Voyager XII

Welcome to the Voyager XII Tech Tip Section of the AVA Tech Center.

Additional Tips will be periodically added. The newest 1200 Tech Tips may first be displayed in the AVA Members Group in the AVA Forum.

Click Here to go to Page 2 of the Voyager XII Tech Tips.


The Tech Center does not contain all available tech tips for the Voyagers, the most recent are contained in the hardcopy newsletters, with still others contained in the Tech Tips Manual.  A combination of all three will yield the greatest array of Tech Tips available. Not a member? JOIN, anyone may also purchase a Tech Tips Manual of past tech tips. 

NOTICE: Although this information is to the best knowledge of the submitting persons, neither the American Voyager Association, or any of it's board members, officers, members, submitting authors, or the webmaster of this site will be responsible for any negative results using any information contained in the Tech Center, those using this information are completely responsible for the results.

Voyager XII Manual Voyager XII Audio Manual

Click here to access Voyager XII Manuals and Wiring Diagrams

Voyager XII Audio Wiring


Front Fork Fluid

Question: How much fluid do I use in my Front Forks (Voyager XII) and what's the best way to change it?

Answer: We would suggest changing the fork oil should be a regularly scheduled maintenance item. It should be done every other year! Recommended oil is 10w fork oil. There are two ways to go about changing the oil. The easy way is to drain out the old oil from the plug at the bottom of the fork. Remove the wheel and pump the lower fork tube up and down until no more oil comes out. When changing the oil, the shop manual says replace it with 330mL of new oil. However, if you completely remove the fork, disassemble it, and clean it, the shop manual recommends 391mL + or- 2.5mL. I have never figured out why, but many times each fork will require more or less fluid to reach the correct height in the fork tube. The correct way to put just the right amount of fluid in, is to pump the lower fork tube up and down several times to get the fluid into all of the cavities. After doing this, fully compress the fork tube and measure down from the top 140mm + or - 2mm. This is the correct amount of oil to have in each fork with stock fork springs. Sometimes you have to add some fluid, other time you need to take some out. But this is the only way to make sure both forks have exactly the right amount of fluid. For a more detailed description on how to remove the front forks and springs to accurately add oil or change the front fork springs, see Installing Progressive Fork Springs.

Continental Tire Company Tips

This was relayed to us by Gus (no last name given) on what he was told by the Continental Tire Company regarding tire pressures for their tires in particular and most tires in general.

Buying a new bike isn't something we do everyday. Whether it's a new one or a used one, its a big purchase for most of us and I'm no exception. Buying a '97 Voyager is a new bike for me and I want to get all the information I can get. I've been talking to a lot of Voyager owners and they all seem to have the same information regarding tire wear. So I went looking for a tire that was a good price and could handle the weight of the bike, the stuff we cram into the saddle bags, along with the two riders and the trailer we sometimes tow. One thing we seem to forget is the extra weight we add, sometimes exceeding the recommended weight limit the tire can hold . Resulting in quicker wear, lousy handling and even worse a FLAT. If you ever experienced a flat while riding, and I have, did you ever notice your never anywhere near a bathroom or a bike shop.  

I found a tire company that was willing to put their reputation on the table and give me information I was looking for and some things I didn't expect to hear. I called Continental Tire Company and spoke to a lady named Janet, and here's what I learned.  The Continental Tire Company makes a touring tire called the TK16 and the TK17. They say that their rear tire the TK17 is rated for 990 pounds and the front tire TK16 is rated for 805 pounds. But the key to longer life and better wear is proper air pressure. I know everybody is sitting there going DUHHHHHHHH. But what I didn't know is that you need to add 2 lbs of air pressure per tire for every 100 lbs. over the recommended weight (although it is not advisable to exceed recommended weight). Although the average life of a tire is between 15,000 to 25,000, I want to get as close to 25,000 miles as possible, as I'm sure we all do. There are a lot of good tire companies out there. But the Continental Tire Company was willing to go that little extra to gain a new and very happy customer. I hope you all were able to learn something from this article. Whether you buy Continental tires or not, keep an eye on your tire pressure (this is extremely important for Voyagers as all touring bikes- do not deviate more than 2 to 4 lbs pressure at most). Most of all ride safe!

