After planning for this for months, I finally took advantage of the bad weather of late to find the time to change the fork oil. The OEM stuff has been in there for 20,000 miles, which is a bit too long. Most of the original oil is cheap, lowest-bidder splooge anyway, let alone when you use it for too long.

While a manual always helps, changing the fork oil is pretty straightforward. If you have any experience from doing it to dirt bikes or the like, they come apart the same way. No special tools are needed and the oil recommended by Honda, SS-8 Pro Honda oil (10wt), is modestly priced at $5 per 16oz bottle.

This is a bit of advice they don't tell you in the manual:
The recommended oil height is 130 mm (5.1") from the top, which is with the tube bottomed out and the spring removed. The capacity is rated at 15.2 oz per leg, but measuring the height is more reliable. Just remember to pump any trapped air out of the dampening circuit by stroking the center rod up and down several times while it is upside down, draining into the drain pan. Specific fork-oil-height tools, like the one from Race Tech, make the measuring easier and more consistent, but they aren't necessary. If you already have a brake bleeder hand-pump, you can just measure 130mm from the end of the hose and suck out any excess oil.

This doesn't make the front end any less likely to bottom out, as that is controlled by the spring rate. It does make the front end feel a bit firmer in that it feels like a bit less freeplay. Smaller bumps are a bit less noticeable and it does track a bit better.

This would be a good time to bring out a 14mm box end wrench and screwdriver on the next ride. Then make a few passes on your preferred road and try a few different settings. The best suspension is just the best that you've tried.

I tried adjusting the fork height a bit. Raising the forks just .20" made a big difference, but not a good one. It made the back feel like it was chasing the front, the steering took more effort, and it wanted to fall-in in corners. I returned to the original position of the fork cap 1.640" above the triple clamp. This might help to compensate for a smaller front tire than original, but remember your stock height as a baseline.

Main | Mods | Photos | Maintenance | Tires | E-mail

© 1999 - 2017 Hoffman