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Proper Fork Oil for Your Riding Style by: Reine Knobbe

This month’s special is 15% off fork oil changes and fuel injector cleaning.  So I asked why is these particular maintenances are important?  My mechanics explained to me that your riding style determines what weight oil you need in your forks and why fuel injector cleaning is important.

Off the factory floor most all Harley’s have type E fork oil (eight weight).  Fork oil weight ranges from 5 to 50 weight.  Why such a wide range and what is the difference?  When you hit a bump in the road with lower rated weight fork oil you will feel more topping out which is when the shock recoils back to the original position.  When compression dampens properly your forks will recoil back out to the starting position.  The thicker the oil, the slower the recoil/rebound.  Jan said is it the difference of riding in a Pinto vs. a Cadillac (showing his age).  You can also compare it to bouncing a ball.  Bounce a ball with air and notice how quick it bounces back.  That is rebound (lighter weight fork oil).  Next, fill half the ball with water and bounce it thicker weight fork oil).  See how sluggishly it returns?  That’s compression.  

If you are an aggressive rider thicker viscosity is recommended.  It will give you a European car type ride.  Think BMW or Mercedes nice and tight.  On the other hand if you are touring cross country or like to put lots of miles on during a weekend, thinner viscosity is recommended.  The ride will be more loose and float like an American Lincoln or Cadillac.  In general we recommend 30 weight fork oil for our Missouri riders because of all the pot holes.  Our mechanics say you will feel the road more without feeling the suspension.  They feel that 30 weight brings about a more controlled and responsive ride.

So when should you change your fork oil and why?  A general rule of thumb is to change it every 20,000 miles or every 24 months.  Why?  Because the oil in your fork loses lubricity and gets dirty which can change the feel of the ride.  When changing the fork oil our mechanics will replace the wear rings as well as the dust and oil seals if needed.  

So on to fuel injector cleaning.  Why?  A clean injector provides properly atomized fuel allowing a proper burn which in turn optimizes the performance by keeping carbon levels down (want more technical info, ask my mechanic Sparky . . . I couldn’t write info down fast enough!).  If you paid to have your bike dyno tuned and you would like to keep it performing where it is at, you want to be sure to maintain the injectors.  Fuel that you put in your motorcycle has silicone and other additives (if you want more technical info, ask my mechanic Jan, I couldn’t keep up with what he was saying!).  These additives can clog the injector holes over time decreasing performance on your motorcycle.  When should you have injectors cleaned?  Injector cleaning is recommended every 20,000 or five years.  So there you have it.  Now that you have the why and when Chariots of Fire Customs LLC can take of the how.  How? By calling and making an appointment for fork oil change and/or an injector cleaning 636-775-1385.  Look forward to hearing from you!

Stay tuned for next month’s blog when I will ask my mechanics to expand on the subject of how to accommodate your motorcycle for your riding style with suspension work in mind. 

Peace Out,  Reine

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