What is on top of these vintage forks?

zoommx

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#1
Can someone explain what exactly is on the top of these forks and whether or not they worked well? They are on an old mid 70s yz400.
http://geocities.com/in_motion_photo/forks.jpg

Roger
 

dirt bike dave

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#2
Those are air cannisters.  Those forks had no fork springs, but used air only.  I think there were two chambers per fork - you had to check the pressure and equalize left and righit.  

Those forks were used on the '76 YZ400C, YZ250C and YZ125X.  The 'regular' YZ125C did not have the air chamber forks.  I had a YZ125X; let's just say I don't miss the forks AT ALL.  The shock wasn't so good, either.  

On a groomed track with jumps or a smooth trail the forks worked OK, but on a bumpy track or rocky or rooted trail they were horrible.  A little too much air and the forks got a lot stiffer.  Maybe someone else knows how to set them up, but I never like mine.  Of course the other bikes of the day were not very well suspended either.

 
 
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