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Old 03-15-2011, 07:32 AM   #1
kompkar
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Is it safe to ride with a blown fork seal

Found that oil had dripped down and absorbed by the garage floor just below the left forks this morning. Further checks seems to indicate that the fork seals have gone (oil on the fork legs and the shiny bits of the fork).

It's going to be a while before I can attend to it, but I have to use the bike as it's my regular commute. (no crazy stuff, max 70-80mph, mostly slow speed city riding at around 10-20mph but in a very bumpy inner london road surface)

Is it safe to carry on using the bike for another 2 weeks ?
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kompkar View Post
Found that oil had dripped down and absorbed by the garage floor just below the left forks this morning. Further checks seems to indicate that the fork seals have gone (oil on the fork legs and the shiny bits of the fork).

It's going to be a while before I can attend to it, but I have to use the bike as it's my regular commute. (no crazy stuff, max 70-80mph, mostly slow speed city riding at around 10-20mph but in a very bumpy inner london road surface)

Is it safe to carry on using the bike for another 2 weeks ?
In my opinion, if the bumpy inner London roads were the reason your forks busted, I would think not. Why cause further damage to the forks by continuing to ride that route? Unless you have another and much smoother way to get to your destination? Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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thinking of it, this has now happened 3 days after I set the tyre pressures to F-36, R-42. Way higher than it was previously, which was F-22, R-30 (I know that sounds odd, but it was for the very first time I checked the tyre pressure after I bought this bike recently).

Previously I used to struggle to get the bike around the bends and roundabouts, and as I'm new to riding sports bike, I thought the bike handles that way and I'm not just leaning in enough to make it turn. However since I set the new tyre pressure, cornering is much easier and smoother.

Maybe I should lower the pressures to something like F-33, R-39 and see how that goes.
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Last edited by kompkar; 03-15-2011 at 09:18 AM. Reason: added missing words
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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i rode on a leaking fork for about a month, it wasnt the worst leak ever, but i only did commutin on it, nothing serious all straight line stuff, the ride progressively worsened and i stopped riding, and had them rebuilt. everything internally was fine and now they are good as new. I dont think ull kill it for a week or two of riding, but obviously get it fixed ASAP. And dont corner hard with it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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How bad is it leaking?
MAKE SURE it doesn't get into your brake pads or tires. You'll not want to ride it with really low fork oil or you can screw up your bushings and such in the cartridge. Obviously you'll want to get this looked after asap.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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Well, the oil stain in the garage floor is spread out about the size of a credit card area, and the bottom half of the fork is also fully covered with oil and dust. I'm going to give it a complete clean this evening and see how things get with the ride tomorrow morning...

On another point, if I remove one front fork, will the bike stay upright when put on a rear paddock stand ?, or do I need to invest in a front stand as well. I'm thinking of doing the fork seal replacement myself, but I only have a rear stand. If I have to buy a front stand, it kind of wipes out any savings I might otherwise make doing this job myself :-(
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:13 PM   #7
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I rode my bike around 30 miles after first noticing that the fork was leaking. It was only my right fork seal which was leaking though and, at that stage, it wasn't leaking all that bad. I wouldn't have wanted to go much further without getting it fixed but that was a necessary journey.

If it was me, I'd want to get it fixed asap just to save the potential for additional bother. Sucks if that's your daily driver though.

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Old 03-15-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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wrap a shop rag around the lower fork and tie it with zip tie's until u have the cash to fix it. It'll soak up all the oil n not let it get on the rotor's, brake, tire.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kompkar View Post
Well, the oil stain in the garage floor is spread out about the size of a credit card area, and the bottom half of the fork is also fully covered with oil and dust. I'm going to give it a complete clean this evening and see how things get with the ride tomorrow morning...

On another point, if I remove one front fork, will the bike stay upright when put on a rear paddock stand ?, or do I need to invest in a front stand as well. I'm thinking of doing the fork seal replacement myself, but I only have a rear stand. If I have to buy a front stand, it kind of wipes out any savings I might otherwise make doing this job myself :-(
No, you'll need to hang it from rafters or do something similar to keep the front up. Jackatands under frame sliders, under footpegs, lots of things work, just be creative.

