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leaky fork?

  1. #1
    Lifer
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    Question leaky fork?


    My left fork is leaving a film of oil on the upper part of the fork if I sit on the bike and then get off.

    Any chance this will go away when the temperature warms up?

    If not, how expensive is it to fix? And I assume it would be a good opportunity to put in higher weight oil? (Seems to be very popular for SVs?)

    Ben

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  2. #2
    Just Registered TLRMan's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Aw....Don't worry about it, once all the oil is gone, it won't leak anymore!

    Your forks are a breeze to replace the seal in.... For heavier weight oil, Hmmm..I'd put in springs that are set for your weight 1st. Then fine tune with oil weights...Although is your sag set OK?
    If it is, adding heavier weight oil will slow the responsiveness down of the shock, is this what you are looking for?

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  3. #3
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Yip. That's your seals all righty...

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  4. #4
    Lifer
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    leaky fork?

    Ok, Thanks.

    Sag is supposedly OK as long as I get back in shape this spring and don't gain any more weight.

    If the heavier weight oil is just going to make it less responsive, I won't do it.

    Just seems like putting heavier weight oil is awfully popular, that's why I was curious.

    Ben

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  5. #5
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    There's a possibilty that there is just some gunk preventing the seal from sealing. Lift the dust seal up the fork leg. Wrap one layer of making tape around the fork leg just above the seal and pump the forks up and down a couple of times to allow the tape to clean the seal. Not likely to fix it but easy cheap and simple to try.

    Replacing the seals should be easy. Race Tech makes some synthetic suspension fluid that while pricey, seems to be more stable and consistent under hard use and wide temperature fluctuations. It would be a good choice even if you don't choose to change the viscosity.

    Heavier oil will increase the rebound and compression damping. My experience with SVs has shown that both are pretty mild as set up by Suzuki. Heavier oil will feel a little stiffer but more composed on most bumps. The stock springs are rather weak. If you increase the spring rate, heavier oil is pretty much a must.

    Race Tech makes cartridge emulators that work really well in damping rod forks such as yours. They offer inertia controlled compression damping. Rebound damping is adjusted by changing fork oil viscosity. I have them in my Concours and they work well. Pain to set up though.

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  6. #6
    Lifer
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    leaky fork?

    Thanks Stoinky. I went out and cleaned it earlier today, although I didn't think to try the tape, and it appears to have worked.

    Either that or the fact that it's close to 40 degrees today.

    Ben

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  7. #7
    Just Registered TLRMan's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Originally posted by benSV
    Thanks Stoinky. I went out and cleaned it earlier today, although I didn't think to try the tape, and it appears to have worked.

    Either that or the fact that it's close to 40 degrees today.

    Ben

    Either that, your forks are Outta Oil.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we have the same conversation Stoinky just told you, last year?

    I think you said you didn't want to do anything to the forks because you didn't want to spend the money.... I still agree with Stoinky, if you want that bike to handle well, do the springs, and the emulators, or find a Gixxer 600 front end and swap it out.
    You still don't know the potential of that bike yet, and you never will unless you do the front end.

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  8. #8
    Lifer SEVENSGT's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Originally posted by TLRMan
    find a Gixxer 600 front end and swap it out.
    You still don't know the potential of that bike yet, and you never will unless you do the front end.


    Gixxer 600 front end is the way togo, man I miss my SV:sad:

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  9. #9
    Lifer
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    leaky fork?

    Originally posted by TLRMan
    Either that, your forks are Outta Oil.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we have the same conversation Stoinky just told you, last year?

    I think you said you didn't want to do anything to the forks because you didn't want to spend the money.... I still agree with Stoinky, if you want that bike to handle well, do the springs, and the emulators, or find a Gixxer 600 front end and swap it out.
    You still don't know the potential of that bike yet, and you never will unless you do the front end.
    I may have asked you about emulators, etc.. last year but I definitely have never had any problems with oil leaking out, so I think you must be thinking of someone else.

