The fork seal needs to be in good condition at all times as it prevents oil from getting out of the fork, therefore lubricating fork components and allowing them to work smoothly. You see, the fork serves as the link between the main frame and the front wheel and axle. It makes it possible for the driver to change direction and also helps in ensuring smooth braking operations. So as soon as you notice oil leak, have the seal replaced as soon as possible to save the fork from running out of oil and damaging itself.
The process of changing fork seals for every motorcycle is almost the same. The only difference is the size of the nut used on the clamps that hold the forks into the bike's frame. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to replace fork seals:
What you'll need:
- Fork oil
- Clean rags
- Seal drivers
- Oil container
- New fork seal
- Motorcycle lift
- Flathead screwdriver
Preparing the motorcycle
Step 1: Using an Allen wrench, loosen the bolts securing the fork legs to the motorcycle's frame as well as to the caps on each leg. Also loosen the bolts of the brake caliper as well as the bike's front whole axle.
Step 2: With the bike in gear, chock the rear wheel. Raise the bike's front wheel and place the lift under the frame.
Step 3: Take off the brake calipers, the fender, and the front wheel. Also remove the hanging cables.
Dismantling the fork
Step 4: Loosen the bolts of the fork even further, but this time, pull downward on the fork while twisting. Carefully take the cap off. This part of the fork is spring loaded, so avoid standing on the cap's way while you're removing it.
Step 5: Get the oil container before removing the spring. Allow the oil to drain into the container for 5 to 10 minutes. Insert a flathead screwdriver or any applicable tool into the cavity to reach and free the damper rod. Bear in mind how the springs, spacers, and washers are positioned, so you won't have a hard time re-installing them later.
Removing the old fork seal
Step 6: With the tip of the flathead screwdriver, wedge the dust seal off the fork leg.
Step 7: Locate the fork, which is usually secured inside a groove by a clip. Carefully pry the old seal out, flushing the area at the same time to rid the fork of dirt and debris.
Step 8: Hold the tube with one hand and the stanchion with the other hand. With enough force, pull the two parts apart; the fork seal will come off as these parts disconnect from each other.
Installing the new fork seal
Step 9: Remove dirt and rust and fix damage or imperfection that causes the old seal to leak.
Step 10: Get a clean rag and soak it with fork oil. Use it to wipe the area where the old seal was positioned. Also, apply oil on the inner portion of the new seal.
Step 11: Position the new fork seal over the stanchion and help it slide down into where it should be. Tap the seal into place gently but firmly using the seal driver.
Assembling the fork
Step 12: Reinstall the clip and dust seal back into their respective positions and slide the damping rod inside the fork.
Step 13: Add enough oil into the fork and put the spring back into place. Insert the screw on the fork cap and tighten. Do the same for the other fork leg.
Step 14: Reassemble the front end of the motorcycle and remove the lift to put the front wheel down.