Learning how to rebuild or replace telescopic front fork seals is much easier than you would imagine. It’s all about having the tools with a little knowledge and passion for getting your hands dirty to fix the problem. So let us make this as easy and pain-free as possible!
Generally, Honda uses two different style front fork systems on their street and sports bikes. The one that is most commonly used is known as the “telescopic” fork type (standard or right-way-up). In its most basic form, it operates with the use of springs, oil, compression/rebound orifices, and of course a way to keep it all contained… the fork seal.
For this week’s blog, I wanted to get right into how to replace a common Honda front fork seal by showing you a step by step HOW-TO video on a set of telescopic forks from a GL1500 Gold-Wing. In the video I show how they fundamentally come apart and what to look for, as well as some quick tips to get the job done quicker. One thing I can’t stress enough is making sure you have the right tools to complete the job correctly. There are ways to skip a tool here and there on some jobs, but this is not one of them.
If you do not feel comfortable completing your own repair, I would be glad to help walk you through it in my live one-on-one video sessions. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be into, I would suggest taking it to your local Honda professional instead.
Let’s Do This
Under the video, you can find a list of the tools I used to complete this repair. I also included some preventative maintenance tips to help you get the most life out of your fork seals throughout your riding season. ENJOY!
Tools That I Used
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– 8mm Long allen socket
– Impact driver
– Bel-ray 10w or 15w fork oil
– Small flat-head screwdriver
– Grade #000 steel wool
– Small needle file
– Fork seal driver (Be sure to get the correct size diameter for your bike)
– Contact cleaner
Remember that as you ride dirt, bug guts, water, and road grime can get thrown onto your polished fork stem. You need to keep these areas clean after every ride. Some people like to go as far as placing “gators” or dust covers over the fork. I have even seen bandanas get tied loosely around the fork tube.
Remember to keep the top most portion of your fork tube clean and sealed with any type of automobile wax. This helps against rust build up and pitting if your bike primarily stays outside.
The fluid inside the fork is used as a lubricant. When fork seals blow or begin to leak, gravity takes its course and the fork oil will slowly seep out all over your brake calipers and into the brake pad material, also coating the rotor. This IS a safety issue and should not be taken lightly. It will also FAIL state inspection. Keep an eye on this area constantly to avoid these problems. A routine $60 service can turn into a $200 service very quickly if left untouched for too long!
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