Dave - align the forks??????

Dave what do mean by align the forks?????? (when re-installing them) All I've ever done is go by the manual which is slide both forks into the TCs, snug bottom and top, unsnug top, tighten the upper hex tree NUT, and resnug the upper tree bolts, and then torque all to spec.

I am posting this Q because I had an alignment problem with the front wheel. I thought it was due to the forks' mis-alignment, but I believe now that it was because I was not torquing the front axle pinch bolts to spec (I was too low). This, I believe let the front end seemingly start off (riding) aligned, but as I rode and hit bumps / jumps, the front wheel became more mis-aligned. I noticed it most just after landing big. This would make sence since I aparently under torqued the pinch bolts which allowed the axle to move through the lower fork leg.

I went back through the assmebly process and centered the wheel by boucing the forks, ect, and retorquing everything to spec. I have not been out riding since I did this, but I'm about 95% sure I found my problem.

One thing I found was that it is easier to keep the upper and lower TCs true and the fork legs parallel by preventing the lower tree from hitting the stop when torquing the top nut - this is possible only by use of an impact wrench.

Is this what you meant by aligning the forks?



My take is he was talking about using the proper procedure when installing the front wheel. If you torque the axle nut down wihout following the correct procedure your forks will bind.

to align the forks all you do is,...... before you torgue(17ft. lbs.) the four(4) axle pinch bolts you compress the forks(push down on your handlebars, with the bike off the stand)a few times. this will self-align the forks,

2002 426 w/dubach pipe/hotstart/carbon airbox(should be out soon)

My concern with bouncing the forks into alignment is that the fork binds against the axle. It's better than nothing, but if you want perfect alignment you can consider this appoarch.

The trick is to measure the distance between the two forks without the wheel or fork in place, then match that distance with the wheel installed.

Tape measures and string are useless. Calipers can work as long as the design can get through the spokes and at the tubes without any obstructions.

What I ended up doing was building a jig type tool that cups each fork tube with a "C" shape on each end. Looks like a giant combo open end. It of course fits between the spokes of the wheel. If you shape by trial and error, make sure that the tool does not push the forks outward. It should make lite contact, but not bind or spread the forks the least bit.

Then install the wheel, and axle. Tighten the right bolts, torque the axle nut to spec. Tighten the left bolts, then loosen the right bolts. Use a plastic mallet on the casting to tap the left fork in or out so that the tool is mated to the forks as it was when the wheel was off. Again, make sure the forks make contact with the tool, but don't bind againsts it.

Is all this really necessary? I think it depends on how precise of a job you want to do.

If you like, once you have the tool built, assemble the bike using the bounce test. Then measure how well this process works using the tool. I usually find that the fork is still off by about 2 to 3mm after bouncing them into position. Not that big of a deal, but again, it's worth considering.


Some very useful points - thanks guys!!!


I take a small flat blade screwdriver and tap it into the gap at the pottom of the right fork leg. Then I can use finger pressure to verify there is no sideways stress on the fork along the axle. I've seen some axles go in tight enough that bouncing wouldn't jar it loose along the axle. The main thing is finding some method of verifying the fork is as parallel with the other as possible.

I spin the front wheel fast and lock the front brake a few times.. The last time I have someone hold the brake and tighten the bolts... Do you think that is effective???



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