Winterizing Your Voyager

Here is a list of steps to follow to make sure your Voyager is woke up in the best of health in the coming spring and summer riding season, if you live in a warm climate year round, forget all this and just ride:

  1. Treat the fuel system. Sta-Bil®, Sea Foam®, or a like fuel stabilizer should be used. Follow recommended ratio of stabilizer per amount of gas. Add the stabilizer at the gas station, so that it will mix with the fuel on your ride home. It's a good idea to leave your tank full for the winter to avoid rust and the possibility of condensation in your tank. For short storage durations of only a month or so, may not require this step in all cases, especially if you drain the carburetors as described below.
  2. Drain the carburetors. Most motorcycles still have carburetors (but less and less all the time). So, one of the most important things you should do is drain the carbs. Start by turning off the fuel tank petcock (if you have one, Voyager XII's do not). Then, located in the float bowl of each carb is a small Phillips screw or bolt, these are usually angled to the side. Have a pan ready for any gas that will drain when you loosen these screws or bolts. Loosen the screw or bolt and drain the float bowls of the carbs (on the VXII there are 4 carbs, so be sure to drain all four). When the gas stops flowing, retighten the screws or bolts and your done. Some skip this step when using fuel stabilizer, others drain the carbs and do not use stabilizer.
  3. Change all of the bike's fluids. This is the ideal plan, but a least change your oil and oil filter, check the brake and clutch fluids (if they appear root beer color, then change and flush them), coolant (check for boil temp and cleanliness).
  4. Check the battery. Remove the battery especially if the temp where your bike will be stored is going to drop below freezing. Ideally, the battery should be taken out completely and kept in a  room with a temperature of at least 45 degrees- better yet about 65 or 70. Charge the battery periodically (keeping the battery on a battery tender or similar product is best) and top off with distilled water (if your battery has removable caps). Do NOT remove the caps of a maintenance-free battery- EVER!
  5. Clean, lube, and protect your bike. Washing and waxing your bike now is a good way to protect the finish throughout the harsh winter months of cold and no use. Lubricate everything that moves. It doesn't take very long and this can be your start of a good long habit. Add extra pounds of pressure to your tires to avoid soft spots from sitting through the winter. If you have a stand, use it to hold the bike up off of the tires during it's hibernation. Also, cover your bike with a clean protective cover. DO NOT use plastic, but a breathable cover that condensation will not accumulate under.
  6. As a suggestion, if possible, store your bike in a heated dry garage or basement. Avoid ground floors and the like. Electronics do not like moisture, and if stored in this climate repeatedly for a few months could damage delicate electronics and render them useless or malfunctioning.

Rear View Mirror Adjustment
Reprinted from AVA Tech Tips Manual
Get your own copy of the Manual Here!

Problem: After a period of time, the mirrors will no longer stay in the desired position you have set for them.
Solution: Tighten the swivel adjustment nut. To get at the nut, use a hole saw and drill a one inch hole in the back of the mirror body. This gives you access to the adjusting nut, which you can then reach and tighten with a 10mm socket on a swivel joint. After the nut has been tightened, cover the hole with a hole plug (Kawasaki Part No. 11012-1751-6Z). See diagrams below:


Alternate Way to Repair Sagging Mirrors
By Homer Dawson

First with a small screw driver, pop the outer ring of the mirror loose, next remove the mirror (be very careful not to break the mirror), this will reveal the 10 mm bolt that needs to be tightened, once this is done replace the mirror, then, with a drop of silicone or glue, re-install the outer ring back on.

