Update on Fork Wear Problem

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2017
311
220
128
Iowa
I just got off the phone with Rick at Cogent Dynamics. I am still in the process of deciding what I will do with my front suspension. I appreciate the fact that Rick never tries to sell me anything. But today on the call he did say they are seeing more AT forks with excessive wear on the inside of the tubes. He said the problem does seem to be worse on the 2016 models, and that he suspects at some point Honda realized there was an issue and upgraded the quality of the anodizing. However, he said they have seen some 2017 forks too and the problem Is still there.

For those not familiar, the wear of the anodizing causes stiction in the forks that over time becomes more and more obvious. Furthermore, if the wear is excessive, it can lead to excessive play in the forks. He noted in the worst case they have seen a bike that with the front wheel off the floor the fork could be wiggled a bit.

Rick also said that the hard coating that his shop, and other shops, can provide does help prevent the wear issue, but it is not a perfect fix to what he believes Honda will eventually change in the design. Rick stopped short of saying anything negative about Honda, but I got the fairly clear signal that Rick thinks this is an issue that should be and eventually will be addressed by Honda.

I should also note that Rick suggested that if you plan to keep your AT for the longer term, he would recommend that you not wait too long to have the forks hard coated. Once the damage is done it's done and cannot be repaired. He said the OEM price for aluminum upper forks is expensive.....Something like $400 each. Hard coating costs roughly $300 for the set, which includes the cost of disassembly and reassembly.

A final note regarding front suspension options, Rick noted that the OEM 20mm cartridges can be revalved and appropriate springs installed, along with new oil, and the bike will perform beyond most rider's expectations. For those who want or need the next level, he has high praise for Ohlins FKA100 cartridge kit, which is a 30mm cartridge with damping on one cartridge and rebound on the other. The cost for the Ohlins is about double of that to revalve and respring the OEM. For those who want or need it, the Ohlins kit is phenomenal.

If you ever want to have a great conversation with a suspension guru, give Rick a call.

All for now..........
 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2017
311
220
128
Iowa
After weeks of waffling I have finally decided to pull the forks and ship them off to Cogent for springs, valving and hard coating. I'll be sure to post a few pics when I get them back.

I also decided to install a Scotts steering stabilizer with a mount from Motorcycle Adventure Gear (OneEarTim). I was on the fence with the stabilizer as I don't intend to do much challenging off road with the AT. However, with plans for loaded touring, and who knows what I'll get into in the great outdoors, I decided.....What the heck! Go for it!

Once again, when I get the forks back, the Motoz mounted, and the Scotts installed......I'll post a few pics.
 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2017
311
220
128
Iowa
Sorry, I thought I posted my final decision and outcome.

I replaced the OEM forks with Ohlins FFHO 101 forks and installed an Ohlins STX46 in back. I have a full Ohlins suspension by way of Cogent Dynamics........and to summarize........It is awesome!

The bike is now perfectly and properly set up for me and my type of riding. It feels and performs fantastic. I also installed a Scotts damper on a Motorcycle Adventure Gear set of risers and damper mount.......Tim is an artist. Those risers/mount are both beautiful and effective. It's like a super model who does your taxes.

I now have an $18,000 AT that I could sell today for $8,000. :D
 

bbanker

Well-Known Member
Nov 20, 2017
9
0
61
USA
Awesome! Sorry the request for an update could have been interpreted as terse. You’re AT is tops, and I hope you get all 18K in miles and smiles.
 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2017
311
220
128
Iowa
Awesome! Sorry the request for an update could have been interpreted as terse. You’re AT is tops, and I hope you get all 18K in miles and smiles.
I did not take your reply as terse at all.....No worries.

Thanks for the compliment and well wishes.

Here's a few pics.






One mod not in the pic.....and probably the best mod for the money. I installed an SAE plug in the toolbox. See pic below.....There's still room in the box for things like spare fuses, a spark plug, zip ties, roll of electrical tape, etc.

 
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Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Legendary Rider
Aug 14, 2016
1,461
460
173
So. Cal.
And today’s award goes to Mitch... for finding a use for the useless toolbox.

I did not take your reply as terse at all.....No worries.

Thanks for the compliment and well wishes.

Here's a few pics.






One mod not in the pic.....and probably the best mod for the money. I installed an SAE plug in the toolbox. See pic below.....There's still room in the box for things like spare fuses, a spark plug, zip ties, roll of electrical tape, etc.

 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2017
311
220
128
Iowa
And today’s award goes to Mitch... for finding a use for the useless toolbox.
I cannot take credit for that very cool idea. I found that on another forum. It really is a nice idea. You just drill a small hole on the back side of the box for the wire and the battery box is right there. I have never been a fan of mounting too much stuff on the bars, and the OEM outlet is not only a PITA to install in the dash, but then they put the fuse holder behind it. So if you happen to blow the fuse, you get to pull all the plastics just to replace a fuse. Brilliant!

I like this option a lot better. Here's a link to the outlet on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0031BOTFC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Mitch

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2017
311
220
128
Iowa
Would be cool to get a bit more detail around what it actually improved :) More in terms of handling, or comfort?
I've now had the suspension for nearly a year and a half, and I've put several thousand miles on it.

My riding is approximately 50% paved and 50% unpaved. The unpaved is comprised primarily of gravel rural roads, fire roads, and some double track.

Occasionally I get into Level B roads and ATV/snowmobile trails that include mud, ruts or deep sand. Now that I have a DR 650 I avoid the more gnarly stuff on the AT.

For the type of riding I do the suspension has been exactly what I hope it would be. It is firm, smooth and predictable. When the trail has gotten rough the bike stays with me. It absorbs the big blows without bottoming out, but also without feeling overly harsh.

Furthermore, by replacing the forks I hoped to eliminate any questions regarding fork seals or premature wear, in this far they've done exactly that. If I bought a new AT today I would make the exact same decision.

I hope this helps.
 
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ozbass

New Member
Aug 4, 2019
1
0
1
Banana, Queensland
After weeks of waffling I have finally decided to pull the forks and ship them off to Cogent for springs, valving and hard coating. I'll be sure to post a few pics when I get them back.

I also decided to install a Scotts steering stabilizer with a mount from Motorcycle Adventure Gear (OneEarTim). I was on the fence with the stabilizer as I don't intend to do much challenging off road with the AT. However, with plans for loaded touring, and who knows what I'll get into in the great outdoors, I decided.....What the heck! Go for it!

Once again, when I get the forks back, the Motoz mounted, and the Scotts installed......I'll post a few pics.
If you ever have a front tire blowout at speed you will be glad to have a stabiliser. It could save your life.
 

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