A leaking fork seal on a Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic will reduce the effectiveness of the fork's ability to react to changes in the road surface. Additionally, the front brake can be adversely affected if the leaking fork fluid finds its way to the brake rotor or pads. Although a few specialised tools are required to replace the motorcycle's fork seals, most V-Star owners should be able to complete the job.
Place the V-Star on a sturdy motorcycle stand to raise it at least 2 inches off the ground.
Unscrew the front brake caliper mounting bolts with a socket wrench and a 14mm socket. Lift the calipers off the front wheel brake rotors and hang them from the handlebars with a bungee cord.
Loosen the pinch bolt on the bottom of the right fork leg with a socket wrench and a 12mm socket. Unscrew the front axle from the right fork leg with a 22mm socket, then pull the axle out of the fork and front wheel. Roll the wheel away from your motorcycle.
Unscrew the bolts attaching the front fender to the lower fork legs with a socket wrench and a 10mm socket. Pull the fender away from the front fork.
Loosen the upper and lower triple clamp pinch bolts with a socket wrench and a 12mm socket. Pull the fork legs, one at a time, out of the triple clamps.
Place the fork leg in a vice for support, then unscrew the cap from the top of the fork leg with a socket wrench and a 22mm socket. Pull the spacer and spring out of the top of the fork by hand.
Remove the fork leg from your vice. Hold the fork leg upside down over a drain pan until the fork fluid is completely drained. Replace the fork leg into your vice.
Pull the rubber boot off of the top of the lower fork leg by hand to reveal the fork seal and its retaining clip. Slide the rubber boot off of the upper fork tube.
Pry the fork seal's retaining ring out of the groove cut into the top of the lower fork leg with a flat screwdriver.
Slide a Yamaha damper rod holder tool through the fork tube and into the lower fork leg. Using the tool, hold the fork's damper rod steady while unscrewing the Allen bolt from the bottom of the lower fork leg with a 6mm Allen wrench. Remove the damper rod holder and the damper rod from the fork tube.
Push the fork tube into the lower fork leg, then pull it out forcefully to unseat the fork seal and free the fork tube from the lower fork leg. Slide the fork seal off of the top of the fork tube.
Install the damper rod into the lower fork leg. Tighten the Allen bolt on the bottom of the lower fork leg with a 6mm Allen wrench.
Coat the new fork seal with clean 10W fork fluid, then slide it down the fork tube. Slip the fork tube into the top of the lower fork leg. Seat the fork seal into the top of the lower fork leg with a seal driver. The seal must be seated below the retaining clip's groove in the lower fork leg.
Snap the fork seal's retaining clip into place, then slide the rubber boot down the fork tube and press it into place over the lower fork leg by hand.
Fill the fork leg with a half quart of 10W fork fluid. Slowly pump the fork tube to remove air bubbles suspended in the fork fluid. Slip the fork's spring and spacer into the top of the fork tube. Screw the cap into place with a socket wrench and a 22mm socket.
Wipe the fork tube with a shop towel to remove residual fork fluid. Replace the remaining fork leg's seal, following the method described. Reinstall the fork legs onto your V-Star.
Reinstall the fork legs after the seals have been changed, following the reverse order of removal.
Tips and warnings
- Reinstall the fork legs after the seals have been changed, following the reverse order of removal.