Honda VTX 1800R Front Fork Seal Replacement Tips

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Honda's VTX 1800R uses traditional front fork cartridges. Each fork leg has a stanchion tube that slides into the leg. The assembly contains damping oil and a fork spring to absorb road bumps and "rebound," returning the front tire to the road. The fork seals keep in the damping oil so it doesn't escape. This seal takes a lot of abuse and is prone to wear. Replace the fork seals on the VTX at the first sign of oil leaking down the stanchion tube.

VTX-Specific Documentation

  • Though general advice on changing fork tubes is readily available, you will need some tips specific to the VTX 1800R as it and nearly ever model of motorcycle has a few of its own quirks. The VTX, for example, uses inverted forks where the stanchion is the lower component and the out fork leg is the upper component. Consult your Honda manual when in doubt, though aftermarket manuals such as Clymer and Haynes tend to do a better job of explaining maintenance tasks. Either will give you specifics of the the VTX 1800R fork assembly.

Workspace

  • Though you can change fork seals without removing the fork legs from the bike, you'll find it much easier to move the fork leg into an easily workable position than to move yourself into a workable position when it's attached to your motorcycle. Perform the job in a clean, well-lit workspace that allows you to work in a comfortable position.

Special Honda Tool

  • Like many fork assembles,the VTX has a special bolt you can only adjust using a special, factory-made wrench, which won't be cheap. Fortunately, you don't need a special tool to change your fork seals. This bolt has a slightly smaller diameter than the seal, so the seal will slide right over it.

Be Organized and Thorough

  • Fork seals are usually sold in pairs; even if they're available in singles, buying a set is not much more expensive. Though some people will claim you only need to change the leaky fork seal, it doesn't take much more time to change two seals, which will give you peace of mind. The used seal may last a couple of years, but if you replace it now, you can feel a lot more confident over the next couple of seasons if you get it right. Though not a difficult job, it requires some organization. Once you disassemble the fork cartridge, you'll see bushings, washer and a seal; you must put these parts back together in exactly the same way and orient the new seal in the same way as the old one. Take a will-lit, digital photograph of this and other parts of the process that you may find hard to remember.

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