    I haven't rode any bikes with "better" suspension so I don't really know what I'm missing. We'll see, if I have to do something like replace the seals and oil I would consider doing the emulators this year, the money won't really be an issue. Swapping on a Gixxer front end seems like overkill considering I have no intentions of racing, etc.. and I'm not exactly complaining about how it handles now.

    Ben

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  10. #10
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    many peeps complain about the SVs stock suspension, I found nothing wrong with it, but after 60,000 miles, the seals and many other parts were worn to the point that there was something wrong with it. I considered the option of a stiffer constant rate spring, emulators etc. and decided that for street riding, progressive rate springs and a heavier weight oil is the way to go. of coursr I noticed a BIG difference from the worn out forks, but to tell you the truth, not a lot of difference from new stock forks. I have also ridden SVs with stiffer constant rate springs (nowhere near as stiff as the rate recommended for my 300lb lard ass) and while the handling was better, it was notheing I'd want to ride on the street every day, the ride was very harsh, I can only inagine how harsh it would be with the spring rate recommended for my weight.

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  11. #11
    Just Registered TLRMan's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    The spring rate supports the bikes weight and yours as a whole.
    This is why sag measurements are important. The SV is way undersprung, and under damped.

    The compression and rebound damping are what control the ride, in conjuction with the spring rate.

    I can set my tiller up to ride like a cushy Cadillac, or as tight as a GP bike. Of course with the latter, it gives a harsh ride over large bumps. If your suspension was set properly, you probably wouldn't have experienced that lowside you talk about.

    I've "pushed" my Brother's SV, and the front end starts to chatter all over the place. The front end no longer will track properly, and gets all upset over it.... Very limited, for my standards.
    But I'm not a person that'll log 1,000 miles of straight highway driving in 2 days either. I'll opt for high speed twisties, and put up with a "stiffer" suspension. But if I wish, a softer ride is only a couple of clicks one way or the other....

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  12. #12
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    But I'm not a person that'll log 1,000 miles of straight highway driving in 2 days either. I'll opt for high

    I hope your not under the impression that most of my miles are highway, quite the opposite, yes, I did a saddlesore 1k last year on my SV, but that is not my normal riding, infact I prolly ride 3times as many miles on gravel as I do highway, most of my miles are rural NH town and secondary state highway, while I may not ride above 7/10ths very often, I leave the cruiser croud way behind and don't slow down for corners.

    and I have ridden my SV very agressive a few times, never experienced any chatter(with the exception of washboarded gravel roads that make everything chatter), but then remember, as Stoneman sez, I am a preload.

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  13. #13
    Lifer
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    leaky fork?

    Originally posted by RandyO
    [B]

    and I have ridden my SV very agressive a few times, never experienced any chatter(with the exception of washboarded gravel roads that make everything chatter), but then remember, as Stoneman sez, I am a preload.
    Well if "everything" chatters over washboard/frost heaved roads, etc.. I may just chill out about the whole thing.

    I was under the impression that a bike with "good" suspension would soak up those washboard backroads well enough that you wouldn't really feel it that much and could rail through it as if the road was flat. That is really the only place my bike annoys me. I haven't gotten it to chatter, etc.. otherwise.

    I'm light, the sag was supposedly OK for me, but Mark, if you have a chance next summer maybe you could look at it with me. I would trust your judgement above the advice I recieved last year. (Were you there the day Chuck was helping people?) It did seem a little weird that he said the sag on my SV was fine, and then another guy came in who weighed like 50lbs more than me and he said it was fine for him too.

