Fork Oil - What single weight? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Fork Oil - What single weight?

I recently rebuilt both front forks on my 750. Like an idiot, I let the parts guy at the local Kawi dealer look up what I needed, rather than look it up in the manual myself. Guy gave me 5w and said I had to put 143ml in each fork. Should have known something was up when it took a lot more than that to fill each tube to the right level.

Anyway, I soon noticed that the front end would get a little squirrely if push too hard in the twisties or dealing with some of our back roads that have been beat to death by the local Amish horse & buggies. So I finally pulled out the manual and sure enough, 5w ain't right. Book calls for 10w20.

Now I don't know how it is in the rest of the country or the rest of the world but no one around these parts sells multi-weight fork oil. Went to 3 shops looking for 10w20 and all I found were single weights. Two of the 3 suggested using the 10w, the third just looked at me like I was from mars.

So what are you folks running for tube oil?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:53 AM
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I used Bel-Ray 15w. Never heard of multi viscosity fork oil, I read the 10w20 as 10w to 20w.

I installed progressive springs too (highly reccomended) as I had a large windscreen I picked 15w instead of 10w oil, which I was told was the stock weight.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Maybe I misread the manual as the norm seems to be single weight. Going to go with 10 and see what happens.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 12:18 PM
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Many people just use ATF with no problems.

10w20 written like that is a multi-weight. 10-20w or 10w-20w would read 10 to 20 weight, but it only takes one slip of a finger and one sleepy proofreader...

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 04:39 PM
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X2 on the progressives (about $70 from powersport superstore). The manual says 10w, but the stuff I got is 10w20.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 04:59 PM
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I rebuild all of mine with atf. Haven't had a single complaint yet.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 08:55 PM
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Weird....3 posts now that arent showing.....anyway, I use Bel-ray 20...its whats recommended for Harleys with the same forks (Showa)....



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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Well I looked in the shop manual again and it definitely says 10w20. Already purchased a bottle of 10w so that's what will be going in tomorrow. If I don't like how it feels, guess I'll be spending another $12 on a bottle of 20w.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 09:25 PM
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There aint much diff between 10 and 20....minimal at most....Im thinking your springs may be shot (mine were)....easy changeover....but yer talkin a few bucks....like around $80....worth it though, IMO....the rear aint as critical as the front....I was lucky enough to get forks from Shark with good springs....I still need to reinstall the air assist due to my heavy fairing....



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 12:40 PM
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How big a guy are you Joe? do you have a windscreen?
As mentioned.....better springs will make more of a difference, and so would a fork brace. I think a 20w fork oil would make the ride too harsh, and be even worse if your springs are shot.

As always, your want an even compromise here, stiff enough to feel solid in turns but soft enough you don't feel like you're being beaten up by every ripple and bump in the road. Your discription of "symptoms" are those two different areas...
"I soon noticed that the front end would get a little squirrely if push too hard in the twisties or dealing with some of our back roads that have been beat to death by the local Amish horse & buggies."

But the bike lacks the suspension, front or rear, where its going to do well on crappy roads. Simply lacks the travel really.

If your springs feel too soft and you can't afford new springs, you can try adding a little more preload to the stock ones. A 3/4 inch stack of the right sized washers on top of each spring might help.

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