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orgndnr

? Fork Seal Leak

The last few days I have noticed a very fine film of oil on my left fork after a ride. I presume the seals leak. My question is, do I have to replace them right away with such a small leak, how soon will it get worse, etc.

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I woundn't worry about it until it is really leaking. It will make a big mess, all over the fork when it blows. For now just keep it clean and as dry as possible. If dirt sticks to the "slight film" of oil it will act like sand paper on the sealing surface. Also, FYI never use those "leakproof" brand seals they are junk! OEM only.

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About 6 months ago the left fork seal on my '05 leaked just a little at first, but it quickly got worse and there was quiet a bit of fluid on the leg after just a short ride. If it was me I don't think I would put it off, since you don't want the fork oil making its way to the caliper and brake pads. If it does, then you'll also be replacing brake pads when you have the left fork serviced.

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About 6 months ago the left fork seal on my '05 leaked just a little at first, but it quickly got worse and there was quiet a bit of fluid on the leg after just a short ride. If it was me I don't think I would put it off, since you don't want the fork oil making its way to the caliper and brake pads. If it does, then you'll also be replacing brake pads when you have the left fork serviced.

+1.gif Do them now.

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Welcome to the club. Mine starts to leak every 6 months. Im on my 3rd set of seals.

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Welcome to the club. Mine starts to leak every 6 months. Im on my 3rd set of seals.

Have you replaced the bushings? Check the forks for straightness and nicks?

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a cotton sock tied tightly around the lower fork leg will prevent fluid from getting to brake parts.

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The last few days I have noticed a very fine film of oil on my left fork after a ride. I presume the seals leak. My question is, do I have to replace them right away with such a small leak, how soon will it get worse, etc.

A slight film not a big worry, when it begins to run down the fork leg to threaten brake pads and discs definitely a worry. On a previous bike, which had a lot of trouble with fork seals, I sometimes managed to delay, sometimes postpone, new fork seals by getting some soft cloth to clean out the seal using a feeler gauge to get it down past the seal. That is the actual fork seal not the humungous crud shield sitting visible on top. I eventually lengthened serviceable periods by stuffing between the seals with thick felt - theory being that helped stop rough stuff getting to the seals!

Sometimes one little bit of grit can cause a small leak. If the seals are gone no amount of fiddling can delay the inevitable +1.gif

Keep an eye on it and you will soon know if the condition is worsening or stable, a wipe off of the film until the leak gets massive would be my recommendation.

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The last few days I have noticed a very fine film of oil on my left fork after a ride. I presume the seals leak. My question is, do I have to replace them right away with such a small leak, how soon will it get worse, etc.

Do them right away, they will eventually leak all over you brakes and increase the expense of the repair. One thing that you should allways do is to clean your fork legs all of the time, specially if there are lots of bugs around, the exoskeleton on them little bugs, glued by their guts, acts as razor blades on the edges of your fork seals. And use OEM seals and Bel-Ray fork oil. wink.gif

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I'm on my second consecutive VFR (Y2K now, previously a '96), and never had any problems with fork seals. Both bikes reached ~75,000 miles, with no leaking fork seals. Last year I did have the seals and bushings replaced when the fork oil was changed (high mileage preventive maintenance), but they were not leaking, nor are they now.

I am surprised by the folks who are having seal problems on 6th gen bikes, with far fewer miles than mine.

Could Honda's seal supplier be sending some less than the usual high quality seals to Honda?

Are people with seal problems doing the wheelie thing?

Are they not keeping the forks clean through regular washing?

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OK, thanks guys, forks are off, waiting for seals etc. Now that I am in there, I might as well put in new spring. Most likely will do sonic. I am 205 lbs, yes I know, porker!, thinking to get 0.95's, would that be ok?

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OK, thanks guys, forks are off, waiting for seals etc. Now that I am in there, I might as well put in new spring. Most likely will do sonic. I am 205 lbs, yes I know, porker!, thinking to get 0.95's, would that be ok?

Unless you're riding aggressively 90% of the time, .90's should be fine for you. Just be warned that the rear shock will now become the weak link, and you will be saving your pennies for a better one very soon! :beer:

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The last few days I have noticed a very fine film of oil on my left fork after a ride. I presume the seals leak. My question is, do I have to replace them right away with such a small leak, how soon will it get worse, etc.

I'd fix it ASAP, once your oil level starts coming out of the seal , the performance will begin to degrade.

And do both seals on both legs and the same time with new oil and set up.

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I'm on my second consecutive VFR (Y2K now, previously a '96), and never had any problems with fork seals. Both bikes reached ~75,000 miles, with no leaking fork seals. Last year I did have the seals and bushings replaced when the fork oil was changed (high mileage preventive maintenance), but they were not leaking, nor are they now.

I am surprised by the folks who are having seal problems on 6th gen bikes, with far fewer miles than mine.

Could Honda's seal supplier be sending some less than the usual high quality seals to Honda?

Are people with seal problems doing the wheelie thing?

Are they not keeping the forks clean through regular washing?

The VFR legs are not very preotected and they run hot enough to fry bugs into hard rocks on the legs, and the reason I run protection with a modified seal saver. I'm not surprised people have seal issues on vfr's unprotected,and most dont change the oil till they leak.

But 75,000 is really good, I have 32,000 mile on my seals with 2 oil changes

Edited by spud786

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Anybody try the dirtbike seal fix trick? You can use a piece of old film negatives, or what I use, a carved piece of Circuit City discount card (thin plastic). All you do is remove the dust seal with a small screwdriver, and put the plastic 1/4 to 1/2 inch inside the seal and pull the plastic around making sure the debris gets pulled out, not in. Worked for my wifes dirtbike just yesterday. I would definately check the fork tube for burs and lightly polish them out. This will keep you from replacing seals every 6 months. Also make sure the big washer that sits on top of the seal is flat. Sometimes hammering the fork pieces apart will cause them to cup, resulting in leakage (don't ask how I know this).

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Anybody try the dirtbike seal fix trick? You can use a piece of old film negatives, or what I use, a carved piece of Circuit City discount card (thin plastic). All you do is remove the dust seal with a small screwdriver, and put the plastic 1/4 to 1/2 inch inside the seal and pull the plastic around making sure the debris gets pulled out, not in. Worked for my wifes dirtbike just yesterday. I would definately check the fork tube for burs and lightly polish them out. This will keep you from replacing seals every 6 months. Also make sure the big washer that sits on top of the seal is flat. Sometimes hammering the fork pieces apart will cause them to cup, resulting in leakage (don't ask how I know this).

I never really had any luck with film, I'm just of the opinion upside seals under offroad conditions are only good for a year or so. upsided down Kayabas ,showas they all fail around a year or so, even if they are taken well care of.

Surpisingly The upside down fork seals dont seem to hold up much better on street bikes though, Upside down seals are just dont have the longevity of right side up. My KLX400 49mm Showas (rightsideup), 3 year mark 40,000 mile no leaks at all .

I'love to have 49mm's on the VFR rather than the cheesy , 43's, ofcourse it could be worse, they do make em even smaller.>G<

Edited by spud786

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do it now.. its winter, do a tune up too.. as for oem vs "GTFL" leakproof seals.. i use ONLY "GTFL" never oem.. they will send you a new set if the seals start to leak.. if any one had a problem with a pair.. they most likely did not use a condom over the botton of the stantion tube when installing the new seals...

or they have a problem spot on the tube.

Edited by gll429

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