    Ben

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  14. #14
    Just Registered beet's Avatar
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    use a spoon forks allway leak


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  15. #15
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Well if "everything" chatters over washboard/frost heaved roads, etc.. I may just chill out about the whole thing.

    you shouldn't be getting chatter over frost heaves, a washboard gravel road is different, and something you never see on pavement, and usually I can avoid the chatter by riding a line around the severly washboarded portions,

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  16. #16
    Lifer oreo_n2's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    I haven't rode any bikes with "better" suspension so I don't really know what I'm missing. We'll see, if I have to do something like replace the seals and oil I would consider doing the emulators this year, the money won't really be an issue. Swapping on a Gixxer front end seems like overkill considering I have no intentions of racing, etc.. and I'm not exactly complaining about how it handles now.
    If you dont want to invest the time and money for better suspension... dont ride something with a better front end. i didn't know what i was missing on the RF, i thought the suspension was cool, the sag was set right and i had the damping set to spec after Chuck's workshop last year.......


    but then i rode the aprilia after cooter and i played with suspension settings a lot over the summer.... HOLY SHIT BATMAN
    what a difference it really makes in the twisties... i never would have known otherwise and i was happy with what i didn't know. I also never really wanted to believe anyone that the front end made that much of a difference until i experienced it first hand.

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  17. #17
    Lifer
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    leaky fork?

    Ok, well I have gone riding on washboarded dirt roads... that seemed less like "chatter" than "TEETH ARE FALLING OUT NOW ASS IS IN A LOT OF PAIN". Heheh...

    Basically some of the crappier frost heaved roads really seem to set off alarm bells for me on my SV. Can't necessarily say exactly what it is. I can push myself to go faster but the bike definitely encourages me to slow down. Maybe it feels like the suspension can't keep up with the bumps in the road and seems to be in the wrong place in the travel at the wrong time. It is actually weird cause some of the same roads I'm talking about are my favorite bicycle roads. My road bike obviously has no suspension and is very, very stiff and it feels better than the SV going down some of the twisty downhills, and in a lot of cases I'm only going like 10mph slower on the bicycle. (30-40mph range on the bicycle, maybe 40-55 on the SV)

    Ben

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  18. #18
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Tires can have a lot to do with chatter too. Make sure the pressure is correct and that the tires have plenty of tread. I have found that once tires get worn very thin, they tend to get squirrely under side loads. I suspect the tire carcass has dramatically less resistance to side loads when most of the tread is gone.

    An SV comes with damping rod forks. They have fixed compression and rebound damping rates. In order to make them work adequately for street riding, the damping and spring rates are rather mellow. The damping is mellow is because they need to absorb big bumps without undue harshness. The spring rates are mellow because that's what you have to use with mellow damping rates. This same mellow damping lets the forks move up and down too much after hitting small bumps. This is why the bike chatters more than an expensive bike on bumpy corners.

    More expensive bikes "solve" this problem with cartridge forks. The (compression) damping in cartridge forks is infinitely variable between two set points. The initial set point has rather stiff damping and works well with the moderately stiff springs the forks come equipped with. The other set point has very little damping and allows the forks to be compressed rapidly if need be. This is all done with spring mechanisms on the damping valves. A hard bump will compress the forks hard and fast and the oil in the forks will force the damping valves open against the spring pressure. Once the forks slow down, the springs close the valves back to their initial set points and the damping becomes stiff again. As far as I know, rebound damping on cartridge forks is not dynamic. With cartridge forks you get the control of stiff damping on small bumps and the plushness of mellow damping on big bumps. The springs are stiffer so the bike will not ride as smoothly as a bike equiped with damping rod forks under most conditions. The trade off is generally worth it though.

    That said, You would be much better off spending money to upgrade your riding skills with a riding school on a race track than you would spending your money on a new front suspension (assuming yours is in proper working order). 90% or more of good riding is the rider, not the hardware. An SV is a great handling bike in stock form. It could be better but I bet most riders can't push it to it's limits. A little sliding is OK, no bikes feels compleletly planted in all situations. What feels like a loss of control to you would feel like a normal controllable slide to Colin Edwards.

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  19. #19
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    A little sliding is OK, no bikes feels compleletly planted in all situations.


    sliding around is the fun part, maybe thats why I like gravel roadsa and don't mind a little salt n sand on the pavement

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  20. #20
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    leaky fork?

    Did I really type "compleletly"?

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