Fork Seal Leak - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-11-2014, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
Aka
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Fork Seal Leak

After my trip to Colorado last September I had a slightly leaky fork seal. I asked a dealer down in Colorado about it and they said it'd was probably just dirt and it'd clean it self up. So I rode the 2,500 km home and it seemed fine enough. Then winter approached and I rode less and flew to British Columbia.

Fast forward to the start of this season and my warranty expired just under 30 days ago and the leak is considerably worse. Dealer up here in Canada says there's nothing they can do about it now that my warranty has expired, aside from charge me ~$300+ (Canadian) to do the work.

Are there any alternatives? I've only had the bike a year and put 20,000 km on it, I feel like a fork seal should last longer than that. As an aside, why do motorcycle warranties suck? So short.

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post #2 of 35 Old 04-11-2014, 09:59 PM
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Judging by the amount of dirt and crud mixed in with the leaky fluid, I have little doubt that sand/grit/bugs, is what got under your seal and caused the leak "does not take much". I check and clean my forks all the time, it is a very good habit to get into. Wipe all of that off very good, and I would give this product a try, I had a bad leak on my dirtbike and this did the trick.

Fix Leaking Fork Seals With | SealMate.net

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

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post #3 of 35 Old 04-11-2014, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big B View Post
Judging by the amount of dirt and crud mixed in with the leaky fluid, I have little doubt that sand/grit/bugs, is what got under your seal and caused the leak "does not take much". I check and clean my forks all the time, it is a very good habit to get into. Wipe all of that off very good, and I would give this product a try, I had a bad leak on my dirtbike and this did the trick.

Fix Leaking Fork Seals With | SealMate.net
I was just looking at those and wondering if they'd be enough to do the job. What do you do about all the oil that's already leaked out, is there a method to replenish the oil?
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-11-2014, 11:03 PM
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Doubt enough fluid has been lost to make it worth pulling the fork and refilling, somebody else may chime in and by all means disagree. The seal mate will work unless whatever got up under the seal has damaged the lip of the seal. Also make sure your tube is not pitted or has any burrs.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

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post #5 of 35 Old 04-12-2014, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big B View Post
Doubt enough fluid has been lost to make it worth pulling the fork and refilling, somebody else may chime in and by all means disagree. The seal mate will work unless whatever got up under the seal has damaged the lip of the seal. Also make sure your tube is not pitted or has any burrs.
That last is very important. Fork seals leak either because crap got up under them, or because the fork tube is dinged from stuff thrown up by cars/trucks. If neither happens they will last a loooong time.

For the latter, inspect the leading edge of the fork tubes very closely. Magnifying glass helps if your eyes are a little older. If you see any pits or nicks, lightly buff them with some extra fine steel wool. You don't need to make them disappear, just knock the edges off them. That inspection/buffing should be part of regular maintenance, every couple of thousand miles or so.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #6 of 35 Old 04-12-2014, 09:43 AM
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Mine was also leaking. So I entered leaking fork seal in the search box. You will find suggestions there to fix the leak. Like running a bit of thin plastic around the seal to remove any grit.
If that didn't work have a look at black labs site. Replacing Front Fork Oil Seals | Black Lab Adventures
I had to replace my seals. With a work shop manual and black lab's instructions I managed to do the job for the cost of about $40. Now I have got three left hands and if I can do it anybody can. It's not that hard.

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post #7 of 35 Old 04-12-2014, 10:02 AM
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I just fixed a leaking seal last night! I just cut a pice of plastics the same basics shape as the seal mate out of plastic packaging. Pop up the top wiper and slide in the plastic 2-3 wipes around and it's all cleaned up.

DRD


2013 Blue DL650
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post #8 of 35 Old 04-12-2014, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'm going to try cutting out my own sealmate from some plastic packaging like DRD mentioned. Hopefully that'll do the trick.

Cheers
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-12-2014, 02:31 PM
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I used an old KOA card to make a Seal Mate. The real thing will probably last longer and do a better job but a guy's gotta try, right?
It did remove some offending dirt. I pulled the fork caps and did a rough measure with a bit of straightened coat hanger. Then I just poured a bit of fork oil in at a time until they were the same height in the tube.
I followed up with a bit of sturdy plastic sheet cut to make a shield for the tube and tie wrapped it in place.
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post #10 of 35 Old 04-12-2014, 03:54 PM
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One of my fork seals started leaking after a couple thousand miles on the new bike. I cleaned it with a seal mate and that seemed to work at first, but after a couple more thousand it was leaking again. So I had it replaced under warranty. BTW, that wasn't easy. I bought the bike at a dealer several hours away (only one I could find in the state) so going back there was out. The first local dealer I called told me it was a wear item and wouldn't be covered. But getting blown off is typical when you try to get warranty service at a dealer other than where you bought. So I asked my guy at my local Yamaha dealer for his advice. We have a long history, they take care of me, I buy from them again and again when I can. They have a sister dealership in another town that sells Suzuki so he took care of it for me. Now that's service! And it also shows that the first dealer I called was full of it.

Good luck. Al
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