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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I did the Racing Bros fork kit yesterday. Thanks Steady Garage for offering a fully-adjustable kit!

Wanted to put down some of my thoughts on the install process, things that weren't mentioned or may not be obvious from the instructions and videos available.

1) Lifting the front end without using the forks is not as simple as you might anticipate, you will need to think about your strategy ahead of time. I used a paddock stand in the rear, a floor jack under the motor, and a tie-down hung from an overhead beam and looped around the center of the triple tree, being careful not to pinch any controls or wires.

2) Break some of the fasteners loose before you get the bike in the air, especially the front axle nut, the front caliper bracket bolts, the handlebar mounts, these will be easier on the ground.

3) Racingbros has a very good, very detailed installation SOP. It is linked on Steadygarage's page for the fork kit, but a paper copy is not included with the kit. You may want to print this out before you start, and have your computer available with youtube videos to help guide you. It's very similar to the Öhlins kit so watch John Talley's video from Partzilla, in addition to Sprockets Speed Shop's video, which is specific to this kit. Don't watch Photogrommer's video, those guys have no idea what they're doing.

4) When taking off the stanchion endpiece, I recommend a heat gun if you have access to one, as it heats much more evenly than a torch, and doesn't take any longer. For turning the endpiece (reminder, left hand thread, clockwise to remove), a 3/8ths socket extension fits perfectly, then you can attach a ratchet or breaker bar to the extension, that way you don't risk bending or damaging your axle. When the threadlocker is sufficiently heated, the endpiece will come free very easily, if you are wrenching hard on it, you don't have it hot enough yet.

5) Pay attention to which damping rod you are installing with which cap, I based my installation on what the cap said, but when I got to the second leg I discovered that in my kit the caps and damping rods were mismatched; The cap that said Rebound was packaged next to the rod that is actually for compression. I had to disassemble the entire fork leg when I realized this (and pour out the fresh new fork oil), because I put the glide ring on the rod in the orientation for rebound.

6) Pay attention to the glide rings according to the install manual, do not base it off of what comes off of your bike, on my Grom both rings faced the same direction from factory. I don't know if they are supposed to be this way, or if they were assembled incorrectly from the factory, regardless, all aftermarket kits call for the glide rings to be installed in opposite orientation for the two sides.

7) The 14mm extended hex is really not necessary, I used Loctite Blue on the inner stanchion endcap, and Loctite Red on the outer fork endpiece, with them both brought snug, applying the additional torque through the end is really not necessary.

8) The vise clamping tool is very helpful, I was lucky enough to have one made out of brass by a machinist (thanks Dad), but otherwise I do recommend buying one.

9) The endcaps are extremely easy to marr or damage with a socket or a wrench, I recommend covering them with plastic or tape, then sliding a 36mm socket over the plastic to prevent damage. This is also the strategy recommended in the Haynes manual. Practice on the stock caps before you try anything with the new hardware.

I haven't had it out for a ride yet, will do some adjusting today and comment on first impressions, adjustability, handling, etc. when I get a chance.
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