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the cross over hose is there to ensure when you air the forks the air is equally distributed side to side. it has nothing to do with preload etc. you can get non air caps and do away with it altogether. i took out the preload spring and replaced it with a steel pipe the same diameter and the same legnth as the uncompressed spring. it stiffened it up significantly but i wouldn't ditch the air assist if i were you. get a new hose out of stainless or something.
 

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That being the case, just make sure you have exactly the same amount of oil in each fork. The compressed air is a spring as well. The more oil the higher the air spring will be, the lower the oil level the lower the air spring is.

Cheers, 50gary
 

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So is there no way to do away with the air entirely and replace the "air spring" with an actual spring?


There is a real spring in your forks. Just replace the air caps with plain caps. You have to have some air in the forks or they would not compress at all. I addressed a similar issue in another thread just this morning. This is what I wrote in that thread:



" The internals of your forks are basically the same whether or not you have air valves on your fork caps. The air pressure is there as a quasi pre load adjustment and will have an effect on ride height. More pressure= higher ride height at a given laden weight.. All CX/GL forks have air in them. Either at atmospheric pressure or at a higher pressure. The amount of air can be adjusted by changing the oil quantity (volume). The more oil the less air. Less air will give you a firmer ride since there is less of it to compress. Of course you need to leave enough air in the forks so that the forks can compress fully. Too much oil and the forks will hydro lock before reaching their full travel. Fork oil level is measured with the springs removed and the forks at their shortest length. Note that the springs displace the oil and raise the level. You don't want more oil in the forks than they can hold at full compression with the springs installed and the caps on. For example, my GL650 with Progressive brand springs has a maximum oil level of 5.5" from the top of the fork tube. I am running it at 6.5". The manual calls for a volume of oil that puts it at around 7.5". I may put a bit more oil in my forks to bring it closer to that 5.5" in order to stiffen the forks a bit. I am running atmospheric pressure in my forks.



You can just get some plain caps for your forks if you want a different look, and tweak your suspension by changing oil volume, oil weight, and spring preload via spacers.You can also get new springs (racetech or Progressive to name a couple brands). Cartridge emulators are also available from racetech if you want to get fancy with the stock forks."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SO I replace the fork caps themselves and be okay? I guess I'll do some testing with oil/air levels. I want a pretty stiff front fork so I'm thinking more oil is the way to go.
 

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SO I replace the fork caps themselves and be okay? I guess I'll do some testing with oil/air levels. I want a pretty stiff front fork so I'm thinking more oil is the way to go.


Yes, I think you will be fine. You can also add some spacers on top of your springs for more pre load. Put a jack under the motor and raise the front wheel a bit off the ground, Take the caps off (carefully, because the springs are pretty strong and the caps can go flying), let the bike down till the forks are collapsed fully, and measure down to the top of the oil. You can pretty much tell how much oil you can put in there without overfilling it. 20 wt fork oil will help stiffen the forks as well, so you can drain the old oil out the bottoms of the forks and refill with the new oil. It looks as though you bike is going to be lighter than stock, so I wouldn't worry about the forks doing a good job.
 
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