2009-2010 Honda CRF450R – Front Fork Rebuild

How To Rebuild The Forks On Your 2009 – 2010 Honda CRF450r.

2009-2010 Honda CRF450r - Front Fork Rebuild - Featured

The Tools You Need Are:

  • 35mm Fork Cap Wrench
  • 49mm Fork Damper Wrench
  • 15mm Box Wrench
  • 17mm Socket
  • Torque Wrench
  • Waste Oil Bucket
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Vise
  • Pick
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Lots of Towels
  • Safety Glasses


The only parts you need is a new ’09-’10 Honda CRF450r fork rebuild kit and fresh fork oil. I am using a pivot works kit that includes almost everything for this fork service. The only thing this rebuild kit is missing is a spring seat bushing, but those rarely wear out.

You can get all the parts and tools you need through our partner links!

Start with your bike on a stand with the front wheel, brake caliper, and fork protectors removed.

Click Here To Open Front Suspension Specifications In A New Window.


Your fork cap wrench might not fit due to the handlebar risers, so loosen the top and bottom fork bridge pinch bolts, then drop your fork below the top bridge.

Tighten the lower pinch bolts, and loosen the fork damper with the fork still mounted in the bridge.1 - Loosen Fork DamperDo not remove the cap; get it loose.

Loosen the bottom pinch bolts and remove your fork.

Turn the compression adjuster (top) and rebound adjuster (bottom) out, and write down the number of clicks.2 - Back Out Compression Adjuster 3 - Back Out Rebound AdjusterHold your fork at an upright angle, loosen the fork damper, and slide the outer tube down to the axle mount.4 - Unscrew Damper Unit From Fork TubeDrain the old oil from the outer tube and damper holes.

5 - Drain Fork TubesReconnect the damper and tube, then loosen the center bolt.6 - Loosen Center BoltFlip your fork, so the axle holder is facing up and install your damper rod holder tool by pushing down on the axle holder.7 - Install Damper Rod Holding ToolLoosen the center bolt lock nut, then remove the center bolt, followed by the pushrod. 9 - Remove Center Bolt 10 - Remove Rebound Adjuster Push Rod Remove the rod holder, then remove the damper from the fork tubes, followed by the spring.11 - Remove Damper Spring Seat And SpringRemove the fork cap from the damper and set aside.12 - Loosen Fork Cap  13 - Remove Fork CapPump the damper several times to drain the old oil.

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Remove the dust seal and stopper ring from the fork tubes.14 - Remove Dust Seal And Stoper Ring Aggressively separate the outer fork tube from the inner fork tube.15 - Seperate Inner From Outer TubeUsing a flathead screwdriver, carefully remove the slider bushing, followed by the guide bushing, backup ring, oil seal, and dust seal.16 - Remove Slider Bushing, Guide Bushing, Backup Ring, Stopper Ring, And Dust SealClean and inspect the tubes.

New Parts:

I am using a new Pivot Works rebuild kit for this ’09-’10 Honda CR450r fork service.

This kit comes with all the bushings and o-rings needed for the tubes, fork cap, and center bolt.17 - New Pivot Works Fork Rebuild KitThis kit does not come with a replacement stopper ring, backup ring, or spring seat bushing, but it does have new wear rings for the outside of the tube.

Tube Assembly:

Wrap the end of the inner tube with plastic wrap, and apply a light layer of fork oil.18 - Wrap Tube End With Plastic Wrap Install the dust seal, stopper ring, oil seal, backup ring, guide bushing, and slider bushing.

Install the backup ring with the shoulder side facing the axle holder, and the open side facing the end of the tube.19 - Backup Ring Orientation - Shoulder Toward Axle HolderOil the end of the inner tube and join it with the outer tube.20 - Join Inner Tube And Outer TubeIf you don’t have a seal driver, you can use the old oil seal for seating the new one.

Remove the stopper ring, cut the old oil seal, and wrap it around the tube upside down.21 - Use Old Oil Seal As Seal Driver Push the old seal up to the new seal, and use the axle holder to drive the new seal into place.22 - Align Old Seal With New SealYou don’t need to use much force for seating the oil seal, so don’t go crazy with the pounding.23 - Carefully Drive New Oil SealInstall the stopper ring, check for any binding or dragging, then install the dust seal.

Fork Cap:

Remove the o-rings in order from the bottom to top, and keep track of their order.24 - Strip O-rings From Fork CapClean the fork cap as thoroughly as you can.

Match up your new o-rings, and install them in order with a light coating of fork oil.25 - Match Up New Fork Cap O-rings26 - Install New Fork Cap O-ringsClean:

Clean and inspect the center bolt, spring seat collar, and pushrod.

