Upper Fork Tube Wear

jwrands

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Jan 6, 2021
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I am in the middle of a fork service on my 2013 with 90,000 mi. I found a significant wear pattern on the inside of both upper fork tubes right where the upper bushing normally rides (about 7.5" down from the top of the outer tube). The inner gold coating is completely worn through in an oval pattern on one side of the tube.

I do not know the maintenance history of the bike before I bought it at 70,000 mi. This is the first time the forks have been serviced since I've owned it. The Teflon coating looks good on all bushings except one of the lowers. The fork oil looks pretty dirty.

I am not sure what orientation the fork tube was installed, but I think this type of wear would occur on the rear side of the fork tube. It seems to me that I should be fine to keep running these tubes as long as I rotate the wear spot away from the where the bushing rubs. To complete the fork service I will be installing new linear springs, Penske valves from Stoltec Moto, new SKF seals, and new bushings.

I am posting this just to show the extent of wear that could happen if fork maintenance is neglected, and to alert others about an inspection point that might be overlooked during fork service.

Anyone else have experience with this type of wear? How bad is it?
 

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jrusell

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Unfortunately forks/suspension gets ignored all too often, most likely yours were never serviced by previous owner.
I would do as you mentioned and rotate the wear pattern to be facing out to the side.

Also do not over tighten the lower triple bolts. I think the spec is around 20N. I would lower this to around 14-15N. Measure down and you will see the lower triple clamp probably lines up with the wear area. Overtightening will deform the tube slightly and increase wear as you see on yours.
Feel free to increase the upper triple clamp torque setting slightly if desired.

Honda Africa twins have been battling this issue on the early models. Never had this issue on mine but I did fork oil changes 1-2 times per year and my 2013 S10 didn't have the mileage yours has.
Good luck.
 

Cycledude

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I have worn out two sets of Goldwing forks, they get sort of egg shaped inside and I’m sure the Tenere upside down forks do pretty much the same thing . Very expensive to replace forks but I got lucky last time and managed to buy a practically new complete set from a trike conversion for $300.00
 

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Yep- I’ve seen it, replaced them, and get on a soap box often here on the forum.
The Tenere is hard on guides. I always suggest that people just throw a new set in each time they change the oil. 20-25K miles or so. Otherwise it will catch you out.
The guide material will fall down to the seals. Then the seals will start leaking. In reality the fork is full of crap and needs some TLC. Think of your fork oil like the motor oil in your bike or car. You don’t put your head in the sand and pretend “it’s all good”. It needs to be changed- for sure !!!
I’ve seen it many times on Teneres. Also, for anyone reading this post, don’t power wash your bike. You will blow water into the forks. That causes a whole host of other issues. You will know quickly when the fork oil stinks to high heaven. Lol. The oil you dump out looks like toxic avenger.
 

StefanOnHisS10

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Also do not over tighten the lower triple bolts. I think the spec is around 20N. I would lower this to around 14-15N. Measure down and you will see the lower triple clamp probably lines up with the wear area. Overtightening will deform the tube slightly and increase wear as you see on yours
Tightening torques are indeed very important! Lot of problems with overtightened parts.
 

jwrands

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San Luis Obispo, CA
This wear is not associated with the lower clamps being too tight. The wear spot is located about an inch above the lower clamp area. I don't think the upper bushing would ever travel through the lower clamp area, except maybe at full extension of the fork.
 
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