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spikelovesmetal

How to protect fork stanchions - YBR 125

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Hello,

I recently bought my first bike, a 2010 YBR 125 with 3,000 miles on the clock, and bar some teething problems it's been great. I took it for its MOT shortly after getting it and had to have the fork seals replaced, as braking was akin to running into a wall holding one of those big yoga balls. There wasn't any oil on the forks when I had looked at it a couple of times, but the bloke pointed out that by this point it had probably all squeezed out given how bouncy it was (a quick emergency stop-type exercise in the car park saw the 'Yamaha' logo almost touch the top of the outer tube). The workshop pointed out a stone chip on the left inner tube and said that although they had measured it and found that it shouldn't be in the range for the forks, it might be the cause of the problem.

Sure enough, one month and, er, 12 miles later I'm back to doing kangaroo impressions and am looking at replacing the inner tubes. I know rubber fork gaiters have generally fallen out of favour, but can anyone recommend an alternative to protect the forks, such as plastic guards or neoprene cable-tie on beasties? Or have I just been unlucky?

Thanks in advance.

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Rubber gaiters are still available just type it into ebay and you will get loads.

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I've had a look at aftermarket gaiters and have found some rubber ones that fit my bike already. However, searching for advice about them on other forums and message boards has almost warned me off them a bit. Somebody on a Ténéré forum pointed out that they tend to trap dirt, grit and water inside them, hence why they are seldom featured on more modern bikes as opposed to 80's or 90's models where they were quite widely used. I was wondering if there was something like the plastic guards you see on upside-down forks that act a bit like shin pads (like on WRs), but for, um, right-way-up forks.

I suppose my question in that case is more 'do I worry about protecting the forks, or just let it happen?'. Are stone chips like that about as likely as getting one that cracks a car windscreen, or is it a good idea to get something to protect them with winter coming up (gritter lorries etc)? I'd rather not be forking out (haw haw) a hundred quid every time there's a bit of grit nearby, but if I've just been unlucky that'd be good to know too.

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You can get plastic protectors like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-Universal-Motorcycle-Fork-Leg-Stanchion-Protectors-Easy-Fit-/400459931906?hash=item5d3d45a102:g:jsgAAOSwKIpV-VuS#ht_1257wt_1055 that fit around the leg and protect the stanchion, and the ones shown are universal that are split at the back so you open them up to go over the leg so no removing of the forks is required. Tony

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I was told there are also neoprene gaiters that basically velcro on...  That way they're easier to take off and clean under. ??  This after I already had rubber gaiters put on. :biglaugha: 

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Guessing these bikes take about 100cc of oil in each leg. To lose that amount in 12 miles would be obvious with oil running down the fork leg. Before buying new fork legs, drain out the oil from each leg to see much is still in there. If there is still some there then remove the springs and measure them against the size given in the manual.

Re the stone chip, a wee trick back in the day when we were all skint was to fill these chips with araldite and carefully 'sand' it down with very fine emery cloth or similar 

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Jimmy has the right idea, CHECK before you do anything, no point in spending loads of money if it's a simple fix. As to the gaiters making the stanchions sweat!, unless you NEVER remove them then yes it's a possibility I suppose and a Tenere is more an adventure bike than yours so unless you ride off road a lot it's not going to be a problem.

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Thanks for all the info. I've had another look at the bike forks today keeping what you've all said in mind.

The right leg seems fine - no traces of oil on it as the suspension moves and feels dry. The left leg, however, has a little 'tidemark' of oil on it to wherever the inner tube dips in, e.g. under braking. I'm quite content that the majority of the oil they put in after fixing the seals is still in there, as it isn't pouring out in buckets over the wheel/brakes etc. There aren't any visible defects to the seal area, either - it just seems to have reverted back to being a kangaroo again with an oily left leg.

On the right inner tube there's a few spots of rust but above the line the tube would sink to. On the left leg there's a score mark about 4mm long and in almost a dead straight horizontal line (showing up diagonally on the tube). It's deeper than a patch of rust, and almost looks like a saw mark. The garage I originally took it to warned that because of this the fork seals might last another 3000 miles or only 3, but only time and riding the thing would tell. The rest of the fork assembly seemed fine in their view. I've got it booked in to have the inner tubes replaced and a service (minus oil and air filter which I've done) whilst it's sat there.

Perhaps important to note that the 12 miles consisted mainly of taking it to the garage (1.6 miles), bringing it back and getting petrol (another 2 miles) and then it's been sat at home. The other miles have been spent taking it up and down the car park every Sunday trying to build my confidence up after being reduced to 'bike wimp' status. I've not been leaping on it from a height, and it's not been doing stoppies or endos or crunching into any potholes so I hope it's not anything to do with how I've been riding it.

I've no expectations of it ever being a mini-Ténéré but was interested from a protection point of view, as they tend to have lots more rock flying towards them than road bikes. Has anyone else had a problem with stones damaging their forks with normal road use?  

Thanks again for your advice!

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