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woxofoh

Fork Seal Weeps New CRF250X

14 posts in this topic

Hi,

Just bought a 2005 CRF250X w/ 30 mi. on it. I know, hard to believe. I know the guy and he does this sort of thing on a frequent basis (buy dear, sell cheap).

Anyway I have ridden it about 30 miles on road and around a grassy circle. No mud, whoops or dust. After trailering bike with front and rear tied down to a riding site no problems.(smooth highways) Then on the return to home (bike still clean, no mud,etc.) there was fork drool on the trailer floor on both sides. I've read about the procedure of using plastic or feeler gauge to clean out seals. I'm wondering if it ISN'T dirt could it be 1. tieing the cartridge type forks down (were not cinched very tight at all)? 2. Not bleeding the air after cinching down? 3. Old seals (but it has been ridden although a little harder this time)? Of course I'm trying to avoid putting seals on what is almost a new bike so if some other cure is available I would like to try it. I intend to put Seal Savers on it anyway.

Thanks

Sean

Buckeye Ocean, OH

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My opinion is that you have no idea what happened to the bike before you bought it. It could be just a little dirt in the seals...but the fact that both of them are leaking when the bike is cinched down concerns me.

Anyway...the first thing to do is to pry the dust seals down with a regular screw driver and slide the plastic shim (35mm film) or whatever around the seal. Do this until all of the gritty dirt is gone. See if that doesn't fix the problem.

If it doesn't fix the problem, you will need new fork seals. I'm not sure about the other questions....I cinch my bike down all of the time and the only time I have problems is when I've been riding in a dirty muddy environment and dirt gets past the dust seals.

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My opinion is that you have no idea what happened to the bike before you bought it. It could be just a little dirt in the seals...but the fact that both of them are leaking when the bike is cinched down concerns me.

Anyway...the first thing to do is to pry the dust seals down with a regular screw driver and slide the plastic shim (35mm film) or whatever around the seal. Do this until all of the gritty dirt is gone. See if that doesn't fix the problem.

If it doesn't fix the problem, you will need new fork seals. I'm not sure about the other questions....I cinch my bike down all of the time and the only time I have problems is when I've been riding in a dirty muddy environment and dirt gets past the dust seals.

+1

when you trailer the bike, do you really sinch the bike down with the straps, and do you change ellivation when the bike is on the trailer?

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Thanks:

The comment about not knowing the previous treatment of the bike was pretty obvious and did not really relate to the question at hand. As a previous owner of a Bultaco shop and working and racing from 4 other shops around the country I think when I see a MC with NO dirt on it anywhere, know the previous owner and know his friends I can make some accurate conclusions about the bike's treatment. Granted it could have been run on a dyno at redline for the 30 or so miles on it but I was talking fork seals. You will note that I mentioned cleaning the seals and asked what OTHER issues there might be. Your post added nothing to sum total of human knowledge.

Sean

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Thanks for your reply. MC was cinched down a couple inches but not overly compressed. I use 4 straps and tie down front tire so I can use minimum force. No elevation changes (wish we had some in Ohio,) but hadn't thought of that one.

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I cinch down all of our bikes pretty tight because we pack alot of stuff into a small space. I use push button brake bleeders on everything due to a leak that presented itself after a long trip home with the aforementioned puddle. My puddle was under my kids 65, but I have done the seals in my X.

On the X...BUY OEM HONDA SEALS. When I replaced my fork springs, I put in a pivot works seal kit. After the first day of riding, one of the forks was leaking (I have all of the fork tools and take my time so I was certain it wasn't a process problem). I did much research and saw that other folks have had trouble with the aftermarket seals too. I took the whole front end apart again, and installed OEM seals. It's about 35 hours later and I always have an absolutely bone dry front end.

I use the bleeders every time - it's alot of air that exchanges...so it just makes good sense to me.

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Xplant...can you go a little more in depth about how you use the bleeders when cinching down the bike? Do you open them, cinch the bike down and then leave them open until you get where your going?

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Xplant...can you go a little more in depth about how you use the bleeders when cinching down the bike? Do you open them, cinch the bike down and then leave them open until you get where your going?

It's a simple spring loaded bleeder valve. I crank the bike down, push the button and the compressed column of air escapes to equalize with the atmosphere, I crank down to final position, push button again...done. It really takes longer to say it than to actually strap down the bike.

The nice warm fuzzy feeling I have is from knowing that no matter how bad the ride home gets or how long it is, there is nothing more than a loaded spring inside my forks and some oil (378mL if memory serves me well). The oil isn’t under pressure, so the seal isn’t being constantly bombarded with high pressure oil…vibrating in a highly compressed state…all the way home.

I read where many people say they have been cinching their bikes down tight for years and have left them tied down for days with no ill effects. I forgot my kid’s bike once and bought a seal job…I now use bleeders in everything. Bleeders are cheap compared to a seal kit and fork oil.

Against my better judgment, I bought an aftermarket seal kit for the kid’s bike. A pivot works seal kit in his KX65 held up with no leaks, so I thought I’d try a Moose kit in the KTM 65. Only time will tell, but I sure hope the Moose holds. I don’t mind doing the forks once, but twice for the same thing in one day is never how I like to spend my time.

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Interesting...where do you buy these bleeder valves...and what do they look like?

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I wonder if not following the owners manual instructions when installing the front wheel could cause a leak. The tightening sequence of the axel and pinch bolts ( tighten axel-than left pinch bolts-pump front end a few times- than tighten the right pinch bolts) if not done, the forks can be misaligned and bind up. If this is the case will the seals also leak? Check the manual, it mentions binding but not leaking. Sorry to answer your question with a question, but I think its worth a try.

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Thanks for the reply.

I will get a set of the quick bleeders. I removed the wipers and cleaned the seals with a .005 feeler gauge today. There was grime in the seals but a very small amount.I pumped them up and down and got a little line of oil but that may be what passed the seals as I cleaned them and then was pushed down the leg. I spent the rest of the day diddling with the suspension (trying to fool the springs into to believing I weigh about 180 lbs.), so I didn't get to run the bike on the grass track to check leaking. The wipers seem to have a very weak spring applying pressure to the lip. I'm tempted to use wire to increase the pressure (without adding much too much more sticktion). In addition Seal Savers are on the list.

Wheel tightening procedure could be an issue but front wheel has not been off the bike.

I will post the results of a test ride on the effect of cleaning the seals.

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Honda ships the bike with the front wheel off than the dealer installs it. Usially the new guy uncrates the bike. I know I was that guy once.

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My original post concerned possible leaking causes OTHER than grime in the seals. Thanks for the suggestions on fork bleeders, wheel installation and relieving the pressure on the forks when tying down the bike.

As stated I did use a feeler gauge to clean under the wiper seals AND IT WORKED! The forks had almost no mud on them and there was so little grime under the seals that if you dropped toast on the floor and it came up with the same amount you would still eat it. Hard to believe that was enough to cause a leak but that's what other posts had stated could happen. Perhaps the small amount of grime and then the pressure from tying them down on the way back exacerbated the problem. I installed neoprene fork skins after an hour so of pounding through the woods had failed to cause any further leaking. It seems that maybe using this procedure with the wiper seals still installed on a regular basis might keep this grime from getting to the fork seals.

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