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Squeaky forks on VTR

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Greydog, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. OK folks, all suggestions welcome...

    My VTR seems to be having an issue with squeaky forks when bounced. It didn't do it when I was riding it regularly; it only seems to have developed since it has been stored. It's been ridden now and then - usually when the Z is being serviced and I take the VTR home, then ride it back and pick up the Z (it's being stored in streetmaster's garage currently, so when he's working on the Z, I can take the VTR).

    Fork seals aren't leaking. Streetmaster originally thought it might be the brake pads moving, but it isn't (hope I have that correct - I'm a technical twit).

    Anyway, thought I'd canvass the knowledgeable people on NR for ideas. I'd like to sort this out before I put it up for sale.

    streetmaster feel free to add anything here.
  2. I assume you checked the dust seals are sliding properly?
  3. Its not squeaking, its crying because its been dumped for something sexier :)
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Its just whining cause its a Honda....
  5. Maybe you could try a light smear of oil in a rag where the fork travel is to see if it's a squeaky fork seal.
  6. Already tried the KISS principal.
    Smeared silicon grease on the forks after popping the dust seals off to make sure it was getting to the fork seals.
    Thought it may have been dry seals as the noise wasn't there before storage.
    Lifted the front to make sure it wasn't the bearings (wheel & headstem)
    Even took the caliper off to make sure it wasn't the brake.
    At a bit of a loss! :arghh:
  7. #7 Wayned, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    Could be the fork internals, although since there's oil in there (assuming it's still at the proper level), there might not be a whole lot you can do, other than maybe giving it fresh dose of fork oil to the specified level. Chances are that at the very least, the front will work better for the freshening and you can take a look at the innards to make sure nothing's knackered (whether that's causing the noise or not).

    I guess it's possible that one of the seals is just making the noise but is in good order and working fine (like squealing brakes).

    Are you absolutely sure it's coming from the forks? Slight movement of the rear suspension when bouncing the front could conceivably (since we're shooting in the dark) cause a similar sound from the rear shock mounts, linkages or swingarm pivots that carries through the frame right up to the headstock and get all ventriloquistic on yo' ass. More pronounced bouncing of the rear to check may not show anything, since it might be a fairly specific resonance only caused when it's barely moving.

    The "screwdriver handle to the ear as a stethoscope" method might be able to zero on on the source.

    That might have already been ruled out, but since it's being elusive it's worth looking outside the square a bit more.
  8. #8 streetmaster, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    Yeah, I've bounced the rear & pushed gently & all is smooth & quiet.
    Even sat on it to make sure it wasn't the seat rubbing on the tank.
    Stood in front & can definitely hear it coming from the forks.
    Didn't really want to pull the forks as the bike is going up for sale soon.
    Front end is smooth as you bounce it, just the annoying 'squeeek'!!!
    Might just wait & see if it's a deal breaker first!!
  9. Maybe take it down half an hour or so of bumby* roads and see if it goes away again.

    Is there a damper rod bolt at the fork bottoms you can get at by pulling the front axle, or do you have to remove the forks?

    Just a couple of weeks back I found I could do a real easy partial fork oil upgrade on the VFR ('95). Pulling the axle out and moving the wheel slightly back (so the discs are still between the pads) let me at the bottom bolts, and I was able to drain 250 ml (of 412 ml total, by the manual) each side.

    I then replaced through the unscrewed caps at the top of the fork tubes, heavier-than-stock 10 wt Bel Ray - the same quantity as I had drained + an extra oz/27ish ml to bring the oil level about 20mm higher, and to give me a mix somewhere between 5 and 10 wt.

    Really easy, and a marked improvement in the front for the price of a $20 litre bottle of fork oil (with nearly half of that left.

    Another bloke I know also recently did a quick fork oil change on his Triumph twin by popping the top caps, pulling the innards out, then drawing up the old oil through some flexible tube and some type of syringe-like hand pump.

    That's a couple of CBF'd-doing-it-properly techniques I didn't know a few weeks ago that worked fine, thanks to a bit of Bush engineering motivated by dependable Australian slackness.

    *A typo of "bumpy", but I liked it, so it stays.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. There's a comedian in every corner..... LOL
  11. Sorry I've left this for a while.
    After wiping the forks with silicon grease, the squeak was still there.
    Ended up doing a full oil replacement.
    Took the forks out, disassembled, drained & flushed them.
    Filled with new oil to the correct level, (105mm from the top, collapsed)
    All fixed! (y)
    Thanks for the suggestions Wayned.
    Was just a bit stumped as the noise wasn't there when the bike was parked,
    • Like Like x 1
  12. nice work streety :)

    out of interest how had is it to change the fork oil on these things?

    im thinking slightly heavier oil might increase the dampening a touch
  13. Sorry to take so long! Been busy in the shed!!!

    Not hard! lol
  14. Seriously, I find it best to remove the forks so you can invert them & flush out the old oil completely.
    That way you can also fill to the correct (measured, 105mm from the top, collapsed with no spring).

    Some people just remove the fork socket bolt (with the forks still in place) & let it drain out.
    Then refill with 460cc of oil.

    But you can't get all the old oil out (fork oil needs regular changing too!)
    Also you can't 'bleed' them properly either.