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Both fork seals leaking


Posts : 18

Both fork seals leaking

Post by Scatcat1994 on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 4:28 pm

Hey guys,

Been riding my cb500 for a couple months now.

Both oil seals are leaking. I know it seems like I've been wheelying the fuck out of it but I haven't.

My chinese 125 took so much more abuse and didn't break stride.

A bit disappointed to be honest.

The guy I bought it from claimed they'd both recently been done.

Is this a common fault and what should I do about it?

Cheers guys,


Posts : 51
Location : Holland

Re: Both fork seals leaking

Post by rob75 on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 5:00 pm

Sorry to hear that the bike has leaking forks.
This problem can have several causes:

- low quality seals used
- too much oil (or even wrong viscosity)
- damaged stanchions
- worn sliding bushes
- worn stanchions

These forks are not the hardest to overhaul and are a good DIY object.

Take a look at the point that may cause the problem and see what the solution may be.

Recently I had my stanchions rechromed after changing the seals and finding they kept leaking.

the 900
the 900

Posts : 1561
Location : not that far from Kirkistown

Re: Both fork seals leaking

Post by Beresford on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 6:47 pm

It might simply be that there is dirt trapped in the seals and a clean with the Sealmate (I think that's the name) tool would sort it.

Posts : 244
Location : Greenhithe

Re: Both fork seals leaking

Post by steeeve66 on Fri 25 Nov 2016, 1:34 pm

..if you do replace the seals get OE (from Lings or similar) as pattern parts really don't last. You don't describe the state of the stanchions but I assume they're sound? As rob75 says, if they were replaced recently and have failed then it's likely they were cheap, Chinese knock-offs.
Worth doing yourself if you've space.

Posts : 3854
Location : 'ere be fens. (near Cambridge)

Re: Both fork seals leaking

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 25 Nov 2016, 2:16 pm

Everyone else has said the right things already Smile

If the forks are in good condition and you use decent seals they should last for ages (esp. if you use fork protectors or fork gaiters).

For reference, I did mine over five years ago (seals and bushes) and also put on fork gaiters - no problems since.

As mentioned, it is not such a bad thing to DIY. It's worth having a good luck at the forks for bent-ness and pits in the operating area - there is no point in doing the seals etc if they are bent or if there are so many pits the new seals will get ripped instantly.

Here is the link to seal mate ( - if you don't want to buy one you can possibly make one out of some old thin plastic - like a previously enjoyed supermarket milk bottle. You slide it down the fork oil seal (look at the sealmate video!) and use it hook out any debris that might be allowing the seal to leak. It doesn't work if the seal is buggered, but it is worth a shot before you take them apart.

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Re: Both fork seals leaking

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