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1Back to top Go down   fork oil capacity confusion Empty fork oil capacity confusion Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:55 pm


Silver member
Silver member
1992 K75RT
I know this is a K100 forum but am hoping someone can help me. I have a Haynes repair manual and a Clymers and they don't agree on what capacity my forks take.

The Haynes says that '85-'92 is a Fichtel&Sachs and takes 330cc. '93 on is a Showa and takes 410cc.

The Clymer says the change in forks happens at 1992.

Does anyone know for sure? Or, is there a sure-fire way to tell which brand forks I have?

thanks so much,

2Back to top Go down   fork oil capacity confusion Empty Re: fork oil capacity confusion Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:09 pm


The change occurred in 8/91 on USA-intended models. I'm not sure how to identify the different types of later forks, except that often there is a manufacturers' stamp cast into the slider somewhere, often with a mm/yy date on it. In all K75 models except those with the 'S' suspension I'd dribble 330cc into.


3Back to top Go down   fork oil capacity confusion Empty Re: fork oil capacity confusion Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:05 pm


Life time member
Life time member
Hi Wayne,
Here is a cut and paste of a great set of information from the inestimable Brian Curry.

Front Fluid Quantity and Suspension Response
By Brian Curry
November 1998

My latest K75RT, a 92, had Showa forks. This is the first I had Showa's. The front of the bike was scary under braking. It dove like crazy. I thought I needed new Progressive Springs.
As part of the prep for running it to the West, I drained and refilled the forks. For some reason, I checked the amount of fluid that came out of the first fork, ~360 cc's. Odd number it seemed. The Non-Showa RT's took 280 cc, and the non-sport suspension was supposed to take 330 cc and the drained amount was more than this.
I checked the owners manual. It said 280 and 330 cc's. Hmmm. I checked the manual version date. It was old...and pre Showa... Time to call the dealer.
Lee Kundrat, of Otto's BMW Cycles, told me Showa forks were supposed to take 410 cc's.
OK, I tried that and put 410 cc's of BMW 7.5W oil in each leg.
Then I rode the bike. Even I, the suspension idiot, could tell the difference. SmileSmile It was a night and day difference. The dive was much reduced!! The front end suspension felt much more composed.
Then I thought about it a bit.The new, proper, larger fluid volume reduces the air volume above it, compared to the way I got the bike. This means that when the fork compresses, the air PRESSURE increases much faster than when the volume is larger. Increasing air pressure acts like a rising rate spring. Effectively, putting more fluid in the fork increased the spring rate a lot when the fork tried to dive. (Some time back, HD had a brake dive reduction scheme, by isolating an air chamber that connected to above the fork oil. It gave a "higher" spring rate, when you were on the brakes and the fork air volume was cut off from the chamber.)
Having the proper amount of fluid in the forks IMO, eliminated the need for a spring transplant and made the CCjaunt much more pleasurable.
So, if you want more"cushiness" and "plushness" although with more dive, put in less fluid. If you want more "control" and "firmness" and"less dive" put in more fluid. Remember there is a limit on how low or high you can go. If you go too low, you can hear the transition from air to fluid as the fork valving compresses. Shock "absorption" will vary a lot depending if there is air or oil going through the restriction orifices. If you go too high, the fork tube pressure will go REAL HIGH. The suspension may appear to be "solid" or "locked". You might be able to blow the fork seals or O-rings out. Either are not be good things. Remember, when you deviate from the BMW factory values, you are on your own. Travel with care.

BWM specified fork oil quantities/capacities have varied over the years. Here is a table of values:
Fork Oil Quantities/Capacities

Model Leg Change Disassemble

K75 Showa L 410 cc 420 cc
K75 Showa R 410 cc 420 cc

K75 BMW L 330 cc
K75 BMW R 330 cc

K75 Sport L 280 cc
K75 Sport R 280 cc
(Has an "S"stamped on the aluminium plug on top of the leg.)

K1100LT L 350 cc 400 cc
K1100LT R 400 cc 400 cc

K1100RS L 350 cc 400 cc
K1100RS R 400 cc 400 cc

K1, K100RS L 380 cc 400 cc
K1, K100RS R 380 cc 400 cc

There is a Service Instruction 31 026 92 (2547) which is supposed to have additional information.
A ">" indicates that the data is correct for models up to that model year from either start of production, or an earlier date when the value was different.
This data is was correct as of Oct 4, 1993. After that, you are on your own. But it may be some help. Why does the amount vary from the Left to Right leg? Don't know. BMW says it does.


4Back to top Go down   fork oil capacity confusion Empty Re: fork oil capacity confusion Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:32 pm


To be sure you do need to determine the brand of your forks, and the production date will only help, but tread carefully if deciding to add up to 410cc of oil to a fork that might be the version that's intended to accept only 330cc. The resulting harshness of ride and chronically leaking seals will be reason enough. I have played with different levels of +/- 20cc in Airhead and K-bike forks and clearly felt the difference.


5Back to top Go down   fork oil capacity confusion Empty Re: fork oil capacity confusion Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:02 pm

Adiwan Djohanli

Adiwan Djohanli
Silver member
Silver member
My 1984 K100RS has "Paolo Tardossi" front fork. Do you have any knowledge about this brand?

Your comment is much appreciated.


Adiwan Djohanli

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