XR 600 Fork Oil Question

Okay,so I'm the proud owner of a used 1996 XR600. The bike is externally very clean and all stock. As part of my new owner ritual I've been busy changing all the fluids. But when I dumped the forks, all that drizzled out was about eight ounces of black goo :D -- which I promptly replaced with the appropriate amount of 5wt Honda fork oil. I was surprised because the forks seals look fine. What I want to know is whether (given the lack of fork oil) I need to have a shop overhaul the forks. :) Are there any wear items in the fork tubes I should be inspecting? Or, now that the oils changes and its all buttoned up can I just ride her? :D Any thoughts?


Welcome to the board. About the only wear items in the forks are the seals and the fork bushings. The bushings have a teflon coated surface that looks like the non stick coating on a frying pan. I pulled my forks apart last spring to fix a leaking seal and found my bushings only partially worn, but went ahead and replaced them anyway (they're cheap). It sounds like you have everything all buttoned up so I guess I would ride it a little bit and see if the seals leak and maybe plan on changing the fluid again in the near future if they don't leak. If they do leak then it's time to tear into the forks anyway. Hope this helps.

I think that black goo is what is affectionately known as "Whale Snot." :thumbsup: Apparently Honda puts some fork oil in there that goes sour after a few years. (It's supposed to be replaced every year anyways.) I imagine the air-assist fork suffers from the same problem, but question: is there an easy way to tell if the fluid has gone snotty without draining?

P.S. The Clymer manual says to lift the bike before draining, and compress the forks slowly to help eject the snot. It probably takes 15 to 20 ounces of oil per fork, best to check the specifications.

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