Fork Boot or Gaiter installation

Bonafide

NBR founder
Original author is Keef

First thing you need to do is put your bike on its centre stand and lift the front end of the bike to place a good solid 7” to 8” high by 10" wide block under it so that the front wheel is lifted up off the ground. With this arrangement, it is also possible to remove both wheels together if required.

see image 1

Remove the front wheel, speedo drive, brake calipers and mud guard – it is not necessary to disconnect the brake hose. Fit a 3 or 4mm spacer between the brake pads to prevent unnecessary hassle should the brake lever get inadvertently pulled and tie it up out of the way – somewhere near the oil cooler should be fine.

see images 2 & 3

Remove the handlebars if it looks like you might need to push the stanchions downwards from above (it might be helpful to mark their position to save time later) and loosen the 8mm Allen clamp screws on the top and bottom yokes on one side only – best to work on one fork at a time, otherwise refitting them into the yokes might be tricky. This done, slide the fork downwards and out of the yokes being careful not to disturb the tube on which the headlamp is mounted.

see images 4 & 5

With the fork free, the stock stanchion protector plate can now be removed by carefully tapping it upwards with a hammer and a small piece of hardwood by degrees around its circumference. It’s worth giving the fork stanchion and slider a good clean at this point before applying a rubber compatible grease to the area of stanchion over which the gaiter is to be placed. Simply slide the new gaiter over and down the stanchion, fitting the wider end over the part of the fork slider previously occupied by the protector plate, pushing the end as far down towards the mudguard mounts as it will go (you might need to secure the gaiter with a tie or a jubilee clip, but I think this is best done after both forks are back in position in the yokes).
see images 6 & 7

The fork can then be fitted back up into the yokes simply by reversing the removal process so that the top of the stanchion (not the top cap) is level with the top face of the upper yoke. Tighten the lower clamp bolt first, then the upper one. see image 8

Repeat the above with the other fork.
You can now refit the front wheel (it might be worth pumping the forks a few times to let them settle before tightening the spindle bolt), speedo drive, mudguard, brake caliper and handlebars.

Screw and bolt torque data (Bonnie/T100):

Yoke clamp Allen bolts at 27Nm
Handlebar clamp bolts at 26Nm
Front mudguard to fork slider bolts at 12Nm
Front mudguard stays to fork slider bolts (10mm) at 9Nm
Front wheel spindle nut at 60Nm
Front wheel spindle clamp Allen bolt (at base of RH fork slider) at 27Nm
Front brake caliper mounting Allen bolts (on LH fork slider) at 28Nm
 

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Bonafide

NBR founder
Original author is Bobmig

**TIPS**

There's been lots of talk here lately about installing gaiters, no doubt because it's one of the more common do-it-yourself modifications. There also seems to be a great deal of anxiety about the procedure, possible because unlike adding knee pads or changing seats, it actually involves 'taking the bike apart'. Having recently installed a set of Euro Gaiters I thought perhaps some might benefit from what I learned during the process.

As others here have mentioned, I too was a bit concerned when I saw two pages of instructions! Relax... it's much easier than it first appears. They're not long because they're complicated, but because they're thorough. I suggest you sit down and read through the instructions several times until you understand exactly what you'll be doing. Read through the steps while looking at your bike too... it will help. Install the gaiters in your head and then when you do it on the bike it won't be the first time :)

Next. make sure you have all the tools you'll need on hand before starting. I already had metric Allen wrench and socket sets. However, I now needed a 3/8 drive torque wrench (an inexpensive one will do fine), a 24mm socket, and a 6mm and 8mm hex drive to fit the torque wrench. The instructions provide the torque specs.

You'll need to raise the front wheel off the ground. I have a centre stand, and so to lift the front wheel I used a piece of 1 x 4 and the scissor jack from my Mazda placed under the engine. Raise it just enough to put the back wheel on the ground. Raise it too much and the centre stand legs will start to lift, with a topple not far behind! If you have a cycle lift you're all set.

Note that the gaiters have a small hole at the top which allows air in and out as they compress and extend. Before you install them check that this is open and clear. Mine were not, and as a result when the forks compressed the air squeezed out, and then when they extended the gaiters crumpled, as no air could get it. I had to remove the nylon ties and run a small drill through the holes to open them up!

Removing the plastic stone guards is easy. Ignore the instruction sheet suggestion that the fork be run under hot water! I had a piece of 2 x 2 about 12" long, and using it like a chisel on the bottom edge of the guards, tapped it gently with a hammer a few times and they slid right up off the lower forks. If you don't have a helper to hold the fork, knock the guards off while the forks are still on the bike.

Soaking the gaiters in very hot water to soften them helps greatly, as does the use of a pair of needle-nose pliers. After sliding the gaiter down to the lower tube, carefully grab the lip with the pliers and pull it over the tube into the groove where the stone guard formerly sat, Hold it with your thumb and grab it about an inch farther around. Just repeat until the bottom of the gaiter is fully seated. It's actually simpler than it sounds.

Once the bike is reassembled make sure that the gaiters are not twisted or else they will kink, especially when compressed. The easiest way is to check that the fine molding seam is straight.

At first I used the supplied black nylon zip-locks. After I cut them off (to clear out the vent hole!) I decided to use something different. I couldn't justify $40 for the special 1960s repro gaiter clamps, but at the local Home Depot I got some stainless steel hose clamps for about $1 each (two different sizes - I think they were 2 1/2" and 3"). Cut the tongue shorter and grind or file it smooth. Make sure you don't tighten the top clamp to the extent that it squeezes the vent hole closed.

In all, the whole procedure took a bit over an hour, without help.
 
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