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post #1 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 2:06 am Thread Starter
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Fork oil

Its my first post, so let me say
Hello from Warsaw, Poland

What kind of oil should I put to forks?
BMW manual says - ATF
Clymer says 5W or 10W

ATF is oil for automatic gearbox, am I right?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Romek
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post #2 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 2:47 am
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Re: Fork oil

Romek,
Welcome to this site. I have never changed oil in the LT forks so I can't help you there. ATF fluid has a very low viscosity that I would guess to be around 5-10. It is normally used for automobile transmissions. Certainly not any transmission on a BMW bike. i do not recall hearing about any one changing the fork oil on an LT. This is the right place for your question though, There are a lot of LT pro's around here. I am sure one of them will chime in as soon as they wake up. Still a bit early on this side of the pond. Again, Welcome aboard.

Brian Ley
WA State of mindless sheep
USA where everything is illegal
2007 K1200GT
2010 650GS
2000 k1200LT Sold but not forgotten
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post #3 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 6:36 am
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Re: Fork oil

Yes,ATF is correct. Remember the LT forks are not like other Motorcycles forks. It's that Paralever fork thing. The fork oil is only for lubrication. Look in FAQ and your questions will be answered.........donn

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post #4 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 7:20 am
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Re: Fork oil

Witaj na forum, Romku.

Welcome.

To confirm that you can use either: the K1200LT factory manual says SHOWA ATF fluid (indeed: Automatic Transmission Fluid). However, the RepROM for the R series, says SAE-10 hydraulic fluid, BMW p/n 31 42 9 062 158.

Type of oil is not critical: there are no damping valves in the fork legs, and as donn said, it only serves to lubricate the sliding parts. All damping is done by the central shock.

Having said that: why are you asking? If you are replacing a seal, you may not need any extra oil: just hold the fork tube vertical in order not to spill it out. I removed the slider though the top and wound up without having to add any oil.

After removing the slider, measure the level of oil inside. If both forks are even you are good to go (unlikely that both lost the same). This is because even if you see oily surface on the slider, it is a very small amount leaking out.

A hint, again - if you are taking them apart - you may use a bit of oil on the top seal to let you stick the slider tube back in. That stays between the seal and the dust seal and makes the slider look leaky for a long time. I know...

Also, when reassembling, make sure that the fork legs are in original positions. I took off one at a time, to assure that the wheel will be straight after reassembly. On the GS, it still was not running straight; I loosened the fork clamps and forced the wheel against an obstacle to get it to run straight with handlebars straight.

Good luck.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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Last edited by rdwalker; Nov 4th, 2009 at 8:20 am.
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post #5 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 8:56 am
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Re: Fork oil

Regular hydraulic jack fluid is perfectly fine, and probably the cheapest.

Make sure you replace all the components ie. seals and wipers.

If you don't want to do this job again for a long time install some boots as well:

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8763&highlight=pleat


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post #6 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 9:07 am Thread Starter
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Re: Fork oil

thank you for answers. Cause Im changing front shock absorber its good moment to check/change oil.
Milo widziec kogos polskojezycznego na tym forum Witaj Robert i serdeczne pozdrowienia z chłodnej Warszawy.
Greets from cold Warsaw

Romek '65 @ GS'09 & RT'10
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post #7 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 9:55 am
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Not so fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by romek
...Cause Im changing front shock absorber its good moment to check/change oil...
Well... If I were you, I would not rush. Your bike is fairly new and unless you see evidence of oil leaks I would advise not to disassemble the forks. The only way you can lose oil is through a leak in the top seals and it would be quite obvious.
Because there is no valving in the BMW forks, the oil is not "working" and does not need to be changed that often - if ever. The oil that actually works and is subjected to contamination/foaming is in your center shock.

When removing the slider tubes you are risking damaging the seals on re-installation and creating more trouble than it is worth.

So unless you see oil film seeping up past the seals, you may want to leave well enough alone.

Good luck and a lot of fun with the bike! I am guessing that you are almost finished for the season there, right?

Anyway, welcome to the forum. You will find a lot of information here as well as many very helpful members (as you noticed: 4 replies just this morning). Send me a PM (Personal Message) if you need info in Polish.

Regards,

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #8 of 8 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:03 am Thread Starter
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Re: Fork oil

Yep, Ive finished riding season this year. Now is time to work with my bikes. You are right Robert, wont touch forks, just replace oem shock for Wilbers.
Forum is fantsastic. Ive found actually everything what i wanted to know.
regards - romek

Romek '65 @ GS'09 & RT'10
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