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Offline Valvefloat

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Leaking forks
« on: July 18, 2014, 04:03:25 PM »
I'm about three quarters of the way through a two-week, 4500-mile trip through the Rockies. Yesterday, while checking my front tire pressure (something I haven't been doing regularly), I noticed that my fingers had collected some oily substance. When I looked around, I noticed that fork oil was leaking from the seal between the tube and slider on the right fork.

It looked like it had been leaking for a few days as there was dust collected by fluid on the brake caliper mount, the caliper, the wheel, and even the right corner of the chin spoiler.

The bike is still running fine and the suspension seems to be working properly. Judging by where the wires go, most of the damping must be taking place in the left fork.

I haven't been popping wheelies and crashing down on the front wheel, and so I have no idea what could have caused this. I did tie the bike down securely while trailering it form Michigan to Colorado, where I started my trip.

For now, I'm in the middle of Idaho and have about 1200 miles and three and a half days to go. BMW dealers are sparse around these parts, besides I'm riding with a friend and don't want to kill a day a dealership having this fixed. I'd like to make sure that there's still some oil in my right fork, but while I did bring along some tools, I didn't bring a wrench large enough to remove a fork cap.

For now, I'm hoping to complete the trip and have the bike repaired when I get home. Anyone have any similar experience or advice?

Offline Lowrance

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 04:25:40 PM »
You are correct. The damping Is via a sealed cartridge in the left fork tube. The only thing the oil in the right leg does is lube the bushings and set air spring from oil level. You can finish your ride with no worries.
Why is common sense so uncommon?

Offline rockdog32

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2014, 01:06:38 AM »
 Mine is doing the same thing. I got an official response from BMW stating its not fork oil but assembly grease under the dust cap. I then asked why both sides aren't doing it and they said they forget to use it sometimes lol....

Offline Valvefloat

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2014, 02:03:24 AM »
Lowrance, thanks for the reply. It confirms my thinking as well. I have a thousand miles to go. Let's hope we're both right

RockDog32, as to this being grease rather than fork oil, I doubt it. The stuff is pretty thin, finer than motor oil. I've never seen grease this liquid.

We'll see what my dealership says next week.

Offline rockdog32

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2014, 02:05:41 AM »
That's what I thought. When I did the customer survey, I put this in it. That was just their response. It didn't sit too well with me.

Offline jzpk

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 07:01:31 AM »
I've had exactly the same experience and it was on the left fork as well. Noticed it while on a four day track course so kept a close eye on it and it's definetly not grease.

Offline Valvefloat

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 01:02:39 PM »
I dropped my bike off at the dealer yesterday. They did not give me an BS about assembly grease and said they would order the parts to fix the fork forthwith. But they did say that they have never seen this before on a R, or an RR.

I wonder if my trailering my bike from Michigan to Colorado for my recent trip had anything to do with this. Is there some special procedure to follow when compressing the DDC suspension with the tie-down straps? I did run the engine during the process, though I don't know that that was necessary. Is there anything else to do?

Offline Lowrance

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 03:05:56 PM »
No need to run the engine while using tiedowns. The forks will compress to the same point albeit just a bit slower as the main needle valve in the sealed cartidge is for all intents and purposes closed.

This will not harm your fork seals. Riding will compress the forks in a much more stressful way then using tiedowns.

There are only 2 reasons the fork seals would be leaking.

1. A foriegn particle (eg, dirt, debris of some sort) has worked it's way past the dust seal and then wedged itself between the hydraulic seal and sanction tube which is allowing oil to escpae from the fork.
2. A stone has put a small dent in the sanction tube which has sliced the hydraulic seal.

Both easily fixed. Good to see the dealer is looking after you.

Cheers
Why is common sense so uncommon?

Offline MadRussian

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 03:26:10 PM »
*Originally Posted by Valvefloat [+]
I dropped my bike off at the dealer yesterday. They did not give me an BS about assembly grease and said they would order the parts to fix the fork forthwith. But they did say that they have never seen this before on a R, or an RR.

I wonder if my trailering my bike from Michigan to Colorado for my recent trip had anything to do with this. Is there some special procedure to follow when compressing the DDC suspension with the tie-down straps? I did run the engine during the process, though I don't know that that was necessary. Is there anything else to do?

Bike gets shipped to the dealers in wooden crate with straps, same way you towed yours to Colorado.
Unless you strapped her so tight, that you bottomed out the shock, it shouldn't be an issue.
My anger management class really pisses me off.

Offline Valvefloat

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Re: Leaking forks
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 10:18:39 PM »
Good to hear about the lack of damage from conventional tie-downs. Would be a real pain if one had to do something more exotic.

 


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