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Discussion Starter #81
It’s virtually impossible to predict what Motul 10W would be like, @home4sale. Despite the viscosity designation, no two fork oils are alike - they vary in their response to temperature variations.

I’m planning to stick with the BMW 11.5W rather than experiment further. Castrol 10W was better than the old 7.5W oil used by BMW when they built my bike, but the 11.5W is better again in its damping characteristics, from my seat of the pants perspective.

There are no other seals/washers that need to be changed. A little weeping is not unusual and can normally be resolved by popping the dust seals down and cleaning the main seals using a Sealmate or similar. It’s highly unlikely yours would be worn or damaged at that mileage. I’ve got a set of All Balls seals and dust covers ready to fit at my next change just as a precaution (Der Panzer has done over 80,000 km).
 

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$380 USD quote and $63 less if I just bring the forks over to them. I rather put the money towards purchasing the BMW tool (not that I will do that either). There are third party compression tools for far less. It was interesting to see a third hand on the pic in Haynes manual and that WAS funny and I could relate to the joke Pz (ok to shorten your name Panzerman?) made earlier.

Any recommendations on a third party tool? I don’t mind spending up to $150, it’ll pay for itself. Otherwise, I’ll try to put together home mad options.


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Discussion Starter #83
When I researched hold-down tools prior to commencing my first fork oil change, nothing seemed to match what was required to grip the top sleeve that BMW specifies as the compression point. Hence I simply used a cam-lock tie-down strap on the home-made tool recommended by Haynes. If you had an able assistant, you could probably do away with the strap, but it’s nice to be able to lock things in place.
 
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Youtubing and I see a lot of folks not going through the whole cam-lock tie-down procedure at all; just pumping it a few times to shake loose what they can. It appears you can get 90% or so of the old oil that way. Is that true? I realize, it's not optimal scenario but curious on thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Compressing the fork then holding it in place is so that the components can be disassembled, then the oil level set without the spring when refilling. Setting it by volume is very imprecise, unless you can somehow capture every cc drained, then measure the precise amount for refilling - I’d like to see that!
 

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Editing to avoid repeat of the same questions that had been asked before, ex. post 2/3 etc. To summarize then, the idea is that when you disassemble, you have taken out 100% of the old fluid and then when you add manufacturer recommended volume of fluid, it will lead to more precision than other methods. Perhaps, I should go over this entire post again in more detail and then ask questions. Thx

I can't make heads and tails out of this and how it relates to BMW specs so went ahead and forked over for BMW oil (11.5W); pun intended. Comparative Oil Weights Table - Transmoto

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Discussion Starter #87
You add about the specified volume, but then measure the oil level (actually the air gap down from the top of the fork outer to the oil) and add/remove oil to get the level to spec.
 
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I just completed my fork oil change on my 2015 LC with ESA. I want to thank Panzerman for his excellent write-up that answered questions I had. The Haynes manual was also very helpful. I went quite a distance past the allotted 18,000 mile interval. 32,000- oops. But the oil although noticeable darker did not have any metal wear pieces in it. I’ve seen much dirtier oil from dirt bike forks with only a season of use (about 1500 miles). The procedure went fairly smooth with the same issues Panzerman had. I used the BMW 11.5 oil and the fill specks matched the Haynes manual information. The finished result is a little bit plusher than before ( not a harsh) but such a slight difference it could be in my head. It worked good before and works good now. Thanks again Panzerman. And no my tape job was nowhere near his.
 

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Didn’t want to create another thread but happy to. Figured it’s Fork oil change related. I’m thinking to order this:


There are cheap eBay variants.

The manufacturer stated it should work on all cartridge type forks and not BPF (big piston forks). I doubt a 2015- R1200R has BPF. Can anyone confirm?

Thank you.


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Or Panzerman, if you’re able, how wide is your homemade tool and size of nuts and bolts you bought? I don’t want to run to the store 5 times if I can avoid it and lose riding time. I saw a 6x6 inch and 5x5 L brackets, believe the 5 inch would work.

Appreciate it.


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Discussion Starter #91
They’re not BPF, so the tool kit looks like it would suit, although they acknowledge you need a third hand. With my tool, you can use a strap as the third hand. The other bits and bobs look handy.

