Discussion in 'XJ Modifications' started by Xjriley, Sep 15, 2020 at 9:07 PM.
Can anyone out here point me in the right direction on suspension adjustment. How do you do it?
The only thing adjustable is the preload on the rear shocks. At least that I am aware of. Stick a screw driver in it and turn up or down to another notch. Shocks are so old I'm not sure I can tell can tell the difference on my bike
Not an adjustment, but if your forks haven't been serviced lately I'd change the fork oil. It would be some work but nothing super technical.
To do a proper job you have to remove the forks, empty the old oil, wash out the parts. Then with the springs out and forks compressed add new oil
(likely 15wt) to a fill line not by a premeasured amount simply poured in. Example; fill to 4" from the top of the tube. Make sure both are exactly the same level.
Forks are removed so you can dump all the oil out and really parts wash them, you'll be amazed how much sediment comes out.
Everyone seems really big on unnecessary disassembly of late. You don't need to remove the forks, they can be serviced on the bike as long as we're talking about just changing the oil. We're not setting up a racebike here, using the recommended pre-measured amount of fork oil will work just fine. Yamaha recommends 10w, and 272cc for the 550 Max.
That being said, if what comes out of the forks bears little or no resemblance to oil, or they need to have their seals replaced, then they will need to come off for more thorough service.
On the 550s, you may experience issues removing the fork tube caps; if they cannot be simply pushed in far enough to clear the retaining rings DO NOT HAMMER them in. Or, if you manage to push them down far enough to remove the retaining rings but they don't pop right out, apply penetrating oil and wait. If it doesn't work, invest in some Kroil and use that. Once loose, the plugs will come out quite smartly as the fork springs are pushing up on them.
As for suspension adjustment the rear shock preload is pretty much it. You can stiffen up the ride by going to 15w in the front fork; in all honesty the best adjustment for the stock suspension is to replace some things. Progressive Suspension fork springs and new rear shocks will work wonders, guaranteed. The stock components, especially on the 550s, left a lot to be desired to begin with and if the bike has more than about 8K miles on it, the rears are all done anyway. Doesn't do any good to adjust preload on shocks with no damping left, you're just tightening up the springs on the trampoline.
Bigfitz52, you are the man....good to have you back!!
When removing the fork caps, loosen the top pinch bolt on the triple tree. This can pinch the tube enough to keep the cap from moving .