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I took my forks on my 35,000 mile Ninja 1000 to a well known and respected suspension shop to be rebuilt.

New bushing, seals, springs, all the goodies and I received a call from them saying that the inside of the tubes have been worn down and they are suggesting that they should be sent out to be re-anodized on the inside and the outside. The outside will be changed from the factory gray to a matt black.

They said the wear had weakened the soft factory anodizing on the inside of the tubes and even with new seals, the wear would allow dirt and grime into the chamber. He said their hard anodizing on the inside and the outside would strengthen the inner walls and prevent any premature failure. The cost would be an extra $350.

I have had the suspension on another bike I own done by them and this wasn't an issue. In fact, I am very very pleased with the work they did on that bike. I also took the rear shock from the Ninja in a few years ago and I have no complaint with the work that they did.

I should ad that I have never changed the oil or done any maintenance to the forks other than setting the sag properly. All of my riding has been touring in canyons, goat roads, etc and the freeway travel to get to them. The tech also said the fluids were dark.

Has anyone heard of this issue?
 

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I believe they are talking more about the inner cartridge rather than the tube we can see. This cartridge is made from soft aluminum and does wear.

The inner cartridge is where the valving and piston makes it's seal. If it's worn, or the tolerance is bad, the fork fluid shoots past the piston and valving. You would have a pogo stick feel as compared to a good cartridge that's well sealed..

As far as having them coat it? I wouldn't. Not on used parts that are already worn. Probably not even on new parts. The cost of the bike prevents it from using super expensive, high tolerance suspension pieces like you would have on a 50,000 dollar bike. It's sort of like having your stock, steel car wheels chromed. It looks better, but you don't have the advantages of a lighter wheel, or the ability to alter wheel size.

I understand what they are saying and why a person might do this, but I don't think the value is there. You can buy aftermarket cartridges that are already coated, and are made to a better tolerance in the first place. Mine are ten years old and don't show any wear.

Suspension sucks in that there isn't much middle ground. I believe this is one of those things where you won't find a 350.00 solution. If you pay for the rebuild and find this is an issue..,I doubt you will, but if you do, take the 350 you would have spent and use it towards some good fork cartridges. Those are 800-1200.00, but that's what it's costs. Not much you can do.

If your fork tubes have issues with the chrome finish, that needs to be addressed or the fork will leak oil, externally. But, if this is internal wear of the cartridges, that won't cause an external leak.

Plus, one side of the stock fork doesn't even have a damping function. With this in mind, you are really only worried about the one side as far as the mechanics go.
 
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