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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bike sat for almost 6 months without being ridden after my bike was stolen/illegally towed.

One of the things I discovered when I recovered it were that visible rubber seals/boots on the front forks look like they're toast. I was hoping to get some opinions, as this is not a maintenance item that I have any experience with. Are these in need of immediate repair?

Options I think I have:
-Ride it until something starts feeling weird in the front or I start seeing fluid leaking
-Get these repaired at a shop
-Attempt rebuilding them myself, only replacing the parts that are damaged

I'm not unhappy with the handling, so I don't see a need to do the GSXR swap, or to spend $ I don't have on upgrades (wedding in 3 months, saving for new house, fiancee currently unemployed and she has two girls we care for). I value any opinions you folks have to share with me!


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, also-

Did the rubber perish mainly from not being used? Or do you think it would have done this even if the bike had continued to be ridden regularly?

I'm compiling a list of items that my old apartment complex will need to pay for since they had my bike towed, then told me they didn't, and left me to think it was stolen. They're even on record with the police dept giving statements. Wasn't until someone bought it at auction and tried to register it that the whole story was put together and the apt complex realized they DID have it towed and just lost the paperwork. I almost lost my bike because they lied (on purpose or not), and my bike needs repairs to return it to the state in which it left me. They will be footing those bills even if I have to take them to small claims court.
 

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Just a rubber seal to help prevent dirt from getting in.

Your choices:
Leave it, and expect probably a seal to start leaking sooner than it would have otherwise (or maybe not! Roulette)
Change the rubber seal out, should be able to do this by just taking the forks off the bike but not splitting them or opening them up.
 

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Just a rubber seal to help prevent dirt from getting in.

Your choices:
Leave it, and expect probably a seal to start leaking sooner than it would have otherwise (or maybe not! Roulette)
Change the rubber seal out, should be able to do this by just taking the forks off the bike but not splitting them or opening them up.
^^ this exactly, good advice. If you can replace those dust seals yourself, it's not expensive. You would need a means of securely suspending the front end off the ground, a 12 mm. allen bit to remove the front axle, and a torque wrench to tighten all the bolts. Not too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, good. I was hoping those were just protective dust boots! I just have never dealt with replacing shocks on anything (yet), so I didn't want to assume anything. It does look as though I would have to slide replacements down from the top of the tube, though, right? Meaning I'd have to disconnect the shocks from the top to do this, not just take off the wheel and slide them up from the bottom.

Right now, bike is sitting in the garage. Still haven't re-registered or insured it (again, $ is tight, and I haven't convinced myself that I'd commute on it enough to pay for the insurance with gas savings.)
 

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Ok, good. I was hoping those were just protective dust boots! I just have never dealt with replacing shocks on anything (yet), so I didn't want to assume anything. It does look as though I would have to slide replacements down from the top of the tube, though, right? Meaning I'd have to disconnect the shocks from the top to do this, not just take off the wheel and slide them up from the bottom.

Right now, bike is sitting in the garage. Still haven't re-registered or insured it (again, $ is tight, and I haven't convinced myself that I'd commute on it enough to pay for the insurance with gas savings.)
With the wheel and fender off you can just loosen the triple clamps and slide the forks down and out, pry off the old dust seals, slide on new ones, and put it all back together.

You can save a lot of money by doing this simple kind of stuff yourself compared to a shop, but you will have to invest in a service manual and some tools if you don't already have metric sockets, a torque wrench, and metric hex sockets. You can lift the front end without paddock stands but it can be dicey, especially without at least a rear stand. You would need the same tools simply to take the wheel off for tire replacement. A rear stand is helpful for chain maintenance.

You would probably be able to pay someone to do the dust caps for less than it would cost to buy some quality tools and stands, but if you plan to keep the bike for any length of time you should have the stuff to maintain it unless you want to pay $100/hour labor rates.

There are a lot of Atlanta area members, maybe someone will offer to help you. I have a place in Cumming and would be glad to help, but I am only there sporadically and not sure when I will get back up there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm in Woodstock, lived in Roswell most of my life.

I have a rear-stand and I've amassed a lot of quality (and some cheap) tools so far in my life. I've got it on the rear stand now, but don't have one for the front. I have the ratchet straps I bought to tow it on the u-haul trailer, and I'm sure I can rig something up with a properly anchored support in one of the ceiling joists, if nothing else. I had front wheel off long ago using some jack stands under the frame sliders, but that was a questionable choice. I know I have an allen wrench for the front axle, but I should pick up a 3/8 or 1/2 drive allen head to use it with my torque wrench.

I just need to find the dust boot/seals now, and I'll have a new weekend project.

Thanks for all the replies and support, guys!
 

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I'm in Woodstock, lived in Roswell most of my life.

I have a rear-stand and I've amassed a lot of quality (and some cheap) tools so far in my life. I've got it on the rear stand now, but don't have one for the front. I have the ratchet straps I bought to tow it on the u-haul trailer, and I'm sure I can rig something up with a properly anchored support in one of the ceiling joists, if nothing else. I had front wheel off long ago using some jack stands under the frame sliders, but that was a questionable choice. I know I have an allen wrench for the front axle, but I should pick up a 3/8 or 1/2 drive allen head to use it with my torque wrench.

I just need to find the dust boot/seals now, and I'll have a new weekend project.

Thanks for all the replies and support, guys!
I've used the ratchet straps on the ceiling joist method. It worked just fine for me. I used a front stand to lift it a bit, then attached the straps to the front of the frame and ratcheted them up a few inches. I realized using the front stands was a mistake though because when I lowered it (slowly, not just releasing both ratchet holds), it got to the point of where it was lifted with the stand and then just slid down. It wasn't a huge deal. However, if I had to do it again, I would have just used the ratchet straps to lift it straight off the ground. Just make sure that you use the rear stand first for stability on the back of the bike.

If you use ratchet straps, loosen the bolts you need to remove first, then lift it. When it's in the air on ratchet straps, it sways a bit and makes loosening tight bolts more difficult.
 

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I'm in Woodstock, lived in Roswell most of my life.

I have a rear-stand and I've amassed a lot of quality (and some cheap) tools so far in my life. I've got it on the rear stand now, but don't have one for the front. I have the ratchet straps I bought to tow it on the u-haul trailer, and I'm sure I can rig something up with a properly anchored support in one of the ceiling joists, if nothing else.
Excellent. Sounds like all you need now is a service manual.
 

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