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Fork Seals and Fork Spring Brands

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I have some questions that I am hoping you guys can help me with. I went for an MOT (road worthy test) the other day and my 2007 WR450 failed on leaking fork seals. The seal on the left is leaking so I bought the Motion Pro Seal Mate and tried that today, but it didn't solve the problem even after a few attempts and pumping the forks between using it.

1. I noticed that the seal that is leaking is red but the other one is black. I suspect therefore that a previous owner has replaced the now leaking seal before. Also there are some marks on the outside top part of the fork around where the seal is. It looks as if it has been filed, chiselled, or slipped while being held in a vice. Although the angle of the photos I have taken makes it look strange, it doesn't actually look as if it has altered the shape or structure of the inside. However, I am now worried about this and wondering if it has something to do with the leaking seal as it is in around the same place, what do you guys think?

2. Should I use Genuine Yamaha parts or are there other brands of fork seals that would be good to use that are a little cheaper?

3. I am planning on fitting RaceTech Gold Valves and changing to softer fork springs. Can you give me a ranking of the quality of the different brands of fork springs. I have heard of K-Tech, RaceTech and WP but I don't know which ones are considered ok and which are not so good. There is quite a difference in price between brands. 

 

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Edited by Snow Drift

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Racetech gold valves are a necessity on a 07. Their fluid and seals are ok as well. Check to make sure you need springs with the Racetech calculator. 

I cant tell with my phone but any scratches that catch your fingernail need to be sanded out with very fine sandpaper.  

Ill edit: Yamaha sells a very inexpensive seal and bushing kit for both forks. 

Edited by stevethe

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For fork seals use SKF or OEM. Those red ones are junk!

For fork springs, I have some from racetech and have had no issues after a few hundred hours.

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I just did a price up of parts and if I order brand new seals, dust seals, spacer/washers and clips for the front seals then Yamaha are quoting £122.56 which is $158.37. If I go for just new seals and dust seals then it is £47 which is $60.73. I don't think that Yamaha in the UK does kits for the seals you have to order each part individually. There are some other aftermarket seal kits with all the seals, spacers and even fork fluid for approximately $60 so that is why it is so appealing.

In terms of the fork springs the RaceTech springs seem to be about £130 which is $167, whereas K-Tech are about £90 which is $116.

I haven't done the calculator yet as I want to check what springs are in the bike but didn't want to start stripping down the forks until getting some advice and information for the above questions. The previous owner has fitted a K-Tech spring in the rear shock so I assume has also fitted stiffer front springs. I struggle to compress the forks they are so hard.

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54 minutes ago, Snow Drift said:

I just did a price up of parts and if I order brand new seals, dust seals, spacer/washers and clips for the front seals then Yamaha are quoting £122.56 which is $158.37. If I go for just new seals and dust seals then it is £47 which is $60.73. I don't think that Yamaha in the UK does kits for the seals you have to order each part individually. There are some other aftermarket seal kits with all the seals, spacers and even fork fluid for approximately $60 so that is why it is so appealing.

In terms of the fork springs the RaceTech springs seem to be about £130 which is $167, whereas K-Tech are about £90 which is $116.

I haven't done the calculator yet as I want to check what springs are in the bike but didn't want to start stripping down the forks until getting some advice and information for the above questions. The previous owner has fitted a K-Tech spring in the rear shock so I assume has also fitted stiffer front springs. I struggle to compress the forks they are so hard.

You might need the factory part number the factory Yamaha kit only cost around $60. US. 

Yamaha part number 1C3-W003B-00-00

 

ebay listing http://m.ebay.com/itm/401310944234?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=20161006002618&meid=ef4c4baf2d744b2498709505127f9ecc&pid=100694&rk=4&rkt=30&sd=371765526051&_trksid=p2385738.c100694.m4598&_mwBanner=1

 

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Thanks for the part number Steve. I called Yamaha and they don't do any kit for the front forks like that. The dealer has to order each component separately and then it comes to the cost I posted above.

My thinking now is to see if the metal spacers (which cost the most) are reusable and then maybe just buy genuine oil and dust seals which costs about the same as the genuine kit that you can buy. The problem is that I don't quite know how to check if the metal spacers are reusable and okay?

Currently struggling to remove the aftermarket fork seal, it doesn't want to come out. The other Yamaha one (I suspect) came out no problem.

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52 minutes ago, Snow Drift said:

Thanks for the part number Steve. I called Yamaha and they don't do any kit for the front forks like that. The dealer has to order each component separately and then it comes to the cost I posted above.

My thinking now is to see if the metal spacers (which cost the most) are reusable and then maybe just buy genuine oil and dust seals which costs about the same as the genuine kit that you can buy. The problem is that I don't quite know how to check if the metal spacers are reusable and okay?

