Bugs Are Tiny Projectile Enemies to Fork Seals!

Gnats, flies, mosquitos! Riding on the highway every morning around 4:30, I have the pleasure of collecting my fair share of these little buggers (pun intended) on my helmet visor. It’s amazing that by the time I get to work – 45 miles (75% at highway speeds) – those once soft, squishy bugs are now crystallized - hard as tiny rocks. It takes a few minutes in the bathroom sink to rub them off with water – gently rubbing so I don’t cause scratches. Yes, I find that if I’m not careful, rubbing those tiny calcified bugs without water creates nice little scratches in my not-so-inexpensive visors. Who would have imagined these tiny creatures could create even greater havoc?

Who would have imagined? Not me! That is until the technician at Go AZ motorcycles in Scottsdale, AZ explained to me what probably caused my fork seals to spring a leak. I assumed it was dust and dirt. You see, here in Arizona we have our monsoon season around July and August. During monsoon season we experience a lot of – and I mean a LOT OF – blowing dust.

With this much blowing dust, I naturally assumed the dust and dirt of monsoon season was what caused my fork seals to leak – ah, nope! Can you guess what was the probable cause.

Crystallized bugs – At highway speeds these little buggers slam into the forks with tremendous force then harden almost instantaneously. Then of course, as I encounter turns, bumps in the road or the occasional need to stop, the front of the bike dips forcing the fork tubes into the forks. And guess what those little hard-as-rock, former bugs are doing? That’s right — they are gripping tighter than super glue, going into and out of the fork tubes – rubbing, scratching and destroying the fork seals during their ebb and flow with the road bumps and stops.

Well those little, hardened bugs became a quick enemy – to the tune of $375 for the R & R of fork seals.

Next stop – fork gaiters!