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Kawasaki Kfx450r Turning Radius Comprised After Rollover? (pictures)

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Hello, My wife has a 2008 Kfx450r which she rolled several times after botching a landing at fairly high speed. It was fast enough to bend the steering stem so much that the bars touched the plastic on one side...

Anyways I replaced the steering stem and some plastic supports that blew out and it looked pretty good initially. It drives just fine however after riding in some tight stuff, I noticed that when turning to the left, it was no were near as sharp as it was when turning right. I got to looking at it more and lock to lock isn't anywhere the same for both sides.

Please examine the pictures but I will explain below...

I can easily fit 4 finger widths between the nerf bars and left tire when turning left, but when full lock to the right I can hardly fit 3 finger widths... This might not sound like much but it's a huge difference when turning. The steering stem hits the stop going both ways so the steering doesn't appear to be binding anywhere, I thought maybe it was always like this and I never noticed? You can also see how much further the bars go when turning right then left.

Another thing is it appears the left wheel has slight more negative camber and possibly more toe out when in neutral steering position. Anyone else own this quad and can chime in on how theirs is? I have a feeling my wife's quad is a bit tweaked... 20131004_144613.jpg20131004_144650.jpg20131004_144622.jpg20131004_144655.jpg

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Post some pics of the front end (try toget all, or most of the steering components, tie rods, joints, a arms, etc.

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While I don't have a KFX, I've had enough sport quads to be familiar with the usual setups. There should be a hub welded to the front frame between the lower a-arms,that the lower steering bearing is housed. Check to see if that is twisted or bent, Also the hub that the tie-rods are attached to is usually bolted to the bottom , check for that being bent or just slipped off center. That will be the most likely area for the issue. Did you check to make sure both front a-arms are true and straight and the camber or caster hasn't been altered, it will also effect steering or make it "twitchy" at speed.

Check where the bottom a-arm is bolted to the frame, the rear mount , to see if it has been pushed in on either side. That will change caster.

Edited by jjktmrider

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Thanks for your reply guys, I took the time to measure the dimensions of the arms in several different directions, they all matched each other... The points where they meet the frame also look straight...

I was able to adjust the left wheel that looked like it had excess toe out back to match the right and that also seemed to fix the look like it had more camber so I am pleased with that.

We'll I examined the steering stop hub like you mention and it seems straight? So does the point that where the tierods attach... But the steering stem itself does appear to be bent up where the bars are so maybe the whole thing is tweaked. I guess my next course of action is to replace the stem again, the one I got was used "gently".

Edited by fdme

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Take a straight 2x4 or pipe whatever, as long as it is straight and 5-6ft long hold it against the side of the rear wheels(may need to shim out with a shorter 2x4) run it past the front wheels. See if the front end is still in-line with the back. It could be the whole frame got tweaked and the frontend is pushed over a bit. Shouldn't but ?????            To get that different in steering radious something has to be bent. The steering shaft won't stop the front wheels from turning the same unless it is twisted top to bottom.

 

 With both front wheels off and front end on blocks, suspension drooped free, take a line with a weight(plumb bob)hanging down from the top ball joint, measure how far forward the bottom ball joint is from the top joint(measure straight across to the string at a 90 degree) on each side. Something tells me there may be a difference.

Edited by jjktmrider

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Take a straight 2x4 or pipe whatever, as long as it is straight and 5-6ft long hold it against the side of the rear wheels(may need to shim out with a shorter 2x4) run it past the front wheels. See if the front end is still in-line with the back. It could be the whole frame got tweaked and the frontend is pushed over a bit. Shouldn't but ????? To get that different in steering radious something has to be bent. The steering shaft won't stop the front wheels from turning the same unless it is twisted top to bottom.

With both front wheels off and front end on blocks, suspension drooped free, take a line with a weight(plumb bob)hanging down from the top ball joint, measure how far forward the bottom ball joint is from the top joint(measure straight across to the string at a 90 degree) on each side. Something tells me there may be a difference.

Alright will do, the bike is getting cleaned up this weekend so I guess I'll get on it then.

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That particular bike (I race one) has a weakness in the aluminum frame right behind the a-arms attach points. check to see if it is bent there. Mine has broken and been repaired and then beefed up. Several guys have bent or broken the spindle casting. Since you mention that one wheel sits crooked I would check that too. and Most of us grind the steering stops down to get a better turning radius anyways, so if your frame and spindle knuckles are ok just grind the steering stops until it turns good both ways.

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