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Discussion Starter #1
I have handlebars on order, but besides them being twisted ( left is about an inch forward of right ), when i am riding "straight" the upper fork mounting bracket is about 3 to 4 degrees turned to the right, so besides the handlebars facing right a bit, the forks from the angle of rider's eye are turned.

The only advice i could find here on the forums was knifemaker's comment about giving them a quick shove with the front tire held in position. The guy at the shop that sold me the bike said to take a crowbar approach. Ima thinking it would take at least a 4 to 6 foot bar to get the torque this will need. My biggest concern is that what turns one way, might just give the other and i'll end up f'ing it up somehow worse than the tree that taught the original owner a lesson. Know what i mean? I'm not worried about f'ing up the handle bars since they are getting replaced.

Is there any another way?
 

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you could always pull the fork legs off and verify there is not any slight bending in them. pull front wheel, remove brake calipers, and loosen the pinch bolts on upper and lower triple tree.. slide fork tube out. roll on known flat surface to see how f'ed they are (if at all).

or maybe just need to loosen the pinch bolts and let them 'fall' back into proper alignment, if you know what I mean. thats assuming the tubes are not bent in any way
 

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Does it pull to one side when you take your hands off the bars?
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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you could always pull the fork legs off and verify there is not any slight bending in them. pull front wheel, remove brake calipers, and loosen the pinch bolts on upper and lower triple tree.. slide fork tube out. roll on known flat surface to see how f'ed they are (if at all).

or maybe just need to loosen the pinch bolts and let them 'fall' back into proper alignment, if you know what I mean. thats assuming the tubes are not bent in any way
Yup.loosen pinch bolts first.if they're not bent they will straighten
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does it pull to one side when you take your hands off the bars?
No, rides just fine. So for example, lets say my hands are off the bars and i am cruising on a typical run up to the next stop light doing about 30 or so. . . straight as ruler and steering her in between car mirrors is easy too, she steers well and balanced.

But while cruising along straight, the line of the lower dash panel with the idiot lights is like at a 3 to 4 degree turning to the right along with the line of the tree underneath, and it *IS* flush and level with that upper bracket ( so the dash panel has its left side more forward/higher ). So then add to that the handle bars being about an inch out of whack as well. They are two different issues both doing the same thing. We are about 99% sure this original owner wrapped this around a pole or whatever... ( clutch handle was busted, left turn signal snapped in half, dent on left side of fuel tank, broken speedometer cable cradle on the lower left fork, . . . ).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you could always pull the fork legs off and verify there is not any slight bending in them. pull front wheel, remove brake calipers, and loosen the pinch bolts on upper and lower triple tree.. slide fork tube out. roll on known flat surface to see how f'ed they are (if at all).

or maybe just need to loosen the pinch bolts and let them 'fall' back into proper alignment, if you know what I mean. thats assuming the tubes are not bent in any way
Never worked on the front end before. If those pinch bolts on the trees are loosened, will the bike's front end lose its support? I am picturing it sliding down the forks in my mind until the frame meets the gravel.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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Put it on the centerstand and put a Jack stand under front of motor or use a motorcycle jack
 

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My "tweek" method works fine without loosening the pinch bolts, but you still can do that as it will not need as much force.
If you're worried about the forks pushing up, just loosen the lower bolts and not the upper ones.

It is possible the forks are bent, so you might just want to go ahead and dissemble the front end to check, but I'd only do that if you can't re-tweek the forks or some other issue develops.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My "tweek" method works fine without loosening the pinch bolts, but you still can do that as it will not need as much force.
If you're worried about the forks pushing up, just loosen the lower bolts and not the upper ones.

It is possible the forks are bent, so you might just want to go ahead and dissemble the front end to check, but I'd only do that if you can't re-tweek the forks or some other issue develops.
Thank you all for the tips. Better safe then sorry. Rode up to the valley this morning and borrowed the motorcycle clamp/rack, whatever it's called, and a jack just in case. Only loosened the lower bolts and used the handlebars with a right shoulder into the throttle sort of shove several times making sure not to go too far, then purposely went a little further so it would relax back to level. Tightened up the bolts again, removed the jack and with arms down the side doing ~30, coasting downhill a few times, she is straight as an arrow now.

Thank you all again. :grin2:
 

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Glad you got it, now if I may tag on to your thread....

My bike pulls to the left. I've replaced both fork tubes and rebuilt the forks. When I installed the forks, a depth gauge was used to set the height at the top of the triple tree. Haven't noticed that the dash is misaligned as Roadhopper described, but I'll look closer. It pulled left with the old bent forks, and still pulls just about as much.

So far haven't been able to get the pull out of it, been thinking of checking/adjusting the swingarm alignment, but haven't got there yet.

Suppose I should loosen the forks and let the tubes rest where they find center, regardless of the height? Tweak the front while it's loose. and which direction? It's pulling left, so I should tweak to the right? (like pushing the wheel to the right)

Towards the end of longer rides, I'm sitting off to the right on my seat, to rest my arms/shoulders I guess. Sometimes I get enough weight in the right saddlebag.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Glad you got it, now if I may tag on to your thread....

