They can and it probably doesn't create any problems. Over a zillion miles it might matter but not so much for us because we don't ride in the dirt typically. Biggest concern is that it would probably void the warranty on the forks if you ever get a leak. Harley can be weird about warranty issues if there's any modification.I just picked up a new Street which is being delivered to me today. Can the dust boots be removed if desired? I prefer the exposed fork look.
Only reason I haven't taken them off yet…..and if we trade it in, I want it to be all there…..wife's already wanting a new bike now…..a Lowrider….Looks better without the boots for sure, but I don't want to cut them off and I don't feel like sliding them out of the trees either.