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Author Topic: Twisted front end  (Read 357 times)

Glenn

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Twisted front end
« on: March 08, 2013, 07:15:41 PM »
Hey forum, it's been a while since I've been on here, but now I have a problem that needs your expert advice.

Late last year I got into a slow-mo wreck. I was unhurt, and the bike sustained only minor damage -- knob on the end of the clutch lever broke off, shift lever end bent & rubber torn, and a bit of torsion on the front end. I was able to ride the 40 miles home, no problem.

I got everything fixed except the front end twist. The fork tubes were perfectly straight, but when I got the fork back together and the front wheel back on, the twist was still noticeable.

Here are some pics. Look how sideways that front wheel looks in the first photo! Also notice that if I turn the handlebars just a bit to the left (2nd pic), the front wheel looks mostly normal.

Two questions: First, is this rideable? It's a little cockeyed, but I can easily adjust my riding stance. But is it safe?

Second, where should I look next to fix this, since it's definitely NOT the fork tubes? Triple trees? Casquette?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Glenn
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 07:39:15 PM by Glenn »

Ice

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 07:43:03 PM »
 Often times the upper and lower fork clamps of the steering head will be turned ever so slightly in opposite directions
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military...it takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

Glenn

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 07:50:07 PM »
That seems like a strong possibility. What's the fix? Can I just clamp down the front wheel and yank the handlebars to straighten?

ERC

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 07:58:46 PM »
I think I'd measure how the triple trees are in relation to the frame.  ERC
2-57 Apaches, 2-57 Trailblazers, 60 Chief, 65 Interceptor, 2004 Bullet, 612 Bullet chopped.

Glenn

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 08:10:15 PM »
Where is the upper triple tree on our Enfields? Doesn't the casquette body actually serve that function? Hard to see how that could be warped (with respect to the frame) from a low-speed fall, although the steering stem could certainly be twisted in its "seat".

High On Octane

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 10:31:00 PM »
You might want to loosen EVERYTHING in the front end, including the front axle,  and start over from scratch and see if it's still crooked.  Like Ice said, something might have gotten offset somewhere.  If that doesn't fix your problem I'd replace the casquette and triple tree.  Only other possibility is if the axle mounts themselves got torqued in which case you would probably need to replace the fork tubes.

As far as being safe to ride...  If you feel that your are in control of the bike and it won't hinder your ability to avoid an accident then you're OK.  If not, then don't ride it.  If you felt comfortable driving it 40 miles home I'd say you're in good shape.  But obviously you'll still want to correct you're problem.

Scottie


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1958 RE/Indian Trailblazer 711cc

Ice

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 11:23:19 PM »
+1 to all the above.

 Get out the service manual, loosen everything, snug it all up and re check.
Might take a few tries.

Also FWIW when it comes to handle bars looks can be deceiving.
 I have had handle bars that looked straight and felt straight but when laid on a frame table were found to be bent.

I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military...it takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

motomataya

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 09:17:44 AM »
If your handlebars aren't bent your triple trees are. Triple trees bend before fork tubes in a collision. Yours don't look to bad and could be straightend but should be replaced.

barenekd

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 11:25:42 AM »
Take it out to a tree and or the corner of the house, grab the bars and smack the front edge of the tire into said obstruction to straighten the forks out. That has been the time honored way to straighten forks ever since I can remember. I've used it on several bikes. Works great and it's easy. You can start with just a push, but it may take more than that.
Bare
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motomataya

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 01:13:10 PM »
Hey Bare, if you loosen up the pinch bolts first you knock a hole in your house with the front wheel.  ;)

motomataya

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 01:26:35 PM »
Sorry, I meant you WON'T knock a hole in your house. I should proof read.

barenekd

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Re: Twisted front end
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 01:55:30 PM »
Generally lets you go too far with the correction!
This is a trick practice by most every dirt rider in the world, except we usually couldn't find a house, we had to settle for trees and rocks, or maybe a pickup. Believe me, we didn't bother with loosening anything! Sometimes you guys just try to make everything too complicated!
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com