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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I noticed a slight problem with my bike when I was out riding tonight. The front tire points very slightly to the left; I need to keep my left hand slightly farther forward to make it ride in a straight line. Its not a huge deal, and seems to be only a slight "off-center-ness", but if it isnt hard to fix, i'd like to... I'm brand new to bike suspensions, but am pretty good at turining a wrench.

Thanks!
Dan
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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It could be the forks slightly askew in the triple clamps, or it could be bent handlebars. As both will give the same feeling.

Are you sure the bars aren't bent?

If it is in the triple clamps, this is how I'd go about straightening it...
Put the bike on the centerstand.
Place a jack of some sort under the front of the engine (a piece of wood or something like that between the jack and the engine would be a good idea). Only lifting it until it makes firm contact, but doesn't really lift the front of the bike. (this is just to keep the forks from moving up or down in the clamps)
Loosen one bolt on each side of the triple clamps (there are two per side, one for the upper clamp, one for the lower).
The remaining bolt, just break it loose, then don't go more than about 1/4 turn.
You should be able to, ever so slightly, move the wheel/forks (while having someone holding the bars from moving) in the direction needed to straighten the wheel to the handlebars (hit the wheel to the riders right in this case). Some persuation may be needed (a rubber mallet or similar to the front of the wheel)

This can take several attemps before you're happy with the results.
JUST DON'T FORGET TO TIGHTEN THE BOLTS BEFORE YOU TAKE A TEST RIDE!!!

On the dirtbikes, when out on the trails, we pretty much just beat the wheel against a tree until it feel straight to the bars. But I wouldn't recommend that with the Vulcan.


Oh, and did I mention....
JUST DON'T FORGET TO TIGHTEN THE BOLTS BEFORE YOU TAKE A TEST RIDE!!!

The upper bolts get tightened to 14.5ft/lbs (174in/lbs)
The lower bolts get tightened to 18 ft/lbs (216 in/lbs)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much for your help! I went out this afternoon and took care of it. I ended up with the gf sitting on the passenger seat holding the handlebars for me to keep weight off the front wheel; I checked the alignment of the top of the forks to the triple tree (is that right?) before during and after to make sure nothing moved. It feels much better now on a short ride, but I'll take it out later to make sure all is well.

And yes, I made sure the bolts are tightened down. :)
 

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I know if a bike falls hard on one side or the other it has a tendency to twist the front forks a little. I actually twisted a Ninja 250's front forks back to square after our girl rider took a gravel spill in an intersection, by straddling the front wheel with my legs and twisting the handlebars back against my leg. Makes you wonder how they stay in one piece going 70.
 
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