1982 Honda GL500 Silver Front Forks Seals Repair Instructions

Before attempting any repair job, you should have tools and parts necessary on hand. Brakes and suspension components of a motorcycle are vital to rider safety. If you are not confident in doing repairs or maintenance to these systems yourself, seek professional advice or help. It is always advisable to have a good repair manual on hand to aid in completion of this task. Place the motorcycle securely on a motorcycle jack or table, elevated enough to work comfortably on and around the front of the bike.

Tools Used: Torque Wrench, Metric Wrench Set, Metric Socket Set, Metric Allen Wrench Set, Circlip Pliers, Dust Seals, Fork Seals, Fork Oil, Copper Washers for Drain Bolts, Fork Bushings, Oil Drain Pan

Repair Front Forks Seals

Fork Removal

Remove the front wheel. First remove the brake caliper. Use a bungee cord to hold the caliper up and out of the way. Second, detach the speedometer cable from the speedometer drive. Third, remove the front fender. Fourth, carefully remove the axle covers, lowering the front wheel to the ground. Set the front wheel aside.

Drain the fork oil. Using the appropriate Allen wrench, remove the drain bolt from the bottom of each fork, allowing the fork oil to drain completely into a drain pan. Set the drain bolts aside.

Remove the forks from the bike. Before removal, use a large wrench or socket to loosen the fork caps on both forks. Do not remove the caps while the forks are still on the bike. Carefully loosen the four bolts on the triple trees that secure the forks to the bike. Only loosen these bolts enough that the fork tubes will slide easily out of the clamps.

Fork Disassemby

Clear a large clean work area to disassemble the forks, once they are removed. First, carefully remove the fork cap and slide the springs and washers from the inside of the fork, making careful note of the order in which they were removed.

Remove the dust cap and circlip from above the fork seal. Then, using a rapid motion, pull the upper fork tube and the lower fork leg in opposite directions; after a couple of quick forceful tugs, the fork seal should pop loose, and the fork leg should come apart. Before pulling, ensure that the circlip has been removed; otherwise significant damage will result. If the fork seal sticks and the fork does not come apart do not pry the fork seal out. Seek professional help. Significant damage can result to fork tubes by prying.

Remove the upper fork tube from the lower fork tube, and inspect the bushings on it. If the bushings show any sign of wear, they should be replaced. It is generally a good idea to replace bushings at the same time that fork seals are replaced.

Clean and inspect all parts carefully before reassembly, using a parts washer or brake parts cleaner. Replace any parts that show significant damage or wear.


Ensure that all parts are replaced in the same order they were removed. Ensure that the circlips are installed on top of the fork seals before the dust covers are installed. Before replacing the fork caps, be sure the drain bolts have been reinserted using new copper washers. Then pour in the correct amount and weight of fork oil according the manufacturer's specifications. Do not put forks in a vise during reassembly. Serious damage to fork tubes can result.

Replace the forks in the triple clamps, ensuring that the clamps are not too tight, as they can bend the fork tubes. At this time ensure that the fork caps are tightened to the manufacturer's torque specifications. Check the drain bolts, and move the lower fork legs up and down to ensure that the fork seals are not leaking.

Reassemble the remainder of the front end, following the reverse of the assembly steps. Ensure that the front tire spins freely and is properly aligned. Also ensure that the front brakes are functioning properly.

Take the bike for a test drive, after inspecting your work and making sure all steps have been completed. Ensure that all braking systems are operating properly and that the front suspension feels firm and does not "dive" on front-end braking.

Look around the front end, ensuring that there are no leaks, and check all bolts for tightness. Clean all surfaces of fingerprints and smudges of oil.

Tips & Warnings

Any work on suspension or braking systems of a motorcycle is critical. Mistakes may result in serious injury or death. Remain focused, and if you are not comfortable performing a task, seek professional help.

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