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Offline walker

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Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« on: May 14, 2014, 04:09:34 AM »
trying to improve the front end on the 800xc, and one thing that is apparent to me is the OEM seals have a LOT of stiction. On the side stand, you can sit on the bike, not put your entire weight, but some weight, the rear will sag, the front won't move at all... put the rest of your weight down, then the weight overcomes the seal stiction and the bike settles. None of my other tigers have ever done this (other models, I have owned 5 different types).

What I am wondering is this: are there low stiction / better seals available for 45mm forks. These are Showa forks.... so I am guessing that this is possibly just a standard 45mm x 57mm x 11mm seal.

  • does anyone know if that is the correct size - 45mm x 57mm x 11mm
  • and, if so, any recommendations on a good quality, low stiction seal?

This thread is intended to discuss improved seals only. Bouncy issues relating to oil viscosity, spring rates, compression/rebound rates, etc, are already discussed elsewhere and those threads can benefit from the discussions on those topics there. (Plus, I already have awesome traxxion dynamics cartridges and internals). Bouncy bouncy doesn't bother me... I don't like the inconsistency of the OEM seal in some situations, unrelated to the bouncy thing. (if this suspension could be half the suspension I had on my 1050, I'd be more than happy... but it's not).

I'm more curious about good seal replacements that are not the crappy OEM seal. I think the OEM seal is the cheapest part they could source at the time.

Anyone have experiences with replacement seals that are NOT triumph?

Offline LeBern

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 07:33:43 AM »
Hi walker,
there are OEM fork seals from another Triple fitting the XC fork, got some mounted yesterday from my dealer trying to cure my frontwheel bouncing problem on the XC. But Im sorry, I cant remember if these were seals from the Speed Triple or the Street Triple, didnt listen carefully... Will see today if improvement was achieved.
Martin

Offline Rtwo

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 08:03:52 AM »
Have you tried any sort of lube on the stanchions? A Teflon based lube works quite well.

I use Bunox Deo fork lube on mine and it seems to keep them quite smooth, it's marketed at Mountain bike suspension  but other than scale, there isn't much difference.

Tinkering is what happens when you try something you dont quite know how to do, guided by whim, imagination, and curiosity.

Offline walker

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 03:04:14 PM »
I had not thought about a lube for the stanchions. That's not a bad idea! that does fix the problem on the mountain bike, so, why not?

EDIT: after looking this up on google, I see that some manufacturers, and many dirt bike tips say to pack the area between the seal and the dust cap with grease between service intervals. I'll have to read up more on that.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 03:11:38 PM by walker »

Offline walker

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 04:14:32 AM »
Ok.

I removed the forks (since I was bored and needed to check/grease the main headstock bearings anyway...).

Each fork, on it's own, is butter smooth off the bike. smooth action with almost no effort to move from full extension (other than a little mass to make them move). no harsh spots, no stiction. At all. I would expect that from forks that Traxxion Dynamics rebuilt and tested off a bike.

assembled everything, sitting on the bike, a noticeable amount of stiction to overcome to get the forks to move. You can feel it. Notchy. downward and upward motion. Shame on a nice bike like this  :023:

Figured I would try to realign everything - set the height of the forks so that the axle bolt would go straight in.... then, put the wheel on, but loose axle. Pumped the forks a few times, tightened the top clamp bolts.... pumped the forks, tightened the top cap nut.... pumped the forks again, tightened the axle.... pumped them again, then tightened the pinch bolts. (I had previously spread the pinch bolt axle side with a wedge (small screwdriver) so it moved freely.

stiction is still awful.

Off the bike in a straight line each fork leg is awesome. Offset, in place, it's terrible. my guess - too much free play in the lower legs. Seals would cause stiction when off the bike, and there is none. No oil or seal will fix that... so, nevermind on the seal request  :006:

Whenever I get around to it - next step will be to get fresh bushings (maybe a new seal too), and then try using some feeler gauges to shim up the bearing to see if it reduces slop, install it on the bike with the axle and no internals or no oil (before and after the shim mod) and see if the suspension moves freely (compress it all the way and see if gravity pulls it all the way down smoothly). one thing at a time.... bushings are easy to replace and size up.

I may try an alignment procedure again, I did it on a center stand prior- maybe on a paddock stand and isolating the upper clamp stem nut using a torsion bar so the upper clamp doesn't move relative to the lower clamp on the yoke (I doubt this is the issue, but why not try it - easy to do). Also during each stage I didn't pay attention to where the stiction becomes noticeable.... but without shimming the bushings, it's too hard to tell if it's a fork bushing tolerance issue or an alignment issue, but worth trying. Get a baseline.

My guess is that there is too much of a tolerance in the bushing, causing some slop and binding. It's a pretty long travel fork. Think about that - at full extension, longer tubes are a longer lever making a small tolerance issue in a bearing more evident.... more pressure from the longer length fork... I imagine the longer the fork the worse the effect.

