Forks just rebuilt, should there be play?

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Nov 30, 2003
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#1
My bike is a 1993 RM-250. I just had the seals replaced and new heavier springs installed on my forks. I haven't riden the bike yet due to the cold here in Maryland. I was putting the bike on the stand and felt a vibration in the handlebars. It felt similar to loose steering head bearings.

I chased the vibration down. It seems like it's coming from the lower tubes. They are to be moving in the upper tubes. I removed the front tire to isolate each fork tube. I can grab each lower fork tube and move it from the front to the rear and left to right. Although the side to side movement is less that the front to rear. The movement is noticeable and can be felt. I measured the movement, front to rear, and it's about a 1/32 of an inch.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice this before I put the bike in for service. So I don’t know if it is a pre-existing problem.

Is this sort of fork tube movement normal for an old bike? Are my tubes worn? Will it go away as the new springs sag? Or, my worse fear, was something installed wrong during service? I’d hate to see my front wheel fly off in mid-air during a jump. Might make for an interesting landing.

Thanks, Steve.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
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#2
Steve,
Sounds like your bushings are bad. The are not expensive, but who ever rebuilt your forks should have seen this. The forks will not fly apart in mid air, but the bike will probably have a loose feel because of the play. Your fork tubes can be checked with a micrometer. Measure the top and the bottom and see if there is any difference in the readings. Good Luck.
 
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Nov 25, 1999
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#3
Sounds like bushings to me too.
You should have them checked before you ride the bike.
The residue from the bushings will contaminate the new fluid very quickly.
 
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Feb 13, 2004
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#4
Yup definately your fork bushings. If you had them rebuilt I'd bet whomever did them didnt put the bushings in correctly or not at all. There is a bushing on each peice of the fork tubes. One on the inner tube and one on the outer tube. Probably the outer tube bushing is misplaced. Usually dont hafta remove the inner tube bushing when installing fork seals or springs. Are these conventional forks or inverted on yer Suzook?
 

Rcannon

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Nov 17, 2001
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#6
It sounds like the shop that changed your seals trashed your bushings. The way the manuals show how to seperate the fork can do this. I did the same thing on my YZ. New bushings were simple to install, but the fork had to come apart again.