Which is the best fork oil ??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Tiger-G, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Tiger-G

    Tiger-G Adventurer

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    Hi all ,

    It's time to change the fork oil on my 2006 Triumph Tiger 955i. Having done a good few Google searches, I'm surprised at how little information there is on which is considered the best oil ??

    The standard 10w is a bit too soft for my liking with the long, soft, soggy suspension creating too much fork dive under braking on a big trailie, so I put some 15w in last time, and for me, this is just a bit too hard. Sooooo.......I'm going to mix some 10 & 15w to hopefully come up with 12w, which should be a good compromise.

    I've narrowed it down to three manufacturers who make both 10 & 15w oil. They are Castrol, Motul, and Fuchs Silkolene. Any opinions on which of these you would consider the best quality ??

    Cheers,
    Graeme.
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  2. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    I use synthetic atf in all my bikes , much smoother than over the counter fork oil and last much longer ,, dexron III is similar to 15 wt dexron II is equal to 10 wt and type F is equal to 5 wt only problum is the type F isn't available in the Schaffer synthetic that I like so I have to use Dino oil when I need the super light weight oil . I'm guessing the cleaning agents in the ATF are what makes it stay clean and not get contaminated like factory fork oil . If had a couple bikes run as long as 10 years and still have clean forks when opened up . 5 years is avarage on my dirt bikes or 50,000 miles on a street bike .
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  3. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

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  4. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    Here ya go. Seek out the fluids used and then find something rated in between. If you need some help with suspension set-up try here.

    [​IMG]
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  5. ColumboNH

    ColumboNH Adventurer

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    Good timing with this thread, I need to do this too. Any experience with Spectro brand? That’s what the shop near me carries.
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  6. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    try raising the fluid level to reduce dive. I never did it on my Steamer but did on other bikes. I know guys on the Triumph ratnet forum did that too
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  7. gonerydin

    gonerydin Been here awhile

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    I won’t try to say that I know what is best. I don’t. But I will say that I had one set of seals go 155000 miles on Mobile 1 synthetic ATF. I usually replace the fluid when I change tires.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  8. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    Raising the oil level only effects the last third of travel. It's best 5MM at a time when you're satisfied with the action but seek a little more bottoming resistance.
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  9. bkoz

    bkoz Been here awhile

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    Motul makes excellent fork oil.
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  10. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    "Raising the oil level only effects the last third of travel. ".... depends on the fork. any fork that is affected by the air column on top of the oil responds changes in level. on the KLR its dramatic, more oil, less air, less dive, and most noticeable on the top third. all you heard about KLRs instability on the highway and dived, etc... all due to low oil level. pouring x amount of cc's into the hole often does not do it, you need to measure the displacement. the quantity isn't important as long the air gap is right. I know modern design USDs are different, but thats how we used to tune forks in the old days. I'm still using ATF for 10 wt, and a 50/50 ATF with Marvel when I want 5 wt

    I had a Steamer for a couple years. the Girly is a bit different, but here.... try this one to start. there are other forums where this has been sorted out

    https://www.triumphtorque.com/messageboard/thread/16928-Fork-oil.aspx

    old notes have:

    Triumph Tiger 955i , Recommended Fork Oil Grade -Kayaba G10, Oil Volume - 720cc (dry fill)

    Oil Level - 107mm from the top (fork compressed, spring removed)
    #10
  11. plumer1kt

    plumer1kt Adventurer

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    all three manufactures have two product lines of fork oil,the cheap and the expensive ones.

    base oil,antifoam/cleaning agents and viscosity index are some of fork oil characteristics.
    the better they are=less damping changes through the ride and through fork service intervals=the better the fork oil is

    so,go for the expensive ones if you really need them eg. pushing the bike to it's limits most of the time
    or save money if you don't push your bike,highway cruising,city transportation etc. and go for the cheaper ones

    both will feel the same if viscosity will be the same.and by that i don't mean SAE grade!
    look at the above chart!
    measurement unit of oil viscosity is centistokes
    now you can see that actual viscosity for the same SAE grade IS NOT the same

    so what oil will you blend?from whom?the cheap or the expensive one?
    you have 10W(centistokes???) and you need 12W... you said:hmmmmm

    there is no best fork oil,is like asking for the best bike....very subjective .

    all three manufactures are producing high quality oils

    silkolene's expensive series PRO RSF is the oil that makes the difference for me and my bikes
    expensive but i'm pushing my bikes and as a heavy rider i like that the actual viscosity of PRO RSF is higher.
    keeping the same SAE grade i'm having a stiffer suspension but that is what I want.

    there is only one way about viscosity......experiment....
    good luck!
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  12. Tiger-G

    Tiger-G Adventurer

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    Thanks soooo much for the very informative replies :-).

    Although it's only a Triumph Tiger, so you dont really push the limits on the roads, I would still like some quality oil in the forks. The good thing about the internet is that you can find out so much information, but the bad thing is you cannot pin one thing down to be the best, as there are so many opinions out there, very frustrating, lol !! :hmmmmm

    I'm going to have a good look at the oil chart, and contact OPIE Oils in the UK who should be able to give me some good information.

    edit: Having looked into things in a bit more depth, what i'm finding is that if one manufacturer is making a fully synthetic 10w, they will be making a mineral based 15w, or vice versa, so you cant mix them to make a 12w !! Even more frustrating :(

    Thanks again :-)
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  13. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    The best fork oil is the freshest.

    All the available brands are excellent. Pick one that's easily available and stick with it to make sure things stay consistent. There is a bit of variation is what some consider a 10W.

    Around here, pretty much everyone carries Bel-Rey, so that's what I usually use.
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  14. Cascao

    Cascao Adventurer

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    Any hydraulic or ATF fresh oil is best than any old fancy motorcycle fork oil.
    So regular maintenance is the key. Even better (that 10% most people doesn't feel) is if you can use some good specific motorcycle oil.
    #14
  15. Tiger-G

    Tiger-G Adventurer

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    Just as an update, in the end I went for a 50 - 50 mix of 10 and 15w Motul semi synthetic and the bike feels great. Not as much dive as with 10w, and not as stiff as 15w.

    A good compromise
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