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Author Topic: Weeping forks  (Read 2619 times)

boggy

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Weeping forks
« on: June 27, 2012, 01:51:53 PM »
My forks began weeping last season, right above the fork gators on my AVL.  No real major drips but I've seen a few small trails.  I'm hoping this is as simple as a new set of fork seals. I have the Snidal manual but the process still seems a bit mysterious to me.  Searching the forums has pulled up anything terribly helpful yet.  I'm sure I'll need to check the fluid level in there too.

I'm looking for a little advice on this process.

Thanks,
Boggy
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM

AgentX

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 03:36:26 PM »
Weeping forks are caused by one of two things:

1)  Low self-esteem at the oil seals

2)  Fork stanchions feeling sympathy for some other part on the bike that is in a painful state of disrepair

I suggest you use an emotionometer at the likely points of failure to check.  But don't use the word "failure" while checking, or the problem may become more aggravated.

barenekd

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 04:41:57 PM »
I haven't done RE forks specifically, but on all the other English bikes I've done it's: Remove the front wheel and fender braces/mounts. Remove the fork caps. Take the springs out. Drain the fork oil. Remove the bolt that holds the slider on. Pull the sliders off. Pry the old seals out with a screwdriver. Be careful not to dig into the slider metal. Drive the new seals in with a socket slightly smaller than the OD of the seal. Put a little oil on the seals. Reassemble the slider, add fork oil, put the springs back in. 
Bare
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boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 07:14:24 PM »
Fork stanchions feeling sympathy for some other part on the bike that is in a painful state of disrepair
Sympathy or fear whenever it sees its owner approaching with tools is more like it.

Bare, I was cautiously nervous about this repair before, but now I'm down right terrified.
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ohio2006Electra

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 10:13:30 PM »
My forks began weeping last season, right above the fork gators on my AVL.  No real major drips but I've seen a few small trails.  I'm hoping this is as simple as a new set of fork seals. I have the Snidal manual but the process still seems a bit mysterious to me.  Searching the forums has pulled up anything terribly helpful yet.  I'm sure I'll need to check the fluid level in there too.

I'm looking for a little advice on this process.

Thanks,
Boggy
My 2006 AVL is doing the same thing. It started at around 1500 miles  :( Ive lived with it up until now and Im close to 3000 miles on the bike. It has not gotten any worse than when it started 1500 miles ago but the time is approaching to undertake this task or let the dealer have a turn at it

barenekd

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 10:18:51 PM »
The AVL forks are the same as the G-5. As I look at the manual, it looks like a real PITA! There are some special tools called for, but not having done it myself, I'm not sure what is really required and if the job can be done without them!
Their manual is rather confusing. It looks like the lowers can be pulled and leave the rest of the forks intact. If that's true, the job won't be bad, and you don't need any special tools. If you have to take the rest of the forks out of the triple tree then it's a pain, but looking at the drawings, that doesn't appear to be true. It looks like that once you drain the oil and take that big cap off the bottom, the lowers should just slide off complete with the seals.
Not quite as easy as good old Tri/BSAs, or is it?
When mine start leaking, I'll give them a shot!
Bare

Bare
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jartist

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 11:19:27 PM »
Taking the whole fork assembly off the bike and out of the casquett is easy. Getting the nut that bolts the lowers to the plunger is near impossible! I will try to dig out the seal and replace with the whole fork off the bike and the upper and lower still attached when it's time to do mine.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 02:35:39 PM »
Took at look at things this weekend.  Given my lack of garage space, and relatively novice level of mechanics, I think if I want to get this sorted out I'd have to have some proper help.  Man, I don't like the idea of bringing my Bullet to a garage to work on.  Place near here services the new Enfields so maybe they know what they are doing.  I don't think this is something I could pull off though.
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GreenMachine

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 03:07:03 PM »
Boggy: Might now be a bad idea especially if u don't have a area to do the job with tools, rags, drain container, etc...Somewhat related, sons CBR 1000rr had a small leak (1 seal bad)..The Honda tech replaced the top seals on both forks in about 45 minutes (Only one was leaking, we decided to replaced both anyway)..Of course he does them all the time and the procedure apparently is not as labor intensive as the Enfield (The forks on the Honda stayed somewhat in place and he used a special tool to install the seals). I will do mine when the time comes as I don't have access to a  shop that I feel is qualified to work on my machine..That stated I'm in no hurry and can keep the enfield in my garage for as long as it takes. Like anything else, once u done it, the second time is easier and faster.Find out if they have done this procedure..Good luck and let us know how it works out for you..GM
Oh Magoo you done it again

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 06:53:35 PM »
Find out if they have done this procedure..

