Tuesday, December 26, 2017

1996 Porsche Bike S suspension fork rebuild, part 1

I wanted to better document how to change the suspension fork elastomers on the Porsche Bike S. This blog has photos and information when I rebuilt the suspension forks on the 1998 Bike S. So, when it came time to rebuild the forks on the 1996 Bike S, I thought I could add some more detail to this blog.

EXCEPT, when I took the 1996 forks apart, the internal parts didn't look anything like the 1998 fork parts. There is no spring in the 1996 fork and the position of the elastomer stack is lower. The outside frame of these Votec manufactured forks look exactly the same on both the '96 and '98 Bike S models. But the insides are totally different. Go figure. 

So, the following instructions are for the 1996 Porsche Bike S suspension forks. This year/model is the first year this bike was produced and very rare. The 1998 Bike S (with the Votec GS97 forks) are much more common. 

Porsche Bike S (1996)
Tip: Get the bike off the ground with a bike stand or support - makes this process much easier.
Release the Magura hydraulic brake clamp
 Remove the brake assembly by lifting the carbon fiber "arm" away from the brake mounts.
Loosen the wheel nut and remove the tire/wheel.
At the top of the steering assembly, loosen the bolts shown in the photo. No need to completely remove the bolts.
 Loosen the steerer tube cap bolt and remove the cap. Be careful not to completely remove the bolt as the lower cap plate will just fall into the steerer tube. You can use a thin screwdriver to gently pry the cap upward to remove.
Then remove the "three circle" support bracket frame. This should come off easily. I like to place the steerer tube cap back on the steerer tube to keep the forks in place and not fall off the frame.
Remove the other side of the brake support by removing the left bolt. I like to place the bolt back into the mount after the brake assembly is removed - just to avoid losing it.
Remove the aluminum "caps" on the top of the black fork tubes. I didn't take a picture of this step, Warning - it's difficult to remove these. Use a towel and vise grip pliers to grab and twist the caps off. Be careful as it's easy to scrape or damage these caps. The caps do not serve any purpose other than keeping dust and dirt from going into the upper fork tube. So, if you rough them up a bit, it's not the end of the world. It was much easier to remove the taller caps on the 1998 Bike S. The 1996 model was much harder - which is probably why Votec changed the caps on the '98 model.
 Then, using a long handle socket, loosen the bolt on the upper elastomer post from the top of the black fork tube.
With the lower and upper bolts lose, you should be able to pull the silver aluminum fork tubes downward and away from the bike.
 With the aluminum fork tubes removed, you can then pull the lower elastomers downward right off the metal elastomer post. There will be nine elastomers on each side (again, this is on the 1996 Bike S). Discard the old elastomers, but make sure to save the white plastic spacers. These spacers are reusable.
Now pull the metal elastomer post up through the top of the black fork tubes. There will be four elastomers. Two of larger and two of the smaller elastomers. I had to turn the bike upside down to get these to come out because they are too far down inside the tube to reach with fingers or tools.
Discard all of the used elastomers and then wipe down the spacers and elastomer post. Then you can clean the inside of the aluminum and black suspension fork tubes if needed.

And this ends part 1. When the new elastomers arrive in the mail, I'll reassemble and post photos and instructions to put the 1996 Bike S suspension forks back together.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Starting my next Porsche Bike S suspension fork rebuild project

It's time to rebuild another set of Bike S suspension forks. 

The forks on the 1996 Porsche Bike S finally started to compress without rebounding. My 1998 Bike S failed first. I rebuilt those a couple years ago. Now it's time for the 1996 bike. 

I am amazed these 20 year old elastomer forks have lasted this long!

So the first thing I do prior to rebuilding a Bike S fork is to order a new elastomer refresh kit from the online company, Suspension Fork Parts (link below).

This company is the only place I've found to purchase these rare elastomers. Without this company, I am not sure what I'd do. And I'm not the only person counting on them to keep our old bikes rolling. 

Once the rebuilt kit arrives, I'll take photos of the rebuild process again. I'll try to add more detail to the rebuild steps than I did last time. 

More soon...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

919 Hybrid LMP1 in 1:64 scale

I added a few more 1:64 scale Porsches to my collection this week. Maybe the technology to produce these small cars is improving or maybe Porsche has eased up on the licensing, but it seems like more and more scale Porsches are hitting the market. It is getting harder for me to keep up buying all the 1:64 Porsches!

Spark, a Japanese scale model company, produced an amazing line of LMP1 race cars from the last few years in the World Endurance Championship. They made Audi, Nissan and of course the Porsche LMP1 cars. The models that caught my eye were the three Porsche 919 Hybrids from the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. Porsche had entered three 919s in three different color liveries - white, black and red. 

I thought these three cars looked amazing driving around Le Mans. The white car (#19) won the race. So when Spark created these 1:64 scale versions of all three liveries, I purchased them on eBay as quick as I could. 

I also found a MAN trailer truck with the Porsche Motorsport logo for sale at Toys R Us. This truck came with two 911 GT3s that are inside the truck in the photo above. Majorette, a French scale model company, released this set just this winter in the USA.

