Fork Brace warning - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Fork Brace warning

I picked up my bike from its 12,000k service today. One of the fork seals had gone and the mechanic had persuaded Suzuki to cover this under guarantee. However, he said that if they had known I had fitted a fork brace they would not have covered it. He also said that he thought the brace had distorted the fork slider so that it had become oval and this would cause the fork seal to leak. In a recent post ALLinUTAH said he also had premature wear of his fork seals (after just a few months) and he removed his fork brace because he said there was too much stickion, which also suggests that his fork brace was distorting the slider. Since he has done this, he has had no problem with fork seals - now up to 50,000k. My brace is made by Cosmo (from Greece) and I bought it after recommendedations from this forum. It is very nicely finished and looks good on the bike. I am loathe take mine off because many have said that a brace really improves handling and it seems such a waste. When I put it on I did tighten the bolts up pretty tight. I now have loosened them off so the brace is touching the fork slider all around but much looser than before. So, I am hoping that this will provide enough support for the fork legs but not interfere with the workings of the fork seals.

2015 DL650
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 02:50 PM
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I have only owned fork braces designed and sold by Rick at adventuretech, have never had seal issues with 3 different Stroms. The overwhelming majority of issues is caused by particulate which gets under the seal, cleaning that out has saved many here a lot of time and money. I can't say whether or not other designs and vendors braces may or may not be causing issues, but I have my doubts.

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post #3 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 04:08 PM
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Yeah, I think I'm calling BS on this one (not the OP's post; rather, the idea that the fork brace is causing fork seals to leak). It's one thing to make a claim that a fork brace is causing distortion of a fork tube, but it's another to prove it. And proving it should be relatively easy with a micrometer; if the fork tube was out of round where the brace was installed, it would be easy enough to confirm.

Fork seals are a wear item, and it's pretty difficult to say that a fork seal is worn prematurely. A fork seal might be leaking and not be worn out, and a couple sweeps with a seal saver could fix the seal. If you spend a lot of time in the dirt and dust and never clean the fork tubes, you might have a leaking seal that isn't actually worn out.

This sounds more to me like someone drawing a conclusion without any supportive evidence.
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Last edited by RCinNC; 04-07-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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post #4 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 05:05 PM
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Every warranty issuer's main job seems to be to find a way to void a warranty.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014+ DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012+ DL650s
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post #5 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 05:22 PM
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Cosmo purchased just about one of everything we made at the time and copied it (i.e., using a digital probe or by taking manual measurements). Digital probes have tolerances which add variation. Manual measurement are inherently subject to variance. He also added a strange and utterly unnecessary side to side lock to the fork brace. I can imagine all kinds of problems, but have never laid hands on one.

Still, the only way to distort a fork tube would be to put an asymmetrical clamp on it and a LOT of pressure. Like for instance tightening the side bolts on a fork brace designed (or copy of a design) intended to have gap between the halves on the outside so tight that you close the gap. But, you do not need to distort the fork tube to ruin a fork seal. Excessive misalignment of the inner and outer fork tubes (e.g., due to inward or outward force from an improper inner dimension) can accelerate wear.

However, short lived fork seals have been noted on 2012+ DL650s with or without fork braces for a couple of years now. This showed up about 2014 or so. No real data on years and numbers, just an increase in reports of fork seal problems. Most were solved with credit cards used to clean debris/grit out from between the seal and inner fork tube. Your average shop mechanic at a dealership might skip this and go straight to blaming the aftermarket part and replace a perfectly good fork seal.
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post #6 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
Yeah, I think I'm calling BS on this one (not the OP's post; rather, the idea that the fork brace is causing fork seals to leak). It's one thing to make a claim that a fork brace is causing distortion of a fork tube, but it's another to prove it. And proving it should be relatively easy with a micrometer; if the fork tube was out of round where the brace was installed, it would be easy enough to confirm.

Fork seals are a wear item, and it's pretty difficult to say that a fork seal is worn prematurely. A fork seal might be leaking and not be worn out, and a couple sweeps with a seal saver could fix the seal. If you spend a lot of time in the dirt and dust and never clean the fork tubes, you might have a leaking seal that isn't actually worn out.

This sounds more to me like someone drawing a conclusion without any supportive evidence.
Good idea on the micrometer - I'll have a look at that tomorrow. In any case, I thought that the sliders were made out of cast aluminium and are pretty rigid - if under great pressure they would be more likely to crack than bend, but I'm no expert in metallurgy. I only ride on the road and very rarely in dusty conditions but I guess one only needs one particle of dust to cause a leak. Final thought - surely fork braces are machined to be exactly the same diameter as the sliders - the two halves are exerting even pressure- its mot like the slider is in something like a vice which puts pressure on two very small areas. As.GW says - any excuse to wriggle out of an insurance claim. If it happens again, I'll take the brace of before taking the bike in! Ha!
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2015 DL650
2005 Honda Transalp 650
2000 Yamaha Diversion 900
1990 Honda Transalp 600
1990 BMW 100 RS
1978 Suzuki GS750
1977 Honda 400 4
1975 Suzuki 500 twin
1973 Triumph Tiger 90
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post #7 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 06:19 PM
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If I had my life's savings to wager, I'd say the brace had nothing whatsoever to do with the fork seal leak. If it did, it was compounded by crazy amounts of force or improper installation.
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post #8 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 07:01 PM
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Let's see, what are the odds the cast aluminum could have been distorted more than the synthetic rubber seal could have handled. How much more resistant to movement is rubber to aluminum anyway?

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014+ DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012+ DL650s
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Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at http://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #9 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 07:49 PM
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One problem is that the fork braces are precisely machined, and the cast fork tubes are not machined; the surface is somewhat uneven. If the brace doesn't fit easily, it must be altered until it does fit evenly. I've bought a strom with the forks misaligned due to the brace having been hammered on. Not the brace maker's fault, just unknowable dimensions on the cast tubes.

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post #10 of 46 Old 04-07-2017, 11:46 PM
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More likely a bug splat that got the seal than the brace. That said, blindly torquing the chit out of something is never a good plan. Find out why it doesn't fit. Or ask.

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