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Question on transporting my XR


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So after taking my XR up to the Sierra's I noticed my fork seals had given way and my forks were leaking. Should I be using a fork brace between the tire and fender when tying down my XR? I haven't in the past but now thinking maybe it is the right thing to do. What's your opinion?

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I've always heard that compressing the forks all the way during transport will put added stress on the seals and cause them to fail sooner. Although I have done that many times over the years and have yet to have a leak, I have always been a little concerned about it. In the last few years I have been using a chunk of 4X4 between the wheel and fender. Not only does it give some peace of mind in the seal department, it also makes it easier to get the front end strapped down nice and tight.

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I've been compressing front forks during transportation since the late sixties and have never had a fork seal failure that I could attribute to that. Seals fail from dirt and wear from sliding up and down, not staic fork compression during transport. Air pressure from fork compression actually increases the sealing pressure of lip seals.

I often store bikes in my truck or on the trailer between rides but I let off the tie downs because I'm concerned about flat spotting the tire, not damaging the fork seals.

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ive had the fork seals fail during transport, only because the seals were rooted! they were the worst set of seals ive ever seen come out of a bike, previous owner rode the bike on the beach. suprisingly though the seals never leaked a drop of oil until i tied it down that day lol. now i always use a brace between the tyre and fender on any of my bikes just incase

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IMO, the best reason for using a brace during transport is as mentioned above. You can really crank the straps down nice & tight. In years past, I've had strap hooks "jump" out of the holding rings in my truck bed when transporting over some really rough dirt roads. Without a brace the shocks can compress/decompress around a bit causing a strap to go slack briefly enough to cause trouble. Nothing makes me madder than damage caused by a fallen bike in my truck.

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I've been compressing front forks during transportation since the late sixties and have never had a fork seal failure that I could attribute to that. Seals fail from dirt and wear from sliding up and down, not staic fork compression during transport. Air pressure from fork compression actually increases the sealing pressure of lip seals.

Not to take away from the other good responses here I really liked this one. Chuck is exactly right, the only added pressure is the little bit of air pressure on top of the oil and that can actually help if your seals are still good. If your seals leak during transport it's time to service the forks.

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IMO, the best reason for using a brace during transport is as mentioned above. You can really crank the straps down nice & tight. In years past, I've had strap hooks "jump" out of the holding rings in my truck bed when transporting over some really rough dirt roads. Without a brace the shocks can compress/decompress around a bit causing a strap to go slack briefly enough to cause trouble. Nothing makes me madder than damage caused by a fallen bike in my truck.

Very good point about transport. ­čśĆ

I've been lucky all of these years having never lost a bike but I did have tie down straps on a trailer slip and the bike fell over but not off. After that I started adding a pair of straps on the rear (four total) so there would always be a back up if one sliped or broke. A few years back I started using straps with a carabiner end so they will stay connected to the truck, makes loading the bike much easier.

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Chuck-I've had similar experience as you and I think you are right, it's an outside force or debris causing the seals to go bad. I've had them go bad seemingly because they were pulled down tight in the back of my truck during transport, but I think more likely they were ready to go anyway or I damaged them on the ride prior to tying it down. I use the 2x4 block a lot but not always and my 250's DO seem to go thru the seals. I wonder if USD's go thru seals as much?

I guess you could look at using the 2x4 block as insurance. Kind of a pain....

Doug

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I learned the hard way that OEM fork seals are the only ones to use for low stiction and long life. I have had long seal life on conventional forks but you do need good wipers or gators. I've always been suspect of seal life on USDs because the seals are more exposed but so far so good, maybe it is the guards on USDs.

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you can go with the 2x4 or one of these...http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/productDetail.do?navType=type&webTypeId=307&navTitle=Trailer+Accessories&webCatId=31&prodFamilyId=9521

it's not so much for the fork seals but more for not allowing the suspension to compress while hitting bumps which could cause slack and the who knows what other kind of trouble might happen after that...just like the other guys said.

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  • 3 weeks later...

one thing to add...i just picked up a set of these

http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/productDetail.do;jsessionid=531DD3D2E72E1D4BD5177A50B9F1C8C3.westring1?webCatId=21&webTypeId=135&navTitle=TrailerAccessories&navType=type&prodFamilyId=24481&stockId=196868

they are awesome, since they loop around the bars there's no chance of them coming "unhooked" like on the old style straps i was using.

good investment for transporting the bike and not having to worry about it unhooking.

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