Fork oil salesmen - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Fork oil salesmen

My front right fork is leaking a lot. I am approaching 26,000 miles on my '08 Versys. I have searched on the forum and there is some discussion about fork oil seal failure, but not a whole lot. The threads that I have seen all mention the right fork leaking. I have tried the 35mm film cleaning technique, but things have not gotten better.

I have some questions. Are leaking forks a typical maintenance item? If so, how often are people changing their seals on the Versys? Is the right fork leaking more often than the left? When I replace my right fork seal, should I replace the left?

I just ordered tools for the work. I do not have the time to make the replacements. If there was a shop in town, I might ask them to do the work, but I like the feeling of working on my machines themselves anyway.

I hope to make it to winter before I do this since I have little time for this maintenance - and I still need the check my valves and do all the rest. Given that an El Nino is building up we may have a lot of snow here in the southwest to deal with this winter.

Paul

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:45 AM
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Is there any pitting on the forks?


If so it's needs some very fine wet and dry (800) and go over it carefully. Don't over do it.
how to sand if you don't know.

Quote from a forum the above picture was in "I alawys use some wet fine grade sanpaper in detergent and gently rub the pitting out. Then I put some WD40 on after it. Never had pitting again on the fork sliders."

If forks are not pitted I have used this with success.

This video looks good if you need to do the forks seals.


Hope it all works out ok.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:15 AM
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Yes, the Seal mate fork seal cleaning tool works great... When I hit a massive hump at highway speeds, my forks spat out oil, then the right one continued to leak. Kodak film didn't help much. I then got a Seal Mate which removed an impressive amount of fine grit from the fork seals. Some oil drains down as you work the Seal Mate around, further assisting by rinsing out the seals. It was then necessary to reset the seals by compressing and depressing the forks by pushing down back and forth on the handlebars with the front brake on, as directed by Seal Mate. It worked perfectly... I also sanded down some very light scoring with oiled 1000 grit paper.

Last edited by invader; 08-17-2015 at 03:18 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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I posted this and then promptly went travelling where I do not check in to the forum... Sorry for posting and then not replying.

When all of the tools, seals and oil get here I am going to replace my oil seals. I have not noted any pitting on my forks, but I will look more closely when I pull them off the machine. I tried the 35mm film cleaning and that did not do much of anything. I am glad to hear that invader thinks that a sealmate might help even if film does not. I will purchase one.

I have never replaced the fork oil and with the number of miles and years on the bike, it seems to be the time to take a close look at my forks.

Would it be dangerous - in your opinion - to keep on riding this machine with a reasonable leak? I could then perhaps wait until winter to perform all of the maintenance.

Thanks for the information.

When it comes to havoc, no one wreaks like me! - Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mursili View Post
...I have some questions. Are leaking forks a typical maintenance item? If so, how often are people changing their seals on the Versys? Is the right fork leaking more often than the left? When I replace my right fork seal, should I replace the left?....Paul
In about 100,000 miles amongst 3 Vs, I've had ONE leaking fork (left one) that was fixed w/ 35mm film.

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...Would it be dangerous - in your opinion - to keep on riding this machine with a reasonable leak? I could then perhaps wait until winter to perform all of the maintenance.

Thanks for the information.
IMHO - YES! There's not a great amount of fork oil in there when FULL, so once it's leaked... HOW much is left in there?

Ed
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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I can't stand the new forum. This is the second time in two days that I have to repost something that I tried to post, but failed because of some sort of error.

I now give up. I have tried more soapy water and 35mm film with the dust guard off, and - after pumping the bike up and down a few times - I come away with a bunch of oil on the tube. I do not think that it is going to stop until I replace the oil seal. I am bummed that I need to replace a seal after riding only a quarter of Fasteddie's miles, but it seems to be the case.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 10:49 PM
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I had the left fork seal fail at 8K miles and the right seal failed at 15K miles. It seems that the seals leak when the bike sits for a long period of time. Sometimes a piece of dirt will get caught between the seal and fork tube resulting in the seal puking a little oil but the problem tends to go away. Maybe it's the hot weather and the bad roads in Tucson, but fork seals don't last very long here.

Jim

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
In about 100,000 miles amongst 3 Vs, I've had ONE leaking fork (left one) that was fixed w/ 35mm film.
Eddie, do you ever change your fork oil?

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 03:22 AM
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Eddy did change his fork oil using WalMart's SuperTech high mileage ATF with seal conditioners.

After a slight fork oil blowout and leak, I checked and topped off the level with just the fork cap removed using my car engine oil dipstick.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 03:56 PM
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...Maybe it's the hot weather and the bad roads in Tucson, but fork seals don't last very long here.
Up in Florence, AZ (ALMOST as hot, SAME roads......) my forkseals are STILL good at 57,xxx miles on BIG RED....

Ed
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 03:58 PM
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Eddie, do you ever change your fork oil?
Yup, just as invader said. Several times between the '08 and '09 Vs, but NOT yet on the '15 which has VERY different forks.

Ed
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it seems like a good idea to change your fork oil regularly. I have not done that. I now have to change the fork seals and oil.

I have to leave on travel in the near future. Given everything else that is happening it will be a couple of weeks at least before I get to this. Perhaps this is the "sitting for a long period of time" mentioned above. Otherwise, my machine is ridden relatively regularly. (Except this morning... I intended to ride it, but I remembered on the way out the door that I did not replace all of the bolts after removing them to clean the forks.... Oh well the cage it is.)

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 08:39 AM
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Glad to see folks are figuring out how to reuse 35mm film. Maybe Kodak needs to relabel it for motorcycle repair.

My Versys Travels:


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