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Old 01-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
Sourjon OP
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Possible bent fork-how to tell?

I was flying through the woods on my 99XRL and had to lay it down to avoid a new fence across the trail. It was on the right side and the fork dug into the ground pretty good as I came to a stop. Now it seems that the bike tracks to the right when the bars are straight.

This may be a dumb question but is there a way to fix this short of replacement? Or a way to check the fork to see if it is straight? I have never disassembled a fork before and am in the dark here.

thanks for any advice
John
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
autolycos
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You might have turned the forks in the clamp. I'd see if you can correct it by bracing the front wheel against something solid and pulling on the handlebar.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:58 PM   #3
Jonex
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Instead of just bashing it straight again, how bout grabbin a couple wrenches and loosening the triple clamps up? Mebbe even look up the torque specs if you're feeling particularly workaholically.

To see if the tube is bent, you can remove the front wheel, then turn the tube in the clamps and watch for the bottom end of the fork to move around. Or, since you've gone that far, take the fork all the way off, put the axle end in a vise, and turn the stanchion.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #4
C Squared
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonex522
Instead of just bashing it straight again, how bout grabbin a couple wrenches and loosening the triple clamps up? Mebbe even look up the torque specs if you're feeling particularly workaholically.

To see if the tube is bent, you can remove the front wheel, then turn the tube in the clamps and watch for the bottom end of the fork to move around. Or, since you've gone that far, take the fork all the way off, put the axle end in a vise, and turn the stanchion.
I was about to post just about the same thing!
Loosen up the clamps and see it it all goes back nice and normal like

Or you could place the front wheel between to solid objects and see if you can bend something else or smack a rotor etc.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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Good ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by C Squared
I was about to post just about the same thing!
Loosen up the clamps and see it it all goes back nice and normal like

Or you could place the front wheel between to solid objects and see if you can bend something else or smack a rotor etc.
These replies are basically where I was going to go based on commom sense. Just wanted to see if there was some trick or another some old codger might know.

edit: Is this something that a fork brace might prevent?

thanks guys. Guess I have a project for a rainy Sunday.
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Sourjon screwed with this post 01-03-2009 at 03:27 PM
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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I don't know it's applicable to your bike, but rubber-mounted bars can also confuse you. It can look as if you've bent a mounting bolt when the bars are off center, but you may only need to loosen the bar mounting bolts and wiggle her around some, then retighten things.

It's actually good that these things give a little.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:37 PM   #7
DELTATANGO
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Twisted

You've probably just twisted the forks.

Break loose the two bolts on either side of the bottom triple clamp.
Find a suitable tree, pole, corner of a house, etc.

Pull up to immovable object.
Get on motor and look over bars and see which way the wheel is off. (use the fender and your aim)

Put the tire up against the object and with the handlebars whack it back the other way. You will likely hear a pop or ping. Voila.

You may go too far. If so, whack it back the other way.

Retighten and test drive.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:51 PM   #8
Donkey Hotey
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I'm going to vote for bent handlebars. The stockers aren't very strong.

Here's how to check fork tubes on any motorcycle:
  • Put the bike onto a stand (front wheel off the ground).
  • Loosen the all of the pinch bolts on the triple clamp (one leg at a time).
  • Rotate the upper leg in the triple clamp. Except for the load of the spring, it should turn pretty freely. If it's bent, you'll feel it bind up every 180 degrees as it passes through the bent spot.
  • Tighten that leg back up and repeat on the other leg.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:49 AM   #9
Sourjon OP
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As soon as I wake up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
I'm going to vote for bent handlebars. The stockers aren't very strong.

Here's how to check fork tubes on any motorcycle:
  • Put the bike onto a stand (front wheel off the ground).
  • Loosen the all of the pinch bolts on the triple clamp (one leg at a time).
  • Rotate the upper leg in the triple clamp. Except for the load of the spring, it should turn pretty freely. If it's bent, you'll feel it bind up every 180 degrees as it passes through the bent spot.
  • Tighten that leg back up and repeat on the other leg.
Thanks. Damn I am sore as s**t this morning. 56 yo bodies don't like being slammed into the frozen tundra repeatedly! Sure was fun though! As far as handlebars it has the renthals and they don't look bent but who knows. I was too tired last night to look very closely. Once I get the eye boogers gone this morning I will wander out and have a go at it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:51 AM   #10
DELTATANGO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourjon
Thanks. Damn I am sore as s**t this morning. 56 yo bodies don't like being slammed into the frozen tundra repeatedly! Sure was fun though! As far as handlebars it has the renthals and they don't look bent but who knows. I was too tired last night to look very closely. Once I get the eye boogers gone this morning I will wander out and have a go at it.

Go beat it on a tree like a told ya.
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