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How To: New fork oil, seals, & springs. 600 F1

Old 06-23-2011, 07:56 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 49
Default How To: New fork oil, seals, & springs. 600 F1

Hey guys,

I just redid my front end last week. I wish I'd taken some pictures, but there was so much oil involved it was more work than I expected to get my hands clean to take pictures throughout the process. Anyway, I searched for a while for good instructions on the process, and never found anything specifically for doing this on the 600 f1, so I thought a writeup at least might help someone.

Socket Wrench (14mm, 12mm, 10mm)
Allen Wrenches
Big Wrench
oil seal tool (if putting in new seals, or pvc pipe of the right size. Read the new seals part if you need an idea of what this is about BEFORE you take your bike apart)

Whatever you want to replace, but I did:
Oil seals
Fork Oil (10w)

The first thing you'll need to do is take off all the fairings, because two of the bolts you need to get at on the Triple T's are under there. You can skip this step and try and reach if you want, but it's way easier this way. If you don't know how, I'm sure there's info on that around somewhere.

You definitely have to take of the front fender in oder to separate the forks though, so do that.


Next, you need to get the fork on some kind of jack. I used an ATV jack, so I had to take the exhaust headers off to fit it under the bike. The can comes off with two bolts, one near the right rear peg, and another where it joins the headers. (or two, I'm missing one)
Then, there's 8 nuts where the headers attach to the engine, and another where it bolts to the oil pan. Take these off, and the headers should slip off the engine.


Once you have your front end off the ground, it's time to take off the front wheel. First though, you have to remove the brake calipers so it will fit out. There are two bolts on each that attach them to the forks, unscrew those and slide them off.

VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! do NOTNOTNOTNOT squeeze the brake levers after you take the calipers off, it will be VERY difficult to pull the pads back apart to get them back on again.

There are two bolts in the front of the bottom of each fork that should be visible if you are looking from the front. loosen these (no need to fully remove)

Next, the large axle nut needs to be unscrewed. It is on the right side of the bike, straight into the axle. Once it's out, you can tap the axle out the other side. I stuck a fat sharpie in and tapped on it with a hammer, but whatever works really. The wheel should then drop out.


To make life easier for yourself later, you may want to take this opportunity to losten the cap on the top of the fork so you don't have to put it in a vice or something. Take your large wrench, and torque on the cap just enough that it starts turning. Don't take it out yet, but at least it will unscrew easily later.

There is a small lock ring on the forks right above where the handle bars attach. It may look like it's just a lip all the way around, but if you look closely, there should be a break somewhere. You can pull it apart with your fingernails, and the ring should slide off. Then you need to loosen the bolt on the handlebar mount, the allen key on the top triple tee, and the 14mm bolt on the bottom tripple tee. Once they are loose (again, no need to fully remove) the fork tubes should slide out the bottom. They might be a little tight, in which case grabbing the silver part and twisting back and forth while pulling down helps. You can use a rag to help with friction too.


Finally the time has come to take the forks themselves apart. Hopefully you loosened the cap a hair earlier, otherwise it may be difficult to break it loose without a vice, which might damage the tube. (if you skipped this step, you can always stick it backin, lock it down again, and loosen it)

if your forks have a tensioner *** in the middle of the cap, back it all the way out, or if they have a schrader air valve, release the air pressure by pushing in the small pin in the middle. There will still be some pressure on the cap from the spring, so as you unscrew the cap make sure to keep pressure on it so it doesn't shoot off and hurt someone or break something. Mine had very little pressure, but I don't know your bike.

once the cap is off, you can pour out the oil into your disposal box. (you do have one, right? ) A metal pipe spacer, washer, and the spring should also fall out. you can pump the silver tube in and out of the black base to get more oil out while you're at it.

If you're only changing oil or springs, skip ahead to 'Adding Oil'. If you need to replace the seals, read on.


Slide a flat head screw driver between the dust seal and black portion of the fork, and pry it off. Underneath you will find a lock ring for the oil seals, pry that out by sticking the screw driver in 4 places where it pokes out form the walls.

Flip the fork over. if you look at the bottom, you will notice a hole, through which you can see an allen bolt. Unscrew this, and set it aside. (more oil may come out the bottom in this process) the silver tube is now disconnected from the black part internally. Grasp one with each hand firmly, and jerk them apart until they separate. (this pulls out the oil seals) The silver part may separate dramatically and get even more oil everywhere. Never think there isn't more oil, because there is. Slide the old oil seal off of the silver tube.


now it's time to add new oil seals. take the new seal, coat it in fork oil lightly, and slide it all the way down the silver pipe. Then, re-insert the silver tube into the black tube. Don't worry, the oil seals won't go in all the way yet, that's what the fork tool is for. All you really need is a piece of tube that will go down and rest on top of the oil seal, but not contact the black portion of the fork. The metal right below the washer under the oil seal fits VERY snugly into the black part of the tube, so you need to hammer this whole assembly in. Side your pvc pipe or whatever over the silver tube, and onto the oil seal. (actually, putting the dust seal over it while hammering may be a good idea to prevent damace to the oil seal) take a piece of wood, put it over the top of the pvc, and hammer like mad until you can see the indents for the lock ring inside the black part of the fork take the pvc off, put in the lock rings, and slide on the dust seals.

Flip the fork back over, and put the allen screw back in the base. note that you have to have the fork compressed for it to catch.


now, with the fork fully compressed, and the springs etc still removed, you need to add oil to the tube until it reaches 118mm from the top of the fork. There will be air in the internals of the fork, so you will probably need to pump the fork, measure, and add more oil several time to get all the air out. A tape measurer works well for this, as well as a flashlight you can hold in your mouth, or mount somewhere such that it will shine down into the tube.


drop in the spring (tight side down) washer, and metal tube space (in that order) and the screw the cap back on. Your fork should now be good to go! Just put it all back together the same way you took it apart.

There are two grooves on the top of the fork. The bottom one should roughly align with the top of the triple tee and bottom of the handle bar mount, and the top groove is for the lock ring.

There is a pin on the bottom of the grip mounts that goes into a slot on the triple tees. You have to line these up. There will still be slight play, so make sure you tighten the bolt when it's in a position such that your bars are perpendicular to your wheel, or it will feel funky when you ride around.

There is a little nub on the top of the speedometer attachment, this should go behind the corresponding nub on the fork, not in front of it.


I don't want your bike falling apart when you're riding it. I take no responsibility if it does, but please, please double check all those bolts. i know you already did, but do it again.
Old 06-23-2011, 08:22 PM
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some photos would be the icing on this cake
Old 06-23-2011, 09:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 49

Originally Posted by regener8ed View Post
some photos would be the icing on this cake
I'll see what I can do when I get home tonight.
Old 07-01-2012, 08:21 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 10

this is absolutely the best write up for r/r fork seal removal I have found yet. thank you
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