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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive heard people say if you strap you front end too tight on the trailer it can blow the fork seals.

It doesnt make sense to me but Ive seen fork seals blow twice while on the trailer.
 

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Yes, keeping the front suspension compressed can blow the seals or at least fluid can seep pass the seals. The seals were not designed to withstand constant pressure for a long period of time.
 

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Rollin' & Trippin'
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When we trailered our bikes, we compressed the forks until the bikes we strapped well, but still allowed a little bit of movement. We loaded the bikes the night before, without compressing the forks. When we were ready to go, we tightened them down and headed out. We did stop once to tighten them a little bit more because we didn't tighten them enough first time. They wobbled just a little. When we got to our destination, we immediately loosened them up. A couple of CFer's, Stillie and Krypt Keeper, suggested we use canyon dancers and to not keep them compressed too long or compress them too tight. We didn't have any problems. Someone said they had problems with the canyon dancers eating their grips, but I think they had the bike compressed too tight. :shrug Ours did just fine.

I suggest doing a little test by loading your bike and making a little drive (even in the neighborhood) while watching in your mirrors to see what the bike does (we did this too a couple of days before we left). We allowed ours to have a little bit of bounce to make sure that they weren't too compressed.
 

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Canyon Dancers are the way to go. If you have foam grips you do have to be real careful about getting a good fit berfore tightening the straps. The possability of blowing a seal is just one of risks you have to take when trailering a bike.
 

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I've become a fan of soft ties around the bottom tripple trees latly. You can get nearly the same purcase as a canyon dancer without the wear on grips. The package is a little cleaner too.

Along with fork seal wear, what I'd be more concerned with it spring wear. I'm reasonably sure that modern metalurgy would prevent this, but it is possible to change your spring dynamics by over compressing them for long periods of time.
 

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Hawker said:
Along with fork seal wear, what I'd be more concerned with it spring wear. I'm reasonably sure that modern metalurgy would prevent this, but it is possible to change your spring dynamics by over compressing them for long periods of time.
I dunno, that sounds the same as the "keeping rounds in a magazine at all times weakens / doesn't weaken the spring" debate. I've always read and believed that keeping a spring compressed doesn't weaken the spring, but constant compression / decompression can. (ie, it's better to keep your magazine loaded than the load and unload it constantly.)

But then again, I'm comparing apples to oranges, and I'm probably full of shit. :p
 

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totenkinder said:
I dunno, that sounds the same as the "keeping rounds in a magazine at all times weakens / doesn't weaken the spring" debate......
Yea, my dad keeps his mags loaded at all times.. It doesn't seem to weaken the springs in the clips at all.. they still feel firm and strong.

I've read an article in one of my classes in school about a theory called "failure by fatigue".. basically take a thin metal rod.. fold it once into shape and it forms a paper clip.. at its current form folded just once, its good.. but if you keep refolding it again and again.. it fatigues the metal rod until it just breaks.. :shrugs

Like he said.. apples to oranges.
 

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instead of using straps.. would it be possible to use a wheel chock/lock bolted down into your flatbed or trailer? and then use straps to stabilize the rear? just curious.
 

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two pwns four said:
instead of using straps.. would it be possible to use a wheel chock/lock bolted down into your flatbed or trailer? and then use straps to stabilize the rear? just curious.
you can do that. just put it in gear and strap the front brake on (oh no, youll blow the caliper seals/line :rolleyes )
what i did with my F2 trackwhore was wheel chock on trailer and then SOFT TIES around the fork tubes right above the dust seals. i would trailer that bike for hours that way and it NEVER MOVED. plus your not compressing your forks. the triples are more than strong enough to prevent BENT fork tubes if your worried about that. :confused
 

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^RULES^
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks for the replies.. i dont really get why it happens though.

One thing I saw that worked awesome was removing the front fender and putting a block of wood between the tire and the lower triple.. the wood would keep pressure off the forks but you could still strap the hell out of it.
 

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Part of the reason fork seals blow when strapped down is that there is no room in the forks to relieve pressure when you hit a bump in the road. If the straps are too tight the only left to give in the suspension system is the fork seals.

FWIW, in all my trucking of motorcycles I've never blown a fork seal.
 

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sportchock - best thing for transporting bikes that money can buy (IMHO)

Ive seen peoples days at the track ended when they arrive and see that their
fork seals have decided to give way.... one of the shittiest ways (outside of leaving
your keys at home) to start a trackday.
 

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Sometimes I Think Too Much ...
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alanheng said:
FWIW, in all my trucking of motorcycles I've never blown a fork seal.
+1 although with the sustained pressure against the seal it's understandable as to why.
Seems to me that if the seal is fatigued enough to 'turn inside out' or even substantially leak, it would be better for this failure to show up when tied down, than to have it occur when hitting a pot hole, speed bump or when doing a panic stop, no? I mean it seems to me that a quick compression would more likely induce failure of the seal than sustained pressure. Although I've seen forks start leaking when just parked, presumably from sun heat related pressure.
 

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ducati_atx said:
sportchock - best thing for transporting bikes that money can buy (IMHO)

Ive seen peoples days at the track ended when they arrive and see that their
fork seals have decided to give way.... one of the shittiest ways (outside of leaving
your keys at home) to start a trackday.
:thumb

SportChock, then secure with softties around the lower triple. Secure, not STRAP down.
 
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