View Full Version : Fork Oil Change... How To??

09-18-2009, 10:59 PM

Quick question for those of you with fork maintenance/re-building experience…

I have yet to change the fork oil in my ’08 Ulysses XT. I would like to attempt this procedure myself (if possible). However, I do not have any “hands-on” motorcycle fork experience… So, my question is:

1 Can the fork oil be replaced without a partial/complete tear-down and rebuild of the front forks?
2 Do you know of any relevant threads on this forum (or elsewhere) that I might find useful?

Thanks in advance for your help guys. Ride safe.


05-19-2011, 12:21 PM
Bumping this as I have the exact same question!

05-19-2011, 01:23 PM
Rebuilding Forks Thread with Videos (http://www.buellxb.com/Buell-XB-Forum/Buell-Firebolt-XB12-XB9/Troubleshooting/xb12r-04-front-fork-rebuild)

02-25-2013, 08:33 AM
So after looking at those vids and that other thread , I think the answer is no , you cant change the oil in the forks without partial rebuild , or moreso pulling the forks off ...

02-25-2013, 08:36 AM
there is no bottom drain like on an HD, so to get the oil out, you have to dissassemble the entire assembly, and physicly turn the tube upside down to drain the oil , hey Its a Buell , you didn't expect any maintainence issue to be easy did you lol :D

02-25-2013, 09:29 AM
Hey Griffo, this thread is very old. The OP is probably no longer on the forum.

02-25-2013, 11:22 AM
griffo: what netty said. i'm thinking this guy's oil is changed by now. but you can actually do seal cleaning and oil change without tearing forks apart. get front wheel elevated, remove wheel assy. and set caliper aside, loosen all triple clamp fork tube fasteners, slide forks out of the clamps. they do not interchange...there is left and right. a snap ring gizmo near top of each tube limits their re-install travel in the clamps. very easy to reinstall them. after they're off remove top cap, relieve pressure, turn each one upside down in a drain pan and let sit overnite. work the cartridge up and down a bit if you can. overnite drain usually reveals about 13 ounces of fluid. i then lightly flush them with a cleaner, drain again, fill with identical amount of either 7.5 or 10 wt. quality fork oil, reassemble and reinstall.

02-25-2013, 11:31 PM
Thanks guys , just joined up as you can see but had Buells for a while now , originally a 2000 M2 Cyclone and now an 07 XB12R , just a bit of a tounge in cheek dig about the maintainence being hard on Buells , dont get me wrong I love riding them , just get frustrated over the maintainence flaws sometimes , nearly went mad when i found out that i had to virtually pull the engine out to change a drive belt and isolators on the M2 , and even after finding a thread on Badweb about making the isolator tool , it was still a hard task , just got to 20 thou on the Firebolt and was thinking fork oil changed , but then had a laugh when i realised there was no bottom drain plug on the forks ... ahhh well , gotta love em ;)

02-26-2013, 06:28 PM
being showa forks they are serviced just like they would be from any Jap or Italian brand machine. and the drive belt is a cinch to change on XB's with the redesigned rear axle, simplicity in removing rear wheel, and the bridged swingarm. very simple job now. belts a bit pricey but simple repair.

08-16-2013, 08:36 PM
to 06 Uly i made it like this

10-11-2013, 05:08 AM
After a particularly hard weekend of riding, I awoke Monday AM to discover a pool of fork oil at my front tire. The volume and oil on both fork tubes indicated it would not be an easy fix by swiping plastic under the seals to remove offending debris. So, I decided to do complete rebuilt. I ordered a seal seating tool from MotorcycleSuperstore and a real nice fit from Traxxion to help me hold the inner tube down to access 17mm nut. I have changed oil, tranny fluid and headers, plus have done minor electrical work like adding LED driving lights and a battery tender. This was my first fork seal rebuild. Assemble right tools: 32MM deep socket wrench; kit from Traxxion; and, of course, new seals. I bought All Balls Seal and Dust Cover kit.
Preparation and watching a view You Tube videos on Showa forks helped me mentally. I started at 1700 tonight and finished at 2230. A little longer than I thought; but, not bad for first time. I am glad I did it because I know it was done right and I wasn't ripped off for $200 or more. I chose Motul 7.5 light/middle weight synthetic fork oil. I am taking another MSF ARC course on Saturday, so I will get a good feel if the job is OK.
Also, before starting, I noted my settings and then back them all the way off (counterclockwise).
And, a clean work area with lots of paper towels and oil receptacle is a must.
This is a very doable job; so do not be intimidated. Email if any questions.

01-08-2014, 08:14 AM
my story here:

01-08-2014, 01:04 PM
Turn your motorcycle upside down to drain oil, that way you dont have to remove forks! :D