My brackets are 5” x 14mm x 4mm with 35mm M8 screws. I joined them with M6 screws. The spacing is ~65mm but I seem to recall they could have been made a tad closer.
 

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Thank you Panzermann. By the way, the gentleman from Traxxion indicated that at 18K miles, I might as well change my seals and bushings. Makes me question a few things about the advice. I recall a comment you made about sitting on seals which you may never use. Things break sooner than expected sometimes but I would expect the seals and bushings to last longer than 18K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #93
I wouldn’t bother with seals and bushings that early. I’m even debating changing my originals at the next oil change, now that the seals settled down. I’m at almost 85,000 km.
 
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As an added data point, my SV has 81k miles with the original seals. Not USD forks, but most riders i know say wait till they start leaking.

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So, took me about 4-5 hours with breaks as it was a hot day but I actually have brand new oil in the forks.

In general, it’s not as hard as it seemed. You do have to be methodical and some common sense goes a long way. What truly helped from a “I can do this” perspective were the meticulous notes Panzerman provided. Thank you!

I bought the Traxion tool. It has some other bits I could probably use in the future but you could save money by building one yourself. The metal plate that came with it was 10mm and I needed wider than that. I found it easier to use and wedge a 19mm wrench through the space between coils to hold the rod for both forks while I used the 32mm to separate the top. The left ESA fork had a lot more going on while the right fork needs the compression tool.

My daughter provided the third hand. She said she got her workout in as she preferred to compress the tool. I had a strap as backup but not used.

I have a vstream and I am happy to report that with extension for the middle of the three clamp bolts on both sides, you can loosen and torque the bolts, except it had been a long day and I ended up stripping one out of six clamp bolts on the left side. So, I need to figure out a way to back it out now. I used a smaller and wrong hex bit and I set the wrench wrong, around 25NM, oh well.

Condition of oil wasn’t bad at 18k miles but it was definitely darker. That diving feeling is gone. Ride comfort, can’t really tell. The left fork took just about 290ml and it was off by a couple of mm. The right one was spot on as well, think it was 690ml, I have a 2016R.

Hoping I don’t have to do this again in a while.


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@Panzermann - Thanks for the notes, just printed them out and inserted into the Haynes manual in the appropriate section. :)
 
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I recently had to replace the RH fork seal on my 2016 R1200RS (Premium with ESA suspension, Mileage = 25K). After looking at several forums, this thread was the most comprehensive, short of explaining how to replace the fork seal. I thought I would add my observations on replacing the fork seal to this thread to add a little more depth for when others might have to go through this process.

Thanks to all who contributed to this thread, it helped out immensely. I know I am cross threading on the R1200R forum but since R and RS are paternal twins with different (or no) clothing and they share the same forks; I thought it would still be applicable.

YouTube has several good videos on how to change the fork seals on Up Side Down (USD) forks, so I won’t go into the blow by blow on how to replace the seals. What I will try to explain what I experienced that is unique to these forks and the seals I used.

Ultimately I used SKF KITB-46Z seals and MOTUL 7.5wt oil. Overall I do not feel any discernable difference from the previous seal/oil setup, after 200+ miles of riding.

I tried to use the All Balls Racing fork seal 55-135 (as recommended on the All Balls Racing website) but the problem was that it did not fit. It is the correct diameter but the height is too high and I could not get it to seat low enough so that the retaining ring could sit properly in the notch on the upper fork tube. After noticing that the BMW seals (i.e. fork gasket set 31-42-8-584-880) kit was common to the 2016 S1000RR, I looked at All Balls for the seal for a S1000RR. The recommendation was for the 55-156. I am not sure if they work or not, I went with a different brand.

I did find an R1200RS thread where Ted Porter’s Beemershop in Scotts Valley, CA recommended the SKF KITB-46Z seals as an alternative for the BMW set. For $36, the package contained a dust seal and an oil seal for one fork. If you are doing both forks, you will need to buy 2 sets, which is still cheaper than the $94 that BMW wants for their full fork set. When I picked them up, Ted recommended buying the two sets since he stated there is less stiction than the OEM seals. Since I was only focused on the RH fork and the LH fork does most of the work anyway, I took a pass and only bought the one set. Long story short, I cannot tell the difference but I am sure Ted knows what he is talking about.

