Fork Seals - a thought

Aussie Dave
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Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:41 am

G'day all, was preping my Gt for the weekend trip, and spotted a faint wisp of fork oil on the right tube.....

Closer inspection found some dried bug-guts at the max travel mark was probably the cause of a very small weep.

After cleaning both tubes and noting no further weeps on a short run to the dealership for the coolant hose replacement.....I looked again, and the front mudguard cowl does not have any inner deflectors to protect the exposed USD tubes from bugs/stone strikes.

Jap bikes have had inner flares doing this since forever......maybe Austria doesn't have any bugs or gravel?

Anyway, I cut down a "stubbie holder".....that is a wet suit sock for a beer can (keeps your hand warm) and zip tied it to the bottom of the fork sliders and made sure it was clear of the brake disks......that should keep crap off those exposed tubes and prevent any possible seal damage from surface chips or bug guts turned to stone ;)

The forks only use approx 80mm so there was a goodly amount of tube available to secure the protectors to the fork tubes.......big test this weekend.....1500kms of bug territory out west of whoop whoop......via ship creek....into western NSW of good old Au-bloody-straylia.......know where that is...?.....just look for the GT at the Inverell restorers rally..... :)....I reckon I'll be the only one there on a KTM 1290GT.....but who knows :?:
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

AllanP
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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by AllanP » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:30 pm

Aussie Dave wrote:G'day all, was preping my Gt for the weekend trip, and spotted a faint wisp of fork oil on the right tube.....

Closer inspection found some dried bug-guts at the max travel mark was probably the cause of a very small weep.

After cleaning both tubes and noting no further weeps on a short run to the dealership for the coolant hose replacement.....I looked again, and the front mudguard cowl does not have any inner deflectors to protect the exposed USD tubes from bugs/stone strikes.

Jap bikes have had inner flares doing this since forever......maybe Austria doesn't have any bugs or gravel?

Anyway, I cut down a "stubbie holder".....that is a wet suit sock for a beer can (keeps your hand warm) and zip tied it to the bottom of the fork sliders and made sure it was clear of the brake disks......that should keep crap off those exposed tubes and prevent any possible seal damage from surface chips or bug guts turned to stone ;)

The forks only use approx 80mm so there was a goodly amount of tube available to secure the protectors to the fork tubes.......big test this weekend.....1500kms of bug territory out west of whoop whoop......via ship creek....into western NSW of good old Au-bloody-straylia.......know where that is...?.....just look for the GT at the Inverell restorers rally..... :)....I reckon I'll be the only one there on a KTM 1290GT.....but who knows :?:
Have a great trip and we want to see a pic of the stubbie holder upgrade :D

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:08 am

Just got back.....bugger, forgot the pic of my roughie fork tube covers......but they worked and are still in position after a thorough test on some lumpy Aussie back roads.

I think my fork seals might have a terminal weep though.....but I wiped them clean this morning and they have a slight ring after the 500km day run back to home base......I'll keep an eye on them over our Easter break, but I have that sinking feeling that I was too late spotting the unprotected tubes........ :(

I'll try to get s pic worth posting (my phone camera is ok but these things are tucked away and hard to photograph in situ).
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

Charliektm400exc
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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Charliektm400exc » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:40 pm

Aussie Dave wrote: I think my fork seals might have a terminal weep though.....but I wiped them clean this morning and they have a slight ring after the 500km day run back to home base......I'll keep an eye on them over our Easter break, but I have that sinking feeling that I was too late spotting the unprotected tubes........ :(
Use a feeler gauge, or better still a made for the job fork seal cleaner to wipe around between the fork seal and the fork.

Most of the time, leaking seals have come about because the seal lip has gotten folded over and it's leaking from there. Doing the above puts the lip back in place and they stop leaking.

I've only had to replace one set of fork seals in the years since I discovered this trick, and had many minor leaks.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:14 pm

Thanks CharlieKTM........had read about this.....I'll have a scratch around my junk and find some nice thin plastic sheeting and give it a try.. :)

Ok.....here's some pic's of my handy work - I cut one "beer" holder = hand warmer = drink cooler...whatever you call it in your part of the globe.......us Aussie drunks call em Stubbie Holders... :roll:


side rear view of fork protectors....and the oil weep from 1 day 500kms.jpg
side rear view of fork protectors....and the oil weep from 1 day 500kms.jpg (50.93 KiB) Viewed 1134 times
Looking from front disc on left.....no inner flare to protect fork tube.jpg
Looking from front disc on left.....no inner flare to protect fork tube.jpg (46.42 KiB) Viewed 1134 times
Sorry, not a great pic......but I cut it out as an inverted "T" with the free floating section approx the width of the fork tube, and the base part wraps around approx half way so the zip-tie's have a good hold on the unused part of the fork tube. It has held together for 1300kms on quite rough country Aussie roads using the soft 'comfort' damping with rider + luggage spring setting - so the forks would have been using max travel.

There are probably other ideas or even professionally made items....I haven't had time to look....but this sort of thing keeps clear of the brake disk and just bumps out of the forks way and back again.

