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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I apologize for the formatting in advance as I’m on mobile.
I got my first bike 2 months ago which is a 2003 sv650, with a gsxr front end. Two owners ago the owner installed a full gsxr front end. My mechanically inclined neighbor noticed that my front right fork is leaking. It is not spurting out in any way, but after every ride the fork is slick.
I am wanting to start doing track days in the next few weeks in the Portland area and want to get things buttoned up.
A few questions:
  1. When getting the fork seals replaced, what else should I look at getting serviced/upgraded? I am worried about getting taken for a slight ride and/or not getting things upgraded/fixed when the opportunity arose.
  2. How often do forks need to be serviced? Obviously if there is a leak that is a sign, but should forks be serviced if there are no signs that a relatively new rider would recognize? I don’t know the history of the forks, but considering I bought the bike with tires from 2011 on them I doubt they were a priority.
  3. Does anyone have any recommendations for where to take them in the Portland Oregon area? I am looking at promotion suspension. They seem reasonably priced and have good reviews. I want to get into doing this myself in the nearish future, but I also want to get these done right and done quickly so that I can take advantage of this summer.
Thanks everyone.
 

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Are you taking forks off yourself? Might be good learning opportunity if so. You'll need a front stand.
You're overthinking this relatively common maintenance event. Getting forks on and off isn't a big deal (even though it may feel like it). I know when I started in the sport, I had same fears.

To answer your questions -

They're essentially rebuilding suspension for you. I would work with them to make sure that the suspension is set for your weight and riding style. Don't make yourself sound better than you are. Typically they'll stiffen suspension settings the faster you are. I'd ask for something fairly forgiving as you'll have opportunity to stiffen up as you get faster. They'll change oil, springs and seals.

When reinstalling suspension you have a number of choices as to how your front end is. If you want quick and nimble but unstable, lower front end (more tube showing through top triple); if you want planted and stable but not nimble, raise the front end - flush with top triple.

My suggestion - if you have time, learn to remove forks yourself. Bring in to get serviced. Reinstall yourself. Start with flush. Go for ride see how it feels. Drop 10mm, and go for ride. If feels better, drop another 5mm and go for ride. Basically honing in on whether you feel best with your front end.

Happy to give you more detail but that's my $.02

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2. Depends on riding style and how often. Some get refreshed once a year. Some only when there's a leak. Oil in suspension can get worn out. I don't do mine as often as I should.

3. No recommendations but I'd check local racer forums and see who they use. Pro Motion seems more dirt oriented.

3a. If the track days you do has a suspension guy - take full advantage. Best money that can be spent.

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Discussion Starter #5
Subaruzi,

I appreciate all the insight. I do have the ability to take the forks off myself, I just don't yet feel comfortable doing the service/rebuild myself.

When you say the track may have a suspension guy, is that generally for just for tuning the suspension, or would that person generally do the fork rebuild separately as well? I am in a few local track day forums so I will ask around there as well.

Again thank you for the help. I figured that this would be an important thing to get done and I want to make sure I get it done correct.
 

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When you say the track may have a suspension guy, is that generally for just for tuning the suspension, or would that person generally do the fork rebuild separately as well? I am in a few local track day forums so I will ask around there as well.
any of the guys that build bikes for tracks will be able to do fork seals. most of them will be able to do basic setup. some of the good ones will be able to get you a good baseline
 

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+1 for above.

A lot of track day organizations will have a suspension tuner at the event. Usually around 40$ to have them set you up.

Making assumption you have stock shock, it would be good to have someone adjust front for you so that the front and rear are working in harmony.

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