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fork air pressure

Chas Jul 26, 2008

  1. Chas

    Chas Active Member

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    I have a 87 zl 1000 eliminator and wanted to know if anyone put air in their front or rear shocks. I know that the manual says that the front shocks say they are atmospherically charged and you are to take the air out of the fronts but it doesn't much air in there and when I put 20 pounds in the front it with a shock air pump it seems to ride better . I wish I could put more air in it. Can anyone tell me how much they put in the back and any info about the fronts. Thanks
     
  2. zl900_moab

    zl900_moab Senior Member

    Anybody out there, not at Mid-Ohio, with a 1000 willing to help Chas out????
    moab...
     
  3. vinny

    vinny Senior Member

  4. wuputt

    wuputt ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Technical Author Supporting Member

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    I do not put air in my forks but what I do is lift the front off the ground and take the valve core out to allow air in, then replace valve core. That way when you put it back on the ground there is actually a little pressure in em. I have not done fork seals yet and I know if you run with too much pressure.........
     
  5. fstarocka

    fstarocka Member

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    GPZ manual says 7psi for front forks - usable range 5.7-8.5 psi .. is this same for eliminator ZL900? id say 10-15 is a bit high then??

    Rear shock 8-21 psi, 11 recommended for single rider without luggage, lol - how do they gauge that? id say 14 all round should be good althugh ive always liked a slightly stiffer ride, esp in corners etc..
     
  6. R. J.

    R. J. Supporting Member

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    :hello: The supplement manual suspension chapter 12 section 12-4 states recommend air pressure is 0 psi but not to exceed 36 psi.
     
  7. markus56

    markus56 ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    That sounds like the max number for the rear shocks. I'd bet you'll blow your fork seals putting 36 psi in them. I don't see any need for air in the forks and I'm no lite weight!
     
  8. kawboy

    kawboy Supporting Member Technical Author

    I do not use air in the forks or shocks.
     
  9. markus56

    markus56 ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    Me neither!
     
  10. R. J.

    R. J. Supporting Member

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    :hello: I use 20 to 25 psi. I ride mostly 2 up so the air pressure helps smooth out the ride. You do not get that pogo stick pouncey effect. Here is 2 pics of the air pressure settings. 36 max psi front & 28 for the rear.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. WillyD

    WillyD Senior Member

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    No air in my shocks either...never a pogo stick affect...I am 225 lbs..When all I had was the two ZL's my wife rode 2 up with me and again no air in the shocks. never bottomed out...Now the 900 with those lighter weight progressives that were 2" shorter than stock might bottom when 2 up occasionally but I never rode 2 up much on that bike..
     
  12. ZL

    ZL Member

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    No Air no good ride in my opinion. I put 8 lbs in the fork and I´m happy how the bike behaves.

    Without air she behaves like a donkey and goes on block by hard braking and the fork is weak like hell. So I wonder how so much of you guys ride without air.
    I have other bikes with air forks like GPZ550, 900 and KZ550 - same there: no air = everything bad.
     
  13. rkerg

    rkerg Senior Member

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    Igor, if you have a fork brace it makes a big difference, also I use 20 wt fork oil & some use 30.
     
  14. ZL

    ZL Member

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    Hello,

    ah, ok - can be with thick fork oil. On other hand you steal your suspension smoothness with thick oil and a brace can`t avoid the diving - and in
    my opinion braces kill the look of a ZL. But taste is allways different - whats good. Bought a awful "customized" ZL900 with brace and streetfighter stuff -
    deleted it right away and will build her up stock again. The yellow one attached.

    I never missed stability on my stock ZL900's forks - but they are all overhauled with fresh 10wt oil, new seals and cleaned from dirt of the ages. A good maintained stock
    suspension must work at least good and safe. Buit if you have everything stock you really need air in the fork.



    View attachment 21957
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2014
  15. fstarocka

    fstarocka Member

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    jacking my front up today to check fork oil level and top up with atf - was no pressure in mine and the bike falls when turning even slightly.. i was surprised to find oil in the forks - hope i can fix it!
     
  16. R. J.

    R. J. Supporting Member

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    :hello: So you are going to top it off instead of changing it. Since it is almost 30 years old you should change it. On the bottom outside of each lower fork tube is a drain plug/screw. Take them out then push up & down on the handle bars until all the fluid is out.
     
  17. mudrunner88

    mudrunner88 Webmaster Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Technical Author Supporting Member

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    :yeahthat: +1
     
  18. markus56

    markus56 ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    I'll guarantee yours is like all the ones I've done.......never been touched since new and desperately needs disassembly, thoroughly cleaning with solvent and install all new seals and o-rings. If you have a ZL9, your springs are crap too.....they were from the factory! Personally, I use 10w oil and find it more compliant and less harsh than the higher weights that others have used. A good front end re-build on these bikes is one of the best procedures we can do for them. To top it off with a ZL-OA fork brace is just icing on the cake! :occasion15:
     
  19. R. J.

    R. J. Supporting Member

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    :hello: I upgraded to progressive springs in my ZL 10. They are wound so that the more they are compressed the stiffer they get. The fork brace does help even more than I realized. I say this because after riding my friend Ron's ZL 10 for a day & getting back on mine I noticed a difference.
     
  20. rkerg

    rkerg Senior Member

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    Igor, I can certainly understand you wanting to bring your 900 back to stock and how much air to put in front forks is a personal preference, if you do decide that you don't want to use the fork brace there are probably some on this forum who would be happy to buy it from you.
    Best of luck to you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2014

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