Friday, October 25, 2013

Curing (OEM) Öhlins incontinence

NOK manufactures all of the fork (and most other) seals for all of the Japanese OEMs and for license-built OEM-Öhlins forks (which are Japanese-made) so regardless of the OEM name on the wrapper the seal originated in the same place.  They make seals to the suspension makers' design specification and therein lies the reason that the OEM-Öhlins famously leak, the seal is of a different design to that of the Showa and Kayaba spec seals.  The Öhlins designed seal is meant to reduce drag to a minimum but (and there is always a but) it is at the expense of shorter seal life.  The Showa/KYB designed seal puts a higher priority on lifespan albeit with minimally more drag (none of us mortals would ever know the difference) because most people who buy a Big Four brand motorcycle would never put up with fork seals that started to leak before the the first major service.

Trivia: Yamaha was majority owner of Öhlins corp from 1987 to 2007.

Your eyes aren't playing tricks, Ducati OEM Ohlins forks are only Titanium Nitride coated on the exposed portion of the tube.

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