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Old 08-05-2017, 09:02 PM   #1
Big_Panda
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Front fork rebuild

So the front fork seals are leaking pretty good on my VFR and so I am going to replace them. I'm going to do all the work.

Because I am going to have to take the forks apart in any case I was thinking about replacing the front hardware with these, on recommendation from a friend:

http://www.daughertymotorsports.com/forkcartridges.html

The thing is, I'm honestly not really sure if these are worth the money or not. I do not track the bike and have no plans to do so. 80% of its use is freeway commuting the rest is easy canyons when I'm not working.

Is this cartridge kit overkill for my use?

Is it just throwing money away?

Should I just buy some seals and new fork oil and call it a day?

Help a brother out!

PS bike has 70k plus miles. I am the second owner and to my knowledge it has never had any kind of work done to the front forks but it has an Ohlins rear shock. I plan on keeping the bike until it gets destroyed or isn't worth maintaining any longer (basically keep it as long as it will last)
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:08 PM   #2
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The front suspension is pretty weak stock, but I'd say it's only worth it if you plan to keep the bike for a good while.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:11 PM   #3
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You could change out the springs too for another $100-130. That may be worth it
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thtanner View Post
The front suspension is pretty weak stock, but I'd say it's only worth it if you plan to keep the bike for a good while.
I pretty much plan on keeping it forever, or basically isn't reasonable, fiscally, to keep.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:07 AM   #5
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Then go for it. Contact DMr, state your geared weight and how the bike will be ridden. Have him set it up and send it out

Looks to come with the spring?
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:29 PM   #6
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Yeah it comes with everything minus fluid.
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:10 PM   #7
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If it's just for street/commuting I think it's overkill. Get it sprung and valved for your weight might be the best option if you want to have better feedback but if I were you I'd just replace the shot seals and oil and call it done.

Last edited by 1greatpandawan; 08-06-2017 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatpandawan View Post
If it's just for street/commuting I think it's overkill. Get it sprung and valved for your weight might be the best option if you want to have better feedback but if I were you I'd just replace the shot seals and oil and call it done.
This would be sound advice for most bikes, but a VFR800 with 60k+ miles.. it needs more than just that. The front was under-sprung from factory, quite notably. The spring itself is also worn @ 60k.

Since he's there, it'd be a good idea to do it all. Spring replacement at a minimum if you want to skip the re-valve.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:22 AM   #9
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Springs actually do not wear (springs under incredibly stress, like the springs under rocker arms in engines, will shorten slightly). I asked Sonic Springs and Traxxion and Ractech and they all explained that the springs in forks and shocks do not stray from their spring rate or length over time.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FightingChance View Post
Springs actually do not wear (springs under incredibly stress, like the springs under rocker arms in engines, will shorten slightly). I asked Sonic Springs and Traxxion and Ractech and they all explained that the springs in forks and shocks do not stray from their spring rate or length over time.
I've seen otherwise, first-hand. They weren't fancy Traxxion or Ractech springs, but OE Honda (Showa, most likely.)



Regardless, the stock suspension was way undersprung from day 1, unless he's 110lb wet. You're in there, so it's worth addressing.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thtanner View Post
Regardless, the stock suspension was way undersprung from day 1, unless he's 110lb wet.
This was the case for my bike. I used to experience major brake dive and too much movement on the front.
I had my front suspension rebuilt by Lindemann Engineering and he cut the spring to make them harder. Helped so much all around.

Tie some zip ties to your bike (at the forks) and see what's happening up front (especially under hard braking).

Last edited by i28; 08-07-2017 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:31 PM   #12
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Back in 2008 when I had this done I didn't think I knew a good suspension from a bad one. My friends were sweating details on this and that, and spending money, while I just rode my motorcycle.

Then my Triumph Trophy needed seals, and I let Race Tech re-spring the bike, and use their cartridge emulators. Also, I'm no light-weight. Using Race Tech's 0.95kg/mm springs really changed the handling. For a man that wasn't a "suspension guy", WOW. Night and Day difference.

I immediately did a long trip from CA to NM and back, and couldn't believe the difference.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:42 PM   #13
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Well I decided to pull the trigger. Pulled the shocks out today. Fork oil was blacker than any motor oil I have ever seen. Pretty sure it was original fork oil which means that it was 13 years old and had 70k miles on it. Gnarly.

The last picture came out of the left shock. It looks like hair but its metal. It looks like steel wool. Super weird.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:18 PM   #14
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Check the inside of the forks to see if they have any scoring.

Did you go with the cartridge kit or just the springs?

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Old 08-14-2017, 05:10 PM   #15
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I'm going to go with the cartridge kit.
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