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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fork seals seem to be all over the place when it comes to useful life.

I've had seals last 5 or more years before leakage.

What brand/material/vendor have you had luck with?

I am asking because I replaced the fork seals on my GL650 about 3 years ago. One of them started leaking less than a year after replacement, but it wasn't that bad. Now both are leaking to the point where I won't be able to live with it when riding season returns.

I don't care about price, just looking for the best quality, I don't want to be doing this every year.
 

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Have you checked the condition of the forks themselves? Are they free of any nicks/burrs? Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you checked the condition of the forks themselves? Are they free of any nicks/burrs? Just a thought.
Yes, they're pristine. I suspect the actual seals are of questionable quality because they both started leaking during storage.
I forgot to mention, I bought the seals from a Honda dealer online, figured they'd be fresher given the turnaround they must have.
 

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1983 cx650c
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There is some controversy over the best "brands" of seals on this forum. During rebuilding operations on the CX650 forks one tube was too pitted to seal. I had leakage problems from installation procedures also. Currently no leaks for over three years, different brands in each fork, fluid is synthetic ATF. I think one seal is all balls brand, other some eBay generic type. Best installation method I came up with was a piece of PVC pipe as a seal driver,, slid it up and down and tapped seal in place, with a washer on the seal to keep pipe from striking it directly.
 

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I think it's relatively easy to distort the seal or not get it completely square with tube during installation. Other problems are possible also,, I've messed up numerous seals on several bikes before having success.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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When one of my GL500's fork seals failed the second year I had it I wasn't alarmed because I had no idea how old it was so I replaced them both. When the new seal failed on the same fork leg a year later I became concerned. A friend who knew more about such things than me told me that could happen of the stanchion was bent, even a tiny amount and to check it against a straight edge at several places around the tube and sure enough it was less than half a mm from straight.
I put new seals in the replacement forks and they lasted longer than I had the bike.

But yours may not need replacing. Try letting the air out and cleaning the seals. There are a number of tools for that on the market but there are also instructions for making your own from a plastic bottle all over the internet.

BTW: The seals in both of my bikes are about 8 years old but I can't give you a recommendation because I just ordered them by size from the eBay seller with the lowest price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will check the tubes with a machinists straight edge when I pull them to replace the seals.
I converted over to strut emulators with the corresponding springs.
I run zero air in them.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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OK. But try cleaning the lips of the seals with one of those tools (I think someone posted a drawing of a homemade one here a few years ago) before you take them apart.
 
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