolts and everything worked fine. Give it a try. There is a certain sequences you should follow to install the axle, check your manual or the dealers manual for the exact procedure.


If you are truly only getting 2 inches of travel, then you have some mechanical problems.

As mentioned earlier, the right fork floats on the axle, allowing the forks to be aligned in parallel throughout the stroke.

Take the front wheel off, and make a guide that fits perfectly between the polished section of the forks. A 1/4 inch wooden or metal rod works best. Then install the front wheel leaving only the right side bolts loose. Insert your tool between the fork, running it through the spokes of the wheel, then tap the right fork in or out with a soft hammer to get the proper alignment, (btw - only hit the casting section of the fork)

If this does not resolve your problem, then you or someone needs to pull the fork apart to check into what may be occurring.

If you meant to imply that the bike feels so stiff that it seems like only 2 inches of travel are being used, then you'll want to consider re-valving the fork.

Oil height only effects what the bike does when the forks are at near or full compression. And you'll lose the integrity of the handling if you increase or decrease the fork viscosity. Stay with 5 weight.

And I can't imagine that both forks would have internal damage (unless someone has already worked on them). So you may want to remove the forks from the bike and press down on each fork by hand. You'll easily feel a difference if one fork is bad.

It not, then you may want to re-valve.

Re-valving a fork is as complicated as it is easy. After you understand the design of the fork and learn how to change it, you'll quickly learn that there's really little mystery to it. It's more trial by error than anything. I can help further with that if you need it.

Hope this helps.


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