Speedometer Error

Problem: The speedometer is in error by a plus 10% (five to six miles per hour at highway speeds.) In other words, when it reads you are going 60 MPH, you are in reality only doing 54 MPH.
Solution: The gear located at the end of the speedometer cable (on the front wheel) has 25 teeth. If the number is reduced to 23 or 24 teeth, the speedometer will then read close to true. Carl Leo finds that the 23T gives accurate speeds with a Dunlop Elite 3 tire at 38 lbs psi. The receiver for the speedo at the front wheel must be replaced with Kawasaki Part No. 41060-1025 (24t) or 41060-1107 (23t.) You must also put in a new oil seal, Kawasaki part No. 92049-1057. While you are at it, replace the pinion gear or you are asking for trouble down the line mixing new gears with old. The part number for the 9t pinion gear is 41060-1016.

An installation tip from Carl: "It is easy to damage the housing trying to disassemble the unit and I see some that look like kindergarten children worked on them. Be gentle........."

Installation tips from Doug Divine of South Florida: "You have to drill a hole (same size as roll pin) in the hsg on the opposite end of the roll pin so you can push the roll pin out. The small hsg that holds the pinion in is pressed in, you need to grip it good and work it out & it is alum so do not bugger it up to bad. The seal will come out fairly easy with a screwdriver just pry in different spots, If you are easy with it it can be reused if need be. I use a marine white lithium waterproof grease, Do not use wheel bearing grease or a thick heavy grease. Check that the lock or collar with the two big notches that fit in the wheel are not chewed up, if edges are dinged up you can file them so they are straight, if real bad you you need to replace and be sure when you put hsg back on that it is set in properly, The housing where the cable is attached should be almost parallel with the floor. The speedo hsg looks like it fits between two stantions on the shock but it does not, Look at the way it goes before you remove it. Cable should go up thru fairing on outside of shock and I always put a small o-ring on bottom end of cable to keep water out and do not loose little washer on the end of cable and ones on the pinion. Actually takes longer to type this than to fix it. Like Carl says some are better off just replacing the whole assy. But I do not think you can get the correct gears that way."

Note that this change will also reduce the odometer reading. I've found the stock odometer reading to be off only 2-3% instead of the 10% of the speedo. Your observed gas mileage will appear to drop!

Balancer Gear Backlash Adjustment

Problem: Many have complained about Voyager XII gear whine or transmission noise. Although the Voyager XII has straight cut gears in their transmissions due to the desire for a more sturdy and reliable transmission, straight cut gears compared to helical cut gears do make more "gear whine". However, some time it may be something more than the normal, mostly unobtrusive straight cut gear whine that you might hear. It could very well be that the balancer gear backlash needs adjustment.
Solution: A fairly simple adjustment may be needed to the balancer gear backlash, here's how to do it (refer to the picture below):


You need to look on the right side of the engine (sitting on the bike) to find the balance shafts clamp lever- pictured to the left. The punch marks on each shaft should point to the correct side. The mark on the front shaft points to the rear. The marks should point in the direction as shown in the photo (to the rear). Then:
  1. Start the engine and let it at idle.
  2. Loosen the balancer shaft clamp bolts.
  3. Turn the front balancer shaft clockwise until the balancer gear makes a noise.
  1. Turn back the shaft counterclockwise until just the gear stops making a noise.
  2. Adjust the rear balancer shaft in the same manner.
  3. Tighten the balancer shaft clamp bolts securely.


Keeping Music Tapes Tight
From AVA Member Archives
By Ed Cones

     After a short while, cassette tapes will "unwind" in the Voyager tape storage compartment and have to be rewound before you play them or they could get fowled in the tape player. Ed submitted two methods for keeping his tapes tight enough to play without having to re-wind them after storage before playing. 
     "I've used foam earplugs in my tapes since I got the bike. They work well, Just roll 'em down like you're at the shooting range except stick  them in the tape." He also experimented during a long cycle trip and came up with the following: "If the tape is rewound completely or almost completely, looking at them from the rear of the bike, the large spool turns clockwise. So, I rewind my tapes before removing them from the player and place them in the storage compartment with the full spool down and the open side of the tape to the right or center of the bike. The clockwise movement of the large spool keeps them tight. This has worked great on my bike for 10,000 miles now."

