Steering Alignment

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Apr 8, 2001
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#1
Guess I will ask the experts!!
I have a 98 kx250 and I took a pretty good tumble on it the other day. Get my breath back and hop on ready to go again and lo and behold the handlebars are right where they should be but the front tire if pointing off to the left. I get off and do the straddle the front wheel thing and try to bring the tire in but all to no avail. Also, now when I turn the front wheel the front fender is hitting the pipe down below. I don't think anything is bent or anything but I am afraid to loosen any bolts and get in over my head. I am fairly mechanically inclined but have never really messed with the suspension at all. If one of you guys that knows these things could walk me through this I would be extremely grateful. Would sure be great to have someone tell me how thatn spend most of Saturday scratching my head while riding time wears away!!

Thanks for any help!
 

JTT

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#2
Start by loosening everything off, front wheel, triple clamps, and steering stem nut. Eye straighten. Now start to tighten everything back down.

Start with triple clamps. Make sure you torque them to spec so that no pinching is present. Then tighten stem nut to spec. Tighten front axle nut, leaving pinch bolts loose at first. Spin wheel and apply brake a couple of times. Now tighten the left side (brake side) pinch bolts. Spin wheel and apply brake several times again, now you can tighten right pinch bolts.

This little procedure will help prevent binding from forks misaligning when tightening front wheel. Before you tighten those last (right side) pinch bolts, try grabing the lower leg and moving it...you will see that it will move to some degree on the axle, you are just making sure that it is in a neutral, relaxed position.

Hope this helps.
 
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#3
Thanks!

Thanks for the help. WHen I loosened everything off you just hear it creak and groan and it unbound itself. Everything lined up fine after that!!
 
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Aug 9, 1999
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#5
I ussually loosen all of the trip clamp upper bolts (many times you will hear it creak as it releases the tube.)
Next I loosen the pinch bolts, (I still have the lower 3 clamp bolts tight). I then get on the bike and compress the forks a bunch of times to try and straighten everything out.

Then tighten it all back up. Should be fine.
 
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#6
Maybe one fork was knocked up in the clamps compared to the other one. My cousin had that and he had to lean the bike over to ride it straight home. Remember, dont tighten the clamps fully, use a torque wrench, or measure the gap between ends of the clamps or count the threads in the clamps end gap.
 

JTT

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#7
Originally posted by FMX_novice
Maybe one fork was knocked up in the clamps compared to the other one. My cousin had that and he had to lean the bike over to ride it straight home. Remember, dont tighten the clamps fully, use a torque wrench, or measure the gap between ends of the clamps or count the threads in the clamps end gap.
I find that unlikely. but anyways. Measuring "the gap" or "thread count" is not a very accurate method and should be discouraged. Use a torque wrench.
 
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#8
If you dont have a torque wrench you should go jump off a bridge, a bridge that goes over the torque wrench store, go buy a torque wrench and torque it down like you shud.