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Old 12-06-2004, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi (again),

If my forks aren't leaking, should I change the oil anyway? It's an 83 GL1100 Interstate that sat garaged for probably 10 years.

1983 GL1100 Interstate
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sure. It's cheap insurance. Fluid does tend to collect moisture and other nasty things when sitting long periods of time. Sure, it's a sealed system, but the air you add to the front suspension does contain some moisture.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Fork oil turns to a mushy grey substance after about 2 years. Once it does its useless. 10 years is way too long so I'd advise changing it now.
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I totally agree with Jason. Don't forget to change the oil in the rear shocks as well.

You can also tailor the oil viscosity to your regular riding weight and riding style by using heavier and lighter weight oils. I ride mostly two up so I've chosen to use 20W fork oil, but, if you always ride solo and never get into performance driving you could use 5W or 10W fork oil for a smoother ride.

(Stay away from 30W fork oil unless you enjoy a truck like ride. Been there, done that and got rid of the 30W shortly after I put it in. )


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Old 12-06-2004, 04:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the fork caps are not easy to get back on. If I were to change my fork oil again I would find a syringe an inject the fork oil into the air hose fitting instead of removing the fork tube baps.

I have an 83 Aspencade. I had to enlist the help of a very strong friend to get the caps back on.
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Goldwinger1984 wrote:
I totally agree with Jason.* Don't forget to change the oil in the rear shocks as well.

Hi Vic,

Is there a write-up anywhere for the rear shocks? My Clymer makes no mention of it.

Someone else mentioned filling the oil through the air opening with a syringe so as to avoid removing the impossible-to-reinstall caps. Any comments on that?

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Old 12-08-2004, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Definitely change the fork oil. You will notice a big improvement in handling. Removing the little air caps is a good idea for putting the new oil in. If you need the help of a "very strong friend" to put the caps back, chances are you have Progressives in the forks. They really are hard to push down. The standard Honda springs are a one man job.
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a GL1100 from new and after three years and only 9000 miles the forks were bottoming out. New fork oil made it good as new again. The oil just goes bad, even if you never use the bike and keep it garaged indoors.

Lucky Eddie.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I didn't have a big friend to help put the caps back on after changing the seals and oil. So I took a 8" C clamp drilled a hole in it and used a screw through the hole in the fork tree. There was a little piece of the fork tree that stuck out with a hole in it on both sides of the tree, I dropped a screw through the hole and placed the drill hole in the C-clamp on the screw. This kept the C-clamp from sliding off. I used a flat top Stanley wrench and maneuvered the C-clamp over the wrench and used the clamp to push the spring and cap into place. It took a little muscle but went back on fairly easy.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I suggest you remove the caps when you replace the oil. The first time I changed the fork oil I added it through the drain hole. This resulted in to much oil and blown seals shortly after.

Getting the caps back on isn't too bad even when I added spacers to each side. More importantly you can make sure the correct amount of oil is in the forks. I think 5.5 inches from the top when collapsed is correct.
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