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Hit and run - Now I've got a bent axle/fork/something

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Bad news bears. I came back from a lunch meeting, hopped on the DRZ, and started off down the street. Something felt off and I realized the handlebars were cocked to the right while the bike was moving forward.

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I pulled over and looked for evidence of a tip over. I couldn't find any scratches on plastic, hand guards, sliders, or frame. This was a bit perplexing so I walked back to where I had parked.

I had backed into a curb spot and was looking for any signs of a tip over still. Nothing.

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Of note though is look at that pile of rubble on the asphalt towards the foreground.

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Putting on my detective hat it seems like someone had backed out or was trying to parallel park and their bumper hit my front wheel which was already locked to the left. The bike didn't fall down since it was loaded against the kickstand. The kickstand dug into the ground and held the bike up but in the process something in my front steering group got completely jacked. I would have rather had the bike fall over and not suffer any mechanical damage but what's done is done. Of course the &%$#@! didn't leave a note. I'm not even convinced they knew they hit something as nothing fell over.

Anyways, here's a photo from the front of the bike as well. I'm finishing up some work items and then heading out to the garage to start taking it apart.

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Thoughts on places I should inspect for damage?

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The first thing to try is to pull up next to a post or fence on the right hand side of your bike, place the front wheel against the post for bracing and then haul on the handle bars to see if you can straighten up your steering.

If that does not do the trick, loosen the pinch bolts on the upper and lower triple clamps and repeat. It it is still off angled, loosen more bolts around the steering head and try again. Don't forget to tighten them again!

If still no joy, I suspect that your lower triple clamp might be distorted from the steering lock resisting the sideways force ( but I doubt that such little force will bend the clamp).

I hope this helps.

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i think he just backed into your tire.. the parts did there job and twisted the grip on the forks..instead of twisting the actual fork tube

my bikes been wrecked 8 times on the road, and everytime the front twists like in your pic...

just loosen the 4 bolts on each fork, and kick the tire in desired direction until its straight with the fender..

then

cruise up and down your road weaving left and right(like your warming the tires) and it should feel the same turning each direction..

if not

loosen bolts and kick tire until its perfect

Edited by 707LAKE
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i think he just backed into your tire.. the parts did there job and twisted the grip on the forks..instead of twisting the actual fork tube

my bikes been wrecked 8 times on the road, and everytime the front twists like in your pic...

just loosen the 4 bolts on each fork, and kick the tire in desired direction until its straight with the fender..

then

cruise up and down your road weaving left and right(like your warming the tires) and it should feel the same turning each direction..

if not

loosen bolts and kick tire until its perfect

+1

Had to do this many a times on assortment of different dirt bikes . Good luck to you

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I'm in the middle of a complete tear down of the front. Wheel and axle are off. Upon initial visual inspection the axle doesn't look warped. However even after completely removing the 4 pinch bolts for each fork, the forks aren't dropping out. In fact I'm halfway done tapping one of them out with a mallet and punch. Not sure how bad it is if they're binding that much with zero pressure around them.

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Alright, I have both forks free, I've cleaned them up and then look pretty straight. However the won't go back up into the upper triple tree clamp. There's no problem sliding them through the lowers but as soon as they hit the upper clamps they stop and won't budge. Make sense given I had to pound them out in the first place. Now what do I do?

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I can and maybe wrong and not looking at the mechanical at the moment. But may the clamp need to be split a bit for them to slide in/out. When we work on VW ( I have only experience with VW) to take the strut out there is a special tool to split the lower mount on the spindle a little and the strut slides right out. Possible?

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I'm in the middle of a complete tear down of the front. Wheel and axle are off. Upon initial visual inspection the axle doesn't look warped. However even after completely removing the 4 pinch bolts for each fork, the forks aren't dropping out. In fact I'm halfway done tapping one of them out with a mallet and punch. Not sure how bad it is if they're binding that much with zero pressure around them.

my forks stay in place also when you loosen the pinch bolts, im pretty sure that how its supposed to

Edited by 707LAKE

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my forks stay in place also when you loosen the pinch bolts, im pretty sure that how its supposed to

that may be the case for some forks. last time I rebuilt the forks (earlier this spring) they slid right out on their own as I was loosening the pinch bolts.

