If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That is my recommendation when it comes to fork oil and seals on the XT225. Otherwise, take it to someone who is familiar with the XT225 forks and knows how to do the work. The maintenance schedule says to change the fork oil, seals and upper bushings every 6000 miles. Against my better judgment I decided to change the fork oil on my 07 XT225. I have nearly 13000 miles on the bike. I reused the original parts because I didn’t have new parts on hand and because the forks were not leaking. I removed the forks from the bike to do the work. The first picture shows the rubber cap removed from the fork.
I removed the dust boot and found the upper tube was dirty.
I cleaned the upper tube with WD-40 and a rag.
Removing the wire snap ring from the inside top of the upper tube is tough. The cap must be pushed in enough to get a blade under the ring to pry it out.
After the wire snap ring is out, the cap is still tough to get out of the tube. By pushing the upper tube down into the lower tube, the spring inside will apply force to the cap. The cap will want to hang up when the o-ring seal on the cap gets to the wire snap ring groove. I sprayed WD-40 around the groove to help the cap slide by the groove.
I removed the spring and noticed the bottom of the spring has closer coils than the top. I dumped the oil in a drain pan. The oil was dark and had a metallic luster from very small metallic flakes.
The dust seal was easy to remove with a gasket scraper and small hammer.
Below the dust seal there is a wire snap ring. This one is easy to pry out.
This is my Mechanic’s Assistant.
The bolt at the bottom of the fork uses a 6mm Allen wrench. I kept trying to secure the damper rod inside the upper tube because the manual says to. The book is wrong; the damper rod has a round hole with no way to secure it while removing the bolt from the bottom of the fork. I was able to loosen the bolt without holding the damper rod because there is no Locktite on the threads.
This is the damper rod sticking out of the upper tube after the bolt has been removed from the bottom tube.
This is the damper rod.
This spring was between the damper rod and the bottom of the upper tube.
After these parts were removed from the fork assembly, I pulled the upper tube out of the lower tube.
This is the bottom of the upper tube and a guide plug that fits inside the tube between the damper rod and the bottom of the lower fork tube. The bolt in the background goes through the bottom of the lower tube, through the guide plug and threads into the damper rod.
I removed the oil seal from the top of the lower tube with a slide hammer.
Here is the seal and the spring that fits around the lip of the seal.
Under the seal there is a washer, the sharp edge is facing the top of the fork.
The upper bushing is still in the top of the lower fork tube.
The bushing slipped right out.
This is the inside view of the lower fork tube. The bore was very shiny with no scratches.
Sorry about all the junk on the bench but here are all the pieces from the fork except for the lower tube.
This is the biggest problem I see with the XT225 fork. There is no slot or hex shaped hole to prevent the damper rod from spinning when trying to loosen the bottom bolt. The book wants the mechanic to use Locktite on the bolt. There is no good way to hold the damper rod inside the upper tube to loosen the bolt if it had been installed with Locktite.
I cleaned all the parts with brake cleaner. The upper tube is ready to have the guide plug set on the end of the damper rod. Then the upper assembly will be slid into the lower tube and the bottom bolt installed.
Next the upper bushing, washer and oil seal go in.
The snap ring is the next piece.
The dust seal is easy to push down.
The book calls for 12oz of 10W fork oil. I used Automatic Transmission Fluid because a friend with a lot of experience with forks recommended it. After adding the 12oz ATF I worked the fork to get any bubbles out. The oil level should be 147mm from the top of the upper tube with the tube fully pushed into the lower tube and the spring out. I made a dipstick out of a piece of wire and made a couple of marks 147mm apart. I needed to add a little ATF to get the correct level.
I cleaned the dust boots with Simple Green and a tooth brush. There was quite a bit of dust inside the boots. Afterward I dried the boots and installed them. I worked on one fork at a time so I had the other fork to compare when I installed the boot on the first fork. The final adjustment on the boots can be made when installing the forks on the bike.
Here is the bike after my Fork Adventure. The Yamaha shop manual has the wrong information for the XT225 forks. The manual shows forks like my 94 XT350 has, with air valves on the top caps and damper rods with a hex hole for a holding tool. I rode the bike around the block and didn’t feel any difference. Time will tell if I did any good or should have just left things alone.