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I think my left fork seal is leaking. Yesterday, after riding I see the what looks like oil ring on the left fork. . My bike is a 2009 Kawi Vulcan 500. It only has 3500 miles on it (bought it about a year ago with 750 miles on it) Nothing untoward has happened to bike to cause this, to my knowledge. See pics below. Questions:
1. What causes this?
2. What to do about it and how soon?
3. What is the typical cost to repair?
4. If the fork seals are replaced, do they change the fork oil?

Thanks,
 

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Before you go for a full replacement try cleaning it.


I make a tool out of a soda bottle - works for me unless the seal really is bad.
 

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The first thing to do is determine if this is actually fork oil or simply some crud that got lodged into the top of the seal and deposited on the fork tube.

Clean it off thoroughly, ride the bike being sure to compress the forks several times and check for oil.

If the seal is indeed leaking, it should be replaced and the oil refilled. It's not usually a hugely difficult job as long as the manual is followed. A shop might charge a couple hundred, but it can be done a lot cheaper in an afternoon at home if you have the tools.
 
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