Front fork adjustment.

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  • #669248

      I was wondering if anyone would know how to adjust a 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit Front Forks to make them stiffer. Mine seem to be pretty bouncy and I would like them to not be. TIA

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    • #835732

        Assuming your fork seals are NOT leaking and the fluid level is correct (there is no way to tell, aside from comparing the oil amount drained from left to right), swap out the fork oil (Honda -used to- use ATF on the simpler setups like that on your cruiser) for something heavier, like 15 or 20w. That will eliminate the bounce and won’t break the bank. If the fork seals are leaking, go ahead and reseal.

        Thomas J AhernThomas J Ahern

          I’m not that familiar with Hondas , but all that I can think of is stiffer internal springs. I don’t even know if they are made for Hondas! Sorry, but its just an idea. Irish


            Changing the oil to a heavier weight is good advice. Make sure you use the right amount. The quick way is to drain it and replace with the same amount. The official way is to drain it and set the oil level to the factory height by removing the springs, collapsing the fork tubes to full bottom and with the forks vertical, vacuum out the oil until it is a specified distance from the top of the tubes. This is easier than it sounds. Motion pro makes a dedicated tool but you can fashion your own with a piece of thin rigid tube and a large syringe. Measure the distance on the tube and push it through a piece of cardboard. Tape the cardboard where the bottom of it is at your measurement. Put the tube in your fork (fork upright). The cardboard keeps it at your setting down in the forktube. Vacuum fluid til it wont remove any more. That will leave the oil level at the measured distance.

            Other than replacing the springs the only way to stiffen them is to add preload. This can be done by placing proper sized washers on top of the springs under the fork cap for small changes or cutting a piece of PVC pipe and putting it under the fork cap. Any adjustment like this should be kept small. Probably not more than an inch or so. If that doesn’t get the result you want then it’s time for stiffer springs.


              We I will try the measure and replace oil do you use straight 20 0r 30 or 20-30 multi-grade ?


                I would try the 20W first. I think 10W is stock on your bike. Buy actual motorcycle fork oil from a shop or online. Don’t use motor oil.

                You may want to raise the front of the bike and let the forks extend fully to reduce the spring preload before removing the fork cap. Otherwise be careful that the cap and spacer don’t go flying when fully unscrewed. On some bikes the handlebars will be in the way of the caps. If that’s the case then you have to unbolt the bar clamps and set the bars out of the way. You can leave controls attached when you do this.

                This job is easy with a center stand, motorcycle lift or even a come along attached to the garage rafters then strapped to the triple clamp however it is convenient. CAUTION: If you don’t have the bike secured against tipping and you try to do this with the bike on its kickstand it will probably tip over when you remove the fork caps. The forks will collapse fully and the bike will go vertical as they do, probably all the way over on its right side.

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