Fork rebuild problem

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Apr 15, 2004
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I'm moving forward with my disk brake conversion project and have been working on assembling the new forks. The fork tubes (stanchions) are new "british made" units I bought from an ebay merchant. The new bushings came from England. But they don't fit! Or more precisely, both the upper and lower bushes are a press fit onto the new fork tubes. And the lower bushes are a very tight press fit onto the fork tubes. Talk about stiction! :shock:

According to my vernier calipers, the new tubes have an OD of 34.5mm, the same as the old ones on my bike. So it looks to me like the bushings are sized wrong rather than the tubes being too big.

Is this normal? Should the assembly instructions include "ream the bushings to fit" (or maybe work them with emery cloth etc) or did I just buy some crappy bushings?

Lower stanchion bushes

Hi Debby,

It's not just you. The Brit made stanchions have had this problem for nearly 10 years. I don't know why they don't fix it. I had to use some dry wet sand paper with a little oil to slightly reduce the bush area of the tubes. After that the whole assembly went together fine.
I don't think it's the stanchions. 34.5mm on a 35 mm spec should not be too large. This seems to be a problem with a number of replacement bush kits. I have a couple sets of bushes which don't fit any tubes I have. I have tried them on a new set of Frank's tube, a set of tubes from Les Emery (Norvil), and a set of unused +6" chopper tubes. The bronze top bush is too small in ID to slide freely on the tube and the steel bottom bush is too large in OD to fit in the slider. One of these sets came from DomiRacer and unfortunately, I know of several others with the same problem with their kit. The other set came from either RGM or Norvil. I plan to cajole a friend with a lathe into turning down the steel bushes for me when he cuts the +6" tubes down to stock length. I'll probably hone the bronze bush with a brake hone.
My bushing kit came from RGM and it's exactly as you describe Ron. In addition, the lower bushes don't fit on the new tubes. The old forks are still together so I don't know how the old bushes fit on the new tubes etc.

I also rebuilt my forks, new stanchions, new bushes etc. Still really sticky, i did all the mods as listed in previous posts, then bought an RGM fork brace and spent hours trying to get it to fit.

Still hopeless so i have given up.

On Saturday i bought a used set of forks and yolks from a Kawasaki ZX9R and will somehow get them to fit.

They are from a 1998 model and have the same general overall appearance of the Commando forks so apart from the stanchion diameter of 46mm should hopefully look reasonably OK

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