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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings and thanks for any/all help!

After the winter, my BF moved my bike and when I went back into the garage, about a week later, I noticed a dark fluid under the front left tire area. There was fluid on the front fender, which appeared to come from somewhere above. Since the oil is ok and the brake fluid as well, I'm thinking either clutch, break, or steering (if it even has fluid for that), right? I checked the manual, doesn't seem to show how to check these. I'm willing to pay a mechanic, but in my area they're few and far between.

Any guidance is appreciated. I'm pretty comfortable working on my car, but working on my bike is new to me.

Thanks,
mc2
 

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What colour is it?
If it's green its Coolant and most likely you have a loose hose or damaged radiator


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Discussion Starter #3
Dark color, thought it was oil. I'm now thinking perhaps the fork seal, but I wouldn't think that would leak onto the fender.
 

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Does it have a smell. If you put a white tissue on it it will show you a better colour.
You sure nothing has been split over the front while it's been parked up?
Not sure on the 10 but could be a break line joint above fender and if that's leaking it would drip onto fender
Run your hand up the all the break and Coolant lines with a tissue and see what gets picked up

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That bike has about 5 fluids in it. Engine oil, gasoline, fork oil, brake fluid, and coolant. Motorcycles do not have power steering so there is no steering fluid, the transmission and clutch both sit in engine oil there is not separate transmission or clutch fluid for this bike. The only one of these fluids that could be dark in color is engine oil or possibly very very old and dirty brake fluid, if you are leaking brake fluid you likely will have none or very little pressure in one or both brakes. Fork oil will leak down onto the shiny part of the fork you will see it there before anywhere else.

So my guess is you have an engine oil leak somewhere on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Does it have a smell. If you put a white tissue on it it will show you a better colour.
You sure nothing has been split over the front while it's been parked up?
Not sure on the 10 but could be a break line joint above fender and if that's leaking it would drip onto fender
Run your hand up the all the break and Coolant lines with a tissue and see what gets picked up

Sent from my I4213 using Tapatalk
Thanks I will check when I get back up to NY. I also bought a pit bull stand to help. Let me know, I'm sorry to be so new to dealing with bikes, if that makes it better or worse to check things. Thanks again for letting me pick your brain!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That bike has about 5 fluids in it. Engine oil, gasoline, fork oil, brake fluid, and coolant. Motorcycles do not have power steering so there is no steering fluid, the transmission and clutch both sit in engine oil there is not separate transmission or clutch fluid for this bike. The only one of these fluids that could be dark in color is engine oil or possibly very very old and dirty brake fluid, if you are leaking brake fluid you likely will have none or very little pressure in one or both brakes. Fork oil will leak down onto the shiny part of the fork you will see it there before anywhere else.

So my guess is you have an engine oil leak somewhere on the bike.
Well that sounds very plausible and very bad. Thanks for the guidance. If you happen to know a site or specific book I'm happy to read up so I don't keep asking questions for which I keep facepalming myself. The bike has low miles and was pretty gently used (as that was the guidance I was given from the manufacturer and the dealership). There was no evidence of anything on the forks. I thought I checked the front brake lever, but I will recheck when I get back up there.

One question, it was a very small amount of oil, I was going to start it to check the brake lever, is this an insane idea? I'm thinking it's such a small amount and I can shut off very quickly if there's an issue. It's very frustrating that I can pull a car apart and I can't seem to get any confidence on my motorcycle.

Thank you so much for your input and tutelage.
 

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Just check the oil view port, if there is enough oil it's safe to start it. A small oil leak is not really a big deal, my car has several, I just check the oil level often. I had a small leak from the valve cover gasket on my 05 ZX-6R for years, still rode the bike. Finally got around to changing the gasket when I had to do a valve adjustment. Anybody who owns a sport bike should have a rear stand at least, I have front and rear stands. You need a rear stand to do any kind of maintenance to the rear end such as tightening the chain, aligning the rear wheel, changing a chain, checking wheel bearings for play, and it makes cleaning and lubing a chain MUCH easier.

If it starts pouring oil when you start it then obviously shut it off, however a small oil leak from a gasket somewhere wont hurt anything assuming you don't run the bike out of oil or too low on oil. I would try to determine where the oil leak is, how bad it is, then plan how to fix it.

Also that bike does not have power brakes, so you do not need to start the bike to check if the brakes have pressure. They will work the same with the bike on as they will with the bike off.

As for where to learn about motorcycles and motorcycle maintenance, I don't even know where to begin. There is a lot out there, I'd start with basic maintenance, how to change a chain, change oil, change air filter, check tire tread and pressure, check wheel bearings, etc. Safety stuff mainly, if you snap a worn chain at speed for example, it could bind lock up the rear wheel and destroy your transmission, it could fly off and go through the windshield of the person behind you, it could hit you especially if you dont have a chain guard installed causing a crash. This video scared me into learning what I could about basic maintenance. Fortnine is a great channel, motorcyclist magazine is good, revzilla, etc lots of resources for this info, hard for me to pick one.

 

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It's a 2016, there should be no way that the brake fluid is dark on that bike especially cause you let it sit all winter. I have 22k miles on my bike and the fluid is still super clear light and clean. Fork oil can't get onto the fender. It will come out the seals at the bottom of the fork where the tube goes from large to small and gets super shinny. Brake fluid would only leak maybe at the res so right hand side of the bike, I just can't see a brake line that is braided stainless leaking dark fluid on a bike that is only 4 years old. Maybe a head gasket or valve cover gasket or your boyfriend spilled something. And sorry if it seems im new or anything. I am always on over at zx10r.net but decided to pop in over here and see what was going on. I know enough. Promise
 
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