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How to repair leaking motorcycle forks?

No one likes leaking motorcycle forks. In this article, we have explained 7 best and proven methods to repair leaking motorcycle forks along with the tools required for this procedure.

How to repair leaking motorcycle forks? You can repair leaking motorcycle fork by disassembling its parts, check the rubber, repair the damaged springs and fix all the parts together. If repairing is not beneficial, you can also replace it. For repairing it, you should clean it first by using a cloth or a tissue paper and clean all the dust present on the surface of the fork.

Springs and damping are the most important points to be considered in making up a motorcycle fork. Damping is a type of resistance that results in the suspension movement. Such systems use oil, which is very light compared to engine oil. 

There can be different problems you have to face regarding the fork of your motorcycle. The rubber of the forks could be damaged by driving at a very high speed. The springs can also get damaged because of bearing too much load, or the spring is too hard. Too soft spring can also result in the breaking of the spring easily. 

Oil leakage from the fork is the other problem. For solving all these problems, you must have the necessary tools to repair your fork. 

How to repair leaking motorcycle forks?

You should service your motorcycle fork at least once in a year. It costs about $200 to rebuild your motorcycle’s fork. If your fork is leaking, do not ride your motorcycle. It is because the fork will collect the dust and debris and will result in the sealing of the fork. It will require about 2 hours to repair your motorcycle fork properly.

For cleaning the fork, first of all, you should wear gloves. Then clean the dust from the fork using a cloth or tissue paper. Remove the dust cover from the fork and clean it using the tissue paper. After cleaning, place it back to its original position.

After removing the dust, use sandpaper to clean the fork thoroughly. It helps in removing the rust from the surface of the fork. Dip the sandpaper into the water and then use it for cleaning. By using sandpaper, the rust will be removed as well as the polish of the fork will also be damaged. So you will have to polish it when you are done with the cleaning and repairing.

Required Tools

  • Rubber seals
  • Pliers
  • Oil
  • Gloves
  • Aluminum polish
  • Old rags or a buffer
  • Sandpaper
  • Tissue paper or a piece of cloth

Disassembling its Parts

To clean the entire parts of the fork, you need to disassemble all the parts of the fork. For this purpose, first, lift your motorcycle in the air at a little distance from the ground surface. It can be done by placing a wood box under your motorcycle or by using a rope to lift it. You can also use rear stands for the safety and stability of your motorcycle.

Measure the distance between the top of the fork cap and the top of the triple upper clamp. It is because it will help you when you put the forks back on your motorcycle.

When your motorcycle is supported, remove the front wheel from your motorcycle’s fork and then disconnect the brakes. The brakes can be removed by loosening the four bolts that support the brake calipers and the pinch bolts which are present on the front of the front leg.

After removing the front wheel, remove the front fender. The fender is directly attached to the fork leg with the help of four bolts. Use pliers to release the brake lines from the fender. Remove the fender carefully from between the fork legs by pulling it forward out.

The last step in disassembling is to loosen all the pinch bolts. You should loosen the pinch bolts of the fork leg, lower triple clamp, triple top clamp, and the clip-on. Do not remove these bolts, just loosen them. You should loosen the highest pinch bolts first and the bolts of lower triple clamps at last. 

By loosening all these pinch bolts, you can easily slide the fork out. Be careful when you loosen the last bolt so that the fork does not fall to the ground. You can use a screwdriver to bring out the fork if it does not slide out on its own. After disassembling, clean them by using sandpaper.

Checking the leakage of oil from motorcycle forks

The reason for the leakage of oil from the fork could be the dust that seals the forks. It creates a gap that results in the leakage of the oil, and the oil sweeps out. It is very common in off-road riding. To stop the leakage of oil, you need a neat little tool that helps you to pop the seal. 

This little tool is Seal Mate, which costs about $10. Before using Seal Mate, remove the dust seal using a screwdriver and clean the entire area around the oil seal using a towel or an old toothbrush. Slide the dust seal down so that you can easily fix the Seal Mate.

You should insert the Seal Mate tool between the fork tube and the seal and rotate it to make it parallel with the fork tube. To remove the dirt from the seals of the fork, rotate this tool around your oil seal. 

When you are done with the rotation, clean the seal and the fork tube and pump the forks several times. Again, clean the entire area and pump it again. Repeat this step until all the excess oil is removed. At last, reinstall the dust seal.

Check the Rubber

The forks are covered with rubbers that prevent the dirt and debris from entering the fork. The rubber also protects the fork from scratches and other external damages. It acts as an extra layer of protection for the forks. The front of the stanchions is protected by the rubber.

