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Damn, my left fork seal started leaking oil big time today while on a ride... turned around and headed it home as soon as I discovered a puddle under the left fork. Hope driving it about 80 miles with the oil leaking didn't ruin any other fork parts. Just prior to stopping for that short break I had been noticing the bike seemed to be handling like $hit, and that the handlebars went into a very severe wobble ossilation when I took both hands off to cram some bubblegum into me. Tires are somewhat worn, but not seriously and had previously only shown the usual slight wobble at about 40 mph.

Now, for my questions and concerns. Has anyone had a fork seal repaired by a dealer after having disabled the anti-dive valve? Was there any concern by the dealer that that disabled valve caused the seal failure, and was the repair covered by the warranty... I have the extended warranty.

I had disabled the anti-dive by lopping about 1/4" off with my trusty hacksaw so I would need to get another anti-dive and install it if the seal repair wouldn't be a warranty item. Can just a new plunger and "o" rings be purchased or do you need to replace the whole top portion of the valve... really hoping not to need the valve to be replaced as the bike did handle so much better after taking the saw to it.

The left brake pads and the rotor are covered in oil... should the dealer change the pads also. While the bike is apart I would think it wise to go ahead with changing oil in both fork tubes also. Should the right seal be replaced? Not sure because sometimes if it's not broke don't touch it might be better (42,000 miles currently).

I guess I should say I don't really do much wrenching on this other than oil changes, so it will be a dealer repair.

One more thing, how much of the front end components come off for the repair and would this be the time to install the No Balls bearings?

Allen Serviss Vernon,VT
 

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IF/WHEN you discover a seeping or leaking fork seal and you must continue to ride to civilization, at least clean the fork as best your can and wrap it with a thick rag to catch the excess before it contaminates your brake pads. Yes, the brake rotors and other parts have to be cleaned and pads replaced. That is not difficult and if its only the one set of pads its not too expensive.

By loping off only 1/4" of the upper plunder, you likely still were dealing with an active antidive valve that got stuck. The time to have considered the warranty issues was before you modified the plunger. When you did that, you were assuming the responsibility. Honesty is the best policy, pay the lady. At 42,000 miles, you are due for an overhaul of the front suspension anyway. Have the dealer rebuild both with new springs, seals, slider bushings, and oil. Remove the rest of the upper anti dive unit's plunger. If you have considered the possibility of getting the Traction upgrade of the front suspension, this could be a good time to do it. Your rear suspension may well be tired too.

The forks come off without disturbing the steering head bearings, but removal of the steering head bearings involves removing the forks; thus there is an economy of service to do both at once. The AllBalls bearings are likely availabe at your dealership.

If your dealer's mechanic replaces the bearings, brake pads, and repairs the forks; your plunger modification will likely never be noticed. Seals are often reported as being normal wear items and not covered by warranty anyway. If the seals are not covered, then the brake pad set will likely be determined to be incidental damage and also not covered; plus they are items subject to normal wear.

prs
 

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Hello Roadrunner,

Pigeon did a good job of answering your questions.

42,000 miles is quite a long distance on original fork seals. I am sure there will be some people who get 100,000 miles with no leaks, but that's not "normal". :wink: Usually the same guy who gets 100mpg... :lol: :lol:

The seal is a piece of rubber sliding up and down on a piece of metal. It will simply wear out. The anti-dive, whether functioning or disabled will not prolong or shorten seal life. The mechanical action of the caliper rocking against the left leg when you use the brakes is what causes the left seals to leak more than the rights.

If you find a dealer who won't replace your fork seal because the antidive has been disabled, that would be a sign they don't understand how the suspension works.

Buying a plunger and orings to fix the antidive so you didn't have to pay to have the fork seals replaced would be a big step backwards. I don't recommend having the antidive functioning ever. You would be punishing yourself for tens of thousands of miles to save a couple hundred dollars.

You should absolutely replace both seals, and you will most likely need all four bushings at 42,000 miles. (I'll be honest, I don't know how the warranty companies warranty a fork seal... it's a wear item like a tire or brake pad).

A small amount of oil leaked from a fork can appear catastrophic once it's blown all over the bike by the wind. The only thing the oil does in the left leg, is control bottom resistance, and the anti-dive, which you had disabled. So basically you should be able to leak almost all of the oil out of the left leg and not notice any change in handling whatsoever. It might start to bottom (harder) over sharp bumps. But that would be it. It may be a little psychosomatic that you feel your bike's handling went to DooDoo.

For sure, you didn't hurt any of the parts.

:)
 
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