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2001 xr650l leaking seals. Suspension questions too..

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I have a 2001 xr650l with about 4400 miles and the front forks have a slight leak in the fork seals. I get a bit of oil on the fork and wipe it off just to find more. Bike has been sitting for 3 years due to other circumstances. Time to fix this and get back on it again. I have summers racing components on there for the covers. They don't completely wrap around so I'm wondering if perhaps mud and sand got on there and ruined the seals somehow. I figure I might as well totally rebuild this suspension and do modifications because I never liked it. I'm 6'2" tall and 215lbs so I need a firmer front end. Rear isn't as bad. I have replaced my springs on my road bike (vtx1800c) with progressive springs but that is the extent of my work with suspension. I am really not sure what the proper procedure is on a rebuild and what I should do to it. It seems from my research so far that I should perhaps purchase some eibach springs at .47kg. I am not sure if I should do any valve adjustments. I am also not sure how involved replacing the seals is and if I should go with oem parts or not. Any advice is much appreciated. I'm sure I can fix this myself with a little direction. I did get the service manual and clymer manual already. Also, if anyone has any links to helpful procedures on dialing in suspension let me know.

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re-spring & add a fork brace, it will feel much better. The fork brace will help with the"flex" the L has in the front end.:banana:

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Thoughts on just shortening the stock spring and adding a spacer?

I have the src fork brace on there now. I think that is why the src covers are on there now because the stock ones didn't fit.

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Wouldn't know anything about the springs except to say we used to use spacers in the days of old to stop sag in them..We didn't go round chopping up the springs and then add a spacer.,,just jammed the spacer in and reinserted the caps..with difficulty at times..Seals are fairly easy to replace,, though in saying that they can be a pain at times. Loosen the top caps on the Forks with them still attached by the holding bolts on the steering head then remove the Forks and Front wheel and I'm sure someone will give you a hand should you run into trouble. You will be needing two new seals and the two dust covers which go above them..One of each goes on each fork.,,,Oh yep and find yourself a piece of non sharp edged pipe that'll fit over the forks with say a 5/10mm gap around it's edges when it's fitted over the fork..You'd use that as a drift to knock the seals on should they be a tight fit,,..some can,..some slip on fairly easily, but it pays to be prepared for the worse..The drift needs to be able to fit inside the bottom leg when you bang the seal into it's position down there.,,a short piece will do as you can tap it down with a hunk of wood working in a circular motion around the drift,,,not perfect but who's going looking for a 3ft or longer chunk of pipe..

Edited by Horri

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Sounds like a redneck repair job. No offense though :banana:. I'll buy a motion pro seal driver.

Without cutting springs and just adding spacers you are just increasing preload. Makes no difference whatsoever to spring rate. Then spring still compresses with the same amount of pressure. Spacers are good for sag like you mentioned though.

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