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.


  1. i have the same bike, can i ask where you purchased the elastomer kit

  2. Rod, here the link to the website that sells the elastomer kit. https://www.suspensionforkparts.net/eshop/votec/votec-gs-97-elastomer-refresh-kit.html

  3. Thanks for informative writeup! Very helpful. replacing elastomers but...
    What is the size of the allen socket for top of bolt that holds the elastomers? I have original manual. Have Bike S, not sure if 96 or 98.

    1. Hi Jeff, email me a photo of the top of the shocks, looking down on the head tube and I can tell you which year and what socket you need. Email me at jimhemig@gmail.com

  4. I've the same bike on sale in new york - pl let me know if anyone interested


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