As you know, I recently replaced the dust seals, also know as wiper seals, on my VStar. Here is a quick run down of what to do should you face this same problem. I was a tad rushed during the job due to the great riding weather I was missing, so I didn’t take the time to document each step with pictures as I should have. At any rate, here is how to remove and replace the dust/wiper seals….
1) Raise and secure the bike, ensuring you have enough space, and support to remove the front wheel.
2) Loosen the pinch bolt that holds the axle in place, you will find this on the lower slider next to the axle.
3) Loosen and remove the speedometer cable from the speedometer drive gear unit located on the wheel.
4) Remove the axle, and slide the wheel and brake rotor assembly out and away from the forks. At this point, the speedometer unit can be removed from the wheel and placed in such a way as to not let dirt or debris get in the unit.
5) Loosen and remove the two bolts holding the brake caliper in place, and remove the caliper. For this step you can simply place the caliper on a box or stool, keeping the brake line attached, preventing having to bleed the brakes when re-attaching the line.
6) Working with one fork at a time, loosen the pinch bolts found at the back of the triple trees, one for the top, and one for the bottom.
7) The tube should slide right out. If not, gently nudge it from the top, while applying a little pressure from under the triple trees. This should remove the fork tube completely from the bike.
8) Use a small flat blade screwdriver, held laterally, to gently persuade the rubber dust seal up. You will not need to apply a lot of pressure here, and should not press the screwdriver down into the fork, or else you could damage the fork seal.
9) With the old dust seal removed, simply slide the new seal down the tube until it rests on top of the fork slider. You can make a round sleeve to slide around the tube and drive the seal in evenly, or carefully tap it down making sure not to damage the seal as you guide it in.
10) Repeat this for both fork dust seals.
11) Reverse steps 1-6, reinstalling the fork tubes, wheel, rotor, and brake caliper. For each, there are recommended torque specifications. In most cases, I generally just tighten the bolts and make sure everything is secure. The first time or two doing this job, I did use a torque wrench. As of late however, I have found it a tad unnecessary.
There you have it. It’s a simple fix, and will keep your VStar’s fork seals protected from any dirt and dust, preventing any damage that may otherwise occur. As mentioned previously, I have a couple of ideas that I’m still mulling over. With a little luck, some more brainstorming, and hopefully some time off to work on my VStar, and I’ll be back with another update. Until then…ride safe!