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Last Fall, I had my not-so-local dealer do the 10,000 mile maintenance on my bike. They claimed that my steering damper was leaking and needed to be replaced. Since they didn't have the part in stock anyway, and since the dealer is 75 minutes from home, I took the bike back home and ordered the part from an online dealer later. Now that I have the original part and the replacement part in my hands, I can't tell the difference. If the original was leaking and not doing its damping job anymore, wouldn't that one slide quickly and easily while pushing and pulling it by hand? Other than a little road dirt on the original part, I can't tell the difference.

I've attached a picture of the end of the original part at the shaft. It looks a little grimy. Is that because it really did leak or is it just road grime?

Even after pre-Christmas parts discounts at my online dealer, the collection of parts for this little project cost nearly $400. It appears that I can return them to that dealer.

The damper assembly is off of the bike and I have the original and new parts laying on the table ready to be installed on the bike. Should I 1) reinstall the original and return the replacement parts or 2) install the replacement parts?

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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