My bike pulls to the left. I've replaced both fork tubes and rebuilt the forks. When I installed the forks, a depth gauge was used to set the height at the top of the triple tree. Haven't noticed that the dash is misaligned as Roadhopper described, but I'll look closer. It pulled left with the old bent forks, and still pulls just about as much.

So far haven't been able to get the pull out of it, been thinking of checking/adjusting the swingarm alignment, but haven't got there yet.

Suppose I should loosen the forks and let the tubes rest where they find center, regardless of the height? Tweak the front while it's loose. and which direction? It's pulling left, so I should tweak to the right? (like pushing the wheel to the right)

Towards the end of longer rides, I'm sitting off to the right on my seat, to rest my arms/shoulders I guess. Sometimes I get enough weight in the right saddlebag.
You can tag on "my" thread any time you please and i hereby release anything i write now, before, or anytime into the future into the public domain, including photos. Just keep a--waaaay from my spelling. :)

As i was picturing your description, and only based on what little i know or less, it sounds like you would be tweaking the opposite way you'd like. It might be better to describe it using clock-language. My triple tree on top was pointing to the right ( too far clock-wise aim ). I got it straightened out twisting counter-clockwise with shoulder shoving into the throttle and a hand pulling ( a little ) on the clutch side. The main effect being against that tire-rack holding it center. We lined up the bike pretty straight on that rack to begin with.

Long story short, your "angle" is the same as mine. If yours is pulling left, then if the tire were straight, your forks would be aiming too far to the right. Right? So that would require a counter-clockwise shove like i did on mine this morning. Given that's *IF* a tweak is going to help it any in the first place. Somebody up there^^ mentioned alignment of rear to front. Upon the presumption that you did everything perfect on the forks, and based on my forks which were wrapped around a street pole or something ( unknown ) while my bike was still handling itself down a straight line, yours would have to be in such a condition that your two axles are out of alignment instead of parallel. Either that or your front left fork is lower than your right giving your tire an angle. If the front is out of align with the back, ( picture this carefully ), it would mean that the tire straightening itself out in front as you move forward is causing your frame to be making a "left turn" to whatever degree.


I was plenty tired out this afternoon, and took a snooze. I had a dream that i had a bike and the handle-bars turned into saggy metal that was so soft that just twisting the throttle turned the whole right side down. That totally ticked me off in the dream. Dream bikes are seriously difficult to maintain, you know? Thank gawd for real ones.

:grin2:
 

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On my next ride I'll have to check closer for some visual clues. Then I may have to string the front/rear and check the swingarm.

Was also thinking maybe I need to loosen the nut on top of the triple tree and tweak it there, since it's a press/clamp fit with no splines. But the new fork tubes slid right in with no binding.

May get that ride tomorrow, going above 60°.
 

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If you're going to loosen the pinch bolts up and try and let the forks "settle", remember to loosen the front axle too...and the pinch bolt on the one leg.

Twist each upper fork tube 270 degrees to see if they're binding due to a bent tube. Make sure each tube is at the same height in the clamps then tighten the upper then lower pinch boots. Then ...retighten the pinch bolt on the fork, then tighten the axle nut.

After you do this (guessing you jacked the frame up so the front wheels off the ground....kneel down in front of the bike and grab the two lower fork tubes. Try shoving them away from you and quickly back towards you. If you feel ANY play in them you need to tighten the steering head bearings. After doing so, if needed, slowly move the bars full left and full right a few times to see if there's any slight "catches" in movement. This would mean a bad bearing (usually a dented bearing race)

If all this checks out, then check the front and rear alignment using the string method. Unfortunately there's no real way to adjust this on a shaft drive bike, other than trying to insert a thin washer on one of the hubs.

Awhile back someone said that their bike slowly veers to the right when they take their hands off the bars. My answer then is the same as now,
Don't take your hands off the bars....

;)
 

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The stem bearings have checked ok, and the replacement tubes were rolled and checked while out of the lowers, not bent.

There is adjustment on the swingarm, outlined in the manual, the pivots have set screw adjustments to move the swingarm side to side a few thousandths of an inch.

When I bought the bike, with bent forks, the tubes were sitting uneven in the tree. I assume someone tried to compensate for the bend by resetting their position, didn't see any scratches that would suggest this could have happened in the wreck.

I couldn't detect much, if any, improvement in the pulling after installing the straight fork tubes.

I'll try that with the axle loosened.

It's not that it's a problem with no-hands riding, it creates fatigue after a while. Also affects handling, it likes right turns better than lefts. Seems like it should be the opposite, but no.
 

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Wasn't sure about the swing arm adjustment, thanks for mentioning that.

Seems like your pull to the left must be fairly severe to cause fatigue...is it possible your steering head is bent at the frame?
I do remember a few posts about this issue, concern was over uneven tire wear, which can even cause this condition .... (Switching to new rubber fixed it)

While on this subject, I will mention how adding a fork brace (along with progressive springs) really made my bike feel much more solid in turns.
Not sure why, but the forks on the Vulcan seem to have more flex in them than other bikes I've owned.
 

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Not quite as severe as I am decrepit. lol

Not sure but don't think it hit hard enough to bend the frame. I rode a year or so on the bent forks, so they weren't extreme.
 

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