2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound
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    bdf0516
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    2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:03 am

    Hello,

    My first post! My brother and I decided to get back into riding after a 20 year break. I picked up a 2006 CRF250R. It's in good shape, only one owner until me.
    I'm working on fixing a few things. One of which is the front forks don't rebound. If I pull up on the front end they will rebound, but go back as soon as the bike is resting. Like they're being sucked back down.
    Is this just air trapped in the forks that I need to bleed?
    One thing to note. I don't recall this being an issue until I pulled the bike off of a truck and the front end slammed against the ground making a loud clanking noise. This wasn't intentional, but it happened.
    If I need to rebuild the front forks. Are rebuild kits universal or do I need to buy a kit specific to the manufacturer?

    Thanks!
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by Back2-2 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:34 am

    Hello and welcome to the site.
    You might be just seeing the "Sag" which is static weight causing the forks to drop down from full extension. I guess you would need to describe how much it is dropping back down from full extension. That's normal to have static drop.
    Not sure what to say about the "clacking". Should have just been a swooshing sound or something similar as the forks soaked up the drop.
    Rebuilding the forks is pretty straight forward but I highly recommend a service manual before you dig into anything. These bikes are pretty easy to work on if you have a guide to go by. Yes, the suspension parts as everything else is bike specific. Seals, bushings ect...
    Neil
    Black Hills of SD
    Life without Motorcycles would just be boring, really boring
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    bdf0516
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the reply!
    The forks appear to be stuck in the compressed stage and won't rebound. So there really isn't any sag. If I pull up on the front end they will rebound a few inches but compress down immediately. Almost like there's a suction or vacuum.

    I do have the original owners manual. Came with the bike. Nice surprise!

    I'll get the front tire off the ground and try releasing any trapped air. If that doesn't do it I'll follow manual and take em apart, check all seals and change the fork oil.
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    JimDirt
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by JimDirt » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:53 pm

    Welcome to the site !! \:D/

    One thing you might look at is the bleeder screw , it is the flat slot on each cap , you should be able to unscrew it and if there is air , that will release it (make sure the suspension is off the ground) , the clanking "may" be a broken spring , it does happen , but is vary rare ...... As Neil mentioned , look thru the manual BEFORE tearing into it , to get a feel for what you need as far as supplies and tools .... as he mentioned , it is not difficult if you pay attention and do what the manual says ...... if you have any issues or questions , someone is usually hanging around to help .....
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:45 pm

    Thanks JimDirt,

    I'm going to try bleeding the air from the forks tomorrow when I go ride it. I think the clank was the forks bottoming out. I'm noticing some dampness around the seals now. So I might have blew a seal when I did that. I'm probably going to order a replacement seal kit and change em out soon.
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by Back2-2 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:42 am

    I seriously doubt that you blew the seal from the front wheel dropping from the tailgate to the ground. What could be the situation is that the fork seal has been leaking for some time with the previous owner and that fork leg is low on oil. That could explain the noise you heard. Time for a manual & some hands on time. These are very good forks but they do need some maintenance stay being good forks.
    Jim has done a bunch or fork work on these bikes, far above the regular maintenance so you found a great place to get advice.
    Neil
    Black Hills of SD
    Life without Motorcycles would just be boring, really boring
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    bdf0516
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:20 am

    Thanks back2-2
    Yeah I'm sure you're right. I think the front end coming down like that exasperated an existing issue.
    I have the original owners manual. I'll read through it and get everything I need to rebuild em.
    I might even look into getting heavier springs. I'm around 170. I'm guessing that's a little heavy for the existing springs. I have no idea if they've been changed out in the past.
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    JimDirt
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by JimDirt » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:57 am

    Yea you are about 20 lbs over the optimum for the stock rate springs .... it does not sound like much , but if you plan on doing any jumping , it is a big difference , the first thing is you will be riding lower in the stroke to begin with ,because the springs are slightly compressed because you weigh more than they are designed for , so what happens is the valving is past the point of travel that it needs to begin to open the valving in the stroke (stroke being the travel from fully extended *minus the free sag* to fully compressed) , the valving works by force , speed (not the bikes speed but the forks speed of movement from compressed to extended) and its place in the stroke , so when you go over bumps in the beginning of the stroke , the valving begins to open , and that absorbs the impact , then as you continue thru the stroke (say landing from a jump , or even going up the face of a jump or hitting a G-out) , the bike will compress to half or more of the stroke , sometimes using almost all of it , then more valving opens to allow oil flow thru shim stack to absorb again ..... If you are already riding in the mid part of the stroke , you will experience harshness , your first thought is to soften the suspension by clicking the compression out (counterclockwise) and thinking this will cure your harshness , when in fact you have just made it harsher because you are fighting the bike being too low in the stroke to begin with so now you are making the forks even lower in the stroke and making the harshness worse , you need it stiffer in this case , to make the bike softer (which is where the springs come in to play)....... until you have springs for your weight (and skill... as a Pro rider of the same weight will hit stuff harder and faster than a intermediate or beginner would , so they need stiffer suspension even though they weigh the same as someone who is not as fast/skilled)