Just loosen triple pinch bolts and line it all back up, Just looks twisted in the triples to me.

I really hope there's something silly/stupid I'm missing because all the pinch bolts are completely out and it won't slide into the uppers at all.

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that may be the case for some forks. last time I rebuilt the forks (earlier this spring) they slid right out on their own as I was loosening the pinch bolts.

I really hope there's something silly/stupid I'm missing because all the pinch bolts are completely out and it won't slide into the uppers at all.

take some pictures

how are the forks falling out, are you doing it on a stand?

when i do it, the bike is on the tires under all its own weight,

loosen pinch bolts, and forks stay still,i got to still hit the tire pretty good to get it to move/turn

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Damn that sucks man! My supermoto Husaberg 450fe doesn't even have a kick stand! Only way she's falling over is if somebody knocked my baby Valeri over

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take some pictures

how are the forks falling out, are you doing it on a stand?

when i do it, the bike is on the tires under all its own weight,

loosen pinch bolts, and forks stay still,i got to still hit the tire pretty good to get it to move/turn

Whoops, sorry - yea I do most of my work with the bike on a stand. Right now it's in the garage sitting a few inches off the ground. Axle and wheel are off to the side. Both fork legs were removed and cleaned but I haven't found a way to get them to slide back up into the upper triple clamp. Pretty frustrating... Assuming the forks themselves are still straight, what kind of force would it take to bend the upper and lower triple clamps even just a bit? I had to hammer the forks out of the top clamps; they then slide easily from the bottoms. Going the other way probably wouldn't work as there's nothing to beat on.

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Going the other way probably wouldn't work as there's nothing to beat on.

Hmmmmm...... If only you could find the guilty party that caused this problem !! [guilty party]-------> :smashpc: <-------[taiguy]

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WARNING

don't over tighten them, look up the torque specs and go find someone with a torque wrench and set them back at the right torque. Otherwise, next time they might not save your front forks from bending.

thats why the torque specs seem a little low....so they slide under a lot of pressure, rather than something bend.

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that may be the case for some forks. last time I rebuilt the forks (earlier this spring) they slid right out on their own as I was loosening the pinch bolts.

I really hope there's something silly/stupid I'm missing because all the pinch bolts are completely out and it won't slide into the uppers at all.

Are you saying they won't slide out???? use a rubber mallet and tap on the top edges and they will drop 😉 just be careful as well once they go they go :D

Edited by Debi

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put the hammers down.

1 suspend bike with front tire off the ground

2 remove top triple completely

3 drop entire front end off bike

4 grease bearings

5 remove fork tubes from wheel

6 roll fork tubes and check for concentricity

7 reassemble if unbent

8 if bent, replace, reassemble

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No hammer or punches required......

If you do not remove the top clamp, at least loosen the stem nut and top cap nut.

the top and bottom clamp are misaligned.... with pinch bolts loosened, and the top and bottom clamp allowed to move independently a bit, the forks will go back in place.

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put the hammers down.

1 suspend bike with front tire off the ground

2 remove top triple completely

3 drop entire front end off bike

4 grease bearings

5 remove fork tubes from wheel

6 roll fork tubes and check for concentricity

7 reassemble if unbent

8 if bent, replace, reassemble

+1

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WARNING

don't over tighten them, look up the torque specs and go find someone with a torque wrench and set them back at the right torque. Otherwise, next time they might not save your front forks from bending.

thats why the torque specs seem a little low....so they slide under a lot of pressure, rather than something bend.

Yep, I'm pretty fanatical about using torque wrenches - compared to others I know who "feel it out"

Are you saying they won't slide out???? use a rubber mallet and tap on the top edges and they will drop 😉 just be careful as well once they go they go :D

That's what I'm used to. Not the case this time. Used a rubber mallet in conjunction with some long sockets to get past the handle bars.

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