What is leaking from my front fork?? 2009 650 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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What is leaking from my front fork?? 2009 650

Clear-ish liquid, does not appear to be coming from brake line, but had that consistency, as opposed to oil??? It dripped from the very bottom of the left side fork. Could this be my fork seals going bad??

I did not have time to take the plastic off and get a better look.

Thoughts, diagnosis tips??

(Can't figure out how to add a picture from my mobile phone, but imagine a small puddle directly under the the bottom of the fork. )
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:29 PM
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Clear oil from the forks is fork oil or brake fluid. There isn't anything else like it on that part of the bike.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:36 PM
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Fork oil is red, like ATF... I've fixed leaks a few times by cleaning the seal with: https://sealmate.net/

Was your original fork oil (and brake fluid) replaced in the last 10 years? Your fork oil would be dark (dirty) red by now... What's the mileage on it?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:45 PM
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The seals on my 09 quit at about 40,000 miles and looked clear when it leaked but was darkish grey when I emptied the fork tubes. The new oil was also on the grey side.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:56 PM
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I've never seen colored fork oil.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:00 PM
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Original fork oil is red and it smells just like ATF... If you wait more than a couple years to replace it, it won't be red anymore. It'll then be just gray.

Available fork oils are normally color coded for various viscosity grades.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:32 PM
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Its fork oil and you can either do a clean up as Invader said or replace
the seal. If its brake oil then you will feel lose in braking power.

My 09 fork gave way after about 5 years due to heavy off road riding during a trip to Thailand/Cambodia. Serviced both the fork and replace the seal/oil.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 11:06 PM
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Service manual recommends Showa SS-8 (10W) fluid which is red, just like Honda's Showa SS-8 fluid. (Kawasaki and Showa have metal containers.)

upload img
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Ok guys, thanks for the replies. The viscosity, look, smell and feel seems closer to brake fluid than fork oil. I will pull the plastics on the front to get a better look at the fork and remove the front left caliper and inspect tonight and post what I find.

The bike has about 32,000 miles on it, no work on the forks or seals yet.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 52Degrees View Post
I've never seen colored fork oil.
I use ATF - red colored - in my forks, and have in EVERY bike I've owned since I started that when I raced 'enduros' back in the mid-'70s....

-
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File Type: jpg WalMart fork oil copy.jpg (35.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg damper-rod up copy.jpg (301.3 KB, 6 views)
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 06:14 PM
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I just realized I have 16k on my current fork oil. I guess it's time to think about replacing it.

I'm thinking going with a higher viscosity to help deal with my extra weight.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 07:03 PM
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Interesting on the different color of fork fluid. My forks started leaking at about 35k miles, I think helped out by going up some high passes out west. It was clear fluid. I bought the bike used with 12k miles on it so I doubt the fluid had been replaced.

BTW, it was covered by the extended GTPP warranty. Still holding at 62,600 miles. And I still have two years of warranty left.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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I have verified that the seal are leaking by removing the front fender. Lots of oil on the lower forks on each side.

I fashioned a tool out of thin plastic and tried to clean between the seal and the fork, but I'm not sure that will fix the problem. Time to schedule a trip to the shop!

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:09 PM
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Clear fork oil? Wow... Lol.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:45 PM
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Give it a few rides to see if your cleaning method worked before going for full service. Nothing to worry about , and if it worked then you will have build confident on the repair job.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:54 PM
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I've done fork seals. They aren't too bad. At least, not on right-side-up forks. I haven't tried it on up-side-down ones yet.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 52Degrees View Post
I've done fork seals. They aren't too bad. At least, not on right-side-up forks. I haven't tried it on up-side-down ones yet.
I've looked at the youtube videos and the posts on the forum here. While it does not look like a super involved job, and I'm sure I could get it done myself, I wen't ahead and made an appointment at the local shop. Only downside is they are about 1 month out on work right now, so I won't be riding it a whole lot for a few weeks :-(
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