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Author Topic: Are gaiters good?  (Read 1150 times)


  • Scooter
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Are gaiters good?
« on: October 29, 2013, 06:55:03 am »
After dismantling my fork legs I found one had corrosion on the tube just under where it contacts with the top oil seal. There also appeared to be a few drops of what looked like water between the 2 oil seals. I'm now suspicious of how proficient the rubber fork gaiters are at keeping water out. I notice that there is a gap at the top of them where they are held onto the chromed metal shrouds under the headlight. Rainwater can enter here I would think and not be able to escape. It then sits on top of the oil seals and gradually gets drawn down in between the seals. If the bike is left to sit (say over the winter) it then corrodes the fork tube. Has anyone removed their gaiters or attempted to seal the gap at the top of them? I guess you still need to put some rubber sleeve over the oil seals to protect them if you do remove the gaiters.

High On Octane

  • Grand Gearhead
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Re: Are gaiters good?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 08:10:34 am »
You need to remove the fork legs to install/remove the fork gaiters.  They actually usually a good job of keeping dirt and water out away from the fork seal, that's their purpose.  If you are getting some leakage just slip the gaiter up so you can clean the fork tube and seal.  When you put the gaiter back into place, use some good quality zip ties or bailing wiring to create a tight seal of the rubber at the top and bottom of the gaiter.  This should eliminate any leaks you are having.  But you are right, having water leaking in like that can definitely cause the problems you suggested.

Scottie J used to own bikes.  Now he just lurks around in the dark.


  • Grand Gearhead
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Re: Are gaiters good?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 11:59:44 am »
     Gaiters have pros and cons. The help keep debris such as bugs and rocks from damaging the fork tubes and seals. But... they exacerbate water issues. Even if you seal them perfectly top and bottom you will have water issues from condensation. You can't avoid it. So if you want the protection gaiters offer, you must regularly lift the bottom to dry out the water and clean up any dirt or corrosion.


  • Grand Gearhead
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Re: Are gaiters good?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 02:02:52 pm »
Gaiters usually have small holes in them so they can move air in and out as they go up and down. Water can get in these holes. A little ACF50 sprayed on the tubes can protect them from corrosion.
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death


  • Guest
Re: Are gaiters good?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 05:04:03 pm »
With the disk brake forks on the Machismo you are stuck with gaiters as the fender (mudguard) mounts would most likely foul the metal shrouds used on the older models.  However you could switch to bare fork legs and just have rubber dust covers on the tops of the sliders.