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2001 YZ250F - Engine Oil Leak from Steering Bearing? *PICS*

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Hey all.

 

So this past weekend I did some trail riding, and as we were loading up, a guy unloading his bikes with his wife came over and asked if I'd be interested in an even bike swap.

 

I had been looking to upgrade to something faster, and a bit taller, and after riding his bike, and looking it over..I decided to do the trade right then and there. I traded my rough 2003 Honda CRF230, for his clean 2001 YZ250F w/ 280 big bore kit. I can tell the bike had been up-kept very well, and everything was in great shape. His wife just needed something a little more low key, and electric start..

 

He did point out that there was a small oil leak coming from the front steering bearing. He seemed to think, because of the 2001 dipstick design (located just north of the gas cap), that the engine oil was routed through the frame, which explains why it's leaking from the bearing.

 

I am by no means a huge gearhead, but an engine oil leak doesn't make sense, coming from that location. Can anyone help me diagnose the problem? Picture below..

 

WW4BPlO.jpg

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if it was engine oil it would not be that small of a leak.

 

it is probably the last little bit of grease on the streering bearings that have gotten past that 14yo seal

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The guy I bought it from mentioned that I may have to top off my oil levels every so often because of the leak. I left it parked in my garage for the last week, and there's a small puddle from the drip - although the drip is very very slow.

 

It doesn't really have the consistency of grease either..

 

Could this issue by why Yamaha relocated the dipstick to a different location in the 03' model? It seems kind of silly to route the oil & dipstick design through the top of the frame like this..

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the inside of the steering neck may have a pinhole leak then.

 

yes its is a crazy idea.

 

so crazy that nobody copied it in 01, or 02 or 03

 

ya know why?

 

NOBODY ELSE HAD A 250F THOSE YEARS!!!

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i'm thinking that its probably NOT engine oil but wet grease or some wet crap running out of those seals. I wouldn't be surprised if those head bearings have never been serviced.

 

I would just take it apart and CLEAN and inspect the head bearings. That means forks and triples out. Clean the triple tree. Unless stuff is way rusted you can probably get away with re-packing the grease. Seals should be easy and cheap.... BUT if stuff looks bad you'll have to press out bearings out and replace them. Its easy for me, then again i've done so many and i have the right tools. Just saying you have to get in there regardless.

 

I really do doubt that's actually engine oil.

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i'm thinking that its probably NOT engine oil but wet grease or some wet crap running out of those seals. I wouldn't be surprised if those head bearings have never been serviced.

 

I would just take it apart and CLEAN and inspect the head bearings. That means forks and triples out. Clean the triple tree. Unless stuff is way rusted you can probably get away with re-packing the grease. Seals should be easy and cheap.... BUT if stuff looks bad you'll have to press out bearings out and replace them. Its easy for me, then again i've done so many and i have the right tools. Just saying you have to get in there regardless.

 

I really do doubt that's actually engine oil.

 

Thanks! This definitely sounds more logical than it being engine oil. The only reason I even considered it, was because of the close proximity to the dipstick, and because the guy told me that's what he think it was.

 

It just seems strange that there'd be that much grease leaking out of the steering bearings. Enough to cause some small puddles underneath the bike.

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