Service 1991 Harley Front Forks

The forks are the long tubes on the front of this V-Rod.

In 1991, Harley-Davidson shipped motorcycles with two radically different styles of forks. Springer Softail models shipped with “springer” forks, or what old-timers call “new style springer” forks. The ones Harley shipped include two exposed coil springs and a shock absorber. Most of the motorcycles Harley shipped in 1991, though, had telescoping tube forks of several widths and tube diameters. These forks are hydraulic shock absorbers, and the only service Harley recommends is that you change the fork oil every 20,000 miles. There are a half dozen methods for changing fork oil in these forks; this is a method of which Harley-Davidson approves.


1. Loosen the fork cap on top of the left fork with a 1-3/8 inch open-end wrench or a large adjustable wrench. Remove the fork cap, washer and O-ring.

2. Remove the drain plug on the bottom, side or back of the fork slider assembly with a Phillips head screwdriver. Drain the fork oil into a pan.

3. Coat the drain plug threads with Teflon paste. Replace the plug into the drain hole and tighten with a Phillips head screwdriver.

4. Measure the correct weight and amount of fork oil, as specified in the owner’s manual or shop manual, for your motorcycle into a pint measuring cup. Most 1991 Harleys will use about 11 ounces of 10-weight oil.

5. Stick a funnel into the top of the fork; pour the measured amount of oil into the funnel.

6. Reinstall the O-ring, washer and fork cap. Tighten the cap wrench securely with a 1-/38 inch open-end or adjustable wrench.

7. Repeat all these steps for the right fork.