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Fork Seal Replacement….
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Fork Seal Replacement…. - June 28, 2011, 08:27 PM

Question for you guys. How often do you need to replace the fork seals? I did some hard riding last week (no wheelies or anything) on 211/33 and on the way back, I noticed I had fork oil leaking from my right fork. I had the seals replaced last year, about 5000 miles ago when the exact same fork started leaking back in early 2010. Before then, I had the factory seals in and never had to replace them. The bike has about 28k on the odo and I was wondering if me having to replace the seals so soon are indicative of either them being incorrectly installed (hopefully) or one of my forks going bad (yikes!). Any ideas?


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June 28, 2011, 08:31 PM

Check for any pitting or debris on the fork. If you are using the zip tie on the fork deal take it off (carefully) it might be too tight and causing issues. 1 year and 5k miles is way too soon for a seal to leak. However the die hards will say seasonally, Ive never adhered to that.


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June 28, 2011, 08:39 PM

+1 dude. Chances are you either have debris on the tube that scored the seal, or the seal was damaged when it was replaced last. I've gone 20k on seals with no problem. Although wheelies are hard on forks; seals/ sliders/ etc.


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June 28, 2011, 09:51 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I already pulled the fork off and I'm taking it to my guy who replaced them last time. Hopefully he will cut me a deal since he was the one who did it for me last year. I've heard of guys replacing the fork oil yearly but I don't do any track days or anything that would shorten the life of the oil significantly. When I took the fairings off, I saw that there was oil everywhere - brakes, wheels, fairings. It was a mess. I can't say for certain but I'm sure all of the oil leaked out. Now I'm hoping I didn't do any damage to the internal parts with the fork dry like that. I will keep you posted.


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April 15, 2012, 02:31 AM

Damnit!!! My forks are leaking again!!! I'm going to take them off and take them to a different guy this time. I know only one is leaking but the same shop did both and it is only a matter of time that the other starts. This is becoming a yearly event for me and I've never done a wheelie in my life. No pitting on the fork from what I can see. Hell, the last guy even said he polished the tube before installing the seal. Any suggestions of a shop that will do it right and not charge me a ton of money?


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April 15, 2012, 02:47 AM

Fack dude. I would take it back to that shop and have them do it for free.


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April 15, 2012, 06:48 AM

Yeah, something is amiss. 20,000 miles ain't much on fork seals much less only 5,000 miles. Sometimes a bit of crud can slip under the seal and cause a leak. If that's the case you can usually get it to stop by carefully running a thin piece of plastic between the seal and the tube.

Not getting the forks aligned can put some extra stress on the seals, but it's harder on the bushings than it is the seals.

Ask for OEM seals, or perhaps SKF seals. Not all seals are equal.


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RC, no headlight and bad fork tubes, you want to upgrade to a new bike soon


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April 15, 2012, 07:36 AM

Use a piece of film to check for dirt under the seal causing it to leak.

Check the fork tubes for nicks/scratches that would let oil pass the seals.

Use OEM fork seals. I was told that not all seals are good, use OEM to be safe unless you plan a regular replacement schedule.

Stop the wheelies.


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April 15, 2012, 11:23 AM

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RC, no headlight and bad fork tubes, you want to upgrade to a new bike soon
Nice! I need you to help me with some cash for a Fiat edition R1. Nah, at 31k on the odo, little things are going to happen so it is to be expected.

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Originally Posted by MudDawg View Post
Use a piece of film to check for dirt under the seal causing it to leak.

Check the fork tubes for nicks/scratches that would let oil pass the seals.

Use OEM fork seals. I was told that not all seals are good, use OEM to be safe unless you plan a regular replacement schedule.

Stop the wheelies.
No pits or nicks on the tube that I can see. I can check for dirt but from all the oil I see on my lower fairings, I'm sure most if not all the oil has leaked out so I'm done no matter what. I will ask about the OEM seals. I've never done a wheelie ever so that is why replacing the seals 3 times in 2 years is a bit frustrating.


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April 15, 2012, 06:26 PM

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April 15, 2012, 09:44 PM

Thanks for the heads up. I contacted him and we are working something out right now.


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April 16, 2012, 10:30 AM

Explain to me how in the hell do wheelies cause fork seals to go bad?


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