That is some good advice.  Thanks.  I've read that it is not easy and without the correct tools, things can break.  I do worry about my Bullet going missing for a few weeks while they try and make heads/tales of things.

Thanks.
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singhg5

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 05:22:28 PM »
The lowers can be pulled out - so called 'details' in pictures from Service Manual
 
To read text, place cursor on the picture, RIGHT click and Open in New Tab.  Then go to New Tab, place cursor on the text - it will become + sign. Left click and whole page will become large and readable easily. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 05:27:58 PM by singhg5 »
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singhg5

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 05:23:06 PM »
contd. page 2
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
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Arizoni

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2012, 10:06:12 PM »
When removing the seal the manual makes reference to a special tool # ST 25114-4 and shows a screwdriver being used to pry the seal out.
This special tool seems to be nothing more than a hollow sleeve that will fit over the end of the fork tube and rest on a small shoulder.

In my reading I seem to recall that the aluminum used to make the fork tubes is very brittle and easily cracked/broken if you pry directly on it.
It might be worthwhile to try to find a piece of steel, copper or even PVC pipe to use for "the tool".
Jim
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baird4444

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 02:49:37 AM »
a hose clamp will werk fine to "lever" or pry against....
careful, they crack easily.
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Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 06:14:51 AM »
I need to do my seals. I also was advised that things crack easily and take it carefully.
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boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 07:53:44 PM »
This thread went on and I missed it. Apologies and thanks for the ideas.  singhg5, thanks so much for those manual pages!  I can do this.  Maybe.  But I really don't have a choice.

I called the local Royal Enfield "dealer" here and they estimated $425 to do this, parts and labor!  I'd think about another shop but without Enfield experience, I'd rather not pay someone to do what I will have to do which is, figure it out.

I asked about tires too, since it'd be in the shop already.  $90 dollars PER TIRE.  $90 to change one tire!?!

Theoretically, it could be worth it to pay.  The time it will take me + the tools I'll need to buy might end up being a PITA, as Bare said, but I feel like those prices are a little ridiculous. Maybe I'm out of touch.
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Arizoni

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2012, 09:41:56 PM »
The $90 didn't include a new tire?  If it did, that might be a good price.  If it didn't, that's ridiculous. 
My local Honda dealers shop wanted $30 to replace my front tire with my new Dunlop if I brought in the wheel.
The local Yamaha/Suzuki dealers shop wanted $17 to do the same thing.

Guess who doesn't have skinned up knuckles and is $17 poorer but is happily riding around with a new front tire?  :)
Jim
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1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 10:12:46 PM »
Not including tires!  The only thing I can think of is that they keep $30, then stuff the other $60 inside the tire for cushioning?

Hmm.
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2012, 11:53:28 PM »
Chaparral Motorsports (a local shop) charges $60 for the rear (iirc), due to the fact that it's a lot more involved than the front.  Of course, they probably don't know how easy the Bullet is in that regard, and the same amount of time will probably be spent just trying to figure out how to approach it.  But if you take it off and only bring in the tire, they charge a fraction of that.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2012, 04:09:51 PM »
That's a really good point.  I should take them off first.  I could take the wheels anywhere.  The forks, I don't want to have a non Enfield dealer do.  Maybe that's crazy.

I'm half inclined to do this fork work myself after seeing the manual singhg5 put up but I'm also half inclined to suck it up and have the shop do it.  I think I can pull it off but I need a few tools, a proper place to do it, and the time.  The Enfield lives 30 miles from me over Winter.  Not to mention whatever "hiccups" I may encounter, as I always tend to.  But if I had a garage at my house I'd happily tackle this and many other things over the Winter.

Something to think about for a few days while I order some new Dunlops.
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Arizoni

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2012, 10:11:15 PM »
As I learned with my first motorcycle (a used Honda 50 SuperSport), it is easy to wheel one of these things into your house (assuming you don't have a bunch of steps to go up).

The living room of my college apartment worked very well as a place for rebuilding the cylinder and head and by putting down a generous amount of newspaper before starting, I don't think I left hardly any grease or oil on the carpet.   ;D
Jim
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barenekd

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2012, 11:30:48 PM »
I have a guy that does them for $15.00 a wheel. I have to R&R them.
But $90.00 a wheel is extortion. I do know several Japanese and Triumph shops that get about $100 for the pair if they have to R&R them. Especially as easy as RE wheels are to get off and on.
Bare
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baird4444

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2012, 02:21:44 AM »
yo boggy-
I did my seals a couple years ago, not to hard. If you want to PM me your email I can send you the file I did on it.
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mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2012, 04:56:21 AM »
It is fairly easy job.  Make sure you have a hose clamp or tool 25114-4.  That tool is nothing more than a sleave to lever the seal out. If you do not use the tool or the hose clamp, a cracked fork leg will result.  See attached photo, don't make this mistake.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2012, 04:17:42 PM »
OUCH Mr. Underhill.  That's brutal. 