Would be a great idea if KTM added a few grams of plastic inside the mudguard for future GT's but this works for now.

:)
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by BDG » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:54 pm

Charliektm400exc wrote:
Aussie Dave wrote: I think my fork seals might have a terminal weep though.....but I wiped them clean this morning and they have a slight ring after the 500km day run back to home base......I'll keep an eye on them over our Easter break, but I have that sinking feeling that I was too late spotting the unprotected tubes........ :(
Use a feeler gauge, or better still a made for the job fork seal cleaner to wipe around between the fork seal and the fork.

Most of the time, leaking seals have come about because the seal lip has gotten folded over and it's leaking from there. Doing the above puts the lip back in place and they stop leaking.

I've only had to replace one set of fork seals in the years since I discovered this trick, and had many minor leaks.

Mines only a baby with 1100 miles on the clock but my mates bike has done 10,500 miles and one of his fork legs is weeping slightly so I'll get him to try this and see how it works, thanks for the tip.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by AllanP » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:34 am

The seals on both legs of the forks on my bike weep a similar amount to the ones on Aussie Dave's bike. They did this from new which makes me doubt its a result of road damage. I was hoping that it would fade away as the seals got bedded in, but it hasn't.

When I look at the service manual there appear to be two rubber seals on each fork leg. The one that you can actually see is called the "dust boot" and appears to be there to wipe dirt off the chrome inner fork tube as it moves up and down and prevent any dirt from reaching the "seal ring" which is located further inside the fork assembly and controls the oil.

The seal you can reach on the fork leg does not appear to be the one that controls the oil and cleaning this or re-positioning the lip doesn't look to me like it will have any affect on leaks from the inner "seal ring" which appears to me to control the oil.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by AllanP » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:48 am

This link to a thread on ADV Rider shows some pics of the fort dust boot and oil seal. A couple of the owners have had luck moving the dust boot down the fork leg and cleaning the seal as was suggested by Charliektm400exc.

http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/n ... t-29185830

Aussie Dave
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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:35 am

Cheers Allan, I've bought that 'seal mate' tool......only $10Aus and will give it a go this weekend.

While the weeps are not like the proper fork seal leaks I've seen on other bikes after huge kms or say, a stone chip causing a sharp edged pit in the fork leg, it is still a concern as it just shouldn't be weeping.. :o

It may be that Euro fork seals are a bit soft (for much colder climate) and for Aussie they become too soft??

Anyway, I'll do the Seal Mate thing once I remove the fender to install the new Extender tip, so I will have good clear access to the dust covers and fork seals.

My forks are nice and plush now with 3500kms (whatssatt....2000mls) and using 1+luggage with comfort makes for a smooth ride without the rear end floating up and down over bumps...... ;)
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by AllanP » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:42 pm

Aussie Dave wrote:Cheers Allan, I've bought that 'seal mate' tool......only $10Aus and will give it a go this weekend.

While the weeps are not like the proper fork seal leaks I've seen on other bikes after huge kms or say, a stone chip causing a sharp edged pit in the fork leg, it is still a concern as it just shouldn't be weeping.. :o

It may be that Euro fork seals are a bit soft (for much colder climate) and for Aussie they become too soft??

Anyway, I'll do the Seal Mate thing once I remove the fender to install the new Extender tip, so I will have good clear access to the dust covers and fork seals.

My forks are nice and plush now with 3500kms (whatssatt....2000mls) and using 1+luggage with comfort makes for a smooth ride without the rear end floating up and down over bumps...... ;)
Please update us if you have any luck with the seal cleaning. The weep on mine is small but its on both legs and eventually the loss of oil will affect the performance of the fork.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by DaveNZ » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:31 pm

KTMs cunning plan to make the forks more complaint, a slow leak, till it feels right.
2016 1290GT-remus link and muffler, 2010 Black 1200 Multistrada full Termi system with mapping, 2005 SMR 640, full Titanium system, Mikuni flatside racing carb, 2 sets of wheels, 18 litre tank, and a nice soft seat.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:06 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: ......cheers Dave'o.......would take a few years to lose enough oil by weeping.... :lol:

Anyway, I've caught a dold, sniff, sniff, andh I'll see how I go......should be ko for the long weekend and all the Aussie killers will be on the roads on Friday (how the fek did it get called 'Good Friday'...???). So I'll put my mechanics cap on and see what I can bugger up..... :roll:

Cheers Allan.....don't worry to much about oil weep loses.....the forks have different cc's/qts capacity in each leg anyway, and the weeps look worse than they really are..... oh by the way, the fork oil is something like 4wt viscosity.....so the oil passageways must be very small - hence the "too stiff" feeling for the first few 000km/mls, until the oil thins out a bit (or the fork seals scrub in, or both). :)
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:49 am

Well BloodyBuggerBum.......who'd a thunk o read'n the owners manual...... :lol:

I was just checking the OM in prep for removing the front guard so I can install my "Extenda Fenda" extension thingy, and on the very next page is "Cleaning the dust boots of the fork legs".......clever, very clever.. :idea:

So KTM even realise some grit might get past the dust covers and cause the oil seals to weep.........page 126, or last page of "Service Work On The Chassis" section 13 of my Aus-Eng manual.

