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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Fork Seals...

I know my bike has its fork seals blown when I got it. As far as what to look for and preventative maintenance, what should keep an eye on. I dont know how fork seals work (im sure the name says it all), and I also know that this is a common repair after certian milage (at least I think I do). But when should one expect the seals to go out? What do you do? How much is a common cost for repairs? etc. Just wondering for the next time...
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snadamo
I know my bike has its fork seals blown when I got it. As far as what to look for and preventative maintenance, what should keep an eye on. I dont know how fork seals work (im sure the name says it all), and I also know that this is a common repair after certian milage (at least I think I do). But when should one expect the seals to go out? What do you do? How much is a common cost for repairs? etc. Just wondering for the next time...
I'm a little confused by your post - you start by saying "I know my bike has its fork seals blown when I got it." ... Did you have this repaired? Otherwise you're going to have fork oil running down the fork legs, and possibly onto the brakes and front tire. This is not a good thing. In fact, it's dangerous. Not to mention your forks are not going to work well without enough oil.

To replace them, you have to de-assemble the forks, put in new seals, re-assemble and re-fill them with oil. We'd bill 3 hours of labor to do it (including taking the forks on and off the bike).

- Brian Roach
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 01:01 PM
 
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Yes to what speedwerks said.

I believe about every 20,000 miles is standard for fork seals, changing fork oil at roughly every 5K. (Please correct if I'm wrong Brian! Not 100% sure) Have you been riding your bike that way? If so, no good! But you should definetly be able to feel if they are blown. Also, if your doing a lot of wheelies this can also be a cause of blowing fork seals.

If you have a shop nearby who is willing to work with you - you may be able to save some money by pulling the forks yourself and taking them in. There are also places you can send them out too to be done but not sure who/where.

Last edited by Pippi; 06-15-2005 at 01:04 PM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 01:23 PM
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Pipster is right on!




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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pippi
Yes to what speedwerks said.

I believe about every 20,000 miles is standard for fork seals, changing fork oil at roughly every 5K. (Please correct if I'm wrong Brian! Not 100% sure) Have you been riding your bike that way? If so, no good! But you should definetly be able to feel if they are blown. Also, if your doing a lot of wheelies this can also be a cause of blowing fork seals.

If you have a shop nearby who is willing to work with you - you may be able to save some money by pulling the forks yourself and taking them in. There are also places you can send them out too to be done but not sure who/where.
I'm Definately not doing wheelies. Im not sure what previous owner was doing. But im sure he was doing wheelies. As far as me saying "I know my bike has its fork seals blown when I got it"....I meant to say "...fork seals blown when i got off it, yesterday..." Dont know how I mistyped that or what I was thinking, so about that. I was however skeptical of them being blown early on because of the condition it was in when i purchased it. This morning was the first day I noticed dripping from the forks. I wrapped the bottom of the forks so the oil doesnt get all over the brakes and rotor. Im calling around town for a good quote. So far I got $180 for everything. But anyway, sorry for the mis-communication and thank you for the info. I know not to ride it anymore until it gets fixed. Thanks again for the vital info and appreciate your guys' suggestions.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pippi
Yes to what speedwerks said.

I believe about every 20,000 miles is standard for fork seals, changing fork oil at roughly every 5K. (Please correct if I'm wrong Brian! Not 100% sure) Have you been riding your bike that way? If so, no good! But you should definetly be able to feel if they are blown. Also, if your doing a lot of wheelies this can also be a cause of blowing fork seals.

If you have a shop nearby who is willing to work with you - you may be able to save some money by pulling the forks yourself and taking them in. There are also places you can send them out too to be done but not sure who/where.
I'm Definately not doing wheelies. Im not sure what previous owner was doing. But im sure he was doing wheelies. As far as me saying "I know my bike has its fork seals blown when I got it"....I meant to say "...fork seals blown when i got off it, yesterday..." Dont know how I mistyped that or what I was thinking , so about that. I was however skeptical of them being blown early on because of the condition it was in when i purchased it. This morning was the first day I noticed dripping from the forks. I wrapped the bottom of the forks so the oil doesnt get all over the brakes and rotor. Im calling around town for a good quote. So far I got $180 for everything. But anyway, sorry for the mis-communication and thank you for the info. I know not to ride it anymore until it gets fixed. Thanks again for the vital info and appreciate your guys' suggestions.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snadamo
I was however skeptical of them being blown early on because of the condition it was in when i purchased it.
If both of them are blown, I vote for previous owner setting down wheelies too hard. If it was just one, it could be something as simple as some grit getting past the dust cover and killing the fork seal.

$180 is pretty a fair deal for the job.

- Roach
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedWerks.com
If both of them are blown, I vote for previous owner setting down wheelies too hard. If it was just one, it could be something as simple as some grit getting past the dust cover and killing the fork seal.

$180 is pretty a fair deal for the job.

- Roach

Thanks for the info! After I read this, I got on the phone with mechanic to schedule for today! Both seals seem to be blown. However, I thought when one fork seal is blown, then you have to replace both seals and refill both forks. Im not taking chances and getting them both done. I cant thank you guys enough for all your help and advice!
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 12:25 PM
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You do... you can't do anything to just one fork! You should always replace everything on both forks!




