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2007 CBR1000RR
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the desert so I never really “store” my bike. I do go out of town for a week or two from time-to-time and will roll the bike into my apartment when I do so it’s safe. It seems like whenever I don’t ride the bike for more than a week, the left fork will seep a very tiny amount. Before anybody questions the integrity of the seal, bushings, or stanchion, I had a leak at the base of that stanchion where it connects to the axle lug so I replaced it. So I’m working with a new seal riding on new chrome. I was very meticulous with the seal/bushing install (used a fork bullet, grease, a piece of plastic on the inner diameter of the seal so it didn’t need to slide down the fork). After I drop the dust seal and clean under it, it will be fine. If I ride it at least a couple times a week, the fork will stay bone dry. I don’t get it. The only educated guess I have is that the bearing grease I used on the inner diameter of the oil seal drops out (separates and liquifies) over time and becomes visible on the stanchion. It’s a long-shot, but I say that because I didn’t use any grease on the right seal and that one doesn’t weep at all even in storage. I do notice that when I go to Ride Now, quite a few of the brand new floor models have oil rings on their forks (Honda, Kawi, Suzuki, Yamaha, doesn’t matter). Fork seal are designed for dynamic sealing so it would make sense that they don’t do so well in the long term at static sealing. Does anybody else have experience with forks seeping when not being used or in storage?
 

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2005 CBR1000RR Turbo, 2002 CBR 954RR
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39 Posts
My 954 and my 05 1000 have done this while sitting for long periods. I rebuild forks on both bikes using alot of attention to detail and change bushings and seals together. The seal between the outer fork tube and the oil seal can be compromised if there are and scratches inside the tube from tools so I check for that as well. I have yet to come up with a good explanation. I thought maybe temperature changes, thermal expansion, and pressure in the fork may have something to do with it. I do notice that it is only when they are on the kickstand. My 05 sat over winter and spring on the rear stand with no leaks. I moved it and left it on the kickstand for two months and it leaked.
 

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708 Posts
Ohlins red multipurpose grease is an extremely high pressure grease that is specifically designed to be used for fork seals and other rubber parts on forks. Service instructions for all Ohlins forks say to use the grease for oil seal assembly. The fork tubes are not in fact perfectly smooth. There are low spots and high spots from the grinding and oil can seep through. Grease applied to the oil seal before sliding over the chrome tube will prevent such leaks by filling the gap.

I have never had seepage with Ohlins red grease on my oil seals. Even in a bike that was left for 12 months.
 

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2007 CBR1000RR
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ohlins red multipurpose grease is an extremely high pressure grease that is specifically designed to be used for fork seals and other rubber parts on forks. Service instructions for all Ohlins forks say to use the grease for oil seal assembly. The fork tubes are not in fact perfectly smooth. There are low spots and high spots from the grinding and oil can seep through. Grease applied to the oil seal before sliding over the chrome tube will prevent such leaks by filling the gap.

I have never had seepage with Ohlins red grease on my oil seals. Even in a bike that was left for 12 months.
I can’t say I’ve seen this happen with any of my other bikes. However, I do see quite a few similar reports on various forums. Fork seals are bone dry while the bike is in use, and then after a few weeks/months of storage there is magically some oil on the stanchion. It’s not a leak by any means; it’s just barely enough oil to notice.
 

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2007 CBR1000RR
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just took bike out today and they are bone dry after use. Don’t know what to make of it. I wanted to ask about SKF green seals. I ride with quite a big stunt crew and a lot of them were telling me SKF greens are the way to go. Then I was talking to one of my friends back East and he mentioned them too. Anybody have any experience with SKF green seal?
 

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SuperMod
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769 Posts
is it possible that the section of the fork where the seals sit on when the bike is parked are not as smooth as other sections?
so when they sit in that area they leak?
but when you have weight on the bike the seals touch a different part of the fork and they don't leak?
 

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2007 CBR1000RR
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
is it possible that the section of the fork where the seals sit on when the bike is parked are not as smooth as other sections?
so when they sit in that area they leak?
but when you have weight on the bike the seals touch a different part of the fork and they don't leak?
I would be willing to consider that possibility, but the inner fork tube is literally brand new. My old one was leaking where the stanchion meets the axle lug so I ordered a brand new one from Honda. During install I literally went over the entire tube and it looked perfect. I also laid my straight edge along the length of the tube and it was straight. That’s why I’m stumped. I’m not ruling out the possibility that I damaged the seal during install, but I was so meticulous. I used a seal bullet and a bag under that so that the seal didn’t need to touch any unpolished portion of chrome, I put high temp bearing grease on the seal to lubricate it, and I used a great quality, heavy seal driver (covered the inside of the driver with masking tape so it wouldn’t scratch the tube). I was very thorough. Thanks for the input BTW!
 
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