Recall Notice
Clutch Back Torque Limiter Warning
Dated November 1999

     "Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA has determined that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in 1999 and 2000 model Ninja ZX-7R, Concours, and Voyager XII motorcycles. On eligible units, the back torque limiter in the clutch may malfunction and allow the clutch to slip, or not re-engage after a shift. This sudden non-engagement of the clutch might cause the rider to lose control of the vehicle, possibly resulting in an accident and personal injury."
     This notice was probably delivered to all owners for the years and models mentioned above, but anyone purchasing a used cycle should check to verify that this safety defect was corrected. Owners previously unaware of the defect should contact the nearest Kawasaki dealer for further details.

Battery Sensor
From the AVA Archives

     It seems as though quite a few times the question has been raised on how to disable the battery sensor on the VII so the battery light stays out. Some basic observations for the unknowing should first be considered:

  • The battery lights purpose is to indicate that the battery electrolyte or water level is low in the battery. This is handy so you don't need to check the level so many times during the riding season since it's not the quickest thing to do.

  • The battery light has nothing to do with the quality or life left of the battery, other than letting you know the water level is low. If the water level in a battery is left low, it will cause sulfation in the battery cells and lead to pre-mature battery failure.

  • Most manufacturers make at least two versions of a battery that will work for the Voyagers, one with, and one without the battery sensor. Some of the newest batteries such as the gel batteries, or a maintenance free battery, prevents you from adding water by design. If you would like the convenience of the battery sensor and want to use the standard non-maintenance free batteries, then buy the ones with a sensor. If you get a maintenance free battery, then you don't need to worry about that option and will probably just pay a higher price for the battery.

     So after you decide which battery you would like to use, and have decided on a gel, maintenance free, or simply one without a sensor hookup, then you probably will want to disable the sensor by simply connecting the sensor lead to a +12 volt source. This can be done by either using one of the spare leads under the fairing, or simply connecting it to the +12 volt terminal of your battery. Others have suggested to hook a 100 ohm resistor in line with the original wire going to the battery and terminate it at the positive battery terminal.

Changing the XII Spark Plugs
By Ed Cones from AVA Archives

     Changing out or cleaning the spark plugs on the Voyager XII is not a slam dunk, easy job. It can be made easier, however, if the battery and battery tray are removed. The Voyager XII comes with a tool pack that contains a spark plug tool. Using the tool with an extension and a pair of long needle nose pliers to reach the plug wire caps makes the job a bit easier.
     Please remember to clear the plug area with air pressure before removing the plugs. Each of the plug locations will collect bits of stone, dried bugs, and other debris. It must be cleared in order that the contaminants do not fall into the spark plug hole when the plugs are removed.

Temperature Gauge Fix
From AVA Archives

     It has been reported that several have had problems with the Voyager XII water temperature gauge reading either low or not at all. It has been traced to an inadequate ground. The fix for this involves checking the grounding for this gauge. You can make a small ground wire to run from a thermostat housing (which contains the temperature sender) bolt up to a 6mm bolt in the frame just behind the steering head, or another good grounding point.

Intermittent Electrical Problem
(headlight, gauges, brake and tail)
From the AVA Archives
By Denny Zion

Problem: Occasional loss of headlight, fuel and temperature gauge readings, as well as tachometer, brake and tail lights. Interruptions usually occur periodically. Loss could become more numerous as time goes on. Fuses appear or check out OK.
Solution: More times than not, a problem exists with the large connector just after the fuse block. Possibly caused by excess water or dampness otherwise getting into this connection. The electrical connection within this connector (plug) becomes corroded to the point that it makes intermittent contact with it's opposite pin that powers these items. Disconnect this plug and thoroughly clean all the pins on both sides of the connector. A good electrical cleaner should do the trick (such as electrical contact cleaner at a electronics store, or comparable). After all contacts or pins are cleaned, a good application of electrical anti-corrosive grease (usually for aluminum cable- available at electrical contractor stores) should prevent this from happening again.

Brake Light Switches
From the AVA Archives
By BJ Reynolds

Problem: The front or rear brake switch fails to activate the brake light when the lever or foot brake is applied.
Solution: Loose spade connector(s) may be the problem. A slight crimping of the connectors should take care of the problem. It is suggested that you frequently check both the lever and foot brakes to make sure they are activating the brake lights as they should.

