front end questions - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Wheels, Suspension and Brakes
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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front end questions

GRRR!!!!! Cagers in the city are the most terrible people on the planet!

i finally had my bike running really well and last week a car "nudged" the front end while it was trying to parallel park, or when it was pulling out. either way, that "nudge" knocked the front tire out of alignment with the handle bars. i am going to take the front end off and see if i can re-align everything. i was thinking i should do some expertise mining on here, seeing as i have never had to re-align the front tire after a car hit it. So, what should i be looking for? does any one have any concerns that pop to mind that i can look out for?

Drew
'03 VN750 a little over 4300 miles
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 05:28 PM
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Loosen the forks and straiten it like a bike when you were a kid. (use your legs to hold the tire)

Make sure nothing was actually bent.

Re-tighten.

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
Meanstreak Seat
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 05:41 PM
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X2 on tanner's idea.have done it on dirt bikes and my Secrary/Treasurer's bike

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 05:44 PM
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Definitely inspect for bent parts. My '95 had an alignment issue when I bought it. Loosened the lower triple clamps and "adjusted" it against a concrete parking lot lamp base. Torqued the triple clamps and went for a ride - perfect!

Over the next 2 days and about 250 miles of weekend riding, it slowly worked itself right back to where is was when I bought it.....

1995 VN750 bought used @ 6K miles (sold @ 20K miles)
2007 VN1600D bought used @ 40K miles
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 07:37 PM
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I twisted my forks off kilter about 25 or 30* from the handlebars 8 years ago when I dragged my leg for 50 feet on a guard rail, then sailed 20 or 25 feet over a ditch before hitting the opposite bank.

Six months later when I was healed up enough to do a little inspection of the bike, I loosened the clamp bolts on the triple tree a bit too much while preparing to twist the fork tubes back straight. The tubes migrated upwards an inch or so while I was twisting them. So I got my 20 something daughter to sit on the bike and lean back while it was on the center stand. This raised the front end and took the weight off the front wheel so I could finish straightening out the fork tubes and get them pulled back down into the proper position.

The OL HOSS 101 series eyeball alignment was pretty close.
Only required a minor adjustment when I finally got back on the road.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
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F&S luggage rack and engine guard
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July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

yea, i hope nothing was bent. i just got the oil seals and oil replaced on my forks. it would suck to just have to buy new ones now.

thanks for the advise. i will update you after i work on it this weekend.

Drew
'03 VN750 a little over 4300 miles
Spline lube
F&S Rear blinker relocation
F&S Luggage rack
Saddlebags
F&S Extended backrest
Mustang seat
F&S Engine guard
Plexifairing 3 windshield
KM style dash
LED everything + additional brake lights &
LED plate bolts


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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so i took the front end apart yesterday and checked for bend or broken pieces. nothing seemed out of wack. i didnt put anything on a machine to test it. i have a pretty good eye though and nothing seemed like i might want to get it checked out or replaced. so i put everything back and realigned everything. once i was done, the tire and handle bars were still way out. so i straddled the tire and turned the handle bars. i could feel the bars move and it wasnt that hard to pull on and straighten everything out. i went for a short little ride to make sure it was aligned and everything seems fine.

i just have a small worry now. if it was that easy to pull the bars back in line with the wheel, is something loose or broken? i know there isnt that much involved with the steering column. i know there is triple tree shaft, a top and bottom bearing, a few lock nuts and a bolt under the handle bars. as i understand it, you dont want to tighten the lock nuts down so tight that you put pressure on your bearings, but i think the top bolt that is under the handle bars simple holds the top clamps in place? maybe that is loose or broken?

what do you guys think?

Drew
'03 VN750 a little over 4300 miles
Spline lube
F&S Rear blinker relocation
F&S Luggage rack
Saddlebags
F&S Extended backrest
Mustang seat
F&S Engine guard
Plexifairing 3 windshield
KM style dash
LED everything + additional brake lights &
LED plate bolts


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 09:24 PM
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Just make sure the bolts on the lower and upper fork clamps are tight. And your axle and pinch bolt.

The steering stem has nothing to do with the bars being out of line. Lubing and setting the stem bolt is not needed unless you have play in the forks front to back, or somethings binding ....

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
Just make sure the bolts on the lower and upper fork clamps are tight. And your axle and pinch bolt.

The steering stem has nothing to do with the bars being out of line. Lubing and setting the stem bolt is not needed unless you have play in the forks front to back, or somethings binding ....
Thanks KM. i think that is what i am concerned about. the forks were not bent and the forks still fit into the upper and lower clamps. so i am wondering if the tire got hit hard enough that it caused the clamps to be slightly unaligned. say the clamps were knocked out by 1mm, then by the time you got down to the axle, the left fork would be a 5 to 10mm back and right fork would be 5 to 10mm forward and that would really throw the front tire out of wack with the handle bars, right? or maybe it got hit higher up, i am just assuming it was hit at the tire. or maybe that doesn't matter at all. i have never taken a front end apart and put it back together and it not be aligned.

either way, when i held the front tire between my knees and turned the handle bars to re-align them, it was super easy to do. i didn't put much effort in to it at all. plus the clamps were tightened when i did it. of course when i realized that i loosened them and reset the forks and re-tightened. i went on a couple or hour long rides this weekend and all seems fine, but i am concerned that it was so easy to turn the handle bars to re-align everything. maybe it is supposed to be that easy, i don't know.

Drew
'03 VN750 a little over 4300 miles
Spline lube
F&S Rear blinker relocation
F&S Luggage rack
Saddlebags
F&S Extended backrest
Mustang seat
F&S Engine guard
Plexifairing 3 windshield
KM style dash
LED everything + additional brake lights &
LED plate bolts


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 07:52 PM
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Should be a easy fix put the bike on the main stand slacken the 4bolts that hold the fork legs hold the front wheel between your legs and twist the bars till ther back in line you may need to put some surport under the front of the engine to stop it sliding down the legs has you slacken the triple tree bolts
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