I think the truck and 919 combination looks awesome. Just like the full-size versions!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What's your favorite Bike S color?

The Porsche Bike S manufactured in the late 1990s and early 2000s was painted in orange, white, gray and Guards Red. At least that's all the colors I have discovered. There may be more, but I've only seen these variations on the internet. The only color sold in the USA was the Guards Red model, the others were sold in Europe or Germany only. The white Bike S with the white tires looks particularly awesome. But that would sure get dirty on a single track trail!

Indoor run. Again

It is still so cold outside and with lots of snow on the trails I ran another inside workout with the Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes.

I ran three miles with the first and last miles serving as warm up and cool down and the second mile as fast as I could. I like running fast on the short indoor track cutting the corners, hitting the apex late and drifting wide preparing for the next corner. Over and over again.

These shoes are built for this. Great cornering traction and lightweight for picking up speed on the short straights. And extremely comfortable.

I'll be back at the indoor track again this Wednesday.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hitting the (indoor) track

With very cold temps and snow on the ground everywhere outside, I've moved my run training inside. The local recreation center has an indoor track. I have to run 13 laps to equal a mile. So lots of round and round. It feels like I'm running at Indianapolis. I take each corner clipping the apex running as fast as I can. I just imagine I'm the Porsche 940 that raced at Indy.

The Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes are fantastic on this flat, smooth and fast track. Nothing like taking these corners at speed with these grippy running shoes.

Good times!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Group C

A quick photo comparison of a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels Porsche 962 (left) and Spark Porsche 956. Both Group C/IMSA GTP era racers.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Endurance Boost on the road

While in Ukiah, California I took some time to workout at Anytime Fitness. I just ran 3 miles on the treadmill and lifted some weights. Nothing big, but the Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes performed awesome as usual.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Good weather again!

Sunny and 50 degrees in Truckee today so I went for a jog along the Truckee River with the Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes. I felt a little sluggish but it was good to move again after some foul weather.

It was a 50-50 on whether I'd ride and run. This time running won the coin toss.

Now I'm getting the Cayenne washed!

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Well, here's a new one. I've seen the late 1990s Porsche Bike S in white, gray and of course Guards Red, but this one I found on the German eBay site is ORANGE! The same guy I bought the 2004 Porsche Bike X from is selling this orange Bike S. It's too small for me, but sure looks cool. It also has upgraded forks from the first Bike S release. I'll bet this will sell fast.

Playing with my toys!

With the approaching winter, the outdoor running and riding has taken a backseat. I have been doing some garage stationary bike riding, but that's not much to report. I did however spend some time recently adding to my Porsche 1:64 scale collection. I've written about this before for the Porsche Club of America National website (story here). 

Yesterday a Porsche 956 Group C race car arrived from Japan (see below). I have well over a hundred 1:64 scale Porsche cars and SUVs now, including Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Spark, Aurora, Greenlight and others.

For fun, while drinking some wine, I grabbed some of my more favorite scale cars and took a few close up photos. I can't believe the detail on these tiny cars. The new 956 has to be a personal favorite, but the black Boxster and Carmona Red Cayenne (miniature versions of my actual Porsches) are also well-displayed on my all-Porsche bookshelf.

Today I ordered three 919 Hybrids, in 1:64 scale of course, from a Chinese distributor. I think I'll photograph those too when they arrive.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Rain, rain...

I haven't been outside riding or running of late. I haven't been too willing to run or ride in the recent snow and cold rain - who wants to ruin $400 Porsche Design running shoes! Call me a fair-weather Porsche enthusiast. Well, except for the Cayenne S. 

I'll drive the Cayenne S all day long in the worst winter conditions, so what's a little rain today. I snapped this iPhone photo at my favorite gas station in Truckee. The fresh rain, pine trees and cool reflection of the rims made me stop and stare.

The weather is supposed to improve for the next two days. So maybe I'll get out and ride or run?!?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New website for my PCA region

We just finished building a new website for the Porsche Club of America Sierra Nevada Region. As the SNR newsletter editor and now website editor, I'm proud of this accomplishment. Click on the image to see for yourself.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Porsche wins three years in a row!

The Porsche 919 LMP1 team won the World Endurance Championship manufacturers' trophy for the third consecutive year!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

New 2017 PR

In the rain this morning on a 400M track at Butte College near Chico, I ran 1.5 miles in 10:55. That was a new personal record for 2017. That is way slower than my personal best during my earlier running years. But this is my best after years for cycling.

The Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes were fantastic in the rain! Fast, smooth, grippy and my feet didn't feel too wet.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Great track run

Legs still felt a little heavy, but I had a great track workout nonetheless. The mix of biking and running is tough on the legs, but builds a great muscle base. Today I ran a fast 1.5 miles increasing from my regular one mile sprints. I was able to keep the pace under an eight minute mile the entire duration. And it felt good. Inching up my track work out mileage.

The Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes look awesome in the sunshine. Fast and good-looking. Great shoes!

Recovery week

Last week was a week to forget. Got a flat tire on the Bike X and crashed the Bike S. And in two consecutive days. This week I’m back on the...