Fork Lock Replacement for Harley Davidson | Motor Bike Insider

Are you planning to get an older Harley Davidson without the keys? Or did you lose the key to your Harley Davidson? Things may get scary when you lose the original Harley key as it blocks your access to the motorcycle.

Thankfully, you can replace the Harley fork lock and ignition switch to regain the access and use a new key. And to do this, you must know about the Harley Davidson fork lock replacement system. Also, when you see Harley Davidson fork lock problems, you need to replace or repair them.

Finally, you might want to replace the front fork slider to match it with your Harley’s customized rotors and wheels. At this time, you will also need to replace the fork system. Whatever may be the case, today we will show you the ways to remove and replace Harley front fork lock and the fork itself in the following steps. So, let’s get ready to see one of Harley’s most important DIY projects.

Fork Lock Replacement for Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson Fork Lock Replacement: How To Replace The Fork Lock And Fork

Harley Davidson Fork Lock Replacement How To Replace The Fork Lock And Fork


Harley Davidson has five different types of motorcycles such as Softail, Touring, etc. Here, we will show you the fork lock replacement for the Touring models. You can easily remove the fork lock for an upgrade or repair work.

Things you will need:

  • 3/8” socket set and wrench
  • Allen wrench socket (6mm deep)
  • 24” long and 1-1/2” size PVC pipe (including coupler)
  • Soft jaws and fork holder
  • Measuring tools for fork oil
  • Torque wrenches

Once you have assembled all the essential tools for Harley’s fork lock replacement, you may proceed to the next steps.

Step 1: Removing Headlight, Windshield, And Fairings

Removing Headlight, Windshield, And Fairings

Before you start working with your Harley’s fender and front wheel to replace the front fork lock, you need to remove the exterior parts properly. It includes windshields, fairings, and headlights. Follow the owner’s manual to remove these parts by loosening the screws properly.

If you find it hard to remove the headlight or fairings, you may watch videos on YouTube on how to remove the Harley headlight and windshield.

Step 2: Removing The Front Wheel And Fender

Firstly, elevate the front wheel of your Harley touring with the bike jack. Ensure that you are working on a plain surface to avoid tumbling. After that, disconnect the ABS by cutting the XIP ties from the brake hose on the left side. You might also need to remove the wiring for the front fender lights.

Next, you need to slide off the brake calipers from the rotors. You will need the mounting screw of the brake caliper for this. Also, provide support to the brake calipers with a cord so that they don’t fall entirely. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the nut and washer from the front axle.

Locate the fork slider. Now, loosen the two nuts at the bottom right part of the fork slider. You can remove the axle from the fork slider’s right side. Don’t forget to offer support to the front wheel so that the bike doesn’t fall to the ground.

There you should find a spacer between the fork slider and wheels. You don’t need to remove it. Also, if there’s any ABS equipment, keep it. Now, you need to disconnect the wiring of the tip light of the fender.

Finally, remove the lockplates and the bolts to get rid of the front fender properly.

Step 3: Removal Of The Fork Tubes

Removal Of The Fork Tubes

Look at the top of the Harley fork tube to find the plug and disconnect the fork cap of the left side from it. However, you don’t need to remove it entirely. After that, look at the bracket of the lower fork. Use the wrench to loosen its pinch bolts properly without removing the nuts.

If your bike hasn’t been cleaned for a while, apply a WD-40 lubricator to eliminate dust, rust, and residues. Now you can adjust the fork tube to connect with the triple tree of the upper form segment.

Since it is a complex task, we suggest closely looking at the Harley front fork diagram. Now, you can remove the cap bolt from the front fork lock. Nonetheless, make sure that you have held the fork slider properly so that it doesn’t drop.

Now, slide down the front fork tube and remove it from the fork stop and triple tree. When you have removed the front fork tube, readjust the cap bolt on the fork plug. It will prevent the fork oil spillage so that you don’t need to replace it.

Step 4: Disassemble The Existing Fork

Disassemble The Existing Fork

Now, you must accomplish the most challenging part of the Harley fork lock replacement process. Yes, you will have to disassemble and replace the damaged or existing Harley Touring fork.

  • Look at the right side of the Harley fork slider and remove the axle retainer and nuts from it.
  • Drain the fork oil by removing the fork cap and drain screw.
  • At the bottom of the slider, you will see 6mm Allen bolts. Remove them to release the damper tube. If you see that the tube moves inside the slider, you should use the impact gun to remove it safely.
  • After that, you have to remove the spring and plug it from the top of the front fork tube. Harley Davidson has five different motorcycle types, and a few of its models include spring pressure. Hold on to it above the spring plug if your motorbike has one to stop it from springing away.
  • Now, drain the fork tube from the fork oil entirely. If you have a Harley Fairing model built-in in 2006 or later, it will have a damper valve. When you drain the oil, this damper valve falls out, so you should collect and put it aside.
  • You must remove the fork slider’s retainer clip now. You will have to move up the dust cover to do so.
  • You will now require to expand the fork slider and tube with the sliding hammer. It will help you separate the fork slider from the tube.
  • You can easily remove the fork tube bushing, spacer, and seal. You may need to use the screwdriver to remove the seal and bushing. Don’t forget to remove the bushing of the lower leg from the fork tube recessing spot.
  • Now, look at the fork slider and remove the lower stop.

Before assembling the new fork kit, you should wipe off all the parts using the commercial WD-40 cleaner. It will enhance the performance and lifespan of the parts used in the Harley fork lock and tubing system.

Step 5: Reassemble The Parts Of The Fork System

When you have wiped off all the residues and debris from the fork tube, its seal, slider, and other parts, you will need to reassemble them.

Thankfully, you can choose the Harley front fork replacement kit to accomplish the entire replacement system briefly. It will help you greatly as all the kits and tools are packed inside the replacement kit for convenience.

You will have to use a new set of copper crush rings on the drain screw. You should install the new wear ring at the bottom of the damper tube. After that, use the 1.5″ PVC tube to properly bore the busing through the fork tube. The PVC tube will work as a hammering tool here.

Install the fork seal and spacer through the fork tube so that the groove of the retaining clip becomes visible. Also, mount the retainer clip. Install the spring temporarily and turn the assembly tightly to stop the turning of the damper.

Now, you can reinstall the 6mm Allen bolts with the crush ring made of copper. Apply the pressure of 132-216 in-lbs with the torque wrench to tighten the ring properly. Use 11oz of fork oil to fill up the tube appropriately.

On the damper valve, you will need to install the wear ring. However, you can skip this step if you have a Road King version. Before you finish the reassembling process, you should measure the oil level properly. You can use a fork oil level gauge for the measuring purpose.

You may choose the ALPHA MOTO Professional Motorcycle Fork Suspension Oil Level Measurement Gauge Tool to measure the fork oil level appropriately. The oil level should be:

  • The oil level should be at least 5.6 inches from the fork tube top. It is applicable for Touring, Softail, and other models except for Road King.
  • For the Road King version, the oil level of the fork tube should be 5.24 inches from the fork tube top.

Finally, you must install the R-ring washer and quad ring properly. It would help to tighten the O-ring using 60-70 ft-lbs pressure with the torque wrench. You also need to repeat the steps for the right-side fork tube. Also, you must install the axle nuts and retainer on the right fork tube.

Step 6: Install The Fork

Install The Fork

Now you will need to install the fork on your Harley motorbike. Firstly, mount the slider cover through the triple tree on the lower side. Slide up the fork tube by removing the bolt from the fork tube cap. Also, slide in the tube on the upper part of the triple tree.

Install and tighten the fork cap bolt properly with 60-70 ft-lbs—torque wrench pressure. Finally, tighten the pinch bolt of the lower triple tree. You will also have to repeat the reassembling process on the other side of the fork tube.

Step 7: Install The New Fork Lock

Start by removing the fork stem from the lock system. Locate the small lead plug and drill a 1/8″ hole through it. When you drill the hole, be careful not to damage the set screw. The screw sits right behind the lead plug, and once damaged, replacing it can be costly.

Use pliers set to remove the lead plug. Also, loosen the set screw on it. Now, you are all set to install the new fork lock that matches the Fork system of your Harley motorbike. Also, you might customize the fork lock with a beautiful Riders Passion Fork Lock Clock. This beautiful fork lock clock has a glossy finish suitable for Road King models.

As you install the new fork lock, ensure that it perfectly aligns with the set screw. Also, make sure the set screw fits snugly without being too tight or loose. When it happens, the front lock will fail to function properly. Finally, seal the set screw with silicone adhesive properly. Also, don’t forget to check if the lock is working rightly or not.


The Harley fork lock replacement system is easy and fast. However, the most challenging part comes with the fork replacement. Therefore, we have shown you both ways to replace the fork and fork lock to customize your Harley just as you want. Although replacing or reinstalling the fork lock can be tough, this DIY replacement project is worth the time investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.How Do You Unlock Harley Forks?

Ans: You will need to turn the lock of your Harley into the full left position. You can insert the key into the lock and turn it clockwise to unlock the Harley forks. The unlocking process may vary from one model to another. So, look at the user’s manual.

2.Can You Rekey A Harley Davidson?

Ans: Yes, you can rekey your Harley Davidson from an automotive locksmith. You will need to provide the code of the ignition cylinder and ownership certificate to rekey your Harley motorbike.

3.Are All Harley Keys The Same?

Ans: Not all the keys of Harley are the same. It depends on the specific model of the motorcycle. So, you would better preserve the different keys to prevent inconvenience.

2 thoughts on “Fork Lock Replacement for Harley Davidson | Motor Bike Insider”

Leave a Comment