Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
I would agree totally with knifemaker and ATF probably has harsh detergents that would possibly eat up the seals. Just my opinion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Just wondering about the ATF and Kawasaki's

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

Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

·
85 VN 700
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I agree.
My GL 500 and 1100 don't need to be more than 8lbs to raise the front. I'll be leaving the springs in too. I need to buy a small hand bicycle pump that works well for low psi applications with a built in gauge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
According to the manual for VN700 and 86 - 89 VN750 the usable range is 0-7.1psi.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top