Drips, Droops and other disasters

Drips, Droops and other disasters

Leaking fork seals, stretched chain, and notched wheel bearings…

I took the V out for a three day cruise round the southern part of  Nova Scotia, ride report here, and over the 1800km ride and camp trip, experienced a few problems with the bike that now has 71,000 km on the odo.

I don’t always follow the sheeple.

First off, I pulled in for a cup of coffee, sat down on the curb to finish it, and noticed that my right front fork seal was leaking.

Yep, it’s leaking.

I still had another 1500 km to go at this point, so I wiped it off and kept on keeping on.

Day 2 it was looking a tad worse, flinging oil and nicely waterproofing some of my plastics…

Later on, I found that I was hearing some noise from the chain, but only when I was on throttle. If the clutch was in on the bike in neutral, the noise went away, so I figured I missed an opportunity to lube the chain, or been riding too much gravel again, so stopped and hit it with the spray.

 Love that Endurostar.com stand!

The noise went away completely, and I thought I had it all sorted, that is until I got it back into the garage and had a good look at the fork seal.

I’d had success in the past using the Seal Mate product to clean and recover my left front seal, so thought to try it on the right leg, now that it was leaking a wee pool down over the brake disc and onto the garage floor.

The first thing I noticed was that the dust cover was not fitting very firmly to the fork cylinder, and of course there was all sorts of grit and grime under it, and the seal mate hauled out more grit than I was expecting. I left the bike with a rag wrapped around the lower fork to see if it would stay dry overnight supporting just it’s own weight now that the seal had been cleaned up, but it was not meant to be, and in only a couple of hours, the fork was damp again with a slow trickle from underneath the seal and down the leg into the rag. Great, now I need to order that fork spring compressor tool up from the states, $40 bucks for the tool, with another $40 shipping clapped on top. I think I’m going to take some measurements and try to make my own out of bolts and plumbing or gas fitting parts from Home Depot, as I’ve seen quite a few examples of DIY jobs on the Versys forums and on the internet.

Now, I might as well adjust the chain while I have the bike up on stands, right? I put my chain alignment tool on the sprocket, give a go on both sides, tighten things up and give the wheel a spin to check to see if it has stretched unevenly. Yep, it’s fine over 3/4 of the chain, then 1/4 is actually tight with very little give! As I rotate the wheel, I’m hearing a rhythmic grinding noise (think 1Hz) at 0 degrees (think of me wiping a bit of oil onto the top of the hub and using it as a reference point). It turns out that whenever the wheel hits 0 degrees, the chain is tight, and I hear that grinding noise again. Bother! I think I’m overdue for a new set of wheel bearings in the rear end, and might as well do the front at the same time.

On the advice of a friend, Jiff, I ordered online at FortNine.ca the new fork seals and dust covers, wheel bearings for front and rear), chain and sprockets (I’m going to go with a 16T up front and the regular 46T in the rear) and a few other bits like a spare air filter and a pair of iridium plugs.

I’ll also be searching for threads on wheel bearing How-To while I’m waiting for the parts to arrive.

What can I say? If you don’t ride it, it will never break down on you. >:)

I read through the Versys forum and watched this series of videos for the forks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmUfQr3WWv8

Any advice or suggestions regarding the forks or bearings? (“Stop riding” is not the answer I’m looking for. 😛 )

Now that the bike is up on blocks awaiting parts, I should have more time to update my blog. I’d rather be riding. 

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