Tip & How-To about Motorcycles

Leaking fork seal? Try this...

When forks start leaking, a large part of the time there is actually a peice of debris in the seal, not an actual damaged seal. Here is a way to clean the seals while still installed on the bike. If this doesn't work, you'll know that your seal is indeed damaged and needs replaced. If it does work, you can put a little more gas in the tank!

WIth the forks on the bike, use a flat screw driver to pry out the forks dust seal. Slide the dust seal back a ways and clean it thoroughly. There will usually be alot of gunk in there to get out. Spray it out with carb cleaner and dry with a paper towel inside and out. Now clean the recess that contains your fork seal thoroughly with carb cleaner and paper towel.

There are a few things that can be used to clean the actual fork seal. You can buy a special made piece of plastic from mc parts catalogs, use a very thin feeler gauge, or my favorite is a piece of camera film negative.

Whatever you're using, very gently insert it about 1/2 inch between the seal and the fork tube. Be careful not to damage the seal. Now, holding your cleaning tool snug against the fork leg, slide it around the fork tube while slowly pulling out to make sure the debris is pulled out of the seal instead of pushed in. As you work around the fork, your little "tool" should be gently sweeping between the seal and the fork tube, removing peices of sand and dirt. You may do this a few times if they are really dirty. Wipe everything clean and very dry and work the forks up and down to see if you've stopped the leak. If so, wipe everything down one more time, reinstall your dust seal, and your through!

If you are working on upside down forks, make sure the area at the bottom of the fork tube (next to the casting) is clean. Often times simply bottoming the suspension out can cram dirt from this area into your seals.


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1 Answer

new seals installed but they still leak.


If you replaced your fork seals with" Leak Proof "fork seals, take them off and throw them away , forget the warranty they will only give you another pair of bad seals. Go to the local dealer (or on line) and get a set of the original manufacturers seals and put them on. Be sure to inspect the fork tubes for scratches ,damage, pock marks,burr on the end of the tube(scratch), or foreign material that needs to be cleaned off like bugs , tar, epoxy,etc. (so it does not damage the new seals). If you have chrome flaking off the tubes or other damage you will have to replace the affected tube. Also make sure that you did not damage the seals when you installed them.

Sep 16, 2010 | kawasaki KZ 1300 A3 Motorcycles

1 Answer

97 suzuki marauder fork seals problem


Normally no. If the fork seals are leaking when you ratchet the front down on the trailer your seals were bad prior to that. If you are talking about the straps being wrapped around the forks the only thing that they would contact would be the dust covers. The fork seals are actually down inside the fork about 1/4 inch. Have a good day

Aug 12, 2009 | 1997 Suzuki VZ 800 Marauder

1 Answer

how do i get the oil fork seal out of my yamaha xt600


remove each fork leg from the bike,remove the dust cap from over the fork ctaunchion,you should see a retaining circlip inside the fork staunchion,remove this(and dont lose it),to remove the seal you can do it two ways,1 drill a small hole on either side of the seal(through the seal) thread in a self tapping screw and the seal will come out,or 2,stab a screwdriver through the seal on each side and lever it out,when you go to put the new seal in put a smear of grease around the seal first this makes it a lot easier to reinstall and will minimise any damage to the new seal,reinstall the circplip,then dust cover and put fork back into bike,this all sounds complicated but is actually quite simple to do ,should take about 2hrs from start to finish,hope this helps

Jul 10, 2009 | 1991 Yamaha XT 600 E

2 Answers

how do you adjust the height of the front suspension on a 2007 1100 v star? mine bottoms out when stopping or bumpy roads.


Height is not adjustable on those. Your only option would to replace the springs in the forks with a higher rate spring, and get better valving to slow down the jounce of the bike.

May 31, 2009 | 2005 Yamaha V Star Silverado

1 Answer

Bottom seal leaking on pair usd folks


the actual seal sits inside the outer fork tube, if you didnt strip your forks down then all you have replaced is the dust cover/scraper, and therefore you haven't actually replaced the seal. they can be a pain in the **** to do i'd say just take it to a dealer and pay em to replace the seal as they will have the special tools required to do it, unless of course like me you have a family member who is a mechanic at a suzuki dealer

Apr 08, 2009 | 1991 Suzuki GSX-R 750 M

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