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KTM fork guards -- a good idea?

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As a DRZ owner until recently, I was like many of you who sought the KTM fork guards for my bike. They sure looked better and I thought the hard plastic would do a good job protecting my fork tubes from rocks.

I sold the bike before getting them installed, but here is where it get strange:

Within months of KTM going back to the conventional forks and those guards (I think it was 1996 or 1997), KTM began to recommend and in some cases replaced the plastic sliders with conventional accordion booties like the ones that come on the DRZ. The main factor/issue was the affect of dust and dirt settling on the seal/wiper and eventually leading to seal failure.

So my advice to those folks using the KTM guards it to keep your forks clean. I will run the booties on my KTM, even if they don't look so cool!

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I can't say what ktm did/recommended but I do know that when bronco did his I kept expecting the seals to start leaking especially in the gunk we ride in. Well over a year later I decided that they passed the test and then bought a set for my bike. After two years bronco's seals started leaking but I doubt the boots would have done any better at protection.

FWIW, I'd rather replace my fork seals because some dirt/mud screwed them up than to have to replace my fork leg because a rock came up and dinged it. The hard plastic will protect from that way better than the original gaiter.

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thats becuase the marzochi and wp seals were junk.even the boots didnt help.

That makes sense; I see information about seal cleaning and maintenance everywhere in the KTM manual and there was some kind of bulletin that recommended cleaning them after every ride.

The ones on my bike are 7-years old and don't leak so I guess I am lucky or both of my forks are out of oil and that would explain that boing I get when I land!

To the guy that was asking about the parts needed for the conversion, there are a bunch of threads with pictures, tips, and part numbers.

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I must say that I like the normal fork boots. I installed braided brake lines on my DRZ so I went back to the Acerbis KTM style guards to keep the front line in place but I hate to ride offroad with them. If the fork boots are installed properly there is no way any dirt, water or mud will get in there unlike the fork guards where all the dirt lands up on the top of the dust seal and slides up and down with the stanchions. Plus the fork boots does an excellent job of protecting the stanchions, I once took a tumble and the one boot completely ripped on a rock but the stanchion was fine because the boot took the impact.

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