R100GS Fork Inserts - INSTALLATION

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by jimbee, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon R 100 GS F 650 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    630
    Location:
    The High Desert of New Mexico
    Thanks for the UK GS site tip!

    I now have the rebuilt forks with Gold Valve Emulator on the work bench, sometime this week I'll get them on the bike. Good to hear that it bumps up carrying capacity.

    Thanks for watching the videos & your comment.

    (......sorry for hijacking.........)
    #21
  2. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Vancouver BC / Reno NV
    helicoil complete

    about to reassemble, but one last question...

    When I removed the drain bolts for both legs, there was both an o-ring and a soft metal washer on each bolt.

    The washers look almost home made and don't actually fit neatly into the recessed hole that holds the o-ring. Also the parts fiche only shows an o-ring, no washer.

    Are the washers just something a PO threw in and so I can just leave them off, or are they actually meant to be there in which case I need to source some new ones that actually fit?

    In retrospect, because the washers don't fit well, they prevent the drain bolt from going very deep and engaging many threads. Probably a factor when I stripped it.
    #22
  3. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon R 100 GS F 650 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    630
    Location:
    The High Desert of New Mexico
    I would go with just the o-ring. That's all that's required on mine.

    If the o-rings are in good shape they should provide a good seal.

    Good Luck
    #23
  4. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    334
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    Vancouver BC / Reno NV
    Thank you brittrunyon sir.

    Two more questions for the pundits please and thank you (the HPN instructions I received are in German):

    (1) Anyone have some baseline R+C clicker settings they would care to share to help get me started? I'm 180lbs riding mostly pavement and logging roads - no big jumps or singletrack for this steed.

    (2) What is the torque value to tighten the fork caps? The bmw manual states 107 NM, but the highest value I could find in the German HPN instructions on the page where it appeared to be discussing this part of the install was 20 NM. I think the new caps are aluminum while the old ones are maybe steel so perhaps this makes sense.

    Happy Saturday!
    #24
  5. igormortis

    igormortis Cafe Reise

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    Dec 22, 2006
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    1,491
    Location:
    London
    Did you take pictures?
    #25
  6. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Vancouver BC / Reno NV
    I see that kokopelli and crew are expecting their new inserts anyday. How exciting! Based on the "Better Than HPN" review I read on the other thread, I'm a little jealous!! Maybe I need to trade up now! I think in boating this is called twofeetitis.

    Anyway, here goes...

    As discussed, the install is really a fairly straight forward thing to do. My apologies for not taking more pics - it went so fast and my hands got oily.

    There isn't too much clearence above the old fork cap and the dash:

    [​IMG]

    Loosen top triple clamp pinch bolts, remove fork top caps, and drain the fork oil (beware: I stripped the drain hole in one fork - might be good idea to follow Alibaba's advice and drain by removing the bottom bolts)

    [​IMG]

    I left the the chrome stancheons in place so as to use the triple clamps to hold the stanchions instead of moving to a bench vice. Then loosen the bottom bolts and pull off the fork lowers. I kept the two sides attached. In the pic you can see one pair of the bushings at the bottom of the stanchions.

    [​IMG]

    Out come the old peices - pretty straightforward:

    [​IMG]

    There were no PVC spacers and the springs seem to be progressively wound, so I'm assuming a PO must have changed the springs.

    [​IMG]

    Now what you really want to see, the new inserts:

    [​IMG]

    Nicely labled on the dials on top R for rebound (and right side) and C for compression:

    [​IMG]

    At this stage I replaced all the seals and bushings on the fork uppers and lowers, as well as greased and serviced the steering bearings.

    ASIDE:

    For those that also decide to service the steering bearings while they are up in there, a couple notes about re-installing tripple clamps, fork alighnment, etc. I followed the install and alignment procedure in the factory manual, and it used a slightly different procedure to alighn the forks which I think is neat (perhaps this is common knowledge). I suggest reading it, but in summary:

    - Install lower triple clamp and tighten steering bearing
    - Install upper tripple clamp but do not tighten top nut
    - Install fork stanchions and tighten lower triple clamp pich bolts
    - Slide fork lowers onto stanchions (no fork internals at this time)
    - Loosely install fork brake and wheel axle and then tighten one side of axle
    - Slide the sliders all the way up to the top and then tighten fork brace and other side of axle
    - Tighten top nut
    - Tighten fork caps
    - Then tighten upper triple clamp pinch bolts
    - Now lower your newly aligned forks

    Basically, by compressing the forks all the way up, you can use the forks themselves to align themselves. Again, maybe this is kindergarden stuff, but this seemed like a new and elegently simple procedure compared to other methods I've used.

