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Fork leak R1200RT


Donno

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Newbie here. I looked down today as I was riding, and to my surprise saw aomething I hadn't before - the top rubber ring of the left fork was saturated with oil, and I could see 2-3 drops below on the body of the fork, which I could see was quite damp. At some point the drops went away, and after more riding they were back. I believe this just began at this severity, however, there is an older glaze of dirt that I believe indicates a slower leak may have preceded it for some time.

 

I saw in another thread "dirtrider" suggested a cleaning procedure that can stop the leak:

http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=769721

 

The questions I have are, assumuming the "dust excluder" is the "rubber ring" I see on top that the fork drops into, how do I pry that up? Would it stand up to a thin screwdriver or maybe better a narrow thin putty knife to pry? Is the seal I need to get to right beneath that?

 

I do see a bit of dirt on the forks, which of course I have never attempted to clean off.

 

If I try the procedure (wd40 and thin film worked around, and some power steering stop leak) and it doesn't work, might I as a novice with motorcycles be advised to take it to a shop? How hard is it to replace the seals? I am within a few weeks of removing the front wheel to have a new tire mounted, but I assume that removing the wheel is a trivial part of working on the fork.

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Afternoon Donno

 

You should be able to work a small thin blade screwdriver around between the top of fork slider & dust excluder (sealing boot) to pry it up, then just slide it up the fork out of your way. Be careful you don't nick the top of fork slider with the screwdriver. Maybe slide a thin feeler gauge in then use that to protect the top of fork tube while prying.

 

Then try the film trick with WD-40, then a bit of power steering seal conditioner.

 

That usually stops the leak.

 

As far as replacing the seal yourself. It's not rocket science but has a few gotya's. The first being getting the fork bridge bolts out as they are LocTited pretty good (probably need some heat on the bolts).

Be careful as it is easy to damage the paint using heat.

 

The handle bars need to be unbolted then held above the bike to access the top fork tube nuts.

 

You have a choice of removing the just the top tubes then trying to replace the seals with the lowers remaining in the bike (a pain to do). Or removing the entire fork leg to replace the seals (easier to do the seals) . Or taking the lowers to your dealer for seal installation.

Or leaving the upper tubes, & handlebars in place then removing just the lowers to replace the seals. Problem is doing it that way does not allow access to the air bleed screws on the top of the uppers.

 

I have done it by just removing the lowers then using a (lubricated) thin feeler gauge .0015" between the seal & upper fork tube when sliding the lower back on (that allows the air to escape up along the feeler stock). If trying this leave the dust excluder up the fork tube until the back together & the air is bled out.

 

If you remove the lower fork bridge bolts be sure to re-assemble with slightly lose bolts then bounce the front end up & down a few times before tightening the bolts to neutralize the fork position.

 

No way is easy, so pick your poison. Hopefully the seal cleaning stops the leak (it usually does)

 

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