Atf? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Wheels, Suspension and Brakes
Everything to do with wheels, tires,
suspension, forks and brakes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
dirtrack650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock, Wa
Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)
 
Atf?

Anyone use ATF in their front forks? My local Kaw shop mech says it a good alternative to expensive 'fork oil'. He also said 5w or 10w hydo oil is ok too.
dirtrack650 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 04:15 PM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,647
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
Most of us blow the extra buck fifty and get Bel Ray Fork oil. (15w is the popular weight here BTW)..I hope your local Kaw shop is not using ATF in folks forks.
Weights are different between oils...70w gear oil is not the same as 70w engine oil (if they made 70w engine oil)
ATF has diffrent flow rates than Fork Oil under diffrent temps, so spend the extra money...or spend a bit more and use synthetic Fork Oil.

KM

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 05:10 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 553
iTrader: (3)
 
I would agree totally with knifemaker and ATF probably has harsh detergents that would possibly eat up the seals. Just my opinion
Woody is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
dirtrack650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock, Wa
Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)
 
Just wondering about the ATF and Kawasaki's

My GL500 and GL1000 hondas both use ATF as recommended by the factory.

Thanks
dirtrack650 is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2007, 12:13 PM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,647
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrack650 View Post
My GL500 and GL1000 hondas both use ATF as recommended by the factory.


Well, not saying you are incorrect, but just does not seem likely that an Official Honda Shop Manual would reccomend using Automatic Transmission Fluid in the forks over Hondas own and pricey Fork Oil. I'd have to see it in print. Can see a Clymers or Haynes manual saying that though....

And I am not saying ATF would not work. Hell , just about anything with a simular viscosity would accomplish the same job as the fork oil is not used for its lubrication abilities as much as its flow rate in a dampening system. ATF, Gear oil, Light Machine oil, Mineral oil , and even Peanut Oil could work.
Your post asked if anyone here uses ATF in their forks, and again, most of us do not. Fork oil is made for its intended use, it has the right amount of rust inhibitors and anti-foaming agents needed for life in the front forks. So anything cheaper would of course just be a cheaper less effective subsitute and most feel they should not skimp on the performance aspects of their bike as their lives literaly depend on it.

KM

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2007, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
dirtrack650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock, Wa
Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)
 
Did some www research on ATF & fork oil...

Seems that in useage, synth ATF for other bikes and brands is common. I think I'll try it next time and post the results.

So many choices... Some people swear it's great, some won't use it.

And it is a Clymer book that recommends ATF.
dirtrack650 is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2007, 07:41 PM
85 VN 700
 
curtis97322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 1,033
iTrader: (4)
 
IIRC - the clymers (at least that I have) recommends ATF for changing fork fluid on the Vulcan. I chose to use fork oil (It's what... $8 for enough to change the forks twice?) since I'm a fatass and need a heavier weight oil and couldn't trust the ATF oil to be heavy duty enough.


On an interesting note the factory manual (section 12-12 - downloadable from TOC) has a section on changing the oil in th rear shocks.

Curtis - Albany Oregon.
Currently receiving therapy from "Doc" - My 1985 VN700.

Daily rider in NorthWET Oregon.
Ammo Can Saddlebags
Shaved and Rejetted. Coastered. Degoated w/ Hardley pipes.

Bought Feb 2007 with 12K miles.
Hit the 24k mile July 2008

http://photobucket.com/curtis97322
curtis97322 is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2007, 07:54 PM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,647
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrack650 View Post
Seems that in useage, synth ATF for other bikes and brands is common. I think I'll try it next time and post the results.
So many choices... Some people swear it's great, some won't use it.
And it is a Clymer book that recommends ATF.

Ahha!...lol.
Really, I would guess a good synthetic ATF would work fine, Took awhile to run through my Huge Library of Links, but I found this page:
http://tinyurl.com/25ezll

The article does list a few ATF's in it's chart. What I'd be concerned over is not knowing the actual viscosity rating of an ATF bottle off the shelf at WalMart as in how it compares to the fork oil I am using. I have used Belray Fork Oil all my life and kinda know what to expect from each of the diffrent weights it offers.
I do know for absolutely sure that changing the front fork SPRINGS makes alot more diffrence than changing fork oil. (On the Vulcan 750 that is)
The front end is a bit weak , both in spring rate and dampening. Stiffer springs, like those offered by Progressive coupled with a bit heavier oil (My reccomendation 15w Belray) does a world of good to the front suspension. After adding a fork brace, I'd say that about gets the front as good as it can get without drasticly changing parts.
I'd like to hear what brand ATF you try and your results.
KM

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
dirtrack650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock, Wa
Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)
 
Tank Valves too

I'm adding tank valves to the forks to add air suspension when I change the fork oil this winter and do the seals and wipers at the same time. I'll post pics to show the process if anyone is interested.

With a steel front fender, does a fork brace make that much difference? I understand on my GL500, with a plastic fender, a fork brace makes a huge improvement.
dirtrack650 is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 03:31 PM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,647
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
The fender is steel, but "wiggly" , the fork brace does help. If you add air valves to your forks , don't go over 10lbs as seals can't take more without damage .


KM

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker 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