The rubber of the fork can get damaged when you drive on a rocky surface. Driving at a very fast speed can also result in damaging the rubber. If your rubber is damaged, you can change it while repairing your fork. The rubber is inexpensive and can be installed easily.

The rubber of a fork can handle the temperature from -50oF to 240oF. Too hot weather can also damage the fork’s protecting rubber. For installing a new rubber instead of a damaged one, first, jack your motorcycle up and remove the front brake. Remove the wheel and fender off the fork and then slide the fork out.

Use a screwdriver for sliding the fork out without scratching the fork tube. After sliding the fork tubes out, place the rubber boots on the fork back to its original position. Tight the bolts and reinstall the wheel. You can also install a relay on motorcycle headlights for a better ride.

Repair the Damaged Springs

Springs are used for increasing the rate of resistance to compression. They play an important role in the suspension and control of your motorcycle. The spring is soft enough to offer a plush ride. The springs usually wear out by the excess driving in rocky areas. The springs of the fork lose their length over time. Even the perfect springs lose their length after some years.

The springs can be repaired by using coils. You can maintain the diameter of the springs and add the coils to maintain the length of the spring. Bend the wire in the U-shape throughout the coil by creating the tension. You can also replace the springs if they are damaged enough to be repaired.

You need assorted sockets, flat blade screwdriver, wrenches, rod holding tool, and a seal driver for repairing or replacing your fork’s spring. You can do this process even on the roadside. You do not need a special area for this purpose.

First, dismantle the spring arm and remove the rebound bolts and rods using socket wrench and socket. After removing the bolts, you should remove the seal, the retaining clip, and the lower tube. In this way, the damaged spring is removed from the fork. 

Reinsert the repaired spring or a new spring in the fork by using a screwdriver or a seal driver. After resetting the seal, return the retaining clip to its original position. Clean the dust seal after retaining the clip. You can also replace the dust seal if you want. At last, reinsert the rebound bolt rods and connect the bolts.

Assemble the parts of the motorcycle fork

Reverse the steps which you followed in disassembling the parts of the fork. First of all, install the fork legs with the brake caliper. Ensure that the fork legs are of equal heights. After installing the fork legs, tighten the triple clamp pinch bolts. 

The next step is to install the front wheel and axle. Before installing the front wheel, do check the wheel bearing condition by inserting your finger into the inner race of the bearing. Apply the light coating of the grease to the external area of the wheel and the front axle. Do not use used oil for this purpose.

Before assembling the fork leg, make sure that it is free of oil and is dry. Clean all the parts of the fork before reassembling them. To bring the brake pads into contact with the rotor, squeeze the brake lever part way several times. Tighten the pinch bolts of the axle to the torque specification.

Testing the motorcycle fork

After reassembling the parts of your motorcycle fork, it’s time to test that fork. In this way, you can check either the fork is working properly or not. Testing can be done by pulling the front brake lever and depress your motorcycle’s forks as far as they go. Whilst holds the brake lever in and release your weight from the fork to determine the state of play.

If the forks are well maintained and are positioned in good order, they will return to their upright position smoothly without yoyoing. The forks should not spring up too slowly or too quickly.

By testing, you can make sure that the problem of leakage of the oil has been resolved. The springs are working properly and are being bent without causing any problem. You make sure that the rubber is safe enough to protect the fork from dents. Before riding, you should check that all the parts are reassembled just the way they were before. You can also paint the motorcycle forks, many fellows use the same paint for painting the rims.

Conclusion

Commonly, the motorcycle forks get damaged. Sometimes the reason is damaged rubber, damaged spring, or the leakage of oil from the upper fork. For repairing the forks, you must know about it; otherwise, you can destroy the entire fork as well as your motorcycle. Avoid fast driving on a rocky surface. You should clean your motorcycle at least three times a week. Ducati Monster Motorcycles are easy to clean and maintain.

Remove the dust from the fork and clean it with a piece of cloth. You can use rubber seals to prevent the leakage of oil. Too much weight can also result in damaging the fork’s spring and rubber. If there are dents on the casing of the fork, they can be removed by welding. Many people attach a lock to the forks to prevent their bikes from being stolen.

The holes can be filled by welding the fork. If the dents are enough that could not be weld, you can change the casing of the entire fork. Do remember all the steps while disassembling the parts of the fork so that you could place them back to their exact positions in the right order.

After reassembling the parts of the fork, test its working. If it’s working is fine, attach it to your motorcycle. Also, reinsert the front wheel and tighten the pinch bolts. Do not forget to lift your motorcycle in the air while disassembling and reinserting the fork and the front wheel.

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