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Oil leak in forks.

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by yoshii, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    Went to check out a couple of bikes this weekend, and just had a couple of questions regarding one of them.

    In fig.1 there appears to be a small build up of oil near the seal, and when compared to the LHS strut (fig.2) it's also looks to be a little stained (fig.3).
    Just wondering if this might be an indication of the front fork leaking oil or something and if so, would it be recommended to stay away? I imagine replacing forks wouldn't be cheap?
    The other thing was that the sump looked really dirty (fig.4), is it likely it could be leaking or would it just be dirt & grime build up? It had been replaced once before in 2009 with a second hand sump as the "sump plug was stripped beyond repair" according to service receipts.

    Only noticed a these once i got home and went through the photos that were taken (not sure if 'seal' & 'strut' etc are the right terms for what i'm trying to describe :-s so apologies in advance for that)

    Thanks :)

    Fig.1 / Fig.2 / Fig.3 / Fig.4 (click thumbnail for larger image)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. fig1 yes that's a leaking seal, no on this bike it's pretty common and doesn't really mean much of anything. new seals are maybe $25 a pair, do the work yourself (depending where you are there are lots of capable nerdriders willing and able to assist if needed)

    fig4 looks like a mixture of chain lube and road grime. neither will really cause damage, just look like shit
  3. The first thing to try with the fork leak is get a length of 35mm film negative,gentaly slide it down between the seal and the fork leg and saw it up and down with a sweeping motion.Any grit gets swept out.Its worked for me a few times on small weaps if the seal is still resonable.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Thanks fellas.
    I'm in Melb, if it's just the seals that need replacing then i'm up for doing it myself (even printed out a hard copy of the service manual in anticipation of working on the bike when i get it haha). I just thought it may have been the forks that needed swapping over.
    Zim, i'll give that a shot if I have a look at the bike again. Still throwing up the pros/cons between 2 of the bikes i looked at.
  5. if the current owner hasn't taken care of these obvious problems.. what other maintenance items has he over looked....? hmmmm

    I would walk away..
  6. Yeah I've gotten a few other opinions, and the general consensus appears to be to just walk away from this one.
    I was of the thought that since it's already had a major service completed (cleaned carbies, valve clearances etc) it would be a decent purchase, despite the cosmetic appearance, I just wanted to check if the oil leak was indication, or not, of something major.

    Anyway one of the other bikes i had a look at seemed to be a pretty clean example from what I could see, keep in mind I only really checked the basics: electronics work, brakes, tracking straight, idle & throttle response etc. The only 'problem' with this one, besides being a little over budget, was that it had only had one minor service done in the past 5 years, oil & air filters changed, spark plugs, and fluids.
    Then again it's hardly been used, I asked about the tyres as they looked fairly new but was told it's the same set that came with it from the dealer (5 years ago), and in that time the bike has only had another 3.5k put on the odo. Though i'd expect i should change the tyres after such a long period, regardless of wear.