Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First ride, and leaky upside-down fork seals.

Got out for a real ride yesterday, even if it was just an "all-asphalt" ride.  Dave still has his DRZ400E for dirt riding, but he recently picked up a mint-condition 2007 Kawasaki Versys for when he doesn't want to get muddy. He invited me to join him, along with a couple of his street buddies for a ~200 Km ride that took us to Almonte, then over to Merrickville, and back home again. We stopped for lunch at a pub on the water in Almonte.

Anyway, it was the first real ride for me on my newly upgraded DR since it came out of winter storage a few days ago. The bike ran great and the new RMZ forks and the rebuilt and upgraded rear shock were awesome... except that I noticed both fork legs were leaking oil even before I arrived at Dave's house. Oh well, I went along for the ride anyway -- hoping that oil wouldn't find its way onto my front brake rotor.

When I got home I was curious and just had to take a better look. When I took the RMZ forks apart over the winter and put new seals in them, I had my doubts that I was installing the new seals properly. What? Was I installing the seals upside-down in my new upside-down forks? 

The aftermarket All-Balls seals looked almost the same from both sides, so it was hard to determine which side was up.  And, as it happened, when I ordered the All-Balls seals from my local dealer over the phone, I mistakenly ordered both the aftermarket and OEM seals at the same time. I inquired about returning one set and they told me about their silly re-stocking charge policy so I decided to keep them.  Anyway, once home from my ride yesterday, I pulled them apart and installed the new OEM seals (far more obvious which way goes up).  Went for a good ride when I finished at bed time, and so far, no leaks.

The All-Balls seals. Which way is up? I dunno.
Throw those away and stick with OEM seals.