Clarion Radio or CB Service Procedure

Clarion no longer services the Voyager XII radios or CB's.

However, there are still two outlets where service can still be obtained at this time. The first outlet we recommend is service and modifications provided by Peter Franchi. He can be contacted through his email by clicking here. He can also be contacted through his username (suzib6sw) on the AVA Message and Information forum here.

The other source of service is noted below.

Alternate Clarion Radio Servicing
Submitted by Andy Sabisch

Sierra Electronics does repair the radios and CB's from Voyagers XII's!


As of 2/17/09, they indicated that they had a 2-week turnaround from date of receipt of the radio or CB.  The typical cost for a repair on either component is $100.  When you send it in, they will go through it and when they have a firm price, they will contact you for a credit card to pay for the repairs.  If there is anything excessive, they will let you know BEFORE doing the work.


Their contact information is:

  Sierra Electronics
  2080 Experiment Farm Road, Troy, OH  45373
  800-338-6938  /  937-335-8939


For more details on packaging the radio or to confirm turnaround time, contact them directly.

Easier Battery Level Checking
By Chuck Tenwick
From AVA Archives

Problem: Finding an easier way to check battery electrolyte level without having to remove battery to see level lines and associated having to disconnect battery leads etc. to do so.
Solution: The normal level checking lines which are on the front of the battery are not easily read since they face the front of the motorcycle, therefore, Chuck suggests that the next time you have your battery out, to draw a line on the back side of the battery with a magic marker indicating where the full level line is for the electrolyte solution. This way, a quick look with the dummy tank off is all that is needed to know where your level is in the battery. He also mentions that he wads up a small piece of paper to stuff under the nuts for the terminal bolts. The wads act as springs to hold the nuts in place when starting the terminal bolts.

Broken Rear Speaker Mounts- Temporary/Emergency Fix
By Tommy James
From the AVA Archives

     If the problem is the metal plate separating from the rubber bushing, place a small drop of super glue type adhesive between the metal plate and rubber bushing. This fix will work just fine without any problems. Make sure the metal plate and mating surface of rubber bushing is clean- even of previously used super glue if broke before, then apply glue and lower bushing onto it. Weight of speaker should hold it firmly enough until cured. Allow at least several minutes before riding off to allow sufficient cure. Also, avoid any oversize packed touring bags placed on the luggage rack that may tend to spread apart the speakers.- Gary, Webmaster

Broken Rear Speaker Mounts- Permanent Fix
Original Solution By Bob Hughes
Rewritten and Photos added
By Gary Schill and Lori Norris

Using Bob Hughes' original article for fixing broken speaker mounts more permanently, we have expanded the instructions and included photos.  Bob reports that this repair has proven successful for the last 60,000 miles and 6 years of terrible Michigan roads around the Detroit area.  

Here is a problem that plagues many Voyager XII riders, broken speaker mounts. The rubber part of the mount usually separates from the metal backing plate and voila, you have a bouncing speaker.  1. To start, remove the speaker mounts from the speakers and rear luggage rack. There are 3 nuts on each speaker to remove them from the rack. When removing two screws each that hold each of the three rubber speaker mounts, reinsert at least one screw to hold speaker together. If re-using the broken mounts, first re-glue them back together to keep them lined up.

  tapping out for screw 
2. Next will be to drill out the center of the speaker mount stud with a #43 drill bit. These are a wire gauge drill bit available at better hardware stores. Use caution when drilling the hole to keep it straight and centered in the stud as there is not much room for error. 3. Then it's time to tap out the hole you just drilled in the speaker mount bolt. Use a tap to thread the hole for a #4 metal screw with a 40 pitch thread. Use oil while tapping out the hole, and be very careful while tapping so you don't break the tap. Advance a little while tapping, then back out. Repeat this a few times, then withdraw the tap and flush the hole with oil and repeat until the hole is completely threaded. 