Mike sent me a whole bunch of great information. Lots of documents, instructions, and useful photos.  This is not as terrifying a job as I thought.  I definitely get the idea of the danger with the brittle fork legs thanks to the pictures.

Thinking about spending the money I'll save on some new springs for the forks and some Hagons for the back.  Kind of want some unpainted fork legs too but I think that's pu$hings it.

Thanks for the words of wisdom - And thanks very much Mike for all that info.

Boggy
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AgentX

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2012, 02:38:23 AM »
.  Kind of want some unpainted fork legs too but I think that's pu$hings it.

Boggy

You don't need to buy unpainted fork legs...just strip the paint!!

Good on you for taking the job on yourself and putting the money into stuff to make the bike better.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2012, 04:36:55 PM »
You don't need to buy unpainted fork legs...just strip the paint!!

Now you've got my attention.  Seems easy, so it probably isn't.  Or is it -  What's a good way to go about this?  I already know what step 1 is: Don't crack the legs.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2012, 05:40:07 PM »
Aircraft remover is your friend...

AgentX

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2012, 04:16:41 AM »
Aircraft remover is your friend...

If you've got a 747 parked in an annoying place, anyhow...  :)

But yeah, if you buy "aircraft stripper"  (now that sounds fun!) or another automotive paint remover (generally nasty stuff) and follow the directions, your paint will be off quickly.  Check Autozone or Napa or wherever.

Then polish the raw aluminum to taste.

Probably best to remove the fork lowers, but I imagine it could be done in-situ with the wheel and fender removed and the area around protected and prepped for the work.  That's probably how I'd try it, since I'm lazy, less-than-perfectionist, and have  previously nicked seals when removing or replacing fork lowers on other machines.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2012, 03:19:15 PM »
I would probably do this when I change my fork seals anyways so that would work out well.  Does rust become a concern?
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AgentX

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2012, 04:15:41 PM »
Not on aluminum.

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2012, 05:07:53 PM »
If you've got a 747 parked in an annoying place, anyhow...  :)

Haha, yeah.  I never understood why they call it "aircraft remover" when "stripper" would make more sense.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2012, 09:02:01 PM »
"Airplane stripper?"  Is that like a pin-up girl?
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2012, 08:22:08 PM »
The $90 didn't include a new tire?  If it did, that might be a good price.  If it didn't, that's ridiculous. 
My local Honda dealers shop wanted $30 to replace my front tire with my new Dunlop if I brought in the wheel.
The local Yamaha/Suzuki dealers shop wanted $17 to do the same thing.

Guess who doesn't have skinned up knuckles and is $17 poorer but is happily riding around with a new front tire?  :)

Revisiting the tire change prices... I just brought my front tire down to the closest motorcycle shop to get it mounted, which is a Honda dealer.  They charged $25.  :(  I said "wait... isn't it cheaper when I bring in just the wheel?"  Their response was "yes, we would have charged you $40 if you brought the bike in."  So $90 for changing both tires on the bike is sounding more like the new norm.

I know there are 2 other shops that will do it for around $15, but I was in a rush and they're another 10 miles out.  Even $15 is more than I like paying... It takes them a whopping 2 minutes and no materials.  But it is worth it for the convenience I guess.

Back on the topic of fork work:  I was going to remove my lowers and paint them black to better match the military style of the bike, but after reading about how difficult this is I think I'll just mask and paint them in situ.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:26:59 PM by LarsBloodbeard »

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2012, 11:26:02 PM »
That's why I'm thinking of stripping the paint while I have them off.  Don't want to do that dance twice.

P.S. That was 90$ PER tire at the "Enfield dealer" here in sunny Boston.  I think it's because they use Ducati brand tools to change them.  Actually I'm not sure if the reason is that they actually get away with it, or they just don't want to do small jobs.  It's $20 for my mechanic to do a tire change on the car - And he'd probably charge me for only 3 out of 4.  Not sure if I need a bike specific shop to do a bike tire?  There are smaller bike shops around here I'm gonna try.

Good luck with the painting. That'll look great. 
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2012, 11:28:09 PM »
P.S. That was 90$ PER tire at the "Enfield dealer" here in sunny Boston.

