Replacing Fork Oil
The following is for changing the fork oil in the left side fork leg, these are guidelines only and if you are unsure of any part of the procedure please consult your motorcycle dealer. www.xr650r.co.uk cannot be held responsible for any damage or lose from following these instructions.

First things first clean the front of your bike and have a suitable bench or clear area to place all the parts you are going to remove, raise the front of the bike and secure using a suitable jack. Using a 30mm socket or ring spanner crack the top cap nut but there is no need to undo it any more @ this stage. Its also a good idea to undo the damper screw...this is the middle screw turn it anti-clockwise till it stops; look closely at the top it has an arrow pointing towards the letter "S"

 
 

Now remove the 2 screws holding the front brake hose to the fork leg using a 12mm spanner or socket, keep them safe by screwing them back into the clamp as shown below.

 
 

Now, remove the calliper fixing bolts, again 12mm once these are removed slide the calliper backwards and off the disc. Screw the 2 bolts back into the calliper (Note they are different lengths) Picture bellow shows the 2 pins slightly undone.

 
 

Here you can see the 2 bolts are screwed back into the calliper for safe keeping.

 
 

Moving up the fork leg slacken the 2 12mm pinch bolts on the lower triple clamp.

 
 
 Slacken the fork gaiters holding clips using a small Philips screw driver, there is no need to undo these completely...you will only lose the screws.
 
 
 Top clip hidden around the back :).
 
 

Now you're ready to remove the front wheel, using a 10mm spanner or socket slacken the 4 spindle clamp bolts, there is no need to remove these just undo them till they are loose.

 
 

 Next using a 17mm spanner or socket undo the spindle bolt, once this is completely undone support the front wheel and carefully pull the spindle out towards the Speedo side, disengage the Speedo drive from the front wheel hub and lift the wheel away.

 
 
 If required you can undo the Speedo cable clip as shown below.
 
 

Now slacken the top triple clamps pinch bolts and remove the fork leg, this is the hard part as it won't simply drop through, you might need to tap the top of the fork leg with a soft mallet, but it will eventually drop through both yokes, lift the leg clear of the bike and slide of the gaiter and the 2 holding clips

 
 Now with the fork leg held upright, undo the top cap, normally this is only hand tight, don't worry nothing will spring out and get you, you will be left with this once its undone.
 
 

Now using a 17mm open ended spanner hold the inner nut and again using the 30mm spanner or socket crack the joint free, it won't be very tight, carefully remove the top cap from damper rod along with the spring retaining washer. Slide the spring off the piston rod and allow it to drain in a bucket.

 
 

The piston rod will now retract back into the fork tube but don't worry we can rescue it later, remove the damper adjuster...that's the short rod and the long plain rod from the piston rod; place these somewhere clean and safe.

 
 

Now if you haven't' already done so start draining the oil from the fork leg, this isn't hard but time consuming as you need to get the oil out of the lower fork where the damping action is generated. Just keep pushing the piston rod back and forth within the fork leg and keep working the oil out of the leg, bit like milking a cow. You will know when it is all out the piston rod will simply fall and go clunk when lifted up and released... there will be no oil damping.

 
 
 Dry the spring and check it's length, service limit is 496mm, mine measured 509mm which is slightly above the stock size of 506mm ?
 
 
With the fork leg held upright insert the long damper rod and the adjuster rod as shown below, remember the damper adjusters slot faces downwards, do not slide the spring in yet.
 
 

Next you will need your fork oil, the book says just that "Fork Oil" I use Silkolene Pro RSF 5wt which is a light oil and should offer a good  soft ride over medium to rough ground. Now they also say to use 637ml of oil per leg but I did some research on this and the majority of riders say fill to a physical level rather to a volume, the book also states the oil should be set 120mm from the top of the fork tube when fully down see below. Tip your fresh oil into the fork leg and try and get as much as you can down the centre hole, once it starts to fill up pull the piston rod up and down until the lower section is completely full of oil and you can feel a full damping action.

 
 

Now to make things easier and make sure both legs have exactly the same amount of in I made this little device, copied it off the internet. By setting the long tube at 120mm and inserting this into the fork leg I can suck out any excess oil as soon as the level reaches the end of the tube the suction stops and I know my oil level is exactly 120mm as required, this makes setting both fork oil levels the same dead easy. Check out eBay they are on there for a few pounds.

 
 

Once you have the correct oil level, insert the spring, the fun part is lifting the piston rod up the middle of the spring all the way to the top, what you can do is using your 17mm spanner hold this on the lock nut flats and wind the spring around this will cause the locknut and spanner to rise up the spring. As soon it pokes out of the top place the spring washer on top of the spring and screw the top cap on to the thread, once the threads catch you can relax and simply tighten the top cap all the way down onto the thread, when it stops use the 17mm spanner and the 30mm spanner and lock the 2 together, nothing mega tight just firm. Now screw the top cap into the fork tube and hand tighten as much as possible. Slide the fork gaiters back on to the leg and the clips and then insert the fork into the triple clamps, ensure the top cap comes fully through the upper triple clamp then tighten the pinch bolts, DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THESE BOLTS. 27N-m for the top and 32N-m for the lower. Reassemble the rest in the reverse order, don't forget to set your damper, screw the rebound damper screw all the way clockwise till is stops then anti-clockwise 9 clicks this is the stock setting.

 

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