Fork Seal Lifespan? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Fork Seal Lifespan?

What kind of lifespan should I expect from fork seals? I'm at 16.5k right now and I think my right seal is leaking.

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post #2 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 12:20 PM
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What kind of lifespan should I expect from fork seals? I'm at 16.5k right now and I think my right seal is leaking.

They can last forever.... there might be some grit in between the seal and the fork tube. Slide something thin up in there, 35mm negative was the standard getting hard to find now though. A feeler guage will work but be careful not to scratch the tube. Anyway slide it up between the seal and the tube and while spraying brake cleaner work it around and in and out.

Have to pop off the dust cover first to get to the seal BTW.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Spec. I'll check that ASAP. Sounds much cheaper and easier than replacing a seal.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 02:42 PM
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Cut a playing card in half the long ways. Cut a notch where the red marking is. Pull the wiper up, and with the retaining ring in place, work the card into the seal and work it around the tube a few laps. This should clean out grit and stop your leak. I have one fork that gets it more than the other. Can't explain it, and I guess I don't need to as long as I have access to an Ace of Spades.

I've never seen a truly blown KLR fork seal. I have no doubt someone, somewhere, has blown one. You can ruin an anvil with enough effort. I have replaced a few that where nicked from large sand grains / trash. Transmission sealer will buy you some time if you have a nicked seal and need to ride on. Add it to the fork fluid.
Good luck with it.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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so, the wiper is the "seal" that's visible when I pull up the dust boot right? That just slides up?

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post #6 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 03:29 PM
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so, the wiper is the "seal" that's visible when I pull up the dust boot right? That just slides up?

Yes you have to work a thin blade screwdriver around the edge of the lower fork tube to pop it out.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 04:17 PM
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i've had good luck with the card trick

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 08:41 PM
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Having a fork brace seems to increased the likelyhood of getting debris in the seal. AS stated above something thin to fish out the junk works most of the time. I did actually blow the seals once when I layed the bike down at about 45mph then came the sudden stop which bottomed out the forks real hard.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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That makes sense actually because the brace forces the boots to not sit correctly.

Red '09
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-11-2011, 07:07 AM
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The problem (from my perspective) with fork braces is that some Genius in Malasia decided to put holes in the lower fork boot. When you use an aftermarket brace, the holes are moved upward (relative to the lower fork tubes) allowing crap to enter the fork seal area. You could replace the boots or you could seal the holes. I would think you could use contact cement to glue a strip of inner-tube to the inside of the lower fork bood without too much effort. You may also want to apply some silicone sealant to the gaps in the fork brace (between the inner and outer clamp halfs) to keep dirt out.
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