Woah!  Yeah, that is totally wrong.

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2012, 11:52:14 PM »
boggy
I suppose you could car mechanic could do the job but with a car, they place the wheel on their power tire remover machine that has a 1 1/2" post coming up thru the center of the rim, hook a tool down between the rim and the tire bead and stomp on a electrical switch.
This powers the tool and forces it around, popping the tire bead off of the rim.

With a spoked wheel and the small hole thru the bearings I don't think that sort of thing would work.
This is exactly why I wanted to take my tire/wheel to some guys who know about working with spoked wheels.
Jim
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1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2012, 09:57:00 PM »
Yeah, I'll try and find a shop with experience to do it.  Heck, I bet the MEGA HD Dealer here would do it for less than 90 per tire.  Maybe $85!
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2012, 10:25:10 PM »
This is exactly why I wanted to take my tire/wheel to some guys who know about working with spoked wheels.

That's actually a good point.  Years ago my mom had a car with spoke wheels & inner tubes.  Seemed like they'd always have issues after a tire change until she found a garage that knew how to handle them.  You'd think people who change tires for a living would know how to handle all kinds, but apparently not.

barenekd

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2012, 06:58:51 PM »
Quote
You'd think people who change tires for a living would know how to handle all kinds, but apparently not.

Why would you expect that? Most tire changers have never seen a wire wheel. That's like expecting a Honda technician to know how to work on an RE!
This is why they are called technicians nowadays. They sit and fettle with their screens and testers. There is a rare mechanic in a shop now!
And I would highly doubt that you could find a Harley shop that would do the tire swap for less than $100.
Bare
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bob bezin

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2012, 09:16:49 PM »
yah HD stands for hundred dollars.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2012, 09:26:56 PM »
That's why I'm thinking of stripping the paint while I have them off.  Don't want to do that dance twice.

I did the inverse and painted mine.  It turned out quite nice.  I did flat black on the forks to give a bit of contrast to the freshly painted gloss black rims.  If you look closely though you'll notice I broke the speedo hub.  :(  Somehow they rotated it about 90 degrees when they changed the tire.  So after getting frustrated that my wrenches wouldn't fit in the recess well enough and I didn't have deep enough sockets to use a ratchet, I decided to grab the whole hub and try turning it a bit... yeah... bad idea.  I also didn't realize it was plastic.  Oh well, a metal replacement is on the way.

Did you strip yours yet?

baird4444

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2012, 12:14:19 AM »
That looks BADASS....   I love it.
  I rode a couple years without the front fender and it ain't any fun
in the rain....     what tire is that??
                               - Mike
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AgentX

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2012, 04:45:40 AM »
Yeah, my local roads are pretty broken up, puddle-prone, and gritty--I can't even ride in the dry season without a front fender.  It's like getting sandblasted in the face with the dry bits coming off the tire.  Add some water and it's a nightmare.  I see bikes without and it really makes me wonder.  I guess if roads are cleaner it's not such a problem when it's dry.


I have a fiberglass seat/tail unit on mine that I sought to run without a fender in back, too; I've concluded I need to put some kind of fender or crud-catcher back there to eliminate the dirty, gunky skunk-stripe that appears on my jacket and helmet.

boggy

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2012, 04:59:55 PM »
I did the inverse and painted mine.  It turned out quite nice.  I did flat black on the forks to give a bit of contrast to the freshly painted gloss black rims.
Did you strip yours yet?
That does look bad ass.  Really nice with the black rims.

Haven't done it yet.  That, the seals and tires will get done at some point this Winter.  Probably going to try some metal fenders and moto-x bars for a more street scrambler look than my current clubman set up too.  We'll see.  Got to get it done by March 31st, because April 1 I'm riding.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Weeping forks
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2012, 05:51:50 PM »
That does look bad ass.  Really nice with the black rims.

Haven't done it yet.  That, the seals and tires will get done at some point this Winter.  Probably going to try some metal fenders and moto-x bars for a more street scrambler look than my current clubman set up too.  We'll see.  Got to get it done by March 31st, because April 1 I'm riding.

Thanks.  I rode it one day with the fender off.  Every damp gutter I crossed flung dirty water in my face and all over the front of the bike.  I was going to leave the fender off until I fixed the speedo hub, but the weather turned pretty wet so I put it back on last night.  Going to change my bars as well.  I want a slightly higher rise and powder coated black.  Saw some that fit the bill at Chaparral (local motorsports warehouse) for $20.  Oh and that's just a K70.