Damper Assembly:

The fork damper uses hydraulic force only, so we need to take extra care when removing air.

Hang your damper, and fill it with 7.1 ounces of fork oil.27 - Add 7 Ounces Of Fork Oil To Damper Unit Slowly pump the damper piston to remove any trapped air, and bleed excess fluid.

If you pump too fast, you will remove too much fluid, so start with short strokes, gradually getting longer, until you reach a full stroke.28 - Stroke Damper Half Way29 - Stroke Damper FullYou should feel the air getting pushed out, and see the excess oil exiting the drain hole.30 - Watch The Damper BleedTo install the fork cap, you will need to compress it slightly to catch the threads.31 - Install The Fork Cap With ResistanceIf the cap installs without resistance, you do not have enough oil in the damper. The fork cap will be impossible to install if there is too much fluid in the damper.

Slowly drain the oil little by little until the cap can install while maintaining resistance. The apparent issue with this is getting the oil level just right, and the air voided completely.

Fortunately, this damper is self-regulating and will expel excess fluid on its own, which you will experience during testing.

With the cap wrestled into place, torque the fork cap to 21-foot-pounds.32 - Tighten And Torque Fork Cap To 21 ft-lbsDamper Testing:

Double check that the compression adjuster is backed out all the way, wrap the top of your damper with a shop towel, then fully compress your damper several times to blow out any excess oil.33 - Compress Damper Unit To Blow Out Remaining Oil To test your damper, hold it horizontally, and completely compress the piston.34 - Test Damper Extension Release the piston, then watch and feel how it extends.35 - Damper Extension Test PassedThe extension should be smooth. If you see jitters or feel air moving around, you will need to remove the cap and try again.

If everything looks good, compress your damper and wedge it somewhere vertically for 10 minutes.36 - Compress Damper For 10 Minutes To Test For LeaksTake you damper out of time out and check for any leaks. Perform the horizontal extension test again, and if your piston does not extend smoothly, you will need to repeat the bleeding process.

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Fork Assembly:

Tighten the center bolt lock nut against the rod, and measure the distance from the locknut to the end of the threads.37 - Backout Center Bolt Lock Nut 38 - Measure Center Bolt Lock NutThe distance should be 16 to 18 mm.

Install the spring seat.

Place your spring in the fork tube, and install the fork damper unit.

39 - Install Spring, Spring Seat, And Damper Unit Thread the outer tube onto the damper, flip your fork, and install the rod holding tool.40 - Assemble Fork Tube And DamperInstall the push rod.41 - Install Rebound Adjuster Push RodDouble check that the rebound adjuster is backed out all the way, then thread it onto the damper rod.42 - Double Check Rebound Adjuster43 - Install Center BoltMeasure the distance between the center bolt and the lock nut.

The distance should measure between 1 and 3.5mm.44 - Measure Center Bolt To Lock Nut ClearanceEngage the center bolt lock nut, and torque the center bolt to 21-foot-pounds.45 - Torque Lock Nut To 41 ft-lbsApply thread lock to the center bolt, then remove the holding tool.

Tighten the center bolt and torque to 41 foot-pounds.46 - Torque Center Bolt To Fork To 41 ft-lbsHold your fork vertical, and measure from the tube to the axle holder.47 - Measure Fork Free LengthThe distance should be 319mm, or 12 and 5/8ths inches.

Unscrew the damper, let the outer tube slide down to the axle holder, and hang your fork by the damper.48 - Hang Fork By Damper Fill your tube with 10 to 12 ounces of fork oil, depending on how soft you want your suspension.49 - Fill Fork Tube With 10 to 12 Ounces Of Fork FluidReplace the damper o-ring, thread the fork tube onto the damper for the last time, and tighten.50 - Install Damper O-ring51 - Assemble Fork Fork Last TimeFork Installation:

Reset your compression and rebound adjusters to the recorded number.

Install your fork just under the top fork bridge and tighten the lower pinch bolts.52 - Install Fork Half Way Firmly tighten the damper, then loosen the lower pinch bolts.53 - Tighten DamperInstall your forks with the bottom of the damper flush with the bridge.

I like my geometry slightly forward, so I typically install my forks 3 to 5 mm above the fork bridge.54 - Measure Fork Above BridgeTorque the top pinch bolts to 15-foot-pounds, and the bottom pinch bolts to 16-foot-pounds.55 - Torque Pinch Bolts To 15 ft-lbs Top And 16 ft-lbs BottomIf you have any questions about this fork rebuild, please let me know in the comments or on social.

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