Another fork seal question....

I went for a ride yesterday to get some practice in for sundays desert race. Today I have a 6 inch pudle of fork oil on the floor. I don't have the money to fix it before the weekend. Will I kill my fork if I run it like this? I guess I really want to know is if it runs dry completely out of oil during the race, will it destroy the internals? Or can I just add some oil to get me through the race? 05 yz450 Thanks, Jason

I guess the bottom line is how bad the seal is trashed now. If it's wasted, then it won't matter how much oil you add now or even if you'd actually stop during the race to add some -- it will all gush out.

But if it's just a weep, you're probably OK. I've ridden with leaky seals many (many!) times (including half this summer). You'll probably be fine.

You can obviously do the business card trick, where you slide a business card (or some old film, or an old tear off, etc.) up between the seal and the fork leg to clean it out some. (Pry down the dust seal before you do this obviously.) If you can do that and then test ride the bike a bit and see if the puddle comes back just as big, then you probably don't want to ride it.

As for the damage you'll cause if you dump all the oil, I'd be more worried about the front end turning into a pogo stick and pitching you off at high speed than messing up the internals.

Take the fork off, do the film strip trick. Then take the cap off the fork and drain all the oil out and follow the procedure in you manual for setting the oil height. If your still leaking oil badly then I would change the seals before your next ride. Seals are cheap, I would just change them anyhow.

If you have a puddle that sounds to me like the seal is in pretty bad shape. If it was a minor problem it would just be dripping. I agree that it you should either replace the seal or do the business card trick. Racing with that much fluid loss could really affect the handling.

Sounds you have a major problem there buddy. When mine were leaking they would leak all to hell when I was riding but never bled that bad when the bike was just setting. I've always used the film negative trick on fork seals with awesome results, so you could always just cross your fingers and hope that works.

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