Fork seals on the 650 V - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2016, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Fork seals on the 650 V

When I got to AZ from BC back in October, I saw that my right fork (about 57.5K miles) was leaking (small puddle on the garage floor), so I called the dealer, made an appointment, then removed the fork and took it in on the 24th.

I sat in their lounge reading while a new seal (aftermarket, NOT a Kawasaki seal) was installed, then returned home, installed the fork and went for a ride on some desert roads. When I hit the first MAJOR rut my fork(s) were ALMOST solid on compression - TOO much oil I thought, and when I got home could see that the fork was 'seeping' oil. Hopefully just as a result of the over-filled oil, NOT a bad seal, so I made another appointment. Took the fork into the shop on the 30th, along w/ my calipers and Service Manual to ensure that the fork would be filled correctly, which I did, along w/ their mechanic, at NO charge.

Now the forks action was correct, but over time I noticed seepage again. They said to bring it back "whenever" and they'd AGAIN replace the seal (at no charge to me), so on the 10th Dec I AGAIN removed the fork, took it in w/ my remaining aftermarket seal, and my calipers to measure the oil-level correctly. Got home, re-installed the fork, then some more riding....

DAMN - STILL leaking...! Phoned, talked w/ the service manager who suggested that SOME bikes don't 'like' aftermarket seals, but bring it back when it was convenient and they'd change it to a Kawasaki seal, at no charge, AGAIN. Took it in on the 21st Jan, watched the 'tech' replace the seal again (but, HOPEFULLY better w/ the OEM seal), then back home to re-install it.

EUREKA!!! Finally my fork wasn't leaking - after about 3,500 miles, THREE seals, 1.5L of ATF, and FOUR removals from BIG RED...!

Went for a ride w/ a buddy from D2D 2015, lots of dirt, checked my forks....

NOW the LEFT one was seeping. (I realized then that, at 60+K miles, I should have just done them both...), so made another appointment for an OEM seal for that fork, which was done on 05th Feb, and I just looked at both - NEITHER IS LEAKING!

ALL this is to suggest that when any of you need to replace your fork seals - go w/ the Kawasaki OEM ones! ADDITIONALLY - it was a good idea for me to monitor the level of the fork-oil, so it MIGHT be for you TOO....

Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 02-07-2016 at 11:46 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2016, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
When I got to AZ from BC back in October, I saw that my right fork (about 57.5K miles) was leaking (small puddle on the garage floor), so I called the dealer, made an appointment, then removed the fork and took it in on the 24th.

I sat in their lounge reading while a new seal (aftermarket, NOT a Kawasaki seal) was installed, then returned home, installed the fork and went for a ride on some desert roads. When I hit the first MAJOR rut my fork(s) were ALMOST solid on compression - TOO much oil I thought, and when I got home could see that the fork was 'seeping' oil. Hopefully just as a result of the over-filled oil, NOT a bad seal, so I made another appointment. Took the fork into the shop on the 30th, along w/ my calipers and Service Manual to ensure that the fork would be filled correctly, which I did, along w/ their mechanic, at NO charge.

Now the forks action was correct, but over time I noticed seepage again. They said to bring it back "whenever" and they'd AGAIN replace the seal (at no charge to me), so on the 10th Dec I AGAIN removed the fork, took it in w/ my remaining aftermarket seal, and my calipers to measure the oil-level correctly. Got home, re-installed the fork, then some more riding....

DAMN - STILL leaking...! Phoned, talked w/ the service manager who suggested that SOME bikes don't 'like' aftermarket seals, but bring it back when it was convenient and they'd change it to a Kawasaki seal, at no charge, AGAIN. Took it in on the 21st Jan, watched the 'tech' replace the seal again (but, HOPEFULLY better w/ the OEM seal), then back home to re-install it.

EUREKA!!! Finally my fork wasn't leaking - after about 3,500 miles, THREE seals, 1.5L of ATF, and FOUR removals from BIG RED...!

Went for a ride w/ a buddy from D2D 2015, lots of dirt, checked my forks....

NOW the LEFT one was seeping. (I realized then that, at 60+K miles, I should have just done them both...), so made another appointment for an OEM seal for that fork, which was done on 05th Feb, and I just looked at both - NEITHER IS LEAKING!

ALL this is to suggest that when any of you need to replace your fork seals - go w/ the Kawasaki OEM ones! ADDITIONALLY - it was a good idea for me to monitor the level of the fork-oil, so it MIGHT be for you TOO....
You should have used fork tube covers: $15 to $40 a pair and you would NEVER have to worry about fork tube seals again.

You could even use you favorite, duct tape, if you double sided it so the sticky part did not touch the tubes, but it would cost the same as fork tube covers, maybe more, for less protection. ymmv

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 01:26 AM
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Glad you sorted it out Eddie.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 10:01 AM
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I agree Ed, I have O.H. re-valved hundreds of forks, dirt and street bikes. I have found that O.E.M.seals for any brand is what worked best.
If out on an extended ride and you have a fork seal failure the most probable cause is dirt under the seal lip or between the wiper and seal.
Stop at a gas station and bum a piece of note pad paper.
Pop the wiper off with a flat blade screwdriver (be careful don't scratch the inner tube) slide it down the tube out of the way, wipe any foreign matter out of the wiper with a rag or paper towel.
Take that bummed piece of scratch paper and wrap it around the inner tube and carefully twist the paper up between the tube and seal this will usually dislodge any dirt from the seal.
This is only temporary but it will usually work.
I have even taken a small screwdriver and opened the lip of the seal up and sprayed WD Eddie (sorry Ed just had to) in there to flush it.
It will usually get you home from B.F.E. but you still need to freshen up the forks, both of them, if one is leaking it's just a matter of time.
I'm not an expert and don't know it all but these things have worked for me.
Markie

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a sort of "precis" of my post - CHECK the oil level VERY precisely, and use the OEM Kawi seals, vs aftermarket ones.

Ed
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
near 60k, you didn't replace the bushings?

i thought you were going to replace the forks on that bike.
Nope - bushings appeared to be fine.

Forks...? Yes - bought a pair via Ebay, low-mileage from an '11 I think, for $450 delivered. Looked GREAT in the pics on Ebay.

Opened the packaging to see that one (the RIGHT-side one, the one I NEEDED!) had impact marks on the lower part where the axle goes thru as well as two broken-off bolts (and bent) where you attach the fender, then noticed via the 'reflection' that it was slightly bent TOO. Check the pics:





As soon as I saw the damage, I contacted Ebay who said to send an e-mail to the seller (which I did), and that IF I didn't hear back w/in a week, that THEY (Ebay) would step in.

The week ended w/ NO reply, so I informed Ebay, who said they would send it to arbitration. They got back to me two days later, told me to pack it up and send it back to the seller, and to send the tracking number to THEM, and as soon as it arrived they'd issue a refund.

It DID, they DID, and the refund went IMMEDIATELY onto my credit card tho' I "ate" the $49 postage + insurance. THANK GOD I used PayPal!!!

So-o-o, that's why I discovered that my fork was fine, it just did NOT 'like' aftermarket seals....


Ed
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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should have gone new, bushings and slides are automatic at 60k if the forks are apart. about $5,000CDN, but less than $50USD for the OEM parts....
Dave - I TRIED to become a US citizen, but I guess I entered via the WRONG border...!

The Canuckistan "peso"....


Ed
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