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I just removed the front forks from my 1997 M900 and thought I might list the steps here, in case anyone else can't figure it out.

First off, you need hex wrenches (allen wrenches) in 14, 8, 6, and 4mm, and a large wrench or breaker bar for the 14mm axle to get enough leverage. If you can't find 14mm wrench, try AutoZone. You'll also need a good stand that holds the bike up by the steering stem, or some way to hold the front of the bike from above, using ropes or tiedown straps. My new Pitbull stand does an excellent job.

After the front end is suspended and before doing anything else, disconnect the speedometer drive so that there is no chance of spinning the axle and breaking it. Then loosen the two 8mm screws on the bottom of the right fork leg, but leave the ones on the left tight. Use the 14mm hex wrench and a breaker bar to loosen the axle. Screw it out part way, but not all the way yet.

Take the 4mm allen wrench and remove the four screws holding on the front fender, then put it somewhere safe. You'll have time to clean it good later.

Use the 8mm hex wrench to disconnect the brake calipers. Two big screws per side need to be removed. You can remove the calipers without taking the brake disks off of the wheel if you pry the pads back a little, then twist the caliper outward when it gets up against the rim. Use some string or wire to hold the calipers up out of the way.

Unscrew the front axle the rest of the way, hold the tire and wheel with your right hand and pull the axle out with your left hand. Be sure not to lose the parts that go to the speedometer drive.

Now all you have left to do is drop the forks out and you're done. Measure how much fork leg is sticking up above the triple clamp so you can put it back how it was. Mine has 3/4" of fork leg, not counting the cap, above the triple clamp, and it has never been modified since the day it was new.

Loosen the top two 6mm screws, loosen one of the bottom 6mm screws, then get a good hold on the fork leg when you loosen the last one. If you don't it will drop out by itself (I'm embarrassed to explain how I know this. :-[ ) Repeat for the other fork leg and you're set.

Any screws that don't attach directly to the fork leg should be put back where they came from so they can't be lost. Put the others somewhere safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And one more thing... don't touch the front brake lever while your calipers are off of the brake disks. You'll have a tough time prying them back apart if you do.
 

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I've never pulled a caliper off a motorcycle, but Scott makes a good point - when I used to work on my downhill mountain bikes, I would usually wedge something inbetween the pads just in case - cardboard or a piece of plastic always worked well - zip tie it in if it's gonna be off for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One more thing I forgot to mention. If you're going to have any work done on your forks, you need to remove the sleeve from the left fork leg that the axle screws into. I removed mine by threading the axle in from the other side and pounding it out with a rubber mallet.
 
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Thanks Scott, perfect timing as I just picked up an extra set of non-adjust Showa's that I plan to send out to Race Tech for a full rework. I think I'll add the cost of a Pit Bull stand to the project budget
 

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Nice job, Scott.

I particularly like the warning about the speedo cable/drive, as I'm currently riding with no working speedometer for just that reason. :eek:

--Fillmore
 

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thx scott,
very usefull stuff since i just got a set of new forks ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After putting the forks back on this evening, I would like to list a few things to be aware of.

When sliding the fork leg back into the triple clamp, get our your ruler so that you can get the exact same height you had before. I suppose a piece of tape on the fork leg at the bottom of one of the two triple clamps, placed there before removing the forks, might have made this a little easier.

Use Locktite Blue on the caliper bolts and the little screws holding on the front fender.

If it looks like a spacer is missing on the right side of the wheel, it's part of the axle. I spent about five minutes looking around for the "lost part" before I figured it out.

Before tightening the axle, make sure the speedometer drive is aligned the way you want it. I had to loosen mine once after forgetting this step.

Once you think you have it all back together, go over every bolt and screw a second time to make sure you haven't missed anything. I ended up tightening the two at the bottom of the right fork leg when I did this step.

Because you probably can't get the brake calipers exactly where they were before, treat the front brakes like you have new pads (or better yet, install new pads while the calipers are off). That means that you can't expect full braking power until you've stopped a few times.

===============

It's good to be back on the Monster. I think I was having withdrawl symptoms not having it for a week and a half. 8)
 
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Be sure to post with your riding impressions on the revalve job. Thanks in advance.
 

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Be sure to post with your riding impressions on the revalve job. Thanks in advance.
I rode it around town last night and can tell that there is a definite difference. I'll have to wait until I can spend at least 20 minutes of serious riding in the local twisties before I can give a valid riding impression. Probably not until after the October 4 SFBMHA ride on Mines Road. Last time I rode there I came straight home and took the forks off because it was clear that they needed some help. After riding that road again, I'll definitely know how much of an improvement I now have.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I finally took the bike on "The Palomares Road Loop", which is a 30-mile ride with a variety of turns with both smooth and rough pavement. The revised forks are enormously better than the old ones. I realize that the old ones had degraded a bit, because I had reached the point where I feared braking while in a bumpy turn and wanted to make sure I had scrubbed off all necessary speed a ways before the turn started. Now I can grab a handful of front brake going into the bumpiest of turns and still feel in complete control.

I know the spring rate was firmed up a bit, by shortening the old spring and adding spacers. I couldn't really tell much difference while running around town, but up in the hills it's clear that the springs are stiffer. Still, the front wheel tracks rough roads much, much better than before. There are a few rough turns where I used to feel the need to almost get up on the pegs to let the bike bounce around, but now the bike is more stable through that section. There is also one washboard section coming up to a stop sign that used to set the front end hopping, but now heavy braking is completely under control there.

One thing I found interesting is that even though I know the suspension is much better than before, I had a hard time forgetting the problems it used to exhibit so that I could push the bike a little harder. After discussing this with my riding buddies, I decided that's probably a good thing, since pushing the limits is usually what makes you exceed them.

Anyway, I feel that the $300 investment in fork revalving is more than worth it and I'm sorry I put it off so long. The bike was unsafe in some conditions before.

Next weekend I'll really put the suspension to the test when we have our SFBMHA Monster Ride on Mines Road. Last time I rode there I was so unhappy with the suspension that I came straight home and removed the forks, vowing not to ride again until the problem was fixed. I'm expecting much better behavior this time.
 

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Scott - I've forgotten, did you take the forks to Aftershocks or the guy in Seaside? Or somewhere else?

Besides cut (or replace) the springs and add spacers, did they change the oil weight? Any other changes to the forks? How did they determine what changes to make? Purely on the basis of your weight suited up? Was riding style a factor?

I'm planning on doing this very thing myself and want to be sure I get it right.

Great post, and I'll definitely make it a FAQ when I get some time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had the forks done at Aftershocks in Palo Alto. They cut the stock springs and put in 7 weight oil. I told them I do agressive canyon riding and my weight, and they just followed their proven recipe.

For local fork work, my main choices were Aftershocks and Lindemann Engineering. Aftershocks has a better reputation among the people I've talked to and they get the job done faster. Typically they can be done in a week, although it took slightly longer for mine because they were out of the shop for two days. (I dropped them off on Tuesday and picked them up on Wednesday the following week.)

By the way, if anybody in the Bay Area wants to get their forks done and doesn't have the right stands, I'll offer my garage. Just bring the bike over, we'll lift it up and yank the forks off, and it will be safe there until you return with the updated forks. Then I'll be glad to help reinstall them. Maybe I could photograph the process this time. 8)
 
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