    BACK TO INSTALL OF INSERTS

    Drop in a centering bushing into each side and then lower the inserts into the forks, tighten the lower bolts, add some fork oil:

    [​IMG]

    ..and then tighen the top cap.

    The top cap requires a bigger socket than the old stock top cap, which means I need to now carry another large socket in my trip tool roll. Also, because the new top cap is aluminum, I don't think it should be tightened as tight as the old one (spec is +100nm). I went with 20nm (needed a few adapters).

    [​IMG]

    The adjustment knobs do not interfere with the dash! :freaky

    I am battling other non-suspension issues and haven't yet had a chance to ride, but hope to this weekend!

    For those that have the HPN inserts, I woud love to hear how you have your clickers set up so I can at least start in the right ballpark.

    Good luck to those receiving the new inserts from racetech in Germany!

    Cheers, JB
    #26
  7. akabeton

    akabeton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    British Columbia Canada
    Hi James

    Looking forward to hearing about your road test on the new inserts.

    Also do you know the weight rating on the springs, that came with your inserts?

    Cheers.

    Paul Taylor
    #27
  8. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon R 100 GS F 650 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    630
    Location:
    The High Desert of New Mexico
    Nice Follow Up "jimbee".............

    Let us know the out come...........................
    #28
  9. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
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    Vancouver BC / Reno NV
    Battling some other non-suspension issues, but wanted to do a quick ride report on the inserts.

    Couple weeks ago compeleted a fun backcountry exploration romp through BC's Cariboo region. Covered 1,600 kms (1,000 km off road - 200 km of which we went faster over rougher ground than either the GS or I enjoyed), but lots of fun times nonetheless!!

    Overall, the inserts performed great! For reference, I was travelling one up with some camping gear in soft bags, so a bit loaded but nothing too heavy, and using the shorter spacers (less preload).

    High speed (90km/hr) gravel roads were a treat - the GS carved them up like a pair of long skiis. We also had a DR650 and I think we both agreed that the GS was more stable and easier to ride in the high speed gravel. The DR did feel more exciting, but for our riding ability and style, the DR wasn't actually any faster in these conditions.

    On looser surfaces (and tighter corners), the GS front end sometimes ploughed if you weren't up on the tank and throwing the bike into the corners like a dirt bike, and once the front end started to slide out, the loaded bike became a whallowing scary mess to get back into control. The DR on the othehand, while somewhat twitchy (maybe due to less steering rake) was actually much more predicable and you could steer more with the throttle and slide around much more comfortably a la dirtbiking styles. This may have been more related to the fact that the GS was wearing TKC's while the DR had more aggressive nobbies, but the point of the comparison is more to comment on the wierd way that the GS handled once front wheel traction was lost as opposed to how easy it was to loose traction. Not sure if this is a function of how the inserts are responding, or if this is just a manifistation of the flex inherent in the GS frame, or perhaps a rider issue! :ear

    In any case, in other news, I only really bottomed out the fork on one cross ditch, which really surprised me because there were lots of big bumps at high speeds!

    Still want to spend more time with the clickers (thanks for the PMs), but so far have the compression set about 3 clicks out from middle positon (puts me at about 6 in from fully out I think), and rebound set in the middle (9 clicks in from fully out). Still feels a bit harsh on really corregated wash board type surfaces, so need to play still. I find it hard to decide on rebound in these settings. Is the harshness because it is rebounding too fast or not rebounding fast enough before hitting the next corregation!? Need to experiment I guess.

    On pavement, the bike handles very very well, a marked improvement from before, and I can't wait to try putting on some more street oriented tires to further stretch its legs!

    Overall, very happy. I am happy taking the GS fast on gravel roads and going slow on rough stuff (even single track), but still not convinced that it is fun (or a good idea) to ride the bike hard and fast on really rough rocky terrain.

    Only complaint is that my brand new fork seals are already leaking!? :cry Not really the fault of the inserts but still bothers me. Thinking I'll install seal savers - just never really thought that they suit the look of a GS.

    Anyway, my 2 cents. Hope the other inserts are working out for everyone! Cheers, JB :freaky
    #29
  10. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

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    No, sorry I don't know the spring rate. JB
    #30
  11. luxlogs

    luxlogs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Joliet IL
    So how did the story end? Enquireing Minds want to know. Did you use both or one and do you want to sell the extra one?
    #31
  12. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Vancouver BC / Reno NV

    who and whatcha asking about?
    #32