Screw in reinforcement screw.  Cut off excess screw 
4. With the hole now tapped out, use a #4 x 1½" metal screw. Apply thread locker to thread first, then turn in screw from the top down until it tightens just slightly so the mount can still flex some.  5. After screw is in and very slightly snug, cut off excess flush with speaker mount stud. 

Drill Divot for screw head  6. You should then drill a small divot in the speaker housing to allow room for the screw head. We also used one aluminum back-up washer for a ⅛" pop rivet for each mounting screw. Be sure all the lock tabs on the speaker mounts point to the center of the speakers to align with the luggage rack cutouts. After all the speaker mounts are mounted to the speakers, remount the speakers to the luggage rack and screw on the nuts removed in step one above.

TIP: When installing nuts especially towards the top trunk hump, it is easier to start the nuts when the top trunk lid is open. 

Another Alternative Fuel Pump Suggestion
By David Randall

In case you cannot get the fuel pump that Jeff talks about above, NAPA does have an electric fuel pump that will work. It is part number 610-1051, Posi-Flo model. It comes with an add on filter that goes between tank and pump, and all the fittings, but not any extra fuel line. You will need a little extra to to locate the Voyager original fuel filter and to add a little between pump and tank. This pump is set 1.5-4 PSI two wire design, neat and small, will mount on the regular mounting bracket that the Voyager pump is now on (with just a little rigging). It also will let you relocate the fuel filter so you can change it easier. Instead of using the long fuel line adapter that goes in the outlet end, use an elbow first, then, the adapter. Use the info Jeff provides about wiring the pump. I used the red hot wire and ground Jeff talks about, but did not cut the original plug off. Be sure to mount the back as far as you can on the original mount so the rear brake reservoir will remount with no trouble. AFter installing the pump and before putting everything back in place, I checked to make sure that everything would fit back i place just like factory. Turn the key on, wait just a minute to let it prime up. Instant start and very little gas fumes. Down the street and back, using all the throttle I could, yielded very good throttle response and very smooth running at last. Total cost for pump and supplies are $60.00 (as of 11/18/07), much better than the OEM at $175 for a new pump.

Discharging Battery
By Gary Schill

Problem: The battery seems to discharge over about a 2 to 3 week period just sitting in the garage until it won't start the motorcycle. "It seemed OK when I first parked it, but a few weeks later, it wouldn't turn the bike over".
Solution: On the Voyagers, there is a constant drain on the battery even when sitting idle, this is because the memory in the radio, clock, and if so equipped, the CB take a little electric to maintain their settings. Even if your battery is fully charged when you park your bike for a extended idle time without riding much, the battery can easily become discharged enough to not start your machine in a couple or so weeks. This is normal. This constant discharge and then charging when you do ride your bike can cause sulfation of the battery plates, and eventually or prematurely your battery will die. To best combat this sulfation of the battery plates and keep your machine ready to ride, you should invest in a "smart" battery charger. The two most well known brands are the Battery Tender and the Battery Minder, although there are other brands manufactured. You can simply hook up the usually provided ring terminal battery cables to your bikes battery, and when you park your bike for any amount of time, just plug it in to the battery charger. You can leave the charger connected indefinitely until you are ready to ride again, then just disconnect the polarized connector, and you'll have a fully charged battery ready to go. The charger goes to maintenance or standby mode until the battery needs a charge to keep in top condition. This reduces drastically the sulfation problem, and you always have a fully charged battery ready to ride.

Starter Chain/Igniter
By Charlie Sargent

Problem: The starter chain breaks.
Solution: This problem was present in the Voyager XII model years of '86 and '87. It would usually occur when a discharged or failing battery was used to start the machine. If you own an '86 or '87 Voyager XII, it is recommended that you check to be sure you have the updated igniter to prevent this problem, replacement of the starter chain with the updated one may or may not be necessary.  Also, keep your battery (all year Voyagers too) fully charged and in good condition. The following information was provided by Charlie Sargent who experienced this problem and it's solution first hand- THANKS SARGE!!

