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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The right fork has just started leaking oil. It's showing up around the dust cap. I'll be ordering a set of seals in the next week or two, but until then I want to add more oil to keep it lubed. I read somewhere you're not supposed to take the top nut off the fork(s) until you do something further down the fork, but now I can't find the article to see what that "something" is. Is this true, or is it ok to just remove the nut to add more oil without doing anything else???

1985 GL1200 LTD w/CFI
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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There is no reason to add oil. Long before you have a low oil problem, you will have other more serious stuff to worry about. Like loss of braking and traction.
A good thing to do with that leak is pull off the dust cover, wrap a thin strip of cotton cloth around the tube, and put the dust cover back on. That usually slows the leak and keeps things cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. :) I completely understand what you're saying. I found the leak during a "pre-trip inspection", something I do before every ride, and after breaks on longer trips. The right disk was already wet from the fluid so I cleaned it, and the pads, well with brake cleaner, then wrapped an old doo-rag around the fork just below the dust cover. Somehow the fluid hadn't made it to the tire, thank goodness. Guess I caught it right after it started leaking. I like your solution much better and will be doing that this afternoon. Decided not to wait to order the seals and ordered those this morning. Should be here by the middle of next week.
 

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Agree with Dennis. Wait until you change the seals, and you might as well change both fork seals at the same time. Preventive maintenance being golden for these old bikes. Wrap a shop rag around the lower fork next to the axle, to prevent contamination of the wheel rim and brakes until you get it fixed.
 

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Cleaning the seals stopped my forks from leaking. I found the Seal Mate to bend rather easily so I bought a Seal Doc plastic tool that is a lot sturdier but expensive at $24. Still less hassle than replacing seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the information and advice. :) I tried the cloth under the dust seal and it's slowed the leak down to a small seep. Should the bike develop another fork oil leak in the future I'll probably try the cleaning approach first, however since the new set of seals (for both forks) arrived yesterday I'm just going to go ahead and put them on. Any instruction on how to do this without having to remove the forks from the bike would be greatly appreciated. My repair manual only gives the longggg process of completely removing the forks.
 
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