Improving the front forks

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charles.bulloch
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Improving the front forks

Postby charles.bulloch » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:40 pm

Ariels handle well and my riding companion remarks I go round corners faster on my VH than on my V7C Guzzi. But the forks could hardly be more primitive. Are Ariel forks not almost identical to BSA forks? In that case we could fit the Eddie Dow Superleggera conversion to give double damped forks. Paul Goff sells the basic kit for £55 or a drawing can be downloaded from somewhere or other. Advice anyone?

Charlie

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Postby pete.collings » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:54 am

There are details in the knowledgebase of the factory mods to improve the forks, involving shortening the top bushes, moving the lower bleed hole upwards, and filing a teardrop around the upper bleedhole to slow down oil cutoff. Just search the knowledgebase using the keyword forks.
I have made my own "version" of the superlega conversion, and have details of what is needed. I am not sure if I have sent it to the online library, if you can't find it I can email a copy, and advice on installing it.
I made both mods to my Huntmaster, and found a definate improvement in handling, especially with the weight of a Huntmaster.

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Re: Improving the front forks

Postby Wali.Badger.Taylor » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:58 pm

Pete, could you post your modifications here please?
Thanks
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Re: Improving the front forks

Postby ben.mitchell » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:46 pm

Good fork springs are part of the solution, Ariel steadily increased the strength of the front fork springs over time so my advice is to use the later type, Roger at Drags can give you the low down on this but the springs are not expensive. I think that the wire diameters, numbers of coils plus free lengths are all given in the Drags catalogue.
Ben

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Postby Vincent.vanGinneke » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:43 pm

Hello All, and good day Wali & Ben!
I am just in on this forum and already having something to moan about !
On the topic of the fork improvements......I ordered one set of progressifly wound springs and the "Eddy Dow' valves last August at Mr.Goff.
And waited and waited.....after some weeks I informed at Mr. Goff if he already had send them, he did.
So they never arrived, someone somewhere has a freeby set in his motorcycle (probably a BSA owner.......ehhh? - the bugger)
I mailed several times to Mr.Goff, he said he was going to claim at the postoffice.
Again no word for several weeks, I finally got fed up (mind you, in December !!) and wrote to him that if nothing would arrive (refund or new parts) I would claim at visa.....
NO reaction, so after some days I claimed me money back. Oeps! a angry Mr.Goff appeared in my mailbox.
Why did I do that to him! was the remark, but in the same e-mail he wrote that he had got his money back a while before.
So, why did he not tell me he got his (mine!!) money back ????
Well,... end of story is now that I wont be having modified front forks, persona non grata at Mr. Goff's place....

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Re: Improving the front forks

Postby ben.mitchell » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:47 pm

Hi Vincent
If you recall a couple of years ago I sent you a singles sump plate which actually took about six months to arrive, perhaps the same has happened to your fork springs so just wait another five months and they should arrive..this time free of charge. I do recommend that you have words with your 'cloggie' postman who appears to be having a vendetta against us poor people from the offshore island trying to send you presents. Keep your finger in the dyke..as they say!
Tot ziens
Ben

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Postby david.anderson » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:48 am

I fitted a set of 2 way dampers and progressive fork springs supplied by Paul Goff to my 57VH about a year ago. yes they were worth the money and the fork damping is dramatically improved. If you are going to fit them to a bike that is fitted with a nacelle you will have to modify the existing fork top nuts. You will have to drill out and tap the bottom half of the nut to 14mm or 9/16 then make and fit a threaded bush which is tapped 3/8UNC internally. The aluminium damper rod will then screw directly into the original top nut. The nacelle can then be secured with the original top fixing screws. This does of course mean that you can no longer top up the fork oil level by removing the top nacelle fixing screw. If you intend fitting these dampers to an earlier model Ariel you will also have to alter the original top nuts (drill and tap for the damper rod) as the BSA nuts supplied will not fit.

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Postby pete.collings » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:33 am

I don't know what fitting info comes with the commercially available damper sets , but there is a bit of extra information about the fitting of the last set of homemade damper rods I used:

I used 8mm studding as this is easier to get and you don't need to thread a piece of rod.

If an adaptor is fitted to the top of the stanchion (early teleforks) this will need to be removed to fit the damper head/rod assembly, but can be refitted once it is in place. If the tie rod drops into the stanchion (and it will!), just use a bit of tubing to push over the exposed end of the studding to pull it up out, so it can be screwed into the top nut (use locknuts, and if possible locktite (oil resistant type if possible)).

Ensure there is a little clearance between the alloy damper head and the stanchion inner, or it will be difficult to fill the forks with oil.

Ensure the length of rod is short enough to not hit the oil cutoff spike at the bottom of the slider on full compression (so as not to bend the tie rod), and is just above the upper oil bleed hole in the stanchion (so as not to obstruct oil flow). You will need to check these points with the forks partially dismanted, but with the top tie rod mount in the correct place and fully screwed home.

If filling the forks with oil when they are in place on the bike, add the oil a little at a time, possible gently working the tie rod up and down to ease oil past the damper head. I filled the forks such that the damper head was just fully immersed in oil when the forks are fully extended, and used a basic 20/50 (or 30 if available), whether a dedicated fork oil is better I don't know, although I have heard it said that they swell the oil seals, and may be over-engineered for 40/50's forks.

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Postby andrew.chapman » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:30 am

I am quite prepared to accept that standard Ariel telescopic forks are not as good as the Ohlins ones that they put on MGP bikes. I can live with that. To me, the standard ones don't seem all that bad.

However, what I am getting profressively more irritated by is the continuous weeping of fork oil from the drain plugs. It doesn't seem to matter what I try to seal them with (copper washers, fibre washers, plastic washers and rubber 'o' rings), they still leak. The oil runs down the bottom stay and creates a nice little puddle by the rear of the front mudguard.

Appart from investing in another drip tray, is there a solution to it?
AndyC
http://www.foxwoodmotorcyclerandr.co.uk
BMW K1300GT 2009, BMW K1200RS 2002, Ariel VH 1954, Sunbeam S8 1952

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Postby david.anderson » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:15 am

Andy
try some PTFE (teflon) tape. wrap several turns (generally 4 to 6 turns of tape, or more with loose threads) around the thread before screwing it in. Teflon tape is used by plumbers to seal threads in water pipes to prevent leaks and is available at hardwares or plumbers supplies. Make sure you wrap the tape the correct way so it does not unwrap while screwing it in.
David


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