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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Gas Man
You do... you can't do anything to just one fork! You should always replace everything on both forks!

Yea, thats what I figured. But thanks for the confirmation! BTW I see youre getting close to 10K
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 08:59 PM
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Yeah I am...but that's another topic all together!




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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation Ninja Update!

I just got off the phone with the mechanic. I'm in a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that my tripletrees turned out to be NOT twisted . The other good news (i guess) is that one fork is straight, the other has a only a 3mm bend, which is a lot smaller bend than originally projected. He is trying to bend it back, and he said it should be no problem to bend back straight. And the best part about it, its FREE if it works or not! Now the bad news, I have to wait until Tuesday to hear from the mechanic because he (and his fork bending buddy) are out of town for the holiday weekend. Which doesnt bother me, as long as I get my bike back a few weeks before Ride to Work Day, Ill be a happy man! I should have new update Tuesday/Wednesday!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 03:27 PM
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That's good news I suppose...keep us updated...

But what is this about bending a fork back to true? Not sure about that....




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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man
That's good news I suppose...keep us updated...

But what is this about bending a fork back to true? Not sure about that....
I feel that it is good news because I was under the impression i need to replace the whole front end. He told me bending it back can be done. However, if its not to my approval I wont use that fork. But, I trust my mechanics opinion. Besides, its worth a shot espcially if its FREE. Worst case scenario now is i pay for 1 fork, as opposed to the whole front end. Most forks for sale at salvage yards and ebay come in pairs, So I guess will have a spare good fork if this is the case. Ill keep you guys updated as soon as I find out more news.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 08:25 PM
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Well if it comes to replacing a fork I would suggest you do it in pairs! That would be best. You want the same amount of wear on both forks otherwise one might re-act differently than the other and that would not be good!!




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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 09:16 PM
 
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Please if I may here. I do think it is great that you want to get a pair off ebay. No problem with that, But make sure the pair you rebuild or tune up is the "MATCH SET" and keep your (one) good that you have as your spare. Have you ever been in a "high speed wobble"? It is not fun, down right scary. I dont even like the sounds of "I can straighten" a fork. The steel has already stretched once, and has been tainted or thinned in one spot. It's integrity has been compromised. Yes, to a dial indicator it will be straight to the gauge. But how true is the shaft in side where the seal will go up and down? It is the damage you cant see that will hurt you. When it bent something gained and something gave. Puting it back does not put the bar back to its original true to form. I would not expect it to have good performance. And worse off there is only one "Bad" way to know if it was any good and in the end you may not ever know it. Hear what I'm saying. Please concider replacing them. And as far as seals and fluid in the new ones. Heck just get them built as soon as you get em' Then you can assemble the front end your self when you forks are ready. Good luck.

Last edited by Earlzach; 06-30-2005 at 09:18 PM.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 09:32 PM
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FWIW, we used to be able to take a minor bend out of a fork tube and they performed fine on race bikes without any problems. The key is to know when they are bent too far and therefore not good to be reused.

Another option is getting a replacement tube from a company called forking by frank (or something close to that).

Larry
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 09:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by larryg
FWIW, we used to be able to take a minor bend out of a fork tube and they performed fine on race bikes without any problems. The key is to know when they are bent too far and therefore not good to be reused.

Another option is getting a replacement tube from a company called forking by frank (or something close to that).

Larry
To me the key word is race bike. It will be chalenged in a controlled environment. On a street bike that will be challenged to perform with a car Say My wife or a friend in the other lane in a car comming head on is different. I dont want to be a huge opposition I just never been a fan of bending forks back on a "Street Bike". I would do any for off road use only. Even a "race bike" At least if your racing your all geared up for the crash. On a course somewhat designed with safty in mind. and never on comming opposition. Dont get me wrong I dont even know the guy who will be riding this bike. But if he has to inquire about fork seals then he dont need to be trying to figure out if his bike is acting funny over a fork issue or is it just that way. (no pun to the poster) I wouldnt leave it to chance. Not on the road. 3 mm does seem small. But over press it then press it back then get it just right. I have seen straightening tecniques some good some not to desireable. I'm sure you have seen some ugly stuff that you would say no way not for me. Your method might be that of a more desireable way and it may even be way he will get it done. But without knowing for sure I couldnt help but suggest the fork replacement.

I like the Idea to replace the upper tube alone with a replacement. It certainly is cheaper and its going to get a rebuild anyway. Go for the tube.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earlzach
I like the Idea to replace the upper tube alone with a replacement. It certainly is cheaper and its going to get a rebuild anyway. Go for the tube.
Without a doubt, replacing is better than repairing. I just wanted to mention that I have seen it done on forks that undergo rigorous use. Typically, if straightening doesn't work, the fork seal will leak again quickly. I can't say I have heard of a fork tube failing but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Larry
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by larryg
Without a doubt, replacing is better than repairing. I just wanted to mention that I have seen it done on forks that undergo rigorous use. Typically, if straightening doesn't work, the fork seal will leak again quickly. I can't say I have heard of a fork tube failing but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Larry
I'm with ya there Larry.
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