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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 11th October 2019
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Default Front forks replace or restore

I was recently introduced to a concrete curb, at low to middle speed. Unfortunate experience. The front left fork has a mashed cap and plastic piece (seal?) on the lower. I have a stock 2008 883. I want it running, pronto, but only have a carport, no insurance money, enough in savings to cover things (but it's my dime), and some mechanical ability along with a basic tool bag.
I've removed the front end to adjust the alignment and replace the triple tree from a past experience. So I'm good up to there. Respringing the suspension is a new step, but I'm willing to take it if possible given my limited resources.

While I'm in there, should I replace the front suspension on both sides? What options are suggested? Cartridge vs springs? I commute, but also ride across the US on long hauls. I weigh roughly 200 in full armor. The local stealerships are ... unreliable, but I do have 2 or 3 within an hour. I have no car, but can bum rides to get pieces.

HALP!
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  #2  
Old 11th October 2019
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Hoping this works ... link to image of the suspension damage. https://twitter.com/thedigitalbiker/...038623744?s=09
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  #3  
Old 11th October 2019
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You might try checking on your local Craigslist for front forks...

For compatibility info, here's the Sportsterpedia section on Front Forks:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/techtalk:evo:susp01

Here's my thread about refurbishing my 1994 forks & replacing the springs with Progressive Fork Springs:
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2006111

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Old 12th October 2019
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If the forks are straight and true just pick up a rebuild kit, about $60, gets you seals and bushings. You do need a long Allen wrench inserted up into the lower to loosen the bolt that holds the dampener in,(need to do this withe the top fork cap in place as the tension keeps it from spinning). Lift the bike till the front forks extend fully reducing the internal spring pressure which helps when you pull the caps. If you don’t have a Factory Service Manual, make yourself familiar with the schematics shown in H.D. Parts finders. Sportsterpedia will be a great resource to guide you through the whole process. Let the bonding continue.
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  #5  
Old 16th October 2019
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If it turns out that the forks are bent the HD SE fully adjustable fork kit might be a good bet, it includes cartridges and new tubes, about $550. FWIW installed one on my bike and handling is much improved. OTOH it is sometimes possible to straighten bent tubes...
https://www.harley-davidson.com/stor...front-fork-kit

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Old 26th October 2019
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So, I'm having real trouble removing the nut on the top of the front forks. I do not have the fancy socket tool for it, but I have applied so much pressure with the crescent wrench that the metal is "smearing" in the loosening direction.

Am I missing something here? I have tried with the forks both inside and outside of the triple tree. I have even tried using a hammer on my big crescent wrench. Likely how I achieved the metal movement.
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Old 26th October 2019
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Loosen the upper triple tree clamps.
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Old 26th October 2019
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I tried the left fork with tree fully tight, then the top loose, then removed the fork from the bike entirely. I tried the right one only outside of the bike. Can't get either fork's top to loosen, and only one got real pressure on it. I'm still baffled.
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Old 27th October 2019
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It helps to have the "specialty" fork cap socket and a long breaker bar. I bought my fork cap socket from J&P Cycles (around $15). The extra leverage you get from a long breaker bar (28+ inches) works with a quick snap and then turn (while the fork tubes are anchored with the lower triple tree).


Last edited by Toejam503; 27th October 2019 at 00:19..
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Old 27th October 2019
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An impact wrench (electric or air) plus impact socket would probably do the trick...
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