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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an 01 T-bird that was dropped from a dead stop by it's first owner who forgot to put down the kickstand when he dismounted. The left handlebar was bent about half an inch lower than the right (there's also a small turn-signal shaped dent in the left side of the tank just in front of the badge and the left side of the rear fender has a slight bow which I can probably straighten by hand). I replaced the bent stock bars with a new set of Biker's Choice "European" bend bars today. I also ordered riser adapters to get the proper height I needed for the controls to clear the tank when turned lock-to-lock. The new bars do clear the tank, but the left side now sits about 3/4 of an inch from the the top of the tank at full lock and the right side sits about 1 1/2 inches from the top of the tank when at full lock. What gives? Is this normal or do I have another problem that I need to fix? The old stock bars are indeed bent about half an inch lower than the right (I laid them flat on the work bench and it's readily noticeable) but I would have thought that the new bars should have fixed the problem. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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the lock is determined by the lower triple clamp . the handlebar position is determined by the upper triple clamp .

i'd be checking out the alignment between the two . might just be a matter of loosing them and realigning or might be that the forktubes have been bent .
 

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Does the bike track straight if you take you hands off the bars on a smooth level road? Or do you have to keep more pressure on one side of the bars to keep the bike straight?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, I would check the alignment of the front forks. If it fell hard enough to bend the bars, it could have twisted the triple tree. I do the alignment on both the front and rear wheels with a laser so I won't be much help on the line and string method.
Also check the fork height above the triple tree. The top of the fork should be level with the top of the triple tree. Check both sides because some riders lower the forks in the tree to get the bike to turn in faster.
The alignment of the rear wheel can also cause the bike to run off track but it shouldn't have anything to do with the handlebars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
success!

I loosened the pinch bolts on the upper and lower yokes...well, ok, I actually removed them and the fork tubes slid up until they were resting just below the handlebars. I had a friend who owns a wrecker come over and lift the bike to get the weight off the front end. A few whacks with a dead blow hammer later, I was able to bolt the fork tubes back down where they belong. I took it for a test ride today and it rides like a new bike. I think the front end was in a bind and the fork springs were compressed a bit before I loosened everything. The road doesn't seem as bumpy now and the new bars don't have my left wrist in a bind anymore. The bars are pretty even over the tank now. I really love the way the lower bars look and I'm now riding more over the tank which gives me a sense of greater control. My back even feels better in the more forward position, although I haven't taken a long ride yet...I may think differently when I do, but until then I'm happy with the results. Thanks for the responses, they really helped!
 

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It sounds like you got it sorted but here is something else to think about, the tank is not mounted rigidly to the frame at the front end. You can move it side to side by about a 1/2" by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It sounds like you got it sorted but here is something else to think about, the tank is not mounted rigidly to the frame at the front end. You can move it side to side by about a 1/2" by hand.
Interesting, but I think the forks were the actual culprit. While removing the summer screen, I had a hard time getting the uppermost mounting bolt on the left side to come off. I actually ended up snapping it off only to find that it too was bent. I rode the bike to the local hardware store without the screen to buy a new bolt, came home and bolted the screen back on with no problems.
 
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