Sort The Suspenders
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics|October 2018
Sort The Suspenders

He’s still not finished it: this is like War and Peace! Ralph sorts the suspenders…

Ralph Ferrand

Time to strip down a pair of upside-down forks from a GSX-R750 WP…

I don’t know why, but I have never liked inverted forks and for me they have always represented modernity and the end of bikes as I knew and loved them.

For this job, however, I had to shelve my primitive prejudice and learn how to rebuild these more modern front forks. In reality they were nothing like as complicated or difficult as I had been led to believe and (aesthetics aside) I would not be concerned about rebuilding another set.

These forks, along with the rest of the bike had not been stored in ideal conditions and the hard chrome plating on the stanchions was perforated and rust was developing in the steel leg underneath. If time and money was no object, a good solution would be to have the legs stripped of chromium, re-plated and ground, where you can expect a job quite considerably better than the original. In this situation the bike isn’t going to rack up hundreds of thousands of miles in adverse conditions and costs have already been getting quite bank account busting for my long-suffering customer, so I got a pair of Italian made Tarozzi pattern fork tubes, which to the trade are quite a bit cheaper than re-chroming the originals and the quality is at least as good as the original stock components.

Before attempting any suspension work one must ensure a decent bench vice with a good quality set of soft jaws. Suspension components need to be clamped securely, but gently as the lion’s share of the components are made from lightweight aluminium alloy which is easily damaged.

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October 2018