Got a Leak?

The Solution
Seal Savers are Lycra booties that wrap
around the inner and outer fork tubes.  
They're designed to keep out the crud.  I've
been using these on the last five bikes I've
owned, including my '99 KTM 300EXC with
conventional forks.

On my '99 EXC, I decided to combine the
booties with fork boots as a last-ditch effort to
never again have leaky fork seals.  The booties
went on first, and then the challenge was to
get the rubber fork boots expanded around
the booties.  Not an easy task, but three hands
and a couple sets of needle nose pliers made
the job much more tolerable. I put these on in
April 2001 and didn't have a seal leak for the
rest of the time I owned the bike (sold it in
May 2003). The Seal Savers allowed some
junk to get past the rubber fork boots (via
holes from rocks, sticks, crashes, etc.) without
letting the seals get dirty.

On my '02 KTM 300MXC and both Kawasaki
KX250's, fork booties were pretty much the
only solution. The good thing about
upside-down forks are that the water and
crud tends to flow away from the seals, as
opposed to conventional forks where all the
junk slides down the tubes and comes to rest
on the seals.

Here's an easier tip that might also help.  The
round springs on the fork and dust seals can
be shortened, i.e. the diameter made smaller,
to make the seals tighter around the fork
tubes.  Look closely at the springs and you'll
see where the ends are connected.  The ends
screw in together, so they can be unscrewed
and separated.  Cut off a few millimeters of
the "female" end, screw the ends back
together, put the spring back on the seal, and
you've now got a tighter seal.