blew another fork oil seal! Wheelie advice?
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  1. #1
    Squidly Diddlers midnightcafe's Avatar
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    Question blew another fork oil seal! Wheelie advice?

    So I took my Speedy out for the first shakedown of the season last week. First thing I noticed is that the battery was dead. Okay, it's the stock lead acid battery that came with it, 5 years old, I didn't put it on a battery tender until December or so. Gonna upgrade to a Battery Tender Lithium Iron unit, save 4/5ish pounds in the process.

    I recently picked up a 45-tooth rear sprocket and went out on the Speedy for a short afternoon of whoolies with the stock gearing to draw a baseline comparison to the new sprocket once I install it. Rode out to some isolated stretches of roads and practiced some first gear power wheelies and second gear clutch-ups. I got about as comfortable doing them as I was from last season, and then I went a little far with a power wheelie in first, where I lofted the front end up pretty good while winding the motor to the rev limiter which brought the front end down violently! I could feel the fork legs bottom out, which is never good.

    The next day, I noticed slight weeping on the left fork leg. Would dropping the front end aggressively from a wheelie burst a fork oil seal? I just replaced them last season (you guessed it, after lots of wheelies), and only 1k miles on the new seals. Or do you fellas send your front ends sky high, slam 'em down, and never worry about blowing your seals?

    I guess I'm looking for advice on how to not be busting fork oil seals so often. With the new 45 rear sprocket, maybe I should stop wheelies in first gear altogether? Maybe I should lean into the handlebars and roll off the throttle instead of chopping throttle to bring the front end down?
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    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello BUCKET's Avatar
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    Did you replace the fork seals yourself ?
    If so did you put a plastic bag over the tubes when you slid the seals on ?
    If not you may have scored the seals which will lead to leaks later on .
    Yes , hard landings can burst a fork seal .
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    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello Joe Houle's Avatar
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    Hard landings can also break headlights and the clocks too. You may have bottomed the forks out and crammed some grime or bug guts or whatever up under the seals. I would clean the fork tubes and scrape under the seals. Also stop slamming the front down, it is a bad thing
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    Citation of the Wrench and Nutdriver Speedy-Glez's Avatar
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    , don't let her come down hard your headstock bearings will get damage as well, ride out your wheelies with the next gear and some throttle, not too much just enough to keep her going on the line and have her come down by herself slowly... I usually power wheelie in first then once I am up and going shift to 2nd carry on to 3rd and so on, if you got a good stretch you can get her nice and easy by the time you are on 4th gear

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    Squidly Diddlers midnightcafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUCKET View Post
    Did you replace the fork seals yourself ?
    If so did you put a plastic bag over the tubes when you slid the seals on ?
    If not you may have scored the seals which will lead to leaks later on .
    Yes , hard landings can burst a fork seal .
    Yeah, I replaced the fork seals myself last time using a plastic shim cut from an orange juice container-trick from YouTube
    2012 Speed Triple
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  7. #6
    Squidly Diddlers midnightcafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Houle View Post
    Hard landings can also break headlights and the clocks too. You may have bottomed the forks out and crammed some grime or bug guts or whatever up under the seals. I would clean the fork tubes and scrape under the seals. Also stop slamming the front down, it is a bad thing
    Good advice, I'll take a closer look. I have traxxion ak20 cartridges sitting in the box waiting for an install, so if the seals need to be replaced, now's the perfect excuse for the upgrade!
    2012 Speed Triple
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  8. #7
    Squidly Diddlers midnightcafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy-Glez View Post
    , don't let her come down hard your headstock bearings will get damage as well, ride out your wheelies with the next gear and some throttle, not too much just enough to keep her going on the line and have her come down by herself slowly... I usually power wheelie in first then once I am up and going shift to 2nd carry on to 3rd and so on, if you got a good stretch you can get her nice and easy by the time you are on 4th gear
    Brother, I wish I could take your advice here, but I am not a whoolie God like yourself.

    I do wanna start trying at wheelying through the gears. How high do you loft the front end before power shifting into second? And do you grab all the throttle you can? Just concerned with looping it
    2012 Speed Triple
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    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello Jaket's Avatar
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    you need to power out. Leave some margin so you can lower it down before limiter and when it comes down give it more throttle so it comes down smooth. And yes, use second if you have big sprocket.

    slamming the front end down can cause pressure to build up inside the fork, sometimes the bleeding ends if you loosen the top to let the pressure out. (some dirt bikes even have valves that you can release the built pressure).
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  10. #9
    Noob! JamieTheGiraffe's Avatar
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    I was getting leaky seals pretty frequently myself for a while- it could be the wheelies, but I found that a pair of Shock Sox made a huge difference. They're usually found on dirt bikes, but they make a product for inverted sport bike forks. Frequently riding off road and in poor conditions was just too much for the British Princess to endure. I'm sure the wheelies don't help, but keeping the gritty stuff out does the trick most of the time.
    I usually use a Seal Mate tool to clean out the leaky seals as opposed to a full rebuild.
    Oh, and I also have a 45t rear sprocket, not that it really matters.

  11. #10
    Hooligan Bryanc123's Avatar
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    Another thing that can happen if you continue to slam the front down is you start to deeply score the sliders. I know, because I did this exact thing on my last bike due to having issues catching neutral when shifting up to second while the front was up. This alone can cause issues with sealing. It's pretty pricey and a bit of a pain to have to replace sliders.
    Last edited by Bryanc123; 01-21-2018 at 10:51 AM.

 

 
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