    With that said , that does not explain the clanking , the forks may be so low on oil in the outer chamber due to the seals leaking/seeping that the clanking is basically a metal spring hitting a metal tube , with no oil to cushion the impact , as the spring will move around in the tube .... or as I mentioned , there is a spring broken ....... or...... The inner cartridge seals are blown and all the oil is out of the inner cartridge and the valving is useless as there is no oil in the cartridge to work the valving , and , this makes the forks like a Pogo Stick , and since the forks are leaking , there is most likely different amounts of the remaining oil in each fork , making things worse , which would create the bounce , and bangs you heard when unloading ... if so , what you will find when you open it up , is the cartridge rod (Rebound Rod) will be sucked in to the cartridge , and if you pull it out manually , it will suck back in , this means there is little to no oil in the cartridge and you need to do a major rebuild (the manual will not cover this , it will only cover the basics , but nothing to do with disassembling the Fork Cap Assembly and Base Valve (where the compression valving is ) or removing the Rebound Rod to replace both seals (the Mid Valve and Rebound valving is on this rod inside of the inner cartridge) .... but if that is the case I can walk you thru the procedure , it is slightly daunting , but doable with decent mechanical experience and aptitude , I have yet to have someone not be able to do it when I walk them thru it ...... the outer seal is harder than the inner , it requires a Propane Torch to remove a part that holds the seal , along with a 17mm Allen Socket using a long breaker bar or long ratchet (preferably 1/2" drive) and a bench vice with either Soft Jaws , or some rags to prevent damage to the cartridge when prying the seal head out , or a purpose made Suspension Vice .....other than that , it is not that bad .....


    And like Neil mentioned , we are here to help if needed ..... that is what this place is about .... riders helping riders ..... ;)
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:05 pm

    Thanks for the advice and the offer to help.
    If I'm going to go with new springs. I'd like to raise my forks up some in the triple clamp to lower the bike a little more.
    I'm guessing I would need shorter springs then, correct?
    And possibly add a lowering link to the rear suspension. I'd love it if I can get flat footed or close to it.
    But if its going to diminish handling a lot, maybe I shouldn't do it?
    I guess I'm not really sure how much of a difference it would make.
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    bdf0516
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:07 pm

    I'm 5' 6"
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    bdf0516
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:12 pm

    I noticed today that at higher speeds there's some pretty severe head shake going over bumpy terrain. I'm sure due to the front shocks not working correctly and/or beyond weight capacity.
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    JimDirt
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by JimDirt » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:58 pm

    If you are going to Track ride , then I would sway away from lowering it much , you can do a link and then also drop the forks to 6mm , but if you go much lower you will have issues if you jump , if you lower , try to keep the front end slightly taller than the rear , this will take away some of the shake , which is usually caused by either the forks too high in the clamps (stinkbug) , or possibly from the fork issues you are having ...... either way , you need to balance the front to rear ..... note that if you use a severe drop link , you will have to change your sag settings to maybe 80 or 90 , from 100 or so , something like a Kouba Link 3 might give you the drop you want ....... after that , then you will need to install Limiters , to keep the forks and shock from extending all the way .... but again , doing this might make jumping a issue , as you will bottom more easily , so if you are going to track ride , I would go with a link and maybe cutting the seat a bit , and that is it , safety is more important than riding comfort sometimes .... so you might have to sacrifice a bit of tiptoeing to be able to navigate a track without issues .... everything is give and take ...you can't have a lowered flatfoot bike , and still be able to do everything it was designed to do ....

    I do know that the Pro's , like James Stewart , Villopoto and RC had their subframes cut down , this drops the seat height without compromising suspension travel , where it is done is on the angle mount that goes to the frame by the airbox , and it is only a few mm removed , not sure what else is done to accompany that mod , maybe contact Pro Circuit or places like that , as they do it and would know what is needed to be done and could fill you in , and then you can decide if it is worth it or not .........

    Lots of options , but usually each has a cost , either financially or ride quality to some degree .....
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    bdf0516
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    Re: 2006 CRF250R Front forks won't rebound

    by bdf0516 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:52 pm

    I'll probably just rebuild the front forks for now and not worry about lowering it anymore. I was around 2 inches shy of touching tip toe until I shaved the seat and adjusted the sag.
    I can start it sitting on the bike now. And hold it up when stopped. I'll leave it how it is. Its already a huge improvement

    Thanks for the information!

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