Currently struggling to remove the aftermarket fork seal, it doesn't want to come out. The other Yamaha one (I suspect) came out no problem.

It should come out pretty easy. I remove the base valve on the bottom then take out the c clip from the fork seal then pop it off. Pulling the upper from the lower. 

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The other side was easy (black Yamaha seal I think) the one that is stuck is the red aftermarket seal. I am now starting to possibly understand why the marks are around the gold fork tube because it might have been very tight to get it in by the previous owner. The thing that worries me is that every time I try and separate the tubes they lock in the fully extended position and I have to bang the base valve end on a soft surface quite hard a few times to get the tube to go back in again, so that I am able to try again.

Edited by Snow Drift

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On 03/05/2017 at 10:00 PM, Snow Drift said:

I have some questions that I am hoping you guys can help me with. I went for an MOT (road worthy test) the other day and my 2007 WR450 failed on leaking fork seals. The seal on the left is leaking so I bought the Motion Pro  Seal Mate and tried that today, but it didn't solve the problem even after a few attempts and pumping the forks between using it.

1. I noticed that the seal that is leaking is red but the other one is black. I suspect therefore that a previous owner has replaced the now leaking seal before. Also there are some marks on the outside top part of the fork around where the seal is. It looks as if it has been filed, chiselled, or slipped while being held in a vice. Although the angle of the photos I have taken makes it look strange, it doesn't actually look as if it has altered the shape or structure of the inside. However, I am now worried about this and wondering if it has something to do with the leaking seal as it is in around the same place, what do you guys think?

2. Should I use Genuine Yamaha parts or are there other brands of fork seals that would be good to use that are a little cheaper?

3. I am planning on fitting RaceTech Gold Valves and changing to softer fork springs. Can you give me a ranking of the quality of the different brands of fork springs. I have heard of K-Tech, RaceTech and WP but I don't know which ones are considered ok and which are not so good. There is quite a difference in price between brands. 

 

IMG_5683.JPG

IMG_5684.JPG

Snow

Commments to your questions

 

1) Those marks on the out of slider look like where the stanchion guard has been rubbing. There should be a white nylon band in that groove just above that damage to prevent the guard rubbing on the fork leg. Have you removed this or is it missing?

2) Use Gen Yam seals

3) I've used K-Tech, Race Tech & WP springs and can't distinguish between them. They all held up well. Get what  ever is easiest or cheapest for you. Used is also a good option esp as fork springs usually fit many bikes. Look at the K-Tech or Race Tech catalogues, work out the size of the spring and see what other bikes use it, then search eBay for springs for that model of bike, to give you more options. I had a rear spring on from a Honda CR (same spring as it uses the same KYB shock). I think I had YZF springs in the front, but they were 5mm shorter so I made some 5mm spacers to take up the difference.

Edited by GuyGraham

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On ‎5‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 0:23 PM, Snow Drift said:

Thanks for the part number Steve. I called Yamaha and they don't do any kit for the front forks like that. The dealer has to order each component separately and then it comes to the cost I posted above.

My thinking now is to see if the metal spacers (which cost the most) are reusable and then maybe just buy genuine oil and dust seals which costs about the same as the genuine kit that you can buy. The problem is that I don't quite know how to check if the metal spacers are reusable and okay?

Currently struggling to remove the aftermarket fork seal, it doesn't want to come out. The other Yamaha one (I suspect) came out no problem.

How could the Yamaha dealer tell you that?  The kit he listed on ebay is a Yamaha kit (Genuine parts), and is for your model motorcycle!  In fact, the ebay seller indicated he could ship it to the EU.  I think Parts Unlimited also has a EU branch and you can order from them.

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16 hours ago, mch said:

How could the Yamaha dealer tell you that?  The kit he listed on ebay is a Yamaha kit (Genuine parts), and is for your model motorcycle!  In fact, the ebay seller indicated he could ship it to the EU.  I think Parts Unlimited also has a EU branch and you can order from them.

Lots of stuff sold in the USA isn't recognised in the UK, as Yamaha UK don't import it

I've had this before, on other stuff I've found or heard of on here

The market in offroad bikes just isn't big enough for them to match what Yamaha USA does

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Thanks for the replies. I wanted to reply when I had made a little bit of progress. As Guy said it is hard to find some parts Yamaha sell in the USA especially GYTR stuff. I ended up ordering the genuine Yamaha seal kit from the USA as shown in the link in this thread.

Guy thanks for your replies to the questions. I did not remove any white nylon or anything else from that recess above the damage. The fork guards didn't seem to be rubbing or anything else. I had a hell of a time trying to remove the aftermarket fork seal on that side so I would imagine that the person who put it in had trouble fitting it or didn't have the correct tool to do so. I will possibly look at getting the missing nylon bits anyway.

