When I checked to see what it would cost to have my fork springs
replaced, the best price I could get locally was $125, if I brought in
the tubes off the bike. I decided that paying $125 to install $50 worth
of springs was too much, not counting the labor needed to disassemble
the front end. I then studied my Service Manual and came up with the
following method whereby I replaced my springs in less than an hour,
without disturbing the front end, except for the fork caps. The spring
change probably takes less time than removing the fork tubes.
Before you start, aside from the normal wrenches and sockets, you
will need some fork oil to replace what is removed with the springs, and
two special tools. The first tool is the Honda factory tool, P/N
07VMA-MZ0010A. You can get it from your local Honda dealer.
The second tool is used to hold the dampening rod in the right fork
leg. The Service Manual tells you to use a piece of wire, but I didn't
think that the wire could be relied upon, and I didn't want to drop the
rod inside the fork leg accidentally. I am not sure what the thread on
the dampening rod nut is because I couldn't find a bolt in my junk box
that fit. I'm pretty sure it is 10mm, but I don't know what thread
pitch. I did find that a 3/8 x 24 bolt would thread in tight enough to
hold the assembly. A 3/8 x 24 bolt should be easy to find at any
hardware store. I made the tool out of an 18 inch long piece of 16 ga.,
1/2 inch square tubing, and a spare 3/8 x 24 bolt. Cut the head off of
the bolt with a hack saw and it press fits in perfectly to the end of
the square tubing. If you can find a metric bolt with the right threads,
it will work better.
1. Lift the bike so that the front wheel is about 1-2 inches off
the ground and stabilize it so it is solid, not rocking. It should be
perfectly vertical, not leaning to one side or the other. Protect all
exposed surfaces with towels or rags.
2. Loosen the pinch bolts on each leg and unscrew the fork caps.
The caps will not come off yet, but will unscrew.
3. Raise the front wheel all the way and place a block under the
tire to hold it up. It may be necessary to turn the fork caps slightly
while lifting to release the thread engagement.
4. Loosen the lock nuts on both legs under the fork cap and unscrew
both fork caps.
At this point you will notice that both legs are different. I did
the right leg first, so I will start with this one. Right and left are
determined from your seated position on the bike.
Right Leg Change
1. Remove the fork cap lock nut and measure the length of thread
extension of the dampening rod through the spring lock nut (an
internally threaded cylinder about an inch long just below the fork
cap lock nut). When reassembling you will need to duplicate this
2. Loosen the spring lock nut until there are a few threads showing
and it is about half way off of the rod. DO NOT remove the spring lock
nut all the way.
3. Thread the special tool made from 1/2 inch square tubing into
the spring lock nut and snug it down. DO NOT use a wrench to tighten
4. Slide the keeper that is under the spring lock nut out. You can
do this by holding up on the tool and compressing the spring by
pushing down on the spring collar to release tension.
5. Slide the spring collar over the dampening rod and special tool
and allow the dampening rod to fall into the fork leg.
6. Remove the spring using a piece of stiff wire bent at an angle.
Do this by sliding it down on the inside of the spring and turning it
until it catches one of the coils. Remove the spring slowly, using a
rag to keep the oil from dripping on everything.
7. Replace any oil dragged out with the spring with your favorite
fork oil by measuring the level of the oil from the top of the fork
tube. The level should be 5.3 inches for the Standard and Tourer, and
5.4 inches for the Interstate. I did this by inserting a wire about 7
inches into the tube and marking the top level with a Sharpie. When
you withdraw the wire, the oil will cling, as with a dipstick, and the
level can be measured to the mark made with the Sharpie. Insert the
8. Drop the spring collar in on top of the spring.
9. Pull up on the special tool and down on the spring collar and
reinsert the keeper. Turn the spring lock nut until the dampening rod
protrudes the same amount that was measured in step 1.
10 Reinstall the lock nut and cap, and tighten the lock nut to 14
lbf-ft. DO NOT start the fork cap back into the fork leg yet.
Left Fork Change
1. Remove the block holding the front tire up, and lower the tire,
extending the forks.
2. Slide the Honda special tool over the rebound rod assembly and
break the inner fork bolt loose. Carefully unscrew the inner fork bolt
remembering that it is under spring tension.
3. Remove the inner fork bolt and the rebound rod assembly, spring
collar (tube) and spring seat (large washer).
4. Remove and replace the spring using steps 6 and 7 in the Right
Fork instructions, except the oil level must be 5.6 inches for the
Standard and Tourer, and 5.8 inches for the Interstate.
5. Drop the spring seat and spring collar back into the fork tube,
being sure the seat drops in flat.
6. Insert the rebound rod assembly and inner fork bolt. Using the
Honda special tool, apply pressure directly down until the inner fork
bolt contacts the threads inside the fork tube. Engage the threads by
turning the tool until the fork bolt does not pop up when you release
pressure. BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you do not cross-thread the bolt.
Tighten the inner fork bolt to 72 lbf-ft.
7. Raise the tire again, reinstall the fork cap and tighten the
lock nut to 14 lbf-ft.
8. Lower the tire again. Start both fork caps by starting one,
turning it in a few turns and starting the other. BE ABSOLUTELY
CERTAIN that you do not cross-thread the fork caps. Tighten both caps
to 25 lbf-ft.
9. Tighten the pinch bolts to 41 lbf-ft and enjoy.