Yamaha RT1 Fork Tubes
If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an email with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: Hello, Mr. Fellenstein! My name is Tom, and I am a motorbike addict. (There — that’s out of the way!) I have acquired — for really short money — an early ’70s Yamaha RT1 and it’s almost all there, too! I literally got it out of an old barn and it needs a wee bit of polish and suchlike. Most of the parts are still available, although pistons are a bit thin on the ground. My question concerns the fork tubes. They are, of course, pitted. I’ve looked around on the ’net and in the mags and so forth, but I can’t seem to find anyone who replates these things in the U.S. I can get replicas or a set from Frank’s, but these are $400-plus with shipping. I find lots of places doing such work in England or Australia, but shipping is prohibitive. Do you know of a company who rehabs fork tubes in the U.S.? I can’t be the only guy in America with this problem! Many thanks for any information that you can provide.
A: Given the cost of replating, not to mention the possibility that those old forks may have been bent in use back in the day, my advice would be to go with new. I do know of one replating service that you could get an estimate from the folks at Quality Chrome Plating. They advertise in this magazine and offer nationwide service.
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