You can try spraying the seals with wd40, I've never done it but some riders swear it's the trick to making the fork seals swell so you can get another day of leak free riding. Might work.
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2004 Honda Ruckus, completely built, 55mph on the flats, 60 downhill and/or drafting
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:23 PM   #10
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answer.. NO.

oil leaks onto your brakes. and you dont have the proper stopping power.

fix it ASAP!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice guys, decided to take it to the local workshop who are now finishing up the work. They also found the Steering head bearings were knackered, so replacing them ones too, and also fitting the crash protectors. All in one day, will be picking up the bike later in the evening, hopefully the pricing will be right, will update on that later.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kompkar View Post
Thanks for the advice guys, decided to take it to the local workshop who are now finishing up the work. They also found the Steering head bearings were knackered, so replacing them ones too, and also fitting the crash protectors. All in one day, will be picking up the bike later in the evening, hopefully the pricing will be right, will update on that later.
I hope they give you a fair price, but be prepared for butt rape
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2004 Honda Ruckus, completely built, 55mph on the flats, 60 downhill and/or drafting
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250
2004 Yamaha R6

CBR600RR Mods:
BMC race filter
Jardine slip on
8987 PENSKE triple adjustable shock
STM slipper clutch
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:40 AM   #13
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All sorted. The total price including all parts,oils n grease came to 162 = 260$ in today's rate as per google !! - what you guys think, was the price alright ?

It included taking off all the necessary bits from the bike and putting it all back together by the mechanics themselves, they did one fork seal+oil change in it, changed 2 steering head bearings with new tapered/roller type bearings, drilled holes in the fairing for fitting the crash protectors (infact they tried fitting the ones I gave them, but it was the wrong type, so they couldn't complete the job).
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
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All sorted. The total price including all parts,oils n grease came to 162 = 260$ in today's rate as per google !! - what you guys think, was the price alright ?

It included taking off all the necessary bits from the bike and putting it all back together by the mechanics themselves, they did one fork seal+oil change in it, changed 2 steering head bearings with new tapered/roller type bearings, drilled holes in the fairing for fitting the crash protectors (infact they tried fitting the ones I gave them, but it was the wrong type, so they couldn't complete the job).
That's pretty good for new seals, bearings and labour (at least 2.5 of hours at $80) which should be less than $60 for parts.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:38 AM   #15
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Yes, it was exactly 2.5 hrs labour quoted, so I guess it was a good rate. Only think I regret now is I should have got the seals and oils changed on the other fork too as I have no idea when the forks were last serviced.....hopefully new oil/old oil combination will not affect the handling much.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:12 AM   #16
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Yes, it was exactly 2.5 hrs labour quoted, so I guess it was a good rate. Only think I regret now is I should have got the seals and oils changed on the other fork too as I have no idea when the forks were last serviced.....hopefully new oil/old oil combination will not affect the handling much.
Yep, should always do them as a pair... ah well
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:34 AM   #17
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wrap a shop rag around the lower fork and tie it with zip tie's until u have the cash to fix it. It'll soak up all the oil n not let it get on the rotor's, brake, tire.
ive seen this done with people riding stoppies all day on it lol
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:48 AM   #18
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Fork seals strikes again, this time, it's the right side ones......got them fixed now (should have had the pair replaced the first time around, lesson learned). Guessing the different ages of the oils didn't work well together, there is also this possibility of the weight of the oil being different too, but will never know what was in it beforehand. Anyway all sorted now and while in the garage, had them replace the brake fluid for the front too, the brake pads turned out to be ok, so didn't have to replace them...phew...another 66 out of pocket now :-(
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:02 PM   #19
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seals, need to be replaced together. you will save money in the long run.

since i no longer have access to a shop, i had to take mine in, i dropped them off to a place here called Cranked Up. i supplied the forks and the seals. gonna be 75-100$ for a complete tear down clean, and put back together. thats more then $50 cheaper then the honda dealer wanted.

buy a good set of stands, and an 8,10,12,14mm sockets and wrenches, a few allen keys, and the required sockets for your axles, and you will save a **** ton of cash by doing most of your own work.

bikes are very easy to work on.

a decient 3/8 drive torque wrench and BLUE locktight. need to be added to the list!
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