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2016 xsr 900
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent quite a while looking around for an install on the FZ/MT/XSR for GP cartridges and couldn't find one. I'll share what I did to install mine here, it wasn't hard, took me about 1hr per side, maybe 3hrs overall if you include the time it took to remove/reinstall the front tire. These steps should be the same for the stoltec GP cartridge kit....same parts as far as I know. Perhaps Stoltec Moto will chime in and let me know if there are any major differences for installing his kits.

Couple of things to get out of the way upfront:
  1. I'm an amateur - I won't claim that I did this by the book, only that I'm satisfied that I did a good job
  2. The instructions I have say that you should set the oil level with the 'lower spacer' installed. None of the parts I have seem to be a 'lower spacer'. The only part that might be considered a lower spacer actually goes above the spring. As a result my oil level might be slightly higher than it should be. I messaged GP about this but they haven't responded, If I've done it wrong I may have to remove some oil.
  3. The GP 'cartridge installation kit' from their website does not include a tool to hold the cartridge for 'torqueing' the damper rod retaining bolt at the bottom of the fork leg. I didn't need this tool anyways, but your mileage may very.
  4. You will only need 1qt of fork oil - I did forks on my dirtbike and needed 2 qts for that - I bought 3 for this job just in case but didn't even use all of a single qt.
This is the build sheet provided by GP with my order:
164514
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Ok, to start with I raised the bike and removed the front tire, brake Calipers, and removed the bolts that hold the front fender to the folk leg. I do not have pictures of these steps. You may want to completely remove the front fender, it will give you a bit more space to work with, but isn't strictly necessary.

First I tightened the spring preload adjuster 'all the way' this is to help prevent the stock fork internals from spinning in the next step.

Next I used an impact wrench with an 8mm long hex/allen extension to reach up the bottom of the fork leg and remove the bolt that holds the cartridge in place. On one leg this worked fine, on the other it didn't loosen all the way before the internals started spinning. Place an oil pan under the fork leg because when the bolt comes out so will the fork oil.
IMG_20210502_155047.jpg

Then I used a (24mm?) end wrench to break the fork cap loose from the fork. If you do not have a 'vice' to hold the fork legs you want to make sure to do this before removing the leg from the triple clamp.
IMG_20210502_155055.jpg

With this now done I went ahead and lessened up the 3 allen head pinch bolts that hold the fork leg into the triple clamps.
IMG_20210502_155058.jpg

Once these three bolts are loose you can slide the fork leg down and out of the triple clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Now, on one side I was able to get the lower bolt out, and on that side my next step was to remove the fork cap & cartridge.
On the other side the lower bolt did not come all the way out. On that side I turned the removed fork leg 'upside down' and had a helper compress the fork leg as much as possible while I used the impact wrench to finish removing the lower bolt. Once the bolt was out I drained the oil and removed the cap.
At this point I had an empty fork tube, and the old (stock) fork cartridge removed.
IMG_20210502_160506.jpg
IMG_20210502_160456.jpg

The next thing I did was clean both the fork tubes & the new cartridge with brake cleaner and then dry with compressed air.
IMG_20210502_160522.jpg

Then I inserted the new GP cartridge into the empty fork tube. I applied a drop of blue loctite and used the long 8mm allen to start the lower damper bolt by hand into the new cartridge. You may have to 'wiggle' the cartridge a little bit to get the hole aligned and the bolt started. Then I used a torque wrench to tighten the bolt to the 17ft/lbs specified in the owners manual. At this point is where you may need the cartridge holding tool to prevent the cartridge from spinning while you tighten the bolt.
IMG_20210502_160533.jpg

IMG_20210502_160717.jpg

After this I attached the damper rod puller/extension tool to the top of the new cartridge and then filled with oil. Next you pump the cartridge up and down like 30 times to bleed the air out.
IMG_20210502_160823.jpg

Then you use a tool like this to set the oil level by sucking out the extra oil - GP says to set the oil level to 160mm.
IMG_20210502_161235.jpg
IMG_20210502_161232.jpg
IMG_20210502_161522.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'll note here that GP did not provide any instructions at all with the kit - all I got was a box of parts. I emailed them to get their recommendation for fork oil weight and level, as well as install instructions which led to the confusion about 'oil level with the spacer installed'. Below is the picture of spring & spacers with my hand at the 'top' this was the only 'install' order that made any sense, but I suppose it could be wrong. The black spacer at the top engages with the spring preload adjuster in the cap, the aluminum colored spacer has holes in it for a spring compressor tool (hence it has to also be 'on top' of the spring.
IMG_20210502_161837.jpg


The next step is to put the spring and spacers into the fork tube, do not remove the damper rod puller/extender yet as you'll still need it.
I had a helper assist me, but basically you use a spring compressor to 'push down' on the spring spacers, and the helper slides a wrench onto the flats at the top of the damper rod. If you've done it right it should look like this, and the wrench should be holding the spring tension.
IMG_20210502_162339.jpg

I had a little trouble with this as my spring compressor tool kept snagging on the damper rod as I pushed down, having the helper 'wiggle' the damper pulling tool as they pulled up and I pushed down helped.

Next I removed the damper rod puller tool and hand tightened the fork cap onto the damper rod. Then I used the cap tool & 24mm wrench to tighten up the cap on the damper rod. After the cap is tight on the damper rod it will be holding the spring tension and the wrench can be removed, and then the spring compressor can also be removed.
IMG_20210502_162748.jpg
IMG_20210502_162759.jpg


The last assembly step is to pull the fork tube 'up' and thread the cap into the tube. Now the fork is sealed up and ready to go back on the bike.
IMG_20210502_163050.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Assembly at this point is the reverse of removal:
  1. Slide the fork tube up into the triple clamps
  2. set the fork height in the clamps where you want it (GP caps are taller than stock so you can actually set the front higher than it comes from the factory if you want)
  3. Snug up the 3 pinch bolts
  4. Install the bolts that hold the fender to the fork
  5. Torque the lower 2 pinch bolts to spec (17 ft/lbs)
  6. Torque the fork cap to spec (11 ft/lbs)
  7. Torque the upper pinch bolt to spec (19 ft/lbs)
  8. Reinstall front tire/brake calipers.

A cartridge job sounds 'intense' but my experience was that it was actually pretty easy. If I could have found a shop to do the job and they didn't have weeks of backlog I might have paid to have it done, but it is certainly within the abilities of most average home mechanics, assuming you buy the specialty tools (damper rod puller, damper rod holder, spring compressor, and fork oil level tool).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is the tool to hold the stock cartridges from spinning for removal. Different aftermarket manufacturers often have their own tool that is necessary to install. If you search you can find them for even less.
Damper Rod Fork Tool - Motion Pro
If I knew that that tool would work on the GP cartridges I'd have bought it, because holding the new cartridges for proper torque during assembly is important. This is my 2nd rodeo with cartridge fork disassembly and i was pretty confident that me and the impact wrench could get the old cartridges out.
 
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