I have a 2008 750 shadow spirit. There is an oil? leak in the front left (sitting on the bike) fork. What are the possibilities & how serious is this. I haven't ridden for several weeks and the oil spot is about 9 or 10 in in diameter.
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Re: leak in front fork
This is the damping oil in the fork. Once it is all leaked out you will find it difficult to control the bike on bumpy roads. Get it checked ASAP. Repair is not very complicated since it requires replacement of the fork seals. I would recommend doing both forks at the same time. If one has failed the other is not far behind.
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You grabbed someone elses bike. If it has steering lock and the front fork is forcing it to move from lock, it puts too much stress on the plunger to turn the key. Try turnong toe handle bars all the way left or right when turning the key. Also you need to keep oil on the steering lock plunger so it doesn't corrode and jam.
That depends on where it's leaking. If it's leaking down at the axle, You can lift the bike off the ground, remove the front wheel. There's a bolt in the very bottom of the tube. Take the bolt out and slide the "slider" off the upper tube. While you have it off, replace the seal at the top of the "slider". This will fix any leak at the top of the slider. Clean the lower slider with clean mineral spirits and allow it to dry. Then, put a little bit of oil on the seal and a dab of clear RTV in the area where the copper washer goes and slide the slider back up on the tube. Put the bolt in and tighten it up. Replace the front wheel. Now, add the appropiate amount of fork oil for a "dry" refill. If you call the dealer, they should tell you how much oil goes in there. My manuals are not up to date for your model. Mine only shows for 1994 and Harley may have changed the fork tubes since then. Remember the higher viscosity of the oil, the stiffer the front suspension. The dealer will also tell you what oil came in the front forks from the factory.
Try draining a very small amount of oil from each fork leg, there should be a small screw at the bottom of each fork leg for draining oil. See if you can let out the same amount of oil from each leg, i would start with about 30ml from each one. Make sure the front wheel is jacked up off the ground, so the oil wont come out under to much pressure. Apart from that, yes change the oil, but put less in, that will make it softer, its not so much the oil weight, but more so how much oil you put in, less for a softer ride.
Don't worry about a little oil on the shock, the seal has gone bad, common problem, usually from a hit on the side pushing it out of round. You need to take them apart, dump the oil in a tray or pan, layout the pieces in order on newspaper or in a big tray, replace the seal, put it all back and pour in a pre-measured amount of fork oil. Be careful pushing the springs back in, Hope this helps.
You have telescopic forks on that model. A telescopic fork on a honda or a suzuki or yamaha are basically the same. The main thing you need to know is fluid level. If you've never done it before , please leave it to the professionals only because that is a major oops if it's not done right and could kill you. as far as the missing, it sounds like you need a carb clean ( if it applies to you unit ) Your slow speed jet gets clogged very easily on the *** models because the inner size of the jet is tiny. If you didn't store the bike with stabil or if you've left gas sitting in the tank and carbs ( if applicable ) for longer than 3 mo's then I would do a carb clean. If your model is Fuel injected.. You mat have a bad fuel management system ( Power Commander, Fuel pak etc... ) try unplugging it to see if the problem clears up. if you don't have am aftermarket fuel management and it is a stock bike with fuel injection, then I would suggest bringing it to a dealer to see if there are any current or historic codes in the bank.
check first to see if the leaking fork has any rust pitting on the chrome,if it has and its a very small blemish then fettle it off first,and just replace the leaking seal,as the saying goes..if it aint broke dont fix it,if the seals had been in the forks for years and the bike not used then consider replacing both..