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Discussion Starter #1
G'day folks.

Some a/hole hit my bike ( I expect a car, a minor blow while doing a u turn infront of our house ) not enough to knock it over, must have just touched the front tyre, while the steering lock was on. No marks on the bike anywhere, so must have just got the tire ??

The steering lock still works fine too ??

At least I think that's what happened ???

So I uncover the bike, ride off and whoooo - this aint right. The bars are twisted to the right a fair bit. I stop after 50 yards, get off and can see what has happened.

This is where I remember the old push bike days, get in front of the bike, hold the wheel between my legs, grab the bars and try to twist it back straight - it did move a few degrees and is nearly straight again but not " just right " I can feel it when I ride .

I am sure this needs a better fix - my perfect 02 is no longer feeling perfect.

So - can someone tell me the procedure to get it 100% straight.

Thx..
 

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I honestly can't see a situation where your bars do not seem aligned without something being bent
As for being able to manhandle it, even a minute amount, does not seem possible.
Much different from push-bike which only has a steering stem and bars can turn independently of the forks/wheel - with your set up you have two fork legs and a steering stem connected by two triangles effectively - triangle is the most rigid structure you cn have.
No way to have one misaligned to the other without something being bent.
Question is, is it your triple tree or the bars themselves that may be tweaked? Might only be the latter - hopefully!
 

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Get it up on the center stand, get out the tape measure and start making sure things are equal. I think Decosse is bang on here, something has to be bent and if you can physically manhandle it to move then yikes, bigger problems lie ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another Thought

Thx guys for you inputs.

I had another thought that "maybe" makes more sence.

If someone had been trying to steal the bike ( hope not ) and tried to bust the steering lock, ie: sit on the bike and give the bars a mighty yank to the right ) that would explain the bars being out of alignment and the bike not being knocked over.. Anyway, what do I loosen to line this up so it is tracking straight with the bars pointing straight ahead ??

I think this explanation may make more sence ????????

Does this need to go to the dealer for a fix ??

Thx again..
 

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I am afraid I must disagree about something being bent.

Mine was just hit while parked, hard enough to shatter the front fender. I took it on a brief shakedown ride to assess the damage & noticed straight off that the front was twisted so badly that the bars were nearly at full lock right to go straight. I pulled up to a curb on my left, with the wheel about 6" away from it, & whacked the tire against the curb with the bars a few times. It got pretty straight.

Later, when it's not 19* F outside, I'll loosen the pinch bolts in the front end & do it right, but I certainly don't expect to find anything bent when I do.

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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I'd be careful riding that bike till you make sure nothing is bent. First thing I'd do is look down the top tree and see if its outta whack, try to loosen all the pinch bolts and set things straight if it is. Look up and down the fork tubes to ensure they're not bent. I'd think if the second theory were to have happened you'd see the bars themselves are visibly bent and not in line with the top tree in which case you'd have to replace them.
 

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Yep, Kit is right. My son had a low speed off with his Katana, his bars were badly out of line as a result. At first I thought something was bent but it was the triple trees that had moved out of alignment.

We got the forks rebuilt anyway because that was the main contributor to his crash, the forks when checked, proved to be not bent at all. When I put it back together, with everything loose, I was able to line up the triples perfectly.

Same son is picking up a brand spanker Street Triple 'R' in a couple of days, he won't be struggling to keep up any more, a bit the other way round I think...

Cheers,

Roden
 

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Red- That's what the shakedown cruise was for; nothing seems bent, but the triple trees sure were out of alignment!

The handlebars on the T3 bikes are made of tubular steel. Very thick, but the way a T3 hits the ground they bend almost every time. ST/RS bars are solid aluminium, and I'm not even sure they touch down on my bike. My right-side Givi case was cracked, but I couldn't even see a scratch on the bar end.

Roden- Nice one on the Street Triple R! You'll just have to show him that age & treachery beat youth & skill every time! ;)

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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I don't see how two triangles connected together by three (supposedly) rigid tubes can become out of alignment unless they
a) have unbelievably bad tolerances
b) have loose clamp bolts
c) are made of cheese.

I am seriously shocked at the concept of 're-aligning' by twisting the bars or smacking the wheel against a curb. The fact that it can initially mis-align then 're-adjust' by some opposite force just contadicts basic geometry.
Again - two equal isosceles triangles connected together by rigid perpendicular connecting rods cannot be misaligned - there is no procedure for aligning such assembly because it is NATURALLY self aligning - assuming all the parts are true i.e. NOT bent!
Only possible allowance is that fork clamps and steering stem/top clamp nuts cannot possibly be tightened adequately.
Or option 'c'.
 

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Personally, I would be taking it back to the dealer/authorized repairer. Any number of things could be wrong and until I knew 100% that it was 100%, I would not feel comfortable riding it around....hate to have to brake heavily and have the front end collapse.

If you have it checked over and its anything major, maybe it could be and insurance job..?

Dangerous enough on the roads mate and if you can 'Manually' bend stuff on your front end...that would be a real worry.

Ride safe.
 

