ASK THE MXPERTS: FROM JUNKER TO LEAKER

The shiny look of these fork tubes is a dead giveaway of a fork seal leak.

Dear MXperts,
I just bought my first brand-new bike after a few years of riding used junkers. But, in the last five months, I have replaced the fork seals three times: once because I got a nick in my fork leg, and the other two just plain old leaks. There must be a way to stop fork seals from leaking. What is it?

There are three ways to help your bike’s fork seals last longer.

(1) Park it. Park your bike in a hermetically sealed environment and never take it out.

(2) SealSavers. SealSavers are neoprene tubes that slide up your fork legs on to the stanchion. With half of the neoprene below the fork seal and half above it, the SealSavers act as a pre-seal and a fork wiper that stops dirt from getting to the seals. Most of the racers we know are too cool to run SealSavers, but they complain the loudest when they have to replace their fork seals. At $20, SealSavers are a bargain. They even make SealSavers with a zipper up the back so they are easier to put on and take off. For more information, go to www.sealsavers.com.

(3) ProTech fork guards. ProTech injection-molded fork guards wrap around 95 percent of your bike’s fork tubes, protecting both the front and back from stone chips, dents and dings. They are direct replacements for the standard OEM guards on KTMs, Husqvarnas, Gas Gas’, Shercos, Hondas and Yamahas. The ProTech guards offer much more protection from roost for the fork legs, and this vastly improves the chances of your fork seals lasting twice as long. They are available in white, black, orange, red and yellow (depending on bike brand). You can order them directly from the British manufacturer at www.protechguards.co.uk or from www.n2dirt.net in Southern Cailfornia.

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