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Gaskets and seals for motorcycles
Your authorised dealer doesn't have the space to keep every gasket and seal in stock at all times, but fortunately, you can make many gaskets simply and effectively yourself (except the cylinder head gasket, for example).
Quick and easy DIY engine gaskets
You can make the gasket you need in less than half an hour and save lots of money. If you have an Elring Gasket and Seal Repair Kit or a sheet of gasket paper, there's no problem even when the shops are closed. The repair kit is very practical because it contains four different sealing materials for all temperature ranges and a tube of sealing compound. With a selection of gasket scrapers, an ink pad or spray paint and a few punches, you have everything you need. You should make sure not only to use the same type of gasket paper, but also the same thickness.
In a word: use a paper gasket of the same thickness as the one you are replacing. If, for example, you use too thick a gasket for the oil sump, there is a risk that, to overstate it slightly, the wrong oil level will be displayed and you will put in too much oil. Also, you must make all the holes in the new gasket, even if the reason for them isn't immediately obvious. A hole in the gasket is not always for a screw; it may be intended for an oil duct.
Completely remove gasket residue
The cover must be absolutely clean and free of grease. Gasket residue must be completely removed with a scraper. Use Procycle Brake Cleaner to obtain a grease-free sealing surface.
Make a "print" with ink pad or spray paint
Now transfer the sealing surface of the cover onto the gasket paper. There are two ways of doing this: The first is used if the old gasket is partially or completely missing. Ink the sealing surface of the cover with an ink pad, and press the cover down firmly on the gasket paper, making sure it does not shift sideways. Cut out the inked area to make the new gasket. The second method is used when the gasket is still essentially complete. If the gasket has been torn in three, for example, simply stick it back together with adhesive tape. Then lay the reassembled gasket on the gasket paper and thinly spray it with paint. After a few minutes lift off the old gasket and you will see the contours of the new gasket.
Punch holes slightly larger than screw diameter
Gasket hand-made with scissors and punch
Before you cut out the new gasket with scissors, first punch the holes. The best way to make holes for screws and bolts is with a suitable punch (e.g. from the Punch Set). Note that the screw holes must be a bit bigger than the diameter of the screw, otherwise the gasket would get damaged as the screws are inserted into the cover. A piece of soft wood makes the best underlay. Hitting the punch with the hammer creates an exactly round hole and prevents the gasket from tearing due to irregularities.
Cut out seal cleanly with scissors
Now cut out the gasket cleanly with scissors. If you cut into the gasket in the wrong place by accident, take the time to make a new one, otherwise you may get a nasty surprise at some point.
Check fitting accuracy and number of holes
Finally, check the fitting accuracy and the number of holes. Be careful with sealing compound. Only apply a thin layer because too much sealing compound can cause major damage: When the cover is tightened, excess sealing compound oozes out not just on the outside but also inside the engine, and gets into the oil circuit. Small oil holes may get blocked, resulting in engine damage.
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The Louis Technical Centre
Problems getting spare parts? Or maybe you've got a technical question about your motorcycle or an accessory The Louis Technical Centre can help! Remember to quote all the necessary details of your vehicle – better still, send us a copy of your registration document.
We will get back to you as quickly as possible!
So: send us your technical problem!
- by e-mail to email@example.com
- or by letter to Louis Technical Centre, 21027 Hamburg
These tips for DIY mechanics contain general recommendations that may not apply to all vehicles or all individual components. As local conditions may vary considerably, we are unable to guarantee the correctness of information in these tips for DIY mechanics.
Thank you for your understanding.
Louis DIY Mechanic Manual
The printed version
The big Louis DIY mechanic manual available in a printed version: in color and practical A4 format at cost price.