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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went for a long ride a few weeks ago and the next morning I noticed I had a small spot of oil on the garage floor. I finally got around to investigate where it came from. Nothing on the skid plate, nothing on the frame. Finally found that it appears to be coming from the front sprocket area and dripping down the sprocket cover.

Is there a way to pull off the sprocket (and I assume crankcase cover) to investigate without tearing the whole engine apart?

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It’s usually the shift shaft seal. If I recall, the side cover has to come off. Make sure you have a side cover gasket in case you can’t reuse. Drain oil or lay bike on side, etc. Careful removing fasteners (JIS)

 

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Sound advice.
Other less common leak sources hiding behind the left side cover are the output shaft's seals both where shaft exits left side engine case and where output shaft terminates in the left side cover's support bearing. These usually don't weep much when bike is parked though.
Confirmation of leak source before disassembly could come from spraying a parts cleaner in the sprocket area sufficiently to clean, then monitor for any subsequent oil leaking using strong light and a mirror.
Likely the shift shaft seal though.
Or...
One could order all three seals to dilute shipping cost per seal.
 

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Here is what you will see under the left side cover. The large splined shaft at the top is the output shaft which has an inboard seal in the left side crankcase (shown). There is also an outboard seal in the left side cover that has been removed. At the bottom is the smaller splined shaft which is the shifter shaft that also has a seal (also shown) in the left side crankcase. Just above the shifter shaft you can see a small crosspoint bolt which is the neutral switch which has also been known to leak.

Since you reported that the oil was dripping down the sprocket cover, that would seem to indicate that one (or both) of the output shaft seals could be leaking.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the responses. It did end up being the shift shaft seal, but... A few weeks prior I didn't tuck my left shoe lace in and I felt a tug and then looked down and half my shoe lace was swallowed up. I did a cursory look later, but didn't see anything. Well, low and behold, the lace got sucked into that mechanism and hence the cause of my oil leak.
Lesson learned. Only ride in flip flops!!
 

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Funny you should mention that....when I replaced my front sprocket a few weeks ago, I noticed "something" wrapped around the output shaft.
At first I thought that maybe the PO had done some sort of "Mickey Mouse" repair to the seal...but it was a chunk of shoelace; it even had the little plastic nub on the end that goes through the lace-holes.
Fortunately, it hadn't worked itself into or under the seal(s).
 

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Thank you all for the responses. It did end up being the shift shaft seal, but... A few weeks prior I didn't tuck my left shoe lace in and I felt a tug and then looked down and half my shoe lace was swallowed up. I did a cursory look later, but didn't see anything. Well, low and behold, the lace got sucked into that mechanism and hence the cause of my oil leak.
Lesson learned. Only ride in flip flops!!
I have the same exact problem. I had a pair of loose jogging pants on and they got sucked into the front sprocket. Not a big leak, but like mentioned a small oily spot after every ride. Oil is pooling and dripping from engine cover near the front sprocket. I don’t know if the pants getting wrapped up in it is a coincidence or the culprit, but gotta get it fixed because it’s driving me crazy. At first I thought it was excess chain lube.
 

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I have the same exact problem. I had a pair of loose jogging pants on and they got sucked into the front sprocket. Not a big leak, but like mentioned a small oily spot after every ride. Oil is pooling and dripping from engine cover near the front sprocket. I don’t know if the pants getting wrapped up in it is a coincidence or the culprit, but gotta get it fixed because it’s driving me crazy. At first I thought it was excess chain lube.
Maybe just let a piece of teflon tape hang up on the shaft. Maybe it'll seal itself. Wishful thinking.
 
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