Suspension rebuilds: They’re one of the middle-of-the-road maintenance jobs on a motorcycle. Dismantling a fork is more complicated than replacing a chain or a tire, but less complicated than engine work. Maybe it matches up with rebuilding carbs.
Our Ducati 900SS was in dire need of better suspension. We have the CR model, with non-adjustable and wildly undersprung forks. The common fix is to replace them with adjustable Showas from the higher-end SP model.
While the forks were out, we decided to rebuild them with stiffer springs, new seals and bushings, and new fork oil. That proved to be quite a big job. We ordered a Race Tech seal driver and Traxxion Dynamics fork tools (spring compressor, syringe, damper-holder, etc.), as well as new springs and spacers. Instructions are best found in a maintenance manual, but this page will give you a pretty good idea of the process.
Everything came apart and went back together fairly well, though the whole job took hours.
Now, the bike feels completely different. We haven’t finished setting the preload and dialing in the damping settings, but it doesn’t bottom out over sharp holes (or bend wheels) and it doesn’t stack up under braking. Before the new fork, our fresh Sportec M5 Interacts were going to waste—the bike wouldn’t have been much fun on the track. Now, however, the bike is much better balanced, and we look forward to pushing those tires to the limit on the track next summer.