We are going to cover front fork adjustment, service, and maintenance. This is quite a long process, there are quite a few areas I want to touch in on detail. Again a service manual is invaluable. At this point we are going to remove the three top fasteners. They are Torx T27s that hold the windshield, sandwiched between the inner and outer fairing. In order to remove the windshield from the inner and outer fairing, there are two inner bolts. The uppermost Torx inside the fairing has to be loosened before the three bolts on the top of the outer fairing are removed and the windshield can be taken out of the fairing. Set the windshield aside. These windshields are made out of Lexion. You are not to use any Rain-X, any waxes, just a mild detergent and paper towels. If you over-tighten them, you will fracture the windshield. This cracks much like glass, will spread upwards through the windshield. You will have to replace this if you crack it from over-tightening. Back to the outer fairing. With the windshield removed, we are going to remove the lower passing lamp bolts. There are two on each side. I always like to put an extra layer of protection besides having all the painted pieces covered. You remove the two bolts on each side. There is a lower one that is slotted horizontally. There is an upper bolt on the passing lamp bracket that is slotted vertically. Again, these motorcycles, the Harley-Davidson touring models, they are large motorcycles.
It is a good idea to work with someone. Work with someone as competent as yourself, with some type of mechanical aptitude. Don’t drag them along with you through a service you may not be familiar with. At this point, we are going to remove the four T27 Torx fasteners that retain the inner housing to the outer fairing. These bolts are on the inner fairing. I already have one removed to make things nice and simple to see. The two upper bolts are located near your speakers on the inner fairing. The two lower bolts are just about hidden behind the front fork. If you look around, you can find them. Again I want to stress not crossing threads. These are only a brass insert that is knurled into the ABS plastic. If you cross thread the bolts, you will pull the insert out. It is not the end of the world. You don’t have to throw the fairing away. The inserts are replaceable, but why do things incorrectly, do them twice? With the four inner bolts removed, I am going to remove my upper near the speaker housing, I am going to remove my lower, which, like I said, is in quite an obscure place. It is right behind the front fork. If you look around with a flashlight, it is visible. At this point, with our passing lamps hanging down below, we can lift the outer fairing off. Note that the headlamp is still connected and that it is a squeeze-style amp plug running horizontally. If you squeeze it together, the plug comes off easily. Any and all of these electrical connectors should come off fairly easily. If you have to fight with them, you have to remember someone at the factory did not fight to put this motorcycle together. They basically assembled it in an easy manner.
With the headlight and the outer fairing removed, we can now unplug our passing lamp. Mark will come in with a 90° pick, hit the center of the connector, and slide them apart easily. Again, there shouldn’t be much struggling. There’s also a four-pin connector, which you will find attached to the left side upper fairing bracket on a notch. This four-place connector powers your turn signals, and powers your passing lamps. At that point, you have the passing lamps unwired, they can be removed completely from the motorcycle as an assembly. Set them aside, out of the way. Like I said, there is quite a bit that we are going to cover today. There is quite a bit in the front end area that we want to cover. Mark just unplugged the antenna from the radio. At this point you will note that there is a large connector that goes into the back of the radio. The slide mechanism is underneath the plug. A 90° pick is very helpful. Slide the connector off. You will note there are also a couple connectors that are hung off of the radio. Make sure that these are slid out of their brackets and just leave them set aside. As much wiring as you see here, it is not really that bad because every wire has a purpose. Again a nice idea while you are in here, poke around. Don’t be afraid to tug and look. Look for chafing. Look for any loose connections. Look for the obvious. That’s what maintenance is all about, to eliminate problems before they arise.
Mark now has a 3/16″ ball Allen, long shank. He is reaching in—there are two 3/16″ coarse thread bolts holding the radio on each side into the inner fairing bracket. Mark will remove his two bolts. We are just taking a quick look around while Mark gets those other bolts out. It’s all part of maintenance. A bunch of objects we can identify while this is open. Your cigarette lighter. Your clutch cable. We will get into this later, I hope. We can show removing/ replacing this clutch cable. Indicator lights, dash lights, they are all accessible with the outer fairing off, and the outer fairing really is only seven Torx fasteners. The thing is to be careful. Don’t be afraid.
I am going to remove my two. Once you get a bolt loose, remove the ratchet. You don’t have a lot of swinging weight in your hand. Work with just the extension. That’s why we like long shank tools for areas that are tough to get into, it makes it a lot easier. We’ll leave you a little access hole here. Again, use common sense. Use your head. Use your buddy’s help. If he’s got a better idea, always be open to better ideas when you are working on something that is new or something that you haven’t done time and time again. Again, I want to note that practice doesn’t make perfect. You can do the same thing incorrectly over and over and basically just get frustrated. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you do it correctly time and time again, things get easier. You see, no one is really fighting, no one is really yelling, the radio unit is out. The fairing now doesn’t seem as hideous. I am not as afraid myself. Now we’ve got a nice clear shot.
This is the fork-stem adjusting nut. I am going to take a moment, at this point. Due to the fact that all of the bolts are out, the lower chrome kicker panel can also be removed. Held by these are the two lower, obscure bolts that run through the inner fairing, capture the chrome housing, and thread into the outer fairing. Grease fitting. Regular maintenance. You don’t have to remove the outer fairing and all this to access the grease fitting. When the motorcycle is to full right lock, you have a good view to get a grease gun on that fitting. That is regular maintenance. Basically 2,500-mile services, even every 1,000 miles on bikes that are used over the road as a touring model.
The next step I would like to just take a look around and check grounds, check connections. You can see your handlebars. Although they are out of view when the fairings are together, they come right out into view once these parts are removed.
Next Video: Front Caliper, Tire, Fender and Fork Removal