Motorcycles - Ernie Dube - Tech Tip: Twisted Forks

For general non-specific make questions

Does your bike pull to one side a bit?

Have your recently had the fork seals or front tire on your bike replaced and found that the bike pulls to one side? It’s a good possibility that the forks are twisted.

Super Brace

This is most common with bikes that have some sort of “Super Brace” installed between the forks.

First let me explain what a fork brace does: the braces are installed between the forks to prevent spreading (which causes front end wobble) at low speeds and cornering.

Fork braces can be found in some sort of fashion such as a simple piece of aluminum or steel concealed under the fender or as on my bike, a thick piece of aluminum above the fender.

How does this “twisting” happen?

Usually when the forks have been removed.

When the forks have been removed from the trees and reinstalled, alignment is very critical.

The most obvious is to make sure that the tubes are the same height above the trees.

After that has been accomplished, the axle needs to be inserted into the lowers.

This is where it gets busy.

As I start to reinstall everything from the brake calipers to the fender, I constantly make sure that the axle will slide in and out and rotate smoothly after torquing.

If the brace is exposed (on top of the fender) I usually install it last or just before the tire goes on.

Again checking that the axle moves freely. Once the tire goes on and torqued, check to make sure that it spins and you do not hear any rubbing or grinding noise (you may hear some light brake rubbing. This is ok).

It is very important to make sure that you follow the torque specs for your bike very carefully so nothing gets bound causing things to bend. (Another story).

The Author - Roger Chartier