"There have been 86's/87's that broke the starter chain tensioner and tossed a chunk of it through the engine cases. A few common traits among all the starter chain failures are, all were '86/87' models, which had the old starter chain (p/n 92057-1205). There was an update to a newer chain (p/n 92057-1276), 1986/1987 had the old-style igniter (p/n 21119-1179), which had problems with over-advancing the ignition timing. The new style igniter is (p/n 21119-1248) you can check which igniter you have by removing the tank cover and check the part number on the igniter box. All machines that experienced failures seemed to have had low batteries that cranked the machine over slowly sometimes and then turn over normal other times. (It put a lot of stress on the starter chain until it failed.)"

Installing Progressive Fork Springs
By Gary Schill

OK, you've decided your front fork springs are sacked out, or would like the best performance and ride of the Progressive springs. You might think all you have to do is take the old OEM's out and replace with the Progressive's, but there is a difference in the springs that will require you to change the re-assembly process. The process of changing springs (as well as fork oil) is not all that hard, but is more difficult than changing either one on some other bikes. So here's the process:

The fork springs you need are Progressive Part No. 11-1102 for '87 thru '03, (1986 Voyager XII's use Progressive Part No. 11-1122), these are Progressive's numbers, it may be listed under a different part number depending on the dealer or distributors numbering system- check their listing for the Voyager XII. This spring ( Part No. 11-1102) also fits several other machines (some will require a spacer to adapt). Following is the machines that also take this spring:




Kawasaki ZG1200 Voyager 1987-2003 *
Kawasaki 1300 Voyager 1983-1987
Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours 1986-2002
Kawasaki GTR1000 1986-1996
Honda 700 Interceptor 1984-1985
Honda 750 Interceptor 1983
Honda CB1000C 1983
Honda CB1100F 1983
Honda CB1100R 1982-1984
Honda CB900F 1980-1982
Honda GL1100 Gold Wing 1980-1983

* Note: 1986 Voyager XII's use different Progressive Springs since the stanchion tube diameter was different in the first year of Voyager XII production.

Process of spring installation:

  1. Remove front brake calipers, speedometer cable from front wheel receiver.

  2. Release all air from front suspension.

  3. Remove front wheel, fork brace, and front fender.

  4. Loosen top triple clamp bolt on one of the forks.

  5. Completely remove the lowest bolt on the bottom triple clamp on the same fork with a wrench (box or open end).

  6. Loosen the top bolt of the bottom triple clamp.

  7. While holding the connecting pipe collar up, rotate the fork tube and begin lowering it in the triple clamps. (See photo 1)

Photo 1

  1. Before you can remove the fork tube completely from the bottom triple clamp, you must first remove the retaining ring ( D in the photo), on the fork tube upper. This retaining ring will become visible after you lower the fork tube from the top triple clamp. You can remove it by using a slot screwdriver or other tool to expand the ring and lift it off the top of the upper fork tube- be careful you do not bend it.

  2. After you remove this retaining ring, remove the fork tube from the motorcycle.

  3. Remove the top black plastic fork tube cap.

  4. Now the tricky part, it's best to have a vise and a friend to help you with this one, but can be done by yourself with a little patience, muscle, (and maybe some colorful "french").

  5. Wrap a rag for good cushioning around the upper fork tube 3 or 4 inches from the top, or better yet, use about a 3 or 4 inch wide strip from an old rubber inner tube and long enough to make about 3 wraps around the fork upper tube, and carefully place it in the vise, only tighten the vise enough to securely hold the fork tube from slipping down when pressure is applied to the top plug of the fork tube, not so much as to even begin to collapse the fork tube ( make sure there enough cushioning to prevent any marking on the fork tube and do not over tighten the vise). Test to make sure the fork tube will not slip.

  6. Then by yourself, or with a friend's help, press down on the top plug of the fork tube, and, then remove the retaining ring to allow the top plug to come out of the fork tube. (See photo below) Be careful to gradually release the downward pressure as the top plug will have spring pressure on it.

