Fork height in triple clamps

Not being very clued up suspension made me wonder about the front forks. Since I've owed my bike the forks have always been level with the t clamps on the first ring giving me 5mm or so sticking out the top. Are the rings on the stancions there for a reason besides getting both sides equal ? Will dropping them result in more stability / slower steering ? What do you guys prefer ?

Great question. Anyone?

I had an XR250R years ago and slid the tubes up in the T-tree, this was so I could get the beast to turn better. Generally dropping the front sharpens the handling and raising it makes it more stable.

I had an XR250R years ago and slid the tubes up in the T-tree, this was so I could get the beast to turn better. Generally dropping the front sharpens the handling and raising it makes it more stable.

You have that exactly backwards. Raising the forks in the clamps, which raises the front wheel will make steering quicker but at the expense of high speed stability. Lowering the forks in the clamps or dropping the front end as you refer to will make steering response slower but will give more high speed stability.

Just raised my forks in the clamps so they're now about an inch above clamps. Haven't been able to ride yet cause it's too cold already.

Not being very clued up suspension made me wonder about the front forks. Since I've owed my bike the forks have always been level with the t clamps on the first ring giving me 5mm or so sticking out the top. Are the rings on the stancions there for a reason besides getting both sides equal ? Will dropping them result in more stability / slower steering ? What do you guys prefer ?

Hi dan, :moon:

If you drop the front end by raising the fork tubes in their clamps, you'll decrease the head angle and that will make your bike steer quicker. But for that gain in maneuverablilty you'll give up some high speed stability.

I dropped the hell out of my front end...

bike010.jpg

...but dropped the rear even more...

IMG_1775-1.jpg

...which increases the head angle and makes the lowered bike even more stable at high speeds. I need safe stable and comfortable high speed freeway cruising way more than I need twitchy cornering.:thumbsup:

Take Care,

Greg

So the bike will do the corners better with a lower front?

Bad Idea to lower the front of the bike if you do any offroad riding. Handles ok and turns well on the street, but not good offroad.

So the bike will do the corners better with a lower front?

What really makes the difference in handling is the rake angle. Just sliding the forks up wont change rake.

rake1.gif

Just think to the extremes for your answer, what does better in corners and curves a motogp type bike or a chopper?

ducati-superbike-desmosecidi-gp7.jpg

easyrider460.jpg

The cbr600/1000 has about a 23.5degree rake, the honda cruiser vtx 31.5. The closer the front tire to the frame/motor the better handling in curves. The greater the rake angle the more straight away stability.

The 450X has rake of 27degrees, (I use this as an example cuz Suz doesnt include rake on specs in website)

photo%20virage%20moto%20gp.jpg

First thing you do is set rear sag to your bike's factory recommended amount/range. A few millimeters either way in back greatly affects the front.

Raising the forks in the clamps UP will make the bike steer sharper but if you go too far you will get headshake. Forks too low will be ultra stable but turn like a barge. You can get a near-perfect balance of quick turning yet stable by adjusting the forks in small increments. Remember to properly tighten the triple clamp bolts to factory spec or you may have fork binding if the bolts are too tight.

Again, set rear sag first then play with the front. Good luck!

Thanks :thumbsup: I guess this is partly one of those trial and error things too, have to try different setups and find the one that fits you best.

You have that exactly backwards. Raising the forks in the clamps, which raises the front wheel will make steering quicker but at the expense of high speed stability. Lowering the forks in the clamps or dropping the front end as you refer to will make steering response slower but will give more high speed stability.

So with the conflicting info who's right? I do know the the XR would plow through corners like a dozer. I read in some motocross magazine at time that the pro riders would sometimes use this trick to get their bikes to turn. After dropping the front it was much improved, which is why I posted the info.

Perhaps it was just one of those things that works for the individual. I'd not like to be posting info that is incorrect for people.

So with the conflicting info who's right? I do know the the XR would plow through corners like a dozer. I read in some motocross magazine at time that the pro riders would sometimes use this trick to get their bikes to turn. After dropping the front it was much improved, which is why I posted the info.

Perhaps it was just one of those things that works for the individual. I'd not like to be posting info that is incorrect for people.

Icelander, you are totally right. You and HPIGUY are saying the same thing, he just misread your post.

Greg...What type of bars are on your bike??? Thats Neat!!....

Icelander, you are totally right. You and HPIGUY are saying the same thing, he just misread your post.

Ding, we have a winner. Sorry Icelander, I did totally misread your post. :moon::thumbsup:

Ding, we have a winner. Sorry Icelander, I did totally misread your post. :moon::thumbsup:

HAHAHA, I have done the same thing with friends on this same subject so I know how easy it is. Lower bike = raise forks, and between the raising and the lowering it's easy to get the conversation sideways! :moon:

HAHAHA, I have done the same thing with friends on this same subject so I know how easy it is. Lower bike = raise forks, and between the raising and the lowering it's easy to get the conversation sideways! :moon:

Yeah, it's easy to get lost in all the jargon huh? And I thought I knew bikes. :thumbsup:

No worries, I HAVE got sh!# backwards before. I don't mind being wrong (once in a while!:moon:) I'd just hate to offer advice to my friends here at home and on TT if it isn't right. :thumbsup:

What really makes the difference in handling is the rake angle. Just sliding the forks up wont change rake.

It does change rake. By lowering the front you are changing the attitude of the bike by rotating the frame about the rear axle, moving the steering head closer to the ground and lessening its angle. It may not be much, but it does change the angle.

Greg...What type of bars are on your bike??? Thats Neat!!....

Hi jw, :moon:

They're Vortex lightweight alloy racing clip on bars...

bike012.jpg

Got the idea to see if they would work when I lowered the bike and had all that empty fork tube sticking up above the clamps. They eliminated a ton of heavy mounting hardware and handlebar weight, allowed for a slightly more lowered and tucked in riding position, and really cleaned up the front. Actual running weight with a full tank of gas is an even 300 pounds.:thumbsup:

Take Care,

Greg

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