Fork Oil---- - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
VN750 General Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
Old Twistie Sticks Rider
 
Old Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Country Created by Geniuses, But Run by Idiots...!!!
Posts: 5,072
iTrader: (2)
 
Question Fork Oil----

The other day I was thinking that fork oil probably was just Hydrolic oil, so I ask a riding buddy that was an old fart like myself, and is a retired air force mechanic (I think), anyway he has owned and ridden bikes most of his life, from trials bikes to Goldwings etc., rebuilds them and also some antique autos, and also an appliance repairman...
His answer was, I always use automatic transmission fluid, always available and cheap...???
Just wondering what y'all might think about it, hydrolic fluid, auto trans fluid, wouldn't that probably be good as both are kind to seals etc., unlike HD engine oils...
Not that I am going to switch as the fork oil for my bike is only $4.95 per pint, I am just curious I guess...lol...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
Old Dog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 10:27 AM
Sparky!!!
 
slimvulcanrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,695
iTrader: (3)
   
Garage
whats the difference between Hydraulic Oil, ATF, Power Steering Fluid, and Fork Oil... Adatives, that's about it... yea there might be a few chemical break down differances between them all as well.. but they all are 10 wt and they all do similar stuff.
slimvulcanrider is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 10:30 AM
Senior Member
 
dirtrack650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock, Wa
Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)
 
Honda states in their owners book to use trans fluid in the older wings...

DT

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
GL1100 front fender
OEM engine guard
OEM high back rest
'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
SunPro Volt Meter (Amazon)
Maier bug shield (JCW)
Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
Back Rest-Igloo 6 pak cooler
WalMart Saddle Bags
R/R Relocate
Dry Splines Lubed
AGM DieHard-Sears
Gutted Goat
Sporster XL Mufflers
LED's-stop,tail,turn,marker
Pickup coil mod to .45mm
Silverstar headlight
Rotella T6
dirtrack650 is offline  
 
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 11:04 AM
Old Truck Junkie
 
niterider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Roby Texas
Posts: 4,133
iTrader: (15)
 
I used hydralic jack oil in mine. It states on the container that it can be used for fork oil.

02 honda sabre 1100
niterider is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
Old Twistie Sticks Rider
 
Old Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Country Created by Geniuses, But Run by Idiots...!!!
Posts: 5,072
iTrader: (2)
 
Thanks Folks, thats about what I thought... I got to wondering after seeing a bottle of Bel-Ray (I think) at the Honda shop here for $16.95, probably about 1/2 that at the Kawasaki shop in Tullahoma...
The Honda shop here makes the Hardly shops in larger cities seem like china-marts, hard to believe, but they don't sell much...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
Old Dog is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 11:55 AM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 3,016
iTrader: (0)
 
Again, Honda dealers seem to have a well deserved reputation for ripping off customers. Granted, all dealers do, but Honda seems to come up a lot more often. I have rarely ever changed the fork oil in any of my many bikes. I have had a couple of bikes where the fork seals leaked so badly that I put 140W gear oil in the forks, that didn't leak out, but the suspension was pretty stiff. They were beater bikes, and IMO, not worth replacing the fork seals on.

Transmission fluid should work fine as general purpose fork oil. Some riders like to "tune" their front suspension by using different weights of oil, until they get it just right. Other than cranking the preload on the rear shocks all the way up, I just get on and ride. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
VN750Rider/Jerry is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:02 PM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,744
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
This was hashed out awhile back, but the overall answer I gave was that ATF can be used in the forks as it is basicly the same oil as commercial fork oil.

The difference here is , as mentioned, additives, and that ATF , or even other oils labeled as "Fork Oil" for that matter, do not conform to any specific testing critiria...meaning that Yamaha 10 weight fork oil may not be the same weight as Bel Ray 10 w fork oil.

Thus, you have no real idea how the suspension will act with a given oil until you use it. That is why most times you will see it suggested to use 15w Bel Ray oil here in the forks, because that is what others have tried and found to work best for them.

"Fork Oil" usually has anti-foaming agents in it, which is a good thing as you do not want air in suspension componet oil. But the main difference is having a better idea how the oil will perform in your forks...as contrary to what was mentioned all ATF is not 10w oil...it may be close to 10w, like 14 or 9. And real small changes in oil weight can be felt in your suspension.

So as Jerry said, if you ain't looking to make the parts work better, ATF will work...but if you want to "tune" the suspension to make the bike handle or feel better, stick with fork oils from one specific maker.


KM

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker is online now  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
Old Twistie Sticks Rider
 
Old Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Country Created by Geniuses, But Run by Idiots...!!!
Posts: 5,072
iTrader: (2)
 
I agree fork oil weight has a lot to do with your ride tuning and getting it right means a lot, too thin and it will be sloppy, too thick and the tire will not return to ground quick enough and can cause a serious slide in a turn by no or little contact with the low spots, very important that you get it right...
I agree with what KM said about sticking with the same brand, it will let you do a better or easier tune as the weights will be different from brand to brand...
I was mostly thinking how they just more or less bottle up, label it and rip us off...lol...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
Old Dog is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 12:33 PM
Hoser
 
junkyardroad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 118
iTrader: (0)
 
My FJ1200 manual says fork oil, atf, even 10w-30. I think its worth going thru the forks anytime the seals leak. Amazing how much sludge builds up in the bottom of the sliders. I don't like rebuilding forks, but everytime I do it, the action is noticeably better. FWIW I always use Bell 10w fork oil.

1986 VN750A(2) 12224 miles.
junkyardroad is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
Old Twistie Sticks Rider
 
Old Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Country Created by Geniuses, But Run by Idiots...!!!
Posts: 5,072
iTrader: (2)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyardroad View Post
My FJ1200 manual says fork oil, atf, even 10w-30. I think its worth going thru the forks anytime the seals leak. Amazing how much sludge builds up in the bottom of the sliders. I don't like rebuilding forks, but everytime I do it, the action is noticeably better. FWIW I always use Bell 10w fork oil.
I don't have any leaks, but plan on replacing the +/- 5 wt. with +/-10 wt., and adding Shrader valves so I can add up to about 5 PSI of air, I have already changed the springs to progressive...
By my feel before, that should fix things up pretty good (I hope)...lol...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
Old Dog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Once registered, your User Name"cannot be changed". We can make exceptions within 7 days, but after that, it is set in stone.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome