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See the attached photo's yellow highlighting.

The reason I am asking is because I bought a used bike (with 2000km mileage) and it looks like these have been removed. The bike is a 2009 Yamaha YZF R125.

What is their purpose? And why would anyone remove them? Should I be worried about this in regards to safety?

Thanks in advance.

enter image description here

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On normally-oriented forks this is where you would fill the fork oil and remove the springs and/or cartridge inserts. On upside-down forks it is likely some kind of adjustment point for the suspension. This can vary from bike to bike, as different types of forks and inserts may have or not have the same adjustment capabilities. If they are missing from your new bike, it just may have a different type of suspension setup compared to other bikes you've seen.

  • Thanks for your reply. I added the bike model which I bought if you can provide further assistance in regards to this particular bike. – seedg Mar 28 '17 at 22:47
  • I looked at several photos of this model bike, and found a few that had something similar to what you show here, but most of the YZF-125s just had regular hex fastener heads. My guess is the bike you show here with the red fittings has had an aftermarket suspension upgrade, and most of the other stock bikes are missing that part. It could also be a factory upgrade option that not all bikes have. – Christopher Hunter Mar 28 '17 at 23:00
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There are a couple of things circled, so I'll cover them all:

The largest diameter circle that meets with the top of the fork tube is called the fork cap. It's threaded into the top of the fork tube and allows access to the fork oil and other internals, as well as keeping them sealed away from the environment.

Inside the fork cap is the red hex adjuster, which is a preload adjuster. Screwing it in and out will change the amount of preload that is applied to the spring inside the fork. This will essentially make the fork feel softer or harder, change the ride height of the bike for a given weight, and slightly change the travel of the fork's stroke.

Inside the preload adjuster is a small screw head. That is likely your rebound adjuster. It adjusts how slow or fast the forks will extend after they have been compressed and the load has been removed. Too strong and the forks won't quickly return to their starting position ready for the next bump. Too soft and the bike can "pogo" and bounce up and down.

A common addon for sportbikes is an inconveniently named "preload adjuster". They are cheap metal pieces that fit over the nut and allow a rider to adjust preload with their bare hands. It's also possible this is what you're seeing.

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