Who said 'ya canny teech an ole dawg new tricks laddie'.......? ;)....
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:23 am

Right'o class, fitted my extenda fenda and popped the dust seals off - hahaaa, that's where the weep is coming from eh!

Sorry took a pic but it was useless due reflections, the fork tube was faintly scratched vertically (ie in line with the tubes) most likely due to some grit trapped in the dust boot.....so I cross hatch sanded the affected area and then tried the 'Seal Mate' cleaner.......but I got scared when I inserted the Sealmate into the seal (as per instructions) and fork oil haemorrhaged from the seal......so I stopped.......maybe the SealMate isn't designed for USD forks....maybe I'm just a scaredy-puss wuss :roll: and should have continued with the cleaning and let a bit of fork oil leak out........maybe next time... ;)

Anyway, I hope the cross hatch wet-n-dry treatment and clean out of dust covers is good enough to 'stop the weep' .

Now, if my 'cold' will just go away and let me do some riding....... :roll:
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:53 am

Nearly but not quite......famous last words.... :roll:

Forks still weeped on todays 350km ride......might have to give them a bit more of the cross hatch treatment if they persist.......will see how it goes with more kms......don't want to do too much sanding if it really is a warranty type issue.......but it is really only a light weep forming a dust ring - not a proper oily river of death ;)
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by AllanP » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:04 am

Got my fingers crossed. I take mine into the dealer in two days to have the torque limiter looked at and while I'm there I'll ask the technicians about the oil weep on mine and let you know what they have to say.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:26 pm

Thanks Allan, you might mention to them that there is no inner protector so bugs/stones get a straight shot at bare fork legs.......see what they reckon is the solution...that's 99% what has happened to mine, and I was too star struck to notice the potential problem until it happened - thankfully, my cross hatch and clean dust seal treatment seems to be working after todays ride.. :)
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by AllanP » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:13 pm

Aussie Dave wrote:Thanks Allan, you might mention to them that there is no inner protector so bugs/stones get a straight shot at bare fork legs.......see what they reckon is the solution...that's 99% what has happened to mine, and I was too star struck to notice the potential problem until it happened - thankfully, my cross hatch and clean dust seal treatment seems to be working after todays ride.. :)
Personally, I don't like to propose causes to them and put ideas in their heads. I'll have that in mind when I speak to them but would rather listen to their own thoughts first. These are photos of the front of my bike and I think the lower fork legs are fairly well shrouded and not very vulnerable to stone chips.

Image

Image

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by DaveNZ » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:04 am

Aussie Dave wrote:Thanks Allan, you might mention to them that there is no inner protector so bugs/stones get a straight shot at bare fork legs.......see what they reckon is the solution...that's 99% what has happened to mine, and I was too star struck to notice the potential problem until it happened - thankfully, my cross hatch and clean dust seal treatment seems to be working after todays ride.. :)
Hey Aussie Dave, heres something to consider. With the electronic suspension, under hard braking, the system ups the comp, so less fork dive under heavy braking, thats probably why you have only had 80 of fork travel, (my multistrada also does this) but in sports mode (i think I'm right in saying this) the system lets more fork dive to help the bike tip into corners quicker for track use. Im saying this just incase you put you bike into sports mode and get more fork travel, as you have a little guard fixed on at the bottom of your fork stauntion.
2016 1290GT-remus link and muffler, 2010 Black 1200 Multistrada full Termi system with mapping, 2005 SMR 640, full Titanium system, Mikuni flatside racing carb, 2 sets of wheels, 18 litre tank, and a nice soft seat.

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Re: Fork Seals - a thought

Post by Aussie Dave » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:19 am

Cheers and thanks Dave-unZd.... :lol:

I was concerned about that......nice to know what 'sport' mode does to the susp!

My inspection revealed that stones and bug-z have a straight shot at those nice shiny posts.(there's quite a gap between the disc rotor and the guard)....I had the hardened bug guts right on the 80mm mark as evidence.

Of course inner flares won't stop ricochet's from the disc rotors etc but every little bit helps and it wouldn't weigh too much either......anyway, my post crosshatch weep rings look to be residual WD40 working it's way out of the dust seals. No need for new oil seals if it's only some grit in the dust rings scoring the fork leg ;)

It'll be great to hear what the X-spurts reckon Allan's weeps are.....and their solution (prob warranty claim with new seals... :roll: ..).

Now if I can shake this cold that is fast trying to be influenza, and clock some more kms so I can justify doing an oil change just prior to the week-long 'ride all the great twisty highways in NSW'........ we call it our "Zig-Zag" ride....... 8-)......ha, my nose seals are weeping....maybe I need bug-guards on my dostrils...snifff ;)
Current delights...1290GT-2017, CBR1100XX-2005

Prev loves...Capo1200TP-014, CBR11xx-002, 2xFZR1000genisis-94, FJ1200-89, FJ1100-84, XS1100P, VF1000F-83, CX500, VF750S, KZ1000J1-81, KZ1000ST-79, CB750F2-77, CB360T-74, CB175.. started it all in 1974 ;)

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