Photo 2

  1. Remove top plug, oil filter, collar, and fork spring.

  2. Remove fork assy. from the vise, remove the bottom drain plug on the fork assy. lower, and drain the fork oil by pumping the fork tube several times until oil is all out. (Observation: what color is the fork oil? Does it look like well used (black) engine oil? If so, you waited too long to change the fork oil!)

  3. It is suggested that you clean out the fork internals before installing new oil. I did this by using clean paint thinner and continually flushing it until it came out clear (put some in, pump the fork several times, drain- repeat). Do not use gasoline, lacquer thinner, or other strong solvent (example: auto paint thinners).

  4. When you are convinced that you have the fork internals clean, then you are ready for reassembly, make sure you have all of the paint thinner or equivalent drained from the fork.

  5. Fully compress the fork and support it so it stands up straight. Before you install the new fork springs, you must add the required amount of oil. As mentioned under the tech tip "Front Fork Oil", the best way to bring the oil up to the required level for the Voyager is to measure from the top edge of the fork inner tube to the top of the oil level (it should measure 145mm for Progressive Springs, 140 for stock OEM springs). Use some kind of measuring tool or improvise to accomplish this, I used a heavy plastic zip tie, and put a piece of tape 145 mm from the tip of the tie. I lowered the straight zip tie into the fork inner tube till the tape lightly touched the fork tube. I then added oil till the fork oil just showed on the zip tie. Note: Progressive recommends 160mm ± 2mm of oil level. Carl Leo has determined that 145mm air gap works best for Progressive springs in the Voyager XII (1200). I had originally used the 160mm air gap level, and found that it was not enough oil. Use the 145mm air gap measurement .

  6. Now, reinstall the fork assy. into the vise again like before, install the new Progressive springs. Now for the difference between the stock fork springs and the Progressives'. On the Voyager XII's, you DO NOT reinstall the collar or oil filter like it was when using the OEM springs. The Progressive springs are longer than OEMs and do not require these parts. All you'll be installing is the new fork springs followed by the top plug, then the retaining ring.

  7. Now with an assistant's help (preferred), or if doing by yourself, you need to reinstall the top plug, hold the top plug down as before and reinstall the retaining clip.

  8. Now reinstall the fork assy. back onto the motorcycle. After you get it through the bottom triple clamp, reinstall the retaining ring back onto the inner fork tube, See photo 1.

  9. Next, by slightly rotating the inner fork tube back and forth, guide it back up through the Connecting pipe (air equalizing collar) and then up into the upper triple clamp. Tighten all triple clamp bolts. Reinstall black plastic fork tube caps.

  10. Complete steps 4 thru 22 for the other fork assy.

  11. Then reinstall the front fender, fork brace, front tire, speedometer cable, and brake calipers.

  12. Your Done and ready to ride!!

Water Leak
By John Stone MTSV

Problem: Water leak on the Voyager XII while in winter storage. This clears up once the riding season starts. The leak comes from one side of the horizontal pipe in front of engine (like a manifold) with two steel lines running into it coupled by a small length of hose with hose fittings on them. There are two possible answers:
1. Dealer suggests endure the first few leaky experiences into spring and ride it the rest of the summer once the leaks stop. Alternative is to replace seals that dry out in winter, costs about $100.00.
 2. This comes from Alex Mistal in Redding CA: Same problem but his leak came from loose hose clamps. Most of the hose clamps can be tightened without removing any plastic, but the ones on the top can only be reached if you remove the false tank, battery, and battery case. Still a job that the average biker should be able to accomplish without too much difficulty.

Protecting Fork Seals
By Chuck Hoefflin

 I had some difficulty with the fork seals on one of my BMW's due to hardened bugs that were stuck on the fork tubes and damaged the fork seals. I found a Yamaha sport bike that had a plastic protector that I could adapt. I used that arrangement for the rest of the time I owned the bike. When I bought my Voyager, the same problem exists. The fork tube is exposed. So I modified fork protectors from a Yamaha 4TX-2331G-00 to do the job. For reference, they are 3 5/8" high, plenty to protect the exposed surface of the fork tubes. I had to modify them for clearance around the stock fork brace- a five minute job. Cost: less than $5 per side.