Accordian fork boots or neoprene skins?


15 replies to this topic
  • XR650L_Dave

Posted April 01, 2008 - 09:55 AM

#1

Need some fork boots. What are the pros and cons of those neoprene skins that cling tightly to the fork?

I would use the full-height ones, not the shorties.

My 2 biggest concerns are

1) Durability- I'm often pushing my way through thorns, prickers, locust bushes, and just generally using the forks to push fallen trees outta the way. Nothing bigger than 3-4 inches across, though.

2) Cleaning- Do you have to pull 'em off regularly and clean
underneath 'em?

If I ever get around to getting a fork brace, I may have to get the skins at some point anyway. Maybe someone makes a brace that'll accept boots, though.


If I don't upgrade, anyone have a pair of 43mm dia accordian boots poking around?


Dave

  • Agent2

Posted April 01, 2008 - 10:07 AM

#2

I run Sealsavers, get about 2 years out of a pair but that is desert riding, most likely less "stickies" to run through compared to where you ride. Usually the bottom 2 - 3 inches start to deteriorate on mine, I just cut the bottoms off and rezip tie them.
A lot less dust collects under the sealsavers compared to the accordian style - which have vent holes, just fold them over and wipe the forks with a rag.
Rocky Mountain has inexpensive Tusk brand Sealsaver style boots if you want a cheap pair to see how they work for you.

  • butcharin

Posted April 01, 2008 - 10:15 AM

#3

Just put on the full length tusk one's that are for the 44mm. They slide a little better on the forks than the 43 I am told. Won't know how well they hold up until I can get some really riding when the snow melts. I plan on adding the acebis upper fork guards for added protection. I like how they look and for the price I'll give them a try.:prof:

  • BWB63

Posted April 01, 2008 - 11:03 AM

#4

I have a pair that have two years on them and they are about done. They get ratty looking but, Nothing gets in like stock ones. The sun is the worst for them.

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted April 01, 2008 - 11:16 AM

#5

I have a pair that have two years on them and they are about done. They get ratty looking but, Nothing gets in like stock ones. The sun is the worst for them.


I don't often ride where its dusty (usually alone, its more often wet than not) so the small vent holes are not much of an issue.

Damn, I'd kill for some local sandpits, though!

Having said that, it'll probably be a record dry year and I'll get choked with dust.


Dave

  • Old Dog

Posted April 01, 2008 - 06:30 PM

#6

Hey Dave, :confused:

I've run a set of Dirt Skins for the last two years and have had no issues with them. Although they are the shorties, they seem to do the job well enough. Instead of using the supplied zip ties, I used the stock boot clamps and have found that they hold them on much better.

I'm going to replace them this spring however, as I've found they're fairly susceptible to UV damage (being neoprene and all).:prof: :bonk:

  • Huffa 2

Posted April 01, 2008 - 09:40 PM

#7

I said this before in another post, I can't imagine the fork tubes working correct with those on, the seals Honda puts on are as low stiction as possible then you guys go and put full length ones on that just have to create more stiction than with them off ?

Plus when they get wet, that would make it even worse, I imagine ??

Did any of you bother to test them, take springs out of tubes, push down on forks with one on and one off ? Try them wet ?

What do they look like fully compressed ? Wet or dry make a difference ?

There is no way I'd use them and besides what I said above, I think it gives the bike a wimpier look, just doesn't look good to me at all.

If you are going to use them, the shorties like Old Dog has, makes sense, but full length, NO WAY !!!

I have used them myself already on inverted forks and found in muddy conditions they actually trap the mud down by seals and most likely make the seals wear out faster rather then extend the life of them !

  • Thumpage

Posted April 01, 2008 - 09:46 PM

#8

Need some fork boots. What are the pros and cons of those neoprene skins that cling tightly to the fork?

1) Durability- I'm often pushing my way through thorns, prickers, locust bushes, and just generally using the forks to push fallen trees outta the way. Nothing bigger than 3-4 inches across, though.

If I ever get around to getting a fork brace, I may have to get the skins at some point anyway. Maybe someone makes a brace that'll accept boots, though.

Dave


I think you have to really consider the kind of riding you are doing. With you doing (1), in wooded terrain, I don't think you want to use the neoprene. In my perspective, the neoprene will surely get wasted in no time with what you do out there. The stock boots will hold up much better.

There are two forkbrace brands that dont specifically use or need the neoprene covers. Superbrace and RSW. Both are used with the stock boots, though you can use the neoprene with them if you so choose.
Someone did mention in the past that the stock boots collapse over themselves before the suspension bottoms out with the forkbraces. It does appear that they do after I checked it out by loosening a boot and pulled it up to where it would be during near bottom-out with a forkbrace.
I used to use a RSW forkbrace on my 650R when I did alot of woods riding and never really noticed that this collasping occurance made a difference in feel in the last bit of suspension stroke. But, I do notice that I now have a couple small splits in the lowest 1" portion of the accordian. This may have been where the boots made contact with the edges of the fender, (by the way, the sides were trimmed. They have to be.) when they collapsed & expanded over themselves. So this might be a bane on stock boots over time with the use of a forkbrace. I used mine for about 2 seasons.

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  • ghrati ghoti

Posted April 02, 2008 - 05:17 AM

#9

I have to agree with Huffa. It may depend on the type of dirt, but here in the sandy, loamy, stuff they trap debris and cause the seals to leak. They are also quite hard to clean out when wet. I have a fork brace on my L and the stock accordians and haven't noticed any problems.

  • porterdog

Posted April 02, 2008 - 05:37 AM

#10

I use the Shock Sox brand of neoprene covers on my 650 and like them. This version is wrapped on and held with velcro so you can pull them off (without taking your forks off) at intervals and toss them in the washer- a good feature.

Mine are full length, and are *tight* at top and bottom.

My other bikes will get these same covers when it's time to change their boots.

  • jetfuel

Posted April 02, 2008 - 06:02 AM

#11

I would not choose the short ones as you will not get the full coverage from flying debris and most certainly in sloppy conditions crap will probably start to scour the fork finish as its really no more than a secondary dust seal and get inbedded with crud. Full coverage would be "my" only option. I personally like the fact that the boots at least allow for drainage while still giving full protection and think they look better.... just my .02

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted April 02, 2008 - 08:19 AM

#12

Thanks, all.
Those that have seen me ride know why I'm concerened about the relative abrasion resistance of fork-vs-tree.

Dave

  • zimak

Posted April 02, 2008 - 09:40 AM

#13

Get the good ones. I have Tusk on mine and dont like them. Am ordering some seal savers now.
The Tusk dont seem to go down nearly as far as the Seal Saver ones and after about 2-3 weeks mine are already splitting at the seam where they are sewed which is all the way up top to bottom.

  • BWB63

Posted April 02, 2008 - 10:05 AM

#14

My Tusks are more then long enough and I use them inside out so they are all black. After two years they are splitting. They are cheep........

  • zimak

Posted April 02, 2008 - 11:27 AM

#15

Hmm maybe I got the wrong ones. I ordered the long ones and the invoice says long ones but mine dont cover as much as yours do.
They seem to just barely go over the top of the bottom section of the fork enough to clamp them down.

  • XR650L_Dave

Posted April 08, 2008 - 09:28 AM

#16

To the bone-head that gave me bad gas-

"bad advice; vent holes ARE an issue in dusty environments", read what I said- its not an issue FOR ME because I DON'T RIDE WHERE ITS DUSTY.


Dave





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