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Topic-icon 1995 R100RT Fork Seals

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1 month 3 weeks ago #4638 by 14051
1995 R100RT Fork Seals was created by 14051
I wonder if it is possible to replace the fork seals without removing the fork legs from the bike (yokes) ? Thanks

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #4639 by 8166
Replied by 8166 on topic 1995 R100RT Fork Seals
Anything's possible with enough time and money ;)

You can drop the sliders by first removing the socket head cap screw that goes through the bottom of the slider and into the internal absorber, Part 22 shown here:
www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=04...00_RT&diagId=31_0371

The screw, Part 7, is shown here:
www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=04...00_RT&diagId=31_0362

To reach that screw, you'll also have to remove the front wheel, and to get the wheel off, you'll also need to remove the brake calipers.

You'll need to drain the forks because when that screw comes out, so will all the fork oil and it'll be a mess.

But the real fun starts when you try to put it back together. There's nothing to stop the absorber from spinning when you try to tighten the screw. Sometimes you can get it tight with an impact wrench. And sometimes, even if you get it tight, it will leak.

So if you want to drop the fork legs, pull the wheel and calipers, then remove the grill in front of the engine and the panel directly above that that covers the lower fork yoke. You'll have to bend the outer upper edges a bit to get them to release, but look closely at how they're installed and you'll see how they have to come out. Once the panel is out, take off the two brake hose guides by removing the rearmost fender mounting bolts. Then remove the two large nuts at the top of the tubes and loosen the four pinch bolts holding the fork tubes in place and the tubes and fender will come out as a unit. From there you'll have access to the top of the sliders and can change the seals.

This is an excellent time to install some fork gaiters. They'll save the fork tubes from pitting and bug guts, which is very likely why the seals are leaking in the first place. I ditched the rubber bellows around the fork legs at the same time and haven't missed them at all.

I did all this last weekend when I replaced the steering head bearings. Check yours while you have the tubes off. If you feel any notchiness while rotating the handlebars, you need new bearings.

To get to the bearings, remove the fuel tank and set it in a safe place. Then remove the nut on the top of the fork stem. At that point you should be able to lift straight up in the handlebars and the top yoke will come off. Guide it back and rest it on the frame (you might want to put a towel across the frame and fairing before you pull off the yoke). Now unscrew the slotted nut on the steering stem, remove the dust shield, and you should see the top of the upper bearing. Use a wooden block and hammer to drive the stem down through the upper bearing and out of the frame. You'll need special pullers to get the outer races out of the frame and the inner lower race off the steering stem. The ones Cycle Works sells work well and are not that expensive. The bearings are available from your BMW dealer, but the same bearing can be had at your local bearing house for half the price. You'll also ruin the lower dust shield when you remove the bearing, so pick up another one before you start the job.

When you put everything back together, adjust the preload on the steering head bearings so that the handlebars will just fall to one side with a firm blow from your hand to the end of the handlebar. It's a difficult adjustment to make on the RT because of all the wires going to the handlebar switches, and the lower bellows around the fork tubes if you've left them in. I find I need to readjust the bearings after a few hundred miles because they loosen up as the new races settle in. Oh, and you'll need a spanner wrench to adjust that slotted nut without taking off the top yoke again. You'll know the adjustment is correct when you can take your hands off the bars at about 40 MPH and you don't get any handlebar shake, and when coming to a stop the bike doesn't weave side to side. The shake is due to loose bearings, the weave results when they are too tight.

8166 Scot Marburger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Check out the Yankee Hill AirTech Weekend, April 20-21, 2019
Last edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by 8166.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #4640 by 8166
Replied by 8166 on topic 1995 R100RT Fork Seals
One more thing. Use a low temperature white lithium grease to lubricate the steering head bearings, especially if you ride your RT in the winter as it was designed to be ridden. For years I'd been using boat trailer wheel bearing grease with no ill effects, but one morning while crossing the Sierras the temps dropped into the 20s and the steering felt like the bearings were over tightened. Really messed up the handling and caused an anxious moment or two before i adjusted my riding style to compensate. Once things warmed up back into the 40s the problem went away, but on my return later that weekend, they reappeared with the lower temps.

8166 Scot Marburger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Check out the Yankee Hill AirTech Weekend, April 20-21, 2019

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1 month 2 weeks ago #4642 by 14051
Replied by 14051 on topic 1995 R100RT Fork Seals
Thanks a lot Scot !! That gives me lots to think about. That makes sense about the damper spinning (and one I had not thought of) . I shall take a look at what you have described . I will likely drop them right out. Once you have pulled them out as a "unit" do you just leave the unit together (fender ,stabilizer , and sliders) and remove the tubes ? Would it be advised to pull the damper rod out to inspect... in which case should I be prepared to replace rings / washers ? I shall look at the Gaitors too ! Great detailed site you have which I have enjoyed ! ps... no winter riding in BC, and if things get too hot in the summer I turn to our R80. Really appreciate the advice.
(a little vid of my bike)

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