So what causes leaky fork seals anyway???




#1
Mine were leaking and I had no idea about it until a guy told me. Ended up costing me more cache cause I had to have the brakes rebuilt and new pads put in to replace the new pads I had put in several thousand miles ago. I bought that Sealmate tool but didn't try to use it. When I was dropping the bike off at the shop I asked my mechanic about it and he says he tried it but it didn't work worth a crap! I've read others from this forum have used it with satifaction so I'm confused. ???
 
#2
Could be any number of things. Coming down to hard from a wheel stand... Rock dings to the polished part of the forks.... Or just plain worn out.
 

icemansid

Donating Member
Registered
#3
Mine were wore out @ 30~K miles - spent ~ a 100 in seals from Ronayers, at the shop now so hopefully it will come in under 100 for install... no local suzuki shop around here...
 

sixpack577

Top Gun
Registered
#4
Heat from friction and wearing away of the contact surface of the seals themselves.
The suspension bottoming out; like repeated poorly controlled wheelies, where the front end falls down with a lot of extra force.
That impact flexes the entire seal, and can cause the contact surface to move and stretch in ways it wasn't designed to do.
The more often, the more wear and tear.
As far as the seal tool goes, they do work under certain circumstances. Notice how they are originally marketed for dirt bikes?
Dirt and debris can get stuck between the fork and the seal, causing a leak.
The hooked end of the seal tool will clear or remove the dirt. Most of the time fixing the leak.
For streetbikes, it's entirely possible to fix a leaking fork with the seal tool. They are cheap and simple enough to make not to try first.
Unless you know the bike's been abused or the forks are dripping oil:laugh:, might just want to go ahead and change them.
 

Rothman

"Professional Lurker"
Registered
#5
You can just cut up a plastic bottle and use it the same as one of those seal tools. I've re-sealed leaking forks with a water bottle and pocket knife before. They work pretty well unless the seal is completely worn.
 

jch364

Registered
#6
My 06 leaked within the first year and i had to have the left one replaced. then a year later the right one went. so I did both this last time. I know its a common problem with g1 bikes at least. I dont know why. I dont do wheelies and such so it was not about trauma to the forks. Ive heard that it may have to do with storage and transport from japan. salt air etc drying out the seals? Ive heard people putting a little Vaseline on the forks from time to time helps prolong its life. who knows. it is annoying though
 
#7
my best friend solved this mystery last week . he has been riding for fifty years . raced in many classes. he told me to buy a wheel chock . never pull the front of the bike down with tie downs and haul it . he said he figured this out years ago and has not had to replace any seals since . just an opinion .
 
#8
I bought the seal mate tool with a little help. I can't say that it completely stopped but it is less. What sucks is mine started leaking around 2k miles and I bought my bike off the showroom floor. I have done wheelies, but no 12 o'clocks slamming down. Small take off wheelies and not on a regular. There is so many ppl with this problem with the busa's I have to question if this is a defect from the factory. I tried to see if it was covered under warranty and they said its not because its a moving part. Which is bs imo. The bike is brand new pretty much and the seals are leaking.
 

Tufbusa

Track Coach / TufPoodle Coach
Registered
#9
If you service your forks and change your seals every two years as recommended your seal issue will go away in most cases. A big issue with fork seals is with guys who do their own work. They disassemble the forks, replace the seals and replace the oil with the amount noted in the service manual. In most cases the fork ends up with too much oil and not enough air space causing excessive internal pressure. Results, the new seals begin to leak in short order.
 

icemansid

Donating Member
Registered
#10
My 1st Gen1 has around 13K miles, has been strapped down on the front and has wheelied and never had any fork seal issues. second gen1 busa has 36k miles, had leaky seals when i bought it. removed the forks and had them replaced with Suzuki OEM seals, few thousand miles later no leaks...
 

icemansid

Donating Member
Registered
#11
I also paid a shop to do my seals. Saved some money by purchasing the seals myself and removing the forks before taking them in.
 
#12
Ya know it's really hard to use the SEALMATE effectively with the forks on the bike... It can work rather well to remove grime build ups on newer seals. It's not going rehabilatate an old wore seal. It's a go to fix on dirt bikes because grime can and does build up quickly (1 or 2 rides) and will make a seal weepy. In order for it to work effectively you need to work it all the way around and many times (maybe dozens) pulling a wiping until no grime is present. This will give you best chance of getting clean contact seal to fork. Also, it may not completely stop leaking but it may slow it down to a small weeping that can allow for a defered full repair.
 
#13
One other cause is damage to the fork leg. Usually on one side or another. Nick, scratch or dent. No easy fix there but kinda rare on street bikes, not so much on hard pressed off road bikes.
 
#14
My suspension guy (dirt bike but it's all the same) told me that the darkest thing on seals are water spots from washing the bike. He told me to make sure I use silicone spray on a towel to wipe down the forks after washing. I also use a piece of old film negative to clean the seal it's self. Works great have not had to replace the seals on my 450 in two years.
 

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