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I don't see how two triangles connected together by three (supposedly) rigid tubes can become out of alignment unless they
a) have unbelievably bad tolerances
b) have loose clamp bolts
c) are made of cheese.

I am seriously shocked at the concept of 're-aligning' by twisting the bars or smacking the wheel against a curb. The fact that it can initially mis-align then 're-adjust' by some opposite force just contadicts basic geometry.
Again - two equal isosceles triangles connected together by rigid perpendicular connecting rods cannot be misaligned - there is no procedure for aligning such assembly because it is NATURALLY self aligning - assuming all the parts are true i.e. NOT bent!
Only possible allowance is that fork clamps and steering stem/top clamp nuts cannot possibly be tightened adequately.
Or option 'c'.
Strange as it might seem, it does happen. In the case of my son's Kat, when I eyed off the forks alignment with each other, I could have sworn they were bent. As it turns out, the handlebar hit the ground with enough force to move the triple trees out of alignment and this was irrespective of the torque applied by the steering stem nut.

The forks, over the distance of the misalignment of the two triple clamps, had enough flex in them to cope with this, they did not bend! Admittedly, these were 37mm forks, not the bigger diameter of the Sprint but it is still possible that this is what has happened to Harry's bike. I'm not saying that Harry's forks are definately not bent and shouldn't be checked, just that it could be simple misalignment and no cause for panic. As I said, I have witnessed this myself.

Cheers,

Roden
 

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Personally, I would be taking it back to the dealer/authorized repairer. Any number of things could be wrong and until I knew 100% that it was 100%, I would not feel comfortable riding it around....hate to have to brake heavily and have the front end collapse.

If you have it checked over and its anything major, maybe it could be and insurance job..?

Dangerous enough on the roads mate and if you can 'Manually' bend stuff on your front end...that would be a real worry.

Ride safe.
I don't reckon its time to go rushing off to the dealer yet. The bike wasn't even knocked over, I seriously doubt any real structural damage. However, Harry needs to get the front end off the ground and loosen the steering stem nut to re-align the triple clamps and I think that this is indeed the problem.

Cheers,

Roden
 

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This is quite a common occurance when you take a tumble on a dirt bike. So why shouldn't it happen on a road bike as well. You are twisting the wheel against the steering stops. As the legs are only clamped they do give a bit under an undue force. And it doesn't take much for it to feel out of line.

Loosen the clamps on the lower triple tree. Push the front wheel upagainst a wall and give the bars a few tweaks then compress the front supension by pushing down on the bars few times every thing should fall into line. Tighten up the clamps and you are done. If it still doesn't feel right get things checked out as something may well be bent.
 

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Ken - I agree with you and see the only explanation as being the pinch bolts were/are not torqued to the correct specs which would allow such a movement. I've had a similar misalignment issue with my front forks as most of you know, but mine was caused by a fire control device and high rate of speed.

Kit - I was saying I wouldn't ride the bike period, shakedown ride or not. If his bars are off as far as he says they are he should be able to see that in his initial inspection and go from there.
 

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Wow! I wish I had had his info a few years ago. It would have saved me time on fork installations. Who knew that a curb could take place of tools and procedures? I wonder, does it need to be a calibrated curb?

But, not wanting to be a naysayer, I did discuss this thread with some fellow wrenches and they were of the opinion that the recommendations would only work if the re-alignment was supplemented with a sacrificial chicken and a pattern of lit candles arranged in a pentagram around the bike. :p
 

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OnD, There is also a special chant the repairer must say. Simply lighting the candles doesn't work.

The chant is repeated faster and faster and is something like this:

Owa-tana-siam

remember, one has to say it faster and faster as one gets to the climax of the re-alignment.
 

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See..... It's all about the incantation. I better put that in the blog section for future use or there will be others who just end up wasting good candles. Oh and for the spongy brakes, did you use dot 4 or goats blood or a combination of the two?

In all seriousness though, if something is out of whack I would strip it down and start looking at it seriously. If you put it all back and its still whacky then take it to the dealer and have them look. Brakes and steering, two demons you want to exercise properly.
 

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The clamp bolts at spec?

The bolts holding the front triple tree are tight but not a weld. I have seen many times mechanics look into the front end alignment by holding the front wheel between their legs then grab the bars and pull one way or the other to straighten them out.
The idea that some thief was trying to pop the steering lock sounds valid.
Loosen the four triple tree fork clamps and the bottom fork clamps on the axle. Align everything back to neutral then tighten back to spec. You will be surprised how easy the forks can be twisted or torqued out of alignment. The center tree bearings may need to be checked
if a hard hit to the front happened, but that can be checked by the standard front off the ground test.
Repair is not voodoo if you do it yourself.
 

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Hey Harry

As some others have mentioned here, it is important to make sure that nothing is actually bent, but based on your description, it is not likely.

02RedBird likely has it right here:
- loosten all the triple tree pinch bolts, top triple tree nut and axle slightly.
- staddle the front wheel and straighten everything using your arms on the bars.
- once it's straight, tighten everything back to specs.

This will likley bring everything back into line.

If not, then I'd start looking for things that are bent:
1. a bent handlebar
2. a bent fork tube
etc.
 
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