K-Tech seem to be the easiest and most affordable to get hold of so I will probably buy those. I did the fork spring calculator (selecting enduro, intermediate, standard height, standard gas tank, weight 67kg without gear. It came back with a recommendation of 0.43kg/mm and said use closest available. The closest would be either 44 or 42. Interestingly the calculator says that the stock springs are 45 but I thought people on here were saying they are 46. Any thoughts on which spring rate?

I also purchased and started looking through the Racetech Gold Valve kit. The disassembly and reassembly seems to be fairly straightforward, once I check the valving stack recommendations because there are a lot of calculations and numbers going on in the instructions. However, there is also a section in the instructions that talks about the "Cylinder Seal Installation" is this necessary and do I need to do this. Is this the seal that is on the cartridges (if that is the correct name)?

I am also struggling to understand what I actually have to do to convert the mid valve to a check valve. The section is there in the instructions but I don't actually see what is says I have to do to do the conversion. Can someone clarify this a little for me please.

Thanks

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45 minutes ago, Snow Drift said:

 

Thanks for the replies. I wanted to reply when I had made a little bit of progress. As Guy said it is hard to find some parts Yamaha sell in the USA especially GYTR stuff. I ended up ordering the genuine Yamaha seal kit from the USA as shown in the link in this thread.

Guy thanks for your replies to the questions. I did not remove any white nylon or anything else from that recess above the damage. The fork guards didn't seem to be rubbing or anything else. I had a hell of a time trying to remove the aftermarket fork seal on that side so I would imagine that the person who put it in had trouble fitting it or didn't have the correct tool to do so. I will possibly look at getting the missing nylon bits anyway.

K-Tech seem to be the easiest and most affordable to get hold of so I will probably buy those. I did the fork spring calculator (selecting enduro, intermediate, standard height, standard gas tank, weight 67kg without gear. It came back with a recommendation of 0.43kg/mm and said use closest available. The closest would be either 44 or 42. Interestingly the calculator says that the stock springs are 45 but I thought people on here were saying they are 46. Any thoughts on which spring rate?

I also purchased and started looking through the Racetech Gold Valve kit. The disassembly and reassembly seems to be fairly straightforward, once I check the valving stack recommendations because there are a lot of calculations and numbers going on in the instructions. However, there is also a section in the instructions that talks about the "Cylinder Seal Installation" is this necessary and do I need to do this. Is this the seal that is on the cartridges (if that is the correct name)?

I am also struggling to understand what I actually have to do to convert the mid valve to a check valve. The section is there in the instructions but I don't actually see what is says I have to do to do the conversion. Can someone clarify this a little for me please.

Thanks

You only need to put the new base valves in. Get digital calipers from a Habor Freight or similar store and make it easy. 

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The stock springs are supposed to 0.46kg but my local shop said they are notorious for being under rate. When measured they were actually 0.41kg

So before you buy any 0.42 or 0.44 get your oe springs measured to confirm actual rate. Any suspension shop should be able to do this

You def should get the nylon fork bands yo protect the outers fto rubbing damage fron the fork guards

I'll try to explain mod valve conversion when i back on my pc as typing on phone is shite

Edited by GuyGraham

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Okay thanks. I phoned my local Yamaha dealer and asked if they know anywhere around here that could measure the springs but they couldn't suggest anywhere nearby. I live in North Dorset/South Somerset. I would imagine that the closest place would be Bristol but that is about an 1 and half hour away so I thought at that point it would just be easier to buy new springs?

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Things is Snow, if your springs are like what mine were, then they will be under-rate and if you buy some real 0.42 or 0.44 you'll actually be going harder than the ones fitted IYSWIM

Don't know any suspension down your way I'm afraid but google should throw up some

Failing that I can let you know of a place near me who does lots of mail order, you could post them to him, ask him to measure them and then get some new springs based upon what the measured rate is. He does K-Tech stuff so will be able to supply you with some reputable brand springs. He measured mine in front of me, so I  know they were under-rate

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I see your point Guy. I would imagine mine are closer to the 46 because of how hard it was to compress the forks but it is worth checking as you said so that I know and have a reference point. I did a search on Google and found a suspension shop closer to me. Can you tell me how they measure the fork springs to accurately check the rate? I just want to phone the place to make sure that they check the springs properly.

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They'll use somethong like this and put spring in a tube due to length

It has a force meter and a digital vernier 

 

They will ompress the spring a bit to load it, then zero the force meter, compress it another say 10mm to see the force required to compress it a known distance then you can calc the rate per mm

 

 

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