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Old 11-04-2012, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Riding with a bad fork seal?

Promise my wife we would ride this morning eat and go to the anniversary party at Palm Beach Harley, just notice one of the fork tubes has oil on it when I pump it.

It shows over 30 people on here now, is it safe to take a slow short ride?
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
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is it safe to take a slow short ride?
As long as the front does not feel different,I say it should be OK.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree,just try not to use front brake to often. Depending how much fluid you loose your steering may wander at speed a little.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My first question would be how much oil are we talking, & secondly how far are you from the action/party.

Front fork seals usually leak because of a worn slider bushing which allows excess lateral movement of the tube in the leg.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this? Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this?
As long as it's leaking, and you are aware of it, you can ride it. That doesn't mean that you can take it on a long trip, or enter it in a rodeo. The trade off is that you could cause some additional damage, depending on what caused the seal to leak.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We rode back from Lewiston, ID {350 miles} with a bad fork seal on the LowRider. You loose some dampening and its messy.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Many times a fork seal leaks because of a piece of grit caught between the seal and the fork leg. Try a product called seal mate ( query it ) and see if that cures your problem. If it doesn't you'll have to replace the fork seals in both sides.

The fork oil should be changed in both legs once you got the leak stopped.

And yes it can be ridden a short distance, but I wouldn't put any 500 mile days on it unless I was caught in no man's land with the bike, then you do whatever you have to.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Seals & Bushings are 15.00 per side out the door & thats from the Stealer. Being a '94 maybe its time to end the story.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You can ride it till it stops leaking, the damage is already done. At worst you loose the dampening effect the oil has other then that and a some oil splattered no other damage is going to happen. When you do repair it inspect your fork tube for any knicks or damage that could cause a tear in the seal and check the slider bushing for wear. These are the two main reasons for fork seals leaking. Third reason is usually from coming down too hard when doing wheelies, generally we can rule that out with most harleys.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebreez View Post
just notice one of the fork tubes has oil on it when I pump it.
Which tube, right or left? If left be sure that it's not neck bearing grease.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Getting the Progressive Cartridge System installed now.
Bushings were starting to leak, even though I didn't know it.
Getting the bushings replaced, along with the fork tubes that were showing some abrasion.
When they get the job done, I want all the parts good because it would be expensive and time consuming to pull it apart again.
With the Cartridge system, no fork oil needed.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I asked the question because of thew location. WPB FLA is warm and with a bike on the jiffy stand for extended times, may show signs of oil on the left fork from the neck bearing grease.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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.... You loose some dampening and its messy.
Yeah, this....I had one go on me when I went to the mountains this past July. It was messy and the oil got all over my bike and on my brakes. I could still stop but it took me longer to stop.

After getting the bike fixed I went to a car was and used a high pressure wand in addtion to the brush. I was still getting oil off the bike 2 weeks later at home. It was messy.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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With the Cartridge system, no fork oil needed.
What makes you think that?
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It seems to me that you are going to the right place. I'd see about getting the forks worked while I was there.
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