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Forks, not sporks

Discussion in 'Mechanical & Technical' started by bluerose, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. So I am bout 87% sure my front forks are leaking. Well I think its just oen side but I heard when you do one side you should do both. The problem being I have never done anything with my forks before. I left my bike for a week at my dad's and there was a significant wet spot under my forks. I am concerned that it was not just a small leak though I never saw it actively dripping and that the seals need to be replaced. From what I have read I think I might be able to do it myself and I am looking for advice and possibly help. If I have to I can take it to a mechanic but I am on a budget and love to learn about my bike so if I can do it or learn to do I would like to. Its a 95 Honda Shadow VLX 600cc. Thank you
  2. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    Forks don't usually drip from just sitting. Have you checked the fluid level in your front master cylinder?

  3. I believe they have been leaking for a bit, found some spots in my parking space that look like they came from the bike, I just hadn't noticed them before. Checked the brake reservoir and it looked full.
  4. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    Most forks have a retainer bolt at the bottom where the axle gets clamped. Is it coming from the top or the bottom? Quick way to check is to pop the dust seals at the top of the fork body and have a look underneath.
  5. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    If they are leaking enough to have a puddle under your bike you should see a stream of oil coming from the top of the body and running down the fork tubes. If you can't see anything like that it's most likely the retainer bolt at the bottom of the fork. However, to check that you need to remove the front wheel.

    It should be pretty obvious with a good look where the fluid is coming from.
  6. Its not streaming from anywhere but I will take a closer look
  7. KevinD

    KevinD Modulator Staff Member

    If it's leaking enough from the top to leave spots on the ground, the lower fork tube will be oily.

    Changing the seals on a Shadow should be relatively painless.

  8. best thing to do is keep things clean until you get them changed. Oil on the leg will attract dirt and can scratch the stanchion tube beyond repair. Also make sure fluid doesn't get on your front rotor and brake pads. Once you remove the legs, you will most likely need a pneumatic air gun to get the bolt out of the bottom of the leg to disassemble.
    Maybe if you are up to at least pulling the wheel and forks I would recommend taking them to a shop to change seals and refill properly. You will save $ by going this route vs taking the whole bike in. good luck
  9. I believe I am up to taking the forks off and I appreciate the suggestion. However....where do I take them to. Who is a good mechanic I can put my trust in. Yes I am on a budget but I would prefer someone I can trust and would be comfortable taking my bike to for any other problems. Thus far I have been able to fix all my bike problems on my own so it would be nice to get a good recommendation. Thanks!
  10. Just clean everything up and should be able to bounce the front and see where it's coming from.

    It's an easy job.
  11. honestly any graduate from mechanics school should be able to walk through the seal job with no problem.. Those forks are pretty straight forward.
    Seattle Cycle Center is a good fair choice.
  12. So um no one seems to have the fork seals...where do I purchase them?

    TRAIL BOSS Defiler of Threads

    Ronayers or bike bandit should have them in stock.
  14. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member


    Check out this link, you might be able to just clean out the dust seals as shown here:

    If that doesn't work, drain the oil from the bottom of the forks using the drain bolt (if it has one, I cannot remember if 95 kept them or not) and make sure the drain bolt seals up nice when you reinstall them, refill and retest. If it still leaks, then go ahead and see about replacing the seals.

    VLX specific instructions here, including how to make a piston tool:

    Last but not least, sign up at the VLX specific forum and read up on gobs of information/mods specific to the VLX:

    Oh, and hello from a fellow VLX owner! 8) If you have any other questions regarding the vlx, feel free to pm me!
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