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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Say you know the forks are leaking and that eventually there wont be anymore oil left inside. What's the worst that could happen?
 

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^ Yep. The oil controls damping, so you'd just be on the springs... boing boing boing. I'd imagine it would damage the insides of the forks also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it's all purely hypothetical of course.
 

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With no oil in the forks your bike will slowly start to rust, starting from the forks themselves. It's just like cancer.
 

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If the oil is no longer inside the forks it has to be somewhere else. If that somewhere is the brakes or the tires the forks might not be your biggest worry.

(why YES: I did replace my fork seals recently)
 

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I put at least 250 miles on a leaking fork over the weekend. It made my right boot shiny but no major handling changes. Just a heads up - replacing just the dust & oil seals (parts 6 & 8 on the fiche) runs about $70. Add in oil and the ring stoppers (part 7) and you're at $90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I put at least 250 miles on a leaking fork over the weekend. It made my right boot shiny but no major handling changes. Just a heads up - replacing just the dust & oil seals (parts 6 & 8 on the fiche) runs about $70. Add in oil and the ring stoppers (part 7) and you're at $90.
how bout time? I'm trying to move into a new place and out of the old place. We're in the process of painting and all that good stuff. Oh and that darned 30 mile each way commute. Of course that was if my forks were leaking.
 

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how bout time? I'm trying to move into a new place and out of the old place. We're in the process of painting and all that good stuff. Oh and that darned 30 mile each way commute. Of course that was if my forks were leaking.
No idea when it started. Noticed it at the start of a ride Saturday morning. My boot, radiator, brakes, and tire were all shiny.
 

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how bout time? I'm trying to move into a new place and out of the old place. We're in the process of painting and all that good stuff. Oh and that darned 30 mile each way commute. Of course that was if my forks were leaking.
A good, experienced tech, in a well equipped shop with everything he needs at hand, less than an hour. A guy who doesn't wrench much, doing this job for the first time, maybe having to improvise stands and tools, the better part of a day.
Just depends on where you are on that scale.
 

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My brother put about 50,000 miles on a Yamaha 550 Vision that had absolutely NO fork oil left....and he didn't die. He also didn't ride fast, or stop using the front brake as it was totally covered in oily gunk.

Wait, I might have been inaccurate saying there was no oil in the forks, there was no oil that could leak out anymore as they leaked for years and eventually stopped. He never bothered to fix them and just for fun I rode the bike around the block. There was enough friction in the forks to dampen out most of the 'boing-boing' so it wasn't totally pogo-sticking down the road. But it wasn't fun to ride at all like that.

Regardless of the cost and time involved, my vote would be to fix the leaks.
 

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Very much like Rob's experience, my first bike was a Yamaha XS400 that had blown fork seals. I rode it for 3000 miles until I hit just the right series of bumps and I realized there was no damping left at all. It still rode acceptably for just putting around, but after that experience, I had the seals replaced right away.

If you put off the repair, I think you will at some point become disgusted with the way the bike behaves before you completely run out of oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Very much like Rob's experience, my first bike was a Yamaha XS400 that had blown fork seals. I rode it for 3000 miles until I hit just the right series of bumps and I realized there was no damping left at all. It still rode acceptably for just putting around, but after that experience, I had the seals replaced right away.

If you put off the repair, I think you will at some point become disgusted with the way the bike behaves before you completely run out of oil.

This is actually the reason I'm asking. The bike is kind of handeling funny and I was just concerned. I'm meaning to get the seals and such and do the job, just need to find time. Wasn't sure if I would get them opened up and I'd find a smoldering fire or something.
 

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I am surprised that nobody has mentioned that the oil helps transfer the heat generated in the spring.
 
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