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How To Straighten Forks?

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by mafols, May 9, 2005.

  1. mafols

    mafols Sponsoring Member

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    I tweaked my forks in the triple clamp....a tree moved over into my path....I'm sure it's happened to many of you :coocoo: Had to ride the last 20 miles of an enduro with my bike wanting to go everywhere except where I pointed it.I even stopped to survey the damage but it was not obvious enough for me to try the old "stick the tire between two trees"method. Once I got it on the stand I was able to see that one fork was pulled slightly back.My question is this....is there a "scientific method" to align the forks in the triple clamp.I've had to do it many times over the years,but always loosened everything and just lined it up until it looked straight.I usually remove the front fender to be able to actually see the tire and then sit on the bike and move it until it"LOOKS" straight.I've even heard about spinning the wheel quickly and stopping it with the front brake but didn't find that it worked any better than the eyeball method. I've never read or heard of any method that involved measuring or such,that would ensure accuracy.Any help would be appreciated. :cool:
    Thanks
    Matt


  2. john stu

    john stu Lifetime Sponsor

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    i just loosen all bolts including the large one on the top of the clamp and the pinch bolts on the forks then tighten the pinch bolts (torque wrench) first then the large bolt on the top of the clamp, usually when you tighten the pinch bolts with the large bolt on the top (center) of the clamp still loose everything else center itself i hope this makes since
  3. bikepilot

    bikepilot Rookie DRN Member

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    I loosen the axle pinch bolts and compress the forks by pushing down on the bars, this usually gets it lined up very well, if not, loosen the lower triple clamp pinch bolts and repeat. Then tq everything down to spec and you should be good to go.

    good luck
  4. mafols

    mafols Sponsoring Member

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    Thanks fella's :cool:
  5. Detonator

    Detonator Rookie DRN Member

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    The tire spinning/brake method only works well if there's no binding anywhere.

    With everything loosened off, including axle pinch bolts (but not loose enough to drop the forks through the clamps), give your front tire a hearty spin, and tap your front brake. The gyroscopic force of firm braking does a good job of lining things up, or it can indicate some parts are binding.

    This is one of those areas you'll want to use a torque wrench and your manual when it comes time to tighten. A bent fork tube is neither easy nor cheap to fix, but it is amazingly easy to overtorque clamps. Go slowly, small adjustments, check everything over. Serve, and enjoy.
  6. mafols

    mafols Sponsoring Member

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    I'd be lying if I told you I use a torch wrench everytime I work on a bike....however I've always been religious about using it when working on the motor top-end and the forktube/tripleclamp pinch bolts.I think the lesson I'm learning from all the advice is to loosen more than just the pinch bolts on the tripleclamp....i.e. the axle pinch bolts as well as the nut on top of the steering stem when realigning the frontend.Failure to do that in the past may explain why I didn't seem to get results when I tried the "spinning the tire and hitting the brake"method in the past.

    Thanks for the help :)
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