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Adding Fork Boots - From the top or bottom?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Ronnie, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Ronnie


    Apr 30, 2018
    Hello again!

    I'm gearing up for the INOA rally next week (my first one!) and trying to clean up the bike a bit. The gaiters that came on it when I purchased the bike were torn and sagging, literally taped onto the forks at the tops. I've taken 'em off now and switching them for fork boots instead. I was curious what the best method would be for me to put them on the forks?

    Shall I take the bars, brackets, and yoke off the upper forks and slide the boot down into place OR remove the wheel and legs and slide the boot up into place?

    Do keep in mind I'm so green that I'll likely screw something up along the way :) Any tips or recommendations are appreciated! Hope to meet some of you next week in Washington.
  2. Steves


    Oct 16, 2016
    I think the top down approach would be the best way, though you are going to have to take the front wheel off so you could offer the gaiters up to the forks and see.
    Have some timber handy, (assuming u have basic facilities) put some 2 by 4 under centre stand to raise the bike, chock under front of engine to raise front wheel clear. Then go for it, dropping the forks out of the yolks (triple trees) is pretty straightforward. Surprising how much stuff you can leave in place or just tie back out of the way. Do one fork leg at a time, then you have a reference if unsure about something. Have a look at an online manual, maybe print off the relevant pages. It’s all part of the fun!


    Jan 10, 2012
    It sounds like you might be new to Norton ownership. If so, Welcome. You are now part of a very exclusive group. You will meet a lot of nice folks at the rally.
  4. CanukNortonNut


    Aug 8, 2005

    If things were freshly rebuilt (the front end)

    You will need to take the front wheel and sliders off as a minimum. Slide either the short:https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-details/15536/fork-gaiter-short-

    or Long:https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-details/16621

    plus have a pair of these: https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-details/17096/paper-washer-nmt1049-b2-617- just in case these need to be replaced,

    and bring up from the bottom without disturbing the triple tree. You need to compress the rear shocks as much as possible with ratchet straps and support the front frame from tipping over in front of the center stand to get the needed clearance to drop the sliders on and off. That is the minimum. Fork Oil is 150 cc or 5 fl oz per leg. You need to remove the top crown nut on each to fill oil to proper level. ... unless you discover other problems.

    (Now if other problems are discovered).... if the slider bushes, seals or fork tubes (stanchions) are worn, bent pitted then it would be the best to remove from the triple tree on down and replace parts as needed, check the internal fork damper tubes/end caps. It’s all in the manual Section G.
  5. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Dec 28, 2008
    If you just want to change out the gaiters for boots, and you have a history on the fork seals and fluid, then 1) remove the front brake cable or remove the caliper (keeping the bulk head connection in tact) and insure that it doesn't dangle on its hose. 2) front wheel off. 3) front fender off. 4) unscrew fork cap nuts, the ones that retain the instruments, unjam the cap nuts and remove them. 5) remove the lower clamp pinch allen cap screws; you may have to drive (gently) a wedge into the open cut. 6) remove the right or left fork assembly, and install your boot---have a heat gun available the boots are a tight fit.

    The most important part of this exercise is to INSURE that the center stand is secured such that it won't collapse with the front end up in the air.

    This exercise also presents the opportunity to rebuild your forks, or at least change the fork oil with very little additional expense in time or money.

    Best wishes!
  6. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    Do the full overhaul. It is such a PIA to pull it all apart. John Bould use to go on about how many front ends were excessively worn. You can have
    your stanchions rechromed and straightened but it may be more cost effective to just purchase a new pair.
    If you dont have the time or the dosh now plan to have at it next winter.
    Nater_Potater likes this.
  7. eskasteve

    eskasteve VIP MEMBER

    Sep 24, 2012
    First off if you haven't joined the Oregon Norton Enthusiasts it's time to do so. www.oregonnorton.org The members of that club that I have met were all very standup guys. I'm sure that any one of them would be more than happy to give you a hand. It's always a pleasure for us old guys to welcome a new owner into our own little world of madness.
    CanukNortonNut likes this.
  8. CanukNortonNut


    Aug 8, 2005
    Now there is good advice.

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