Suspension Service

kmasa58

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Sep 23, 2018
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Guys...around how many miles should I consider chaning fork oils & such? I've got 13k miles now and haven't done any service on my forks. Plus, I have the ES model, so not sure if I can just un-plug the sensor/power lines at the top and treat the forks like a 'standard' units. Also, I heard that the rear shock is NOT serviceable on the ES model ... but is it at least possible to change springs on it? In the 'soft' setting, it feels as if the rear end is lower than the front which changes the steering characteristic. Thanks in advance for your collective knowledge!
 

~TABASCO~

RIDE ON ADV is what I do !
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I’m sure the service book has some “numbers” but IMOP they are overly optimistic.
If you have all ‘stock’ stuff I would say for oil 20-25K max. Oil is pretty easy and I’m personally more involved and might do it 15’ish. At 30K I personally would do oil / guides / seals for preventative maintenance.
The rear can have a aftermarket spring. Just keep an eye on the shock, I’ve had several guys blow up the rear shock with after market springs, it just puked all the rebound guts/ oil out the bottom. It’s more FYI, after market spring(s) are virtually a must when the factory springs “wear out”. ( and the do!).
I might be different than most when riding this bike. My springs were basically toast at 10K miles back in 2012. I had everything cranked ‘tight’ and I was bottoming this thing out like 20 times a day off road. After going full Ohlins it’s much stiffer and ‘better’ at hammering off road.
The stock front fork springs are IMOP worst than the stock rear. They have a very short break in and then progressively loose performance relatively quickly. I’ve worked with many folks over the years that the conversation and there attitude “before and after” has been pretty funny. Most of these situations are like “my stuff is great and there is no problem and I’m really just trying to get a little maintenance done.” ….. after we talk a bit we get them in the correct spring / oil Wt. / oil volume / and set it up for them. After they go ride the new set up the reaction is the same every time. HOLY S@@@, I didn’t realize my old forks were such crap. LOL
They all basically go just like that. LOL
 
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kmasa58

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Tabasco,

Thanks for your quick feed-back! I got 'lazy' & opted for the ES version which seems to limit my options on when it comes to 'aftermarket' units front/rear. I've done fork seal/spring/oil changes on several different bikes, so I should be able to handle it on the S10 as long as I don't have to worry about calibrating any electronic stuff on it. I may just live with the rear shock sicne it only bothers me when I'm in the 'soft' setting. I'm truely a 50/50 rider (road/off-road) & even on off-road, my skills limit me to access/fire roads. I think I'm going to spend my $ on a shop manual this weekend.
 
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ballisticexchris

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I got 'lazy' & opted for the ES version which seems to limit my options on when it comes to 'aftermarket' units front/rear. I've done fork seal/spring/oil changes on several different bikes, so I should be able to handle it on the S10 as long as I don't have to worry about calibrating any electronic stuff on it.
Forks and shock are fully serviceable on the ES. Set your suspension to 1 rider preload and soft 0. Then you can safely unplug and remove forks/shock. Little trick with the shock is to twist the bottom clevis almost 90 deg to remove from side of subframe. Removing wheel makes it easier yet.

At just over 5,500 miles my right fork bushing had a small amount of play. Once both start to have play it's definitely time for servicing. I use either Motul Expert or Race Tech oil. Both have proven to help bushings live a little longer. Dirt bikes I raced were serviced every 25-50 hours max. Recreational every 100 hours or so. Street bikes aprox 10,000 miles between service. When I took my Super Tenere to Race Techs service center they recommended for me to bring in every 10,000 miles or when fork bushings wear, Whichever occurs first.

I check bushing wear every oil change.

Also I highly recommend to use quality spring compressor tools to remove the springs. Cobbled together and cheap tools are spooky and really taking a chance. Race Tech makes reasonably priced tools that make spring removal quick and painless.
 

Drif10

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Good thread. I'm about to do the forks on my ES, i was guessing that setting everything to the softest before disassembly would be the case, great to read confirmation.

What weight and volumes have folks been going with?
 

Sierra1

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. . . . In the 'soft' setting, it feels as if the rear end is lower than the front which changes the steering characteristic. . . .
You're correct in your summation, but don't confuse "soft" compression/dampening with low/light preload. Preload = helmet(s) & luggage. One helmet is good for about 200lbs of load. Luggage is about 50lbs. Increasing the preload physically raises the back of the bike. The soft setting is for how your bike reacts to bumps.
 

Jazzer

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Can anyone recommend any videos or posts about how to rebuild the forks. I've done all my own maintenance (including valve adjustments) but forks scare me!

Thanks,
 

Dons 1911

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Forks scare me too! My son and I did the PM on the forks on my Stelvio, but for the Super Tenere I had Terry at NorWest Suspension do them. He's a great guy and does great work! I applaud those of you that just jump in there and get it done...
 

thughes317

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Jazzer

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Thanks! I think I’ll give it a go.
So finally have the tools and ready to get these seals and bushings replaced. But…. The forks won’t come out and I don’t want to damage them. They are ready to come off and I think I have a fairly strong grip but I can’t budge them. I’ve used a flathead to spread the clamp (pinch bolts).

Any suggestions? Wd40?

thanks.
 

gv550

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You have loosened the two bolts on the bottom triple clamp and the one bolt on the top clamp, right? With both slots wedged open then the tube should slide out.
 

escapefjrtist

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Just checking...both upper and lower triple clamps are loosened? If no go after slightly spreading the triples with a flat blade, try to twist to the upper tube. Forks should slide right out.

~G
 

Jazzer

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Jun 22, 2015
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Upper and lower are loose. I tried twisting but they don’t budge. The bike has 32k and I may have dropped it some puddles along the way . I am thinking about trying some p blaster or something. Or maybe try twisting with a men’s belt like we used to remove oil filters with. ??
 

Jazzer

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Well, I got them out. Probably not in a way you’d want to see your shop mechanic do it. I put a deep socket with an extension over the top cap and gave them a few good taps with a hammer. They dropped out fairly easily.
 
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