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Handlebars not really bent, they had just twisted in the triple clamps a bit

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I had my bike go down a couple of times on the throttle and it put the handlebars off a bit.  I thought they were bent.  My buddy had reminded me about loosening the triple clamp bolts and trying to push the bars straight and lo and behold, it worked.  

I like how Beta has printed the 17nm (about 12.58 ft lbs) for the top clamp and the 12nm or about (8.86) for the bottom clamp so, out came my Pittsburg/Harbor Freight torque wrench to get the bolts in the ballpark and all is well.  I don't need new handlebars for now.  Funny as I got used to the slight offset pretty quick.  

Edited by Ben500RR-S

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havent had it happen on beta yet but pretty normal to do that. also even the bolts from the handle bar clamps into the triple can bend and twist. i usually loosen/straighten/re-torque the front end when i get home from a ride i crashed. but like u said not terrible to ride with to at least finish out the day :)

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I did, also loosen the handlebar clamp to get it all nice and straight again.  

I had to also remind myself the procedure for getting the entire front buttoned down and to start from the top-down with all the bolts and to make sure I both torque the front axle nut before tightening the pinch bolts for the axle and to either bounce the front end or spin the wheel and yank the brake to center everything up.  

I didn't think the handlebars were that weak but the torque values for the pinch bolts is low, so as not to bind the insides up.  

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I've hit trees at moderately high speeds, gone over cliffs (I bailed), wadded up on the whoops, dropped the bike right on the bars on cement when it fell off my hitch hauler, etc.. But I have never had the bars twist in the clamps. Not sure if this is just luck, the brand of triples, or my cleaning and tightening technique. I would think it is just luck, since I see the pros pretzeling theirs during races all the time and I would think their mechanics do everything right. Of course those pros ride much more radically than I do.

Whenever I pull the forks I clean the mating surfaces with solvent, as well as the clamp inner surfaces. Torque very carefully with lots of alternating between each pair of bolts.

Bikes have been YZ250s and KX250F (2011).

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The best part is that when I put the front wheel against a wall and gave a good shove to the left, as the bike had gone down hard on the right/throttle side, I heard a big creak and just like that, the bars were square with the front wheel/tire.  

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yeh sometimes you gotta straddle the front wheel facing backwards and give it a good twist to square it up again. Just like a good old BMX bike.

I broke a pair of protapers clean off, so I dont use protapers anymore.

 

Edited by surfer-dude

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22 hours ago, Ben500RR-S said:

The best part is that when I put the front wheel against a wall and gave a good shove to the left, as the bike had gone down hard on the right/throttle side, I heard a big creak and just like that, the bars were square with the front wheel/tire.  

Anytime you need to do this it's time to realign the forks, wheel and clamps. Clamps will twist creating binding issues.

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7 minutes ago, weantright said:

Anytime you need to do this it's time to realign the forks, wheel and clamps. Clamps will twist creating binding issues.

I may, then, have to take the time to loosen up the axle bolt and pinch clamps and realign the whole thing but it won't be any big deal.  Thanks for the advice.  

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I have no binding and haven't had any binding at all.  We're not talking about the bars being all twisted or off by much.  

When riding with the bars off, there was no issue with the forks and their action at all.  After the adjustment/correction, the forks are still working perfectly as the pinch bolts have been torqued to spec with the super accurate, highly calibrated Harbor Freight Torque wrench.  

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I took another unexpected trip off the bike when it jackknifed from under me and the clutch side dug the ground and as I was holding on so tightly to the throttle grip, when I came off and ran down the trail to keep from hitting the ground, the grip came off in my hand, pretty funny, as I don't either glue or safety wire my grips as they always stay on the (aluminum) throttle tube. 

The bars got cocked to the left a bit so another loosening of the top and bottom triple clamp bolts, a couple of shoves, a couple of creaks of metal on metal and the bars were straight in the clamps again.  I make sure to use the correct 12.5 ft lbs for the top and 8.8 lbs for the bottom clamp bolts and all is well.  

I'm sure someday I'll wad it up enough to need new handlebars but so far, so good.  I'll probably need new grips before anything.  

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