That would cause enough of a problem - that on smaller imperfections in the road surface the suspension isn't moving at all, not enough energy to overcome the stiction point - so it transfers all of it to the frame. Higher speed of the bike would have enough energy to overcome that friction point in the suspension.... lower speeds don't transfer enough energy for you to notice (suspension not moving enough, but not enough energy to bounce the bike.... like at 15mph)

Different tire pressures would just change at what speed this occurs - since a tire would absorb more or less of the energy depending on how much or little it is inflated (it's part of the overall energy transfer). This would explain why some people notice it at some speeds, some more or less than others (different brands of tires may react differently as well - too many variables, not going to debate that - the problem isn't the tire).

This would not be as much a problem on a shorter travel fork like what is on the 800. (Again, just a hypothesis at this point)


Why the problem? could be a bad set of bushings from the factory, weird tolerances in the outer tubes on the suspension, tolerances set for a shorter suspension, but in a longer one you have more force since the legs are "levers" and are longer.... who knows. Too many reasons, and that is just projection.

My thinking is to try a simple shim under a stock bushing (measuring the old one vs the new one to get an idea if they are different)... shim it using a 0.001 or maybe a 0.002 feeler gauge, keep cutting it down and testing  till the forks move freely (no internals installed), then check the gap on the bushing to make sure it doesn't bind. I'm pretty sure at this point this would fix the problem.

Now, if that is done, and doesn't work, it's alignment somewhere - lower clamp, upper clamp, out of spec top tube, warped axle. Bushings are cheap, just gotta find the time.

Something there is causing stiction. I'll figure it out eventually. Easy enough to test... but I wanna ride not wrench.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 04:27:22 AM by walker »

Offline walker

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 04:45:24 AM »
 for those that may be lost, here are a few references:

sizing bushings in forks - this is really old school stuff, but interesting.
http://www.motorcycleproject.com/text/stiction_tuning.html

NOTE: the dimpling procedure creates little "pips" on the inside surface that make the bearing ride higher.... today's suspensions just need minor tweaks - so, instead of that part, for a longer travel fork, it might be a good idea to get a tighter tolerance on the bearing fitment, but skip the dimpling and just use a feeler gauge to size it out (and cut it down to fit).

for a simple alignment procedure, this goofy dude has a good video. Easy enough to try, can also cure the issue where your bars aren't "straight" when riding down the road.... don't think today's suspensions can get far enough out to cause bindings in the forks, but, you never know (and it's an easy reassembly procedure when putting all the bits back together). Google searches will bring up other information (fun stuff about realigning lower yoke clamps, and so on).

I just do this on reassembly to make sure everything is working well enough (well, close enough anyway)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSunBRB6-r8

food for thought.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 02:31:22 PM by walker »

Offline AvgBear

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2014, 06:47:11 PM »
*Originally Posted by walker [+]
My guess is that there is too much of a tolerance in the bushing, causing some slop and binding. It's a pretty long travel fork. Think about that - at full extension, longer tubes are a longer lever making a small tolerance issue in a bearing more evident.... more pressure from the longer length fork... I imagine the longer the fork the worse the effect.
This would not be as much a problem on a shorter travel fork like what is on the 800. (Again, just a hypothesis at this point)
Yes, that's the purpose of the up-side-down fork tube -- to give an extra measure of support to the sliding part in a "long-travel" situation. "Long-Travel", itself, begs the question -- how much travel do you really need -- are you riding over terrain that rough to necessitate so much travel? Would half as much quality travel suit your needs better? Did you choose the wrong bike for your type of riding?
(IOW, 'Cross-Country' all may be well..?)
Still, if it's designed to work properly -- it should.
FWIW, I think you're on the right track with better bushings: better fit, material selection, design, size, etc.
Good luck.
Old poem from 'back in the day':
You'll never wear out the Indian Scout -- or its brother the Indian Chief.
They're built like rocks to take hard knocks -- it's the Harleys that give all the grief.

Offline CSAW

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 11:29:21 PM »
*Originally Posted by AvgBear [+]
FWIW, I think you're on the right track with better bushings: better fit, material selection, design, size, etc.
Good luck.

X2 - As a matter of fact I posted a while back that I thought it was due to the sloppy fit. 

Please keep at it and post when you get it figured out.

Offline Dilbert

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 12:58:52 PM »
I had mine re-bushed/ valved at a specialists (Maxton's UK, similar to Traxxion US), mainly to give better damping, but obviously it helps with all elements of the forks operation, rebuilt they are waaaay better than the OEM, refitted with standard Triumph seals (probs actually Chinese, like most others), the "stiction" that you originally mentioned in the seals is, as you have found out a result of clearances in the bushes locking up under partly sideways loading, so if Traxxion didn't re-bush, I guess you should be taking them back and getting them to do it for you  :084:

Offline blacktiger

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Re: Alternate 800 XC Fork Seal availability
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 05:07:50 PM »
I have now cured "the bounce" on my bike. It's not stiction causing it as I first thought. It is in fact the compression damping is too hard. That means that the forks are not absorbing small bumps and so you bounce along on the tyre. You can improve things by just swapping the oil for 5W.
However, I decided to spend my way out of it by buying Maxton inserts. They have transformed the front end and I can actually see the front mudguard going up and down as the forks absorb ALL the bumps. I've done sveral hundred miles since fitting them and have not had the bounce since.
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