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1975 Honda CB360t, 1975 Honda CL360, 2012 Triumph Bonneville T100
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26 Posts
I would not recommend riding the bike until you fix the fork seals and have had a chance to inspect the fork components for wear and tear, rust, and funky residue from the old oil. You need good functioning forks to maintain the front tire contact patch and steering stability on rough roads and when counter steering. Good forks are also important for the braking process as weight shifts to the front wheel/tire when applying the front brake which should provide about 80% of your stopping power.
You can make it easier to remove the old fork seals by gently applying moderate heat with a heat gun to the periphery of the area around the seal. Wearing a thick glove, you can then grasp the fork and easily pop-out the seal without marring the seal seating surfaces.
While the EZ seals are just drop-in, the OEM seals are not that difficult to install if you lube the outer edges with fork oil and firmly tap them in with a socket as a seal driver and a dead blow hammer. OEM seals are a lot less expensive, and frankly seem more robust than the EZ seals. Be sure to note which side of the seal faces up/down when you remove the old ones so you can properly install the new ones.
With new seals, fresh fork oil, and clean internal components you should notice a definite improvement in the handling and braking of the bike.
 

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1975 Honda CB360t, 1975 Honda CL360, 2012 Triumph Bonneville T100
Joined
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26 Posts
I should clarify that you should apply the heat to the outer metal surface of the fork body, and NOT on the seal itself. The idea is to expand the fork body (but not the seal) so you can more easily remove the seal. That's also why I advise wearing a heavy glove on the hand that grasps the fork body as you want to leverage out the seal while the fork is hot and expanded. Just work your way around the inner bottom lip of the seal and in the seal groove. Apply leverage a little at a time. This will gradually work the seal up in the fork body to the top and out. It is best not to try to pry a large portion of the seal out all at once. If you don't have a heat gun, a hair dryer will do just fine, but it takes longer and you will want to pause every couple of minutes to let the hair dryer cool a little so you don't burn it out (don't ask me, or my wife, how I know this...)
 
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