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chilland

Bent Handlebars or Fork?

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chilland
So I laid my back down on the right side the other day. Changed lanes and the car in front of me hit the brakes hard to avoid hitting the car in front of it, nicked the back bumper trying to escape around the side. Pretty low speed, we had just left a a red light. Learned a good lesson about staying on my toes. Anyway, wound up with just a few minor scuffs and scratches on the bike. However, when I was riding it back home it seemed like something on the front end was a hair misaligned. There's no obvious damage, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to diagnose the issue. It does seem like the handlebars turn further to the right now than they do to the left. They nearly touch the tank, but not quite on the right. Could all be in my head though. I've included pictures of the bars all the way right, centered, and all the way left. Anyone have any thoughts how to even start looking into this?
 
IMG_20170701_134451.jpg
 
IMG_20170701_134457.jpg
 
IMG_20170701_134502.jpg
 

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i28
Unless your forks or front wheel made contact with something, I would think that the forks should probably be okay. I'd check the handlebars and handlebar risers first and then the forks second:
1. Check the handlebar risers. Are the handlebars centered in them ? Check if the angles of the handlebars on both sides are equal. Does anything there look uneven(or bent)?
2. Look from above the handlebars, ignoring the handlebars, and check to see if the forks look like they turn about the same angle on the left as they do on the right.
 
I'd check these before pulling parts off the bike.

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r1limited
Pull the bars off and place them on as flat a surface as you can find (Face of the Bars the Ends will rise upward), you can measer tip of each bar to surface and validate if bars are tweaked. Forks on the other hand could be simply shifted in the triples. Is the front binding or feel like it is binding if you lock the front wheel and push hard down on them? If it were me, I would pull the front wheel drop the forks and use a straight edge on the stanchions (tubes or fixed forks)
 
To be honest it looks like in that second pictures the forks are twisted in the triples, pull them apart and make sure the triple is running aligned and the stanchions are not bent...
These are old school forks, back in the day it was loosing axle and axle nuts, loosen triples stand in front of bike.  Lock front wheel with legs and pull the bars away from the bend.  It shifts back into place.  But again, pull them apart :)
 
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chilland
Thats all good advice thanks. I agree @r1limited , I think the tree might be slightly twisted. I'll check the handlebars, but I think messing with the forks is out of my comfort zone. I will probably ride it over to my dealer and have them look at it once I get the new plastics on.  @i2837856393 I did hit something with the front wheel. There's nothing noticeably bent or misaligned when I look down the fork and at the risers, etc. Which is why I'm having a tough time diagnosing this. Everything looks fine, just feels a little off and the travel left vs right just doesn't seem right.

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r1limited
If oyu are near Snohomish WA bring it over I will save you money :) and help you learn a little maintenance 

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chilland
Sadly I'm in Virginia otherwise I'd take you up on that offer. I forgot to mention, I the black plastic sleeve around the top of the right fork is loose, whereas the one of the left is super tight. Guessing that might be a symptom of something else.
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r1limited
Sadly I'm in Virginia otherwise I'd take you up on that offer. I forgot to mention, I the black plastic sleeve around the top of the right fork is loose, whereas the one of the left is super tight. Guessing that might be a symptom of something else.
Yup, I will bet the front is just tweaked in the triples.  Worst case one of the stanchions are bent. 
 

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chilland
So I just followed the directions in this post: https://fz07.org/post/86552/thread That seems to have helped a bit and there's a noticeable difference in the feel of the right assembly. It was tough to notice before, but now that I've adjusted it the motion is distinctly smoother. I'm also starting to think maybe the right side of the handlebar is actually bent, so thats coming off next. @r1limited total rookie question but when you stanchion what are you referring to? Its not a term I see in the diagrams I'm looking at.

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chilland
ah nevermind the google machine answered that question for me.
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r1limited
ah nevermind the google machine answered that question for me.
Never a dumb ? glad you found the answer.  Tub Fixed fork stanchion all the same :) Glad you were able to get some adjustment back
 
 

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chilland
Alright, haven't had a chance to pull the handlebars off yet, but I'm pretty convinced they are slightly bent. This picture shows it well I think. I can't fit my finger between the bar and the instrument cluster on the undamaged side, but I can easily fit it on the other side. Debating whether I have the space to pull the bars off or if I should just take it in.
 
IMG_20170702_213004.jpg
 
 

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r1limited
Alright, haven't had a chance to pull the handlebars off yet, but I'm pretty convinced they are slightly bent. This picture shows it well I think. I can't fit my finger between the bar and the instrument cluster on the undamaged side, but I can easily fit it on the other side. Debating whether I have the space to pull the bars off or if I should just take it in. 
IMG_20170702_213004.jpg
 

You can take the two alens out and pull the instrument cluster off and in front of the headlight with no issues. You can then measure between the base of the bend (This is Center) and the to the top of the first riser © Then measure B  As the example of the pro taper bar measurement image below is.  If you have a straight edge like a 4 foot level you can place that against the area marked D at the height of the C then measure E, Hope it helps. 
As well the Bar mounts are rubber mounted and the will twist as well. 
 
 
 
Pro_Taper_bar_measurements.gif
 

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mjh937
This is off topic but if you are taking things apart the cable to the instrument panel in supposed to be routed around the left side of the handlebar attach point to keep it clear of the ignition switch. This would be a good opportunity to fix that too. It seems like quite a few dealers are fitting that incorrectly as there was a thread on it a couple of years back.

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chilland
Thanks @mjh937 I'll switch that up.
 
I removed the instrument panel and took some measurements, I think the handlebars were pushed slightly to the left in the clamps. I slid them the other way and it gave my right hand some more clearance. I still swear its turning further to the right, but measuring the handle bars didn't show any obvious bend, but it could be slight enough that I didn't get a good measurement of it. or it could all be in my head. I'm going to get it zipped up once the rest of the parts come in and see how it feels then. If everything is aligned and it doesn't drift at all I'm not sure its an issue.

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rick
The gap appears to be bigger to the right of the cluster. That doesn't exactly jive with the bike falling on it's right side. For all you know, the dealer installed the bars off center and yer just noticing this now that you are looking at it closely.
 
If you remove the top half of the clamps, you will see that the bars have knurling where they sit inside the clamps. You can use this to center the bars in the clamps. Also, if you rotate the bars a wee bit forward, you will gain space at the tank at full lock.

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