Honda Silver Wing Scooter Forum

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby Meldrew Today at 2:31 am

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby MattinAZ Yesterday at 8:18 pm

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby smellybeard Yesterday at 4:18 pm

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby smellybeard Yesterday at 3:41 pm

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby smellybeard Yesterday at 3:35 pm

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby oldwingguy Yesterday at 7:47 am

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby Cosmic_Jumper Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:21 pm

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Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeby terrier Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:40 am

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 Fork seals: Should I be worried?

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Loosemarbles
Meldrew
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AldusFran
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TimGM
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PostSubject: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 7:48 am

Hi All,
It's been a while since my last - first! - post, but a year has passed since acquiring my 2006 SWing, so it's recently had the annual MoT test - a compulsory safety check for all vehicles in the UK.
While it passed and is legal to ride for another year, an advisory note was added to the certificate:  "Monitor and repair if necessary:  shock absorber has a light misting of oil Nearside Front".
I'm not a hands-on mechanic, simply doing the very basic oil, water and tyre checks, and I look to the local centre to keep my SWing safe for the road.  Is this problem known to you experienced owners, and what's the outlook?  I want my summer riding to be worry-free (don't we all).
Thanks for any advice - safety is more important than expense.
TimGM
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 9:04 am

Personally, I certainly wouldn't worry about it especially if it is handling fine.  Perhaps double back and ask the Tech that performed the Safety check to explain what he sees/saw .. and in their opinion, what the repercussions are.  If the safety certificate says monitor, I read that as keep an eye on it in case it develops into a full blown seal leak that could lead to a serious shock failure.

My experience is most shock absorbers leave a slight film on the stem and perhaps this is what the Tech is referring to.  If it really bothers you, have the front fork fluid replaced and install new seals. The ones on your machine are likely the originals and after 15 years, could be considered a needed maintenance item.


Last edited by sonuvabug on Tue Jul 06, 2021 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Davetech
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 9:44 am

A few weeks ago, I had my 16,000 mile service (the big 'un) at a local Honda dealer, where they ticked a very long sheet to say everything else was fine except the rear tyre would need replacing in the "not too distant future" - they forgot to do the MOT though, so I had to book it in for the following week.
So 6 miles later, it goes for its MOT and failed for rear tyre and a severely leaking shock absorber seal. Handling had been absolutely fine. To cut a longer story short - a written letter and visits to the manager got the seals replaced for just the cost of the parts and huge apologies from the area director.
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AldusFran
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 1:42 pm

I've had three fork seals leakage on three of my bikes (two Silverwings and a Kawasaki Voyager. I stopped the leakage by using a liter plastic water bottle piece cut to form a small hook to clean between the fork tube and seal while adding a couple drops of Marvel Mystery oil and viola no more leaks.
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oldwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 1:48 pm

One of the first things for any of my bikes is a set of gators, it still surprises me to this day how much crap they collect. The pair on my S'Wing attach by a Velcro strip, once a year they come off and get washed with my jean's.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 1:54 pm

For what it's worth Tim I would get it booked in for a replacement oil seal ASAP, but it will be safe to ride in the interim. The seal won't get better on it's own and so at some stage you will have fork oil dribbling down the leg, and more scarily, onto the brake caliper.
Replacing a fork seal isn't a complex or expensive job.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 2:41 pm

I've had the same set of plastic fork protectors for the last 17 years and used them on four different maxi scooters, they cable/zip tie onto the fork legs. The occasional spray of rubber lubricant on the fork seals and that's it.
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Loosemarbles
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 3:02 pm

Get the seals and dust caps replaced. I volleyed with this problem for a while. Tried the cheapies once and a month later the seals were weeping......so was I!

Put in new OEM seals and dust caps. Sorted. Do them as a pair.
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Terry Smith
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 06, 2021 5:05 pm

There's some good advice above that I agree with.

Seals can start to weep when a bike is left unused for a period of time.

A piece of grit stuck in a seal will allow it to weep, and hooking that out can be done without disassembly, and that might fix the issue. You can prise the dust seal up to get better access.

Sometimes the seal is leaking because of rock damage to the fork tube, which leaves a slightly jagged edge that cuts the seal. If so you need to replace the seal and very lightly file the high spot down to prevent recurrence.

I have tried Pyramid branded seals and they weren't good, TourMax were great and looked to be the same as OEM. I agree doing both legs as a pair is a good idea, and a good time to look for and address any rock damage on both legs.
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Midd
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 21, 2021 5:15 am

My left hand seal is also weeping, so I ordered seals and dust cap from wemoto, it was also an advisory from Mot.
Ive decided to change fork oil. Don't know what a garage charges for doing job. There is much info on how to tackle job on here, so I'm planning the job at the moment. Good luck.






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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 21, 2021 6:20 am

Terry Smith wrote:
(Snip)
Sometimes the seal is leaking because of rock damage to the fork tube, which leaves a slightly jagged edge that cuts the seal. If so you need to replace the seal and very lightly file the high spot down to prevent recurrence.
(Snip)

Tip o’th’ Day: When you’re cleaning up that fork tube ding with a light file or emery cloth, do it perpendicular to the travel of the fork tube. Cleaning that ding in an up & down motion is going to introduce micro grooves in the fork tube which will encourage the seal to leak.
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zrx212
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 21, 2021 1:08 pm

IMO the seal cleaning fixes are just a temporary solution to stop the leak and get you home, there's no way to determine how much fluid has been lost, your forks can get too soft, bottom out and affect handling. IME the SW forks work better with 15wt. oil and raising the fluid level 5-10mm, so any lost is detrimental.
 
 I have filed nicks with fine metal file and the polish area in a random pattern with various grade of steel wool.
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TimGM
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PostSubject: Re: Fork seals: Should I be worried?   Fork seals: Should I be worried? I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 21, 2021 3:39 pm

Thank y'all for your various levels of advice.  While the SWing is still handling well, I'll hand it over shortly to the local centre for a job I can rely on.
Fork seals: Should I be worried? Img_5011
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