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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
so I picked up my R3 after big service according to a service manual. However, I noticed that front forks oil hasn't been changed (Yamaha guys probably didn't bother doing it since it works "ok"). Now, I want to change the oil myself, although mechanically speaking I don't really feel up to the task of removing the tubes and emptying them.
I was wondering, if it would be possible to just lift the bike, remove the top caps and then remove the bolts from underneath the forks and let the oil drain out. Then rinse it with new oil, screw the bolts back in, fill it up with correct amount according to service manual and put the caps on top. What do you guys reckon will it work?
I know this is not the correct way, and that there could be leftovers of gunk insinde, but I think it's better than nothing.

P.S: If you don't know which bolts i mean, here is the video on YT
 

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I have tried to drain the fork oil on my other bikes by removing the drain bolt on the bottom of the fork leg. Either the drain bolt would not break free with a hand held wrench or it would just spin as it is connected to the cylinder inside the fork. I had to remove the forks to remove the drain bolts since I needed an impact wrench to pop the drain bolts loose. And then again an impact wrench to snug the bolts tight. In my experience, you may get lucky with a hand held tool to remove and reinstall the drain bolts, but it did not work out that way for me.

I change my fork oil about twice a year when my forks start feeling spongy. I support the moto in the front off the ground with a hoist, pull the wheel and brake, loosen the yoke top bolts, loosen the fork tube caps, loosen the bottom yoke bolts, drop the tubes, remove fork va!ve caps, springs, spacers, washers and then turn the tubes upside down to drain. Once in a while turn them up and pump a few times then repeat draining. Then I dump about 200 ml of mineral oil in each tube to flush out more impurities and repeat. Then refill tubes and reinstall. Be sure to pump each fork leg several times to remove all trapped air.

There is a great thread here where you can download the service manual. It takes me about 2 beers/2 hours to refresh the forks.

Good on you for doing your own work. Reminds me of the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mantenance.". Pirsig
 

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As tempting as I looks, I wouldn't do it..... There's a 50/50 chance you will need a "hold back" on the dampener rod that those bolts are going into. Add to that once you take the fork cap off, it will be under more pressure as it's supporting the weight of the bike on the spring. Removing the forks isn't difficult on these bikes. My advise, take your time, do it right- you got this....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have tried to drain the fork oil on my other bikes by removing the drain bolt on the bottom of the fork leg. Either the drain bolt would not break free with a hand held wrench or it would just spin as it is connected to the cylinder inside the fork. I had to remove the forks to remove the drain bolts since I needed an impact wrench to pop the drain bolts loose. And then again an impact wrench to snug the bolts tight. In my experience, you may get lucky with a hand held tool to remove and reinstall the drain bolts, but it did not work out that way for me.

I change my fork oil about twice a year when my forks start feeling spongy. I support the moto in the front off the ground with a hoist, pull the wheel and brake, loosen the yoke top bolts, loosen the fork tube caps, loosen the bottom yoke bolts, drop the tubes, remove fork va!ve caps, springs, spacers, washers and then turn the tubes upside down to drain. Once in a while turn them up and pump a few times then repeat draining. Then I dump about 200 ml of mineral oil in each tube to flush out more impurities and repeat. Then refill tubes and reinstall. Be sure to pump each fork leg several times to remove all trapped air.

There is a great thread here where you can download the service manual. It takes me about 2 beers/2 hours to refresh the forks.

Good on you for doing your own work. Reminds me of the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mantenance.". Pirsig
Thanks for help and your POV! Much appreciated! To be completely honest, the reason I'm hesitant to take the forks out is the fact I managed to strip the bolt holding the clip-ons in place. I did the "clip-on under triple tree repositioning" and I managed to overtighten the lower bolt on OEM clipons and i destroyed the nut making it round.... Of course it's due to me being a newbie in motorcycle maintenance and I wanted it to be as tight as possible so it doesn't drop below in high speeds or something... Now I would have to cut the bolt in order to remove the clipons from forks. Which i don't really feel like doing RN :D
I thought about the oil change a bit more and I thought about putting slim hose inside and pumping the old oil out of the forks. -It's procedure commonly done in cars with engine oil. For sure It's not gonna be as good as proper fork maintanence however, better than nothing. What do you think about this idea? Should I go for pumping or removing the "drain" bolt?

Cheers!
 

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As tempting as I looks, I wouldn't do it..... There's a 50/50 chance you will need a "hold back" on the dampener rod that those bolts are going into. Add to that once you take the fork cap off, it will be under more pressure as it's supporting the weight of the bike on the spring. Removing the forks isn't difficult on these bikes. My advise, take your time, do it right- you got this....
Yeah, I'm well aware of the pressure of the bikes weight so i plan to lift the front wheel from the ground by lifting the bike carefully with woodblock and car jack.
 

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I thought about the oil change a bit more and I thought about putting slim hose inside and pumping the old oil out of the forks. -It's procedure commonly done in cars with engine oil. For sure It's not gonna be as good as proper fork maintanence however, better than nothing. What do you think about this idea? Should I go for pumping or removing the "drain" bolt?

Cheers!
You could probably find a large syringe at a vetinarian supply store. With some vinyl tubing you could extract the fork oil, then flush with another light oil, then fill with fresh. Just pump the forks a lot to expel air and bubbles in between changes. Buena suerte.
 

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How would you level the forks to refill them? Would you just guess to close enough? I guess you could get to within a few mm that way.

cornerslider is right, you will need to hold that damping rod still to replace the bolt. I used a broom stick both for removal and reinstalling the bolts when I installed fork carts.

as kilo mentioned, you may also need an impact wrench. Not sure if you’ll have enough room for that if you don’t remove the forks first. I got lucky and took one off with just a ratchet, but had to use an impact for the second one. Stripping that bolt would suck, so better to use an impact wrench.

If you stripped that bolt just on clip ons from overtightening, I highly suggest you learn to be more careful. Clip on bolt is an easy fix. Breaking the bolt from a fork leg will down your bike for a few days, grt oil everywhere and in general not be very fun for you.
I honestly feel your short cut way is gonna cost more time than just dismounting thr fork tubes and doing it right thr first time.

i usually pull both forks off, which takes about 10-15 minutes, including the tire, brake caliper, clutch perch, master cylinder/brake lever, clip ons, put the tubes in an old handlebar attached to a vise, and re I’ve the end caps. The I remove internals, drain and have them sit upside down while I eat lunch so they can drain more.
 

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Yeah, I'm well aware of the pressure of the bikes weight so i plan to lift the front wheel from the ground by lifting the bike carefully with woodblock and car jack.
If you have an a frame ladder, it’s easier to just suspend it with the ladder and a ratchet tie down.
 

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Kojiiro is right absolutely about getting the oil height correct. A few mm off makes a substantial difference..
 
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