Fitting new gaiters

A split gaiter will shorten the life of your fork seals and make your bike look tired, but it’s a simple job to replace.

WORDS By Oli

IT’S AN OFTEN-HEARD complaint that the rubber fork gaiters you can buy these days don’t last very long.

Whether or not this is because the cheap rubber is just poor quality, or because the current materials legislation stops gaiter makers from using the nasty stuff in them that made them tougher isn’t clear, but if you own and run an old Brit bike, the chances are you’ll need to change the gaiters regularly.

If you own a mid-to-late Sixties Triumph or BSA, the job is surprisingly simple, thankfully.

The original 50-year-old gaiters on my BSA Starfire gave up the ghost over the winter, so a replacement set was sourced at the Bristol Classic Show, and I fitted them in less than an hour, using only a ½in AF spanner and socket and a little spray lubricant.

How to do it
First, put the bike on its centre stand or raise the front wheel by using a lift or jack on a frame point at the front of the engine. Disconnect the front brake cable.

You can do this at either end, but it’s a lot less fiddly to do it at the handlebars and pull the cable through.

At this point it’s worth deflating the front tyre a little so that the wheel will easily clear the mudguard mounts.

Read more and view more images in the July 2019 issue of CBG – on sale now!

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