Stripping and rebuilding a set of forks, in just over a minute
How long does it take to rebuild a set of front forks? How about one minute seventeen seconds? Well, K-Tech's Michael Hancock can manage it, but then he has been sped-up 40x by our video-editor.
Suspension specialists K-Tech produce their own front-fork cartridge kit, which - like all their racing kits - is called DDS. Depending on your bike and your preference, you can choose either a 20 or 25mm kit.
Here, K-tech technician Michael is stripping down and rebuilding a 20mm DDS cartridge kit fitted to a Yamaha R6.
Like all parts of your bike, forks need servicing to keep them at their best. It may surprise you to know that a top British Superbike team will only rebuild their forks two or three times a season, despite the forces they're exposed to and the exact tolerances expected of them. That's because top-of-the-range forks use better quality components and feature a hard-anodised coating on the stanchions, which results in less wear compared to a standard road fork and therefore fewer tiny amounts of metal being worn away and ending up contaminating the oil, degrading the fork's performance.
Michael starts by undoing the top caps of each fork and removing the stanchions. The piston, cartridge and spring follow. Then come the shims, all laid out on the worktop ready to be checked and cleaned. As he's working, Michael's checking the tubes aren't bent and that the seals are in good nick.
The forks and stanchions are left to drain in the basin. The cartridges, stanchions and fork outers are then cleaned and left to drain while Michael then goes about cleaning off the shims and checking they're in good shape. The forks are then re-assembled with the right amount of fork oil carefully measured out and poured in. With the shims checked, seals and O-rings all good to go and springs back in place, the forks are re-compressed and the top-cap re-fitted.
That's it. Easy - if you know how. So when was the last time you saw what's inside your front forks?
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