I used the MOTUL 7.5wt oil since it has almost the same viscosity at Reported cSt @40C as the Shell Advanced 10wt (35.3 and 38.97 respectively). I did not see the viscosity for the BMW 11.5wt on the chart but from what I gather the BMW fork oil is really Shell Advanced, the BMW 11.5wt should not be too far off from the Shell Advanced 10wt. My RH fork took about 2/3 of a liter to get to the recommended 80mm air gap. You will need two bottles of oil if you are going to both forks.

One difference I noticed when disassembling the fork is that the lower fork tube pulled away from the upper fork tube without pulling out the oil seal. On my other bikes and in the YouTube videos, they show that you can remove the oil seal by pulling the two tubes apart. After the lower and upper tubes were separated, it took some effort to pry the seal out.

Another difference is that the bushings in these forks are larger/longer than what I have seen on my other forks. One bushing came out when I drained the oil, while the other one stayed stuck to the upper tube. I believe the bushing that came out was the inner bushing because it seemed to slip into the other bushing very easily when reinstalled. I reinstalled it after I put the spring in during the reassembly process discussed in this thread.

I used a Tusk adjustable seal driver (26mm-45mm), which worked ok for the oil seal but not on the dust seal. Even though I lubed the dust seal with fork oil, the seal did not want to seat in the upper tube. The Tusk adjustable seal driver did not work well since the brackets that hold the three point of contacts would flex and did not give enough even pressure to drive the seal into place. I ultimately took one half of a larger seal driver (48mm) and use a regular hammer to pound on the driver. Even this was tough since the seal wanted to pop out of the back side while I was trying to drive in the front side. I finally managed to get a good grip on the seal and the seal driver with one hand while hammering with the other. Getting the seal to partially seat and then worked my way around the fork to push the seal in a little bit at a time required dexterity and patience. If I had a video of this procedure, the audio would have been totally censored due to all of the cussing. I am hoping I never have to remove this seal again; it will be a PITA, to be sure.

Be very careful that the lower tube does not fully slide out of the upper tube after you have the seals set. I came close when I was handling the fork before filling with oil. If they do come apart, you will probably a new set of seals,. The seals will most likely be damaged if they are pried off the upper tube, or if you try to push the lower tube back through the seals while they are still seated in the upper tube.

If you forget the sequence of how all the parts (Washers, bushings, spacers…) are installed, a good point of reference is the schematic for the BMW 2016 R1200RS Stanchion. You can google it or click on the link:
Stanchion. 2016 BMW R1200RS | Power BMW Motorcycles, Palm Bay FL. Just beware it doesn’t explain the reassembly sequence, it just shows a pictorial of the parts and their relative position in the fork tube.

So, after all was said and done, I did not sense any difference in the fork action. My test rides (solo and two up) consisted of surface streets, canyon twisties and freeways, while toggling between road and dynamic settings. I hope this helps. Thanks again to everyone that contributed to this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #98 (Edited)
Thanks for the practical tips, @Trottlejunkie

I've had a set of All Balls seals and dust seals on the shelf ready for when they are required but unfortunately trusted the All Balls catalogue. Cross-referencing as you did, it seems their catalogue is likely for the non-ESA version of the forks, as BMW seal sets for the ESA version are common with the same era S1000RR, as you say. That's the only explanation I can think of for the catalogue being 'in error' - it doesn't have an option for ESA/non-ESA. I should have been more thorough in my research before purchasing them.

For reference, the All Balls catalogue item for the S1000RR that has a common BMW part number for the oil and dust seal set is:

Fork Oil Seal & Dust Seal Kit 56-187 $US 33.16
Fork Oil Seal Only Kit 55-156 $US 14.16
Fork Dust Seal Only Kit 57-170 $US 27.92

Edit: I have contacted All Balls to point out this anomaly and also emailed MXstore.com.au to advise the problem with my purchase (and their cataloguing), seeking return and replacement or a refund if that is not possible.
 
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