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Sideswipe aftermarth, misaligned front end... :(

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Overture, May 14, 2012.

  1. Hey guys!, so after riding to get petrol for work and uni tomorrow, I got sideswiped by a shitty Astra speeding around the back of Warrandyte who decided to over take me on double lines around a corner. Wasn't raining but it was wet.

    Unfortunately I sold my car recently and its basically my only mode of transport.
    I'm 100% ok and you can see my thread in thread in the near miss section... even though its not a near miss xD (Link will be here!)


    The problem is the front isn't aligned, I limped her home and the front wheel is basically pointing to the right by about 3-4cm's give/take (Don't want to take her over 40km's, she might wobble out if I need to break in a hurry.), if anyone is in my area I offer beer to borrow some tools (I have a hammer and small socket set that's it! >_>)or if anyone is nice enough to come help me out that would be fantastic! I just did the oil and coolant 2 days ago >_>, and taking her into be serviced isn't financially viable at the moment.

    This is asking pretty big, but I would be eternally grateful! (Did I mention the beer.)
  2. Will post pics tomorrow, or after I shower/get cleaned up.
  3. OK, quick version.

    This is easier with a centre stand. A race stand will do, side stand or beautiful assistant in a pinch. Loosen off the clamp / pinch bolts on the upper and lower triple clamps. Back each one off till loose, then retighten to a bit over finger-tight. (You don't want everything completely loose at the same time because you don't want the bike to fall down over the front wheel.)

    Stand in front of the bike, facing the rear, hold front wheel between your knees, hold handlebars, give a good hard wriggle / twist / shake. The front end should un-twist itself, and the front axle should pull it all straight.

    There will quite likely be a loud 'crack' or 'creek' or 'groan' as the front untwists. Don't panic, that's normal.

    Now tighten everything back up and try it. First a visual inspection and then a test ride.

    Note that the handlebars are a separate issue, and they may also need some correction. If the 'bars are bent, the bike will still feel very odd to ride. If the bars are straight and the same as before, and the bike still feels odd, pulls to one side, try the procedure again, and if it gets no better, take it to a bike repair shop - something's bent.
  4. So I made a center stand out of some wood, similar to this.

    Not quiet as bad with a metal main frame from an old bench press. (Basically a giant block of metal), but do the nuts need to be torqued? (Another tool which I don't have.) Etc? If someone is close to me I have a 6pack with their name on it D:
  5. That'll do.

    They should be torqued, yes, but just do them up to about 75% of whatever force you had to use to undo them and that should do. Common sense torque. Then get one of the old salts to go over them.

    What sort of bike is it? Does it use allen head bolts or hex head? How big is that spanner in your toolkit? How many pinchbolts are there? (Yes, it does vary between different bikes.)

    If you've got a stand like that where pretty much all the weight is off the front, then you can just loosen everything right off and do it. As long as the fork tubes can't slide abruptly up through the clamps by a foot and dump the bike on the floor... Have a bit of a look at the top triple before you start. Are the fork tubes flush with it, recessed, or proud? By how much? When you're finished, it should be the same. If you don't have provision to lift the front off the ground, from something other than the front wheel or forks, and one or both tubes slide up, then getting them back in the proper place is ... tricky...
  6. It's a KLX250SF 2011, I don't a large enough spanner or torque wrench kit (looking at $40 for just the wrench) >_> (Not an option atm.)
    Biggest spanner I have it a 20mm I think XD, so tinyyyyy. Pics underneath.
  7. That isn't the one I mean. Don't touch that one. That's called the cap nut or something, and doesn't need to be undone to do what I have in mind.

    The bolts I mean squeeze or pinch the triple clamps to the forklegs. They will be 6 ~ 8mm id allen keys, or 8 ~ 12mm hex head bolts, and small hand tools are good because unless you have very strong hands, or you do something silly like slip a piece of waterpipe over the spanner, you shouldn't over-torque them.

    There may be one or two on each side on the top triple, and two or three on each side on the bottom triple. You should have the right key or spanner in the bike's toolkit.

    From your pics, I can only see one on each side on the lower triple, but it looks like there are two on the upper, which is a bit odd. Generally the lower triple is the big beefy one. It also looks like they'd be allen keys on the upper and bolt (12mm?) on the lower. That sounds very odd, but the pics aren't all that clear.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I'm in a different state otherwise would be over in a flash to help you out.

    Kneedragon is giving you great pointers on how to fix the problem. Is there anyone you can borrow some tools off - friend, relative etc?
  9. The pinch bolts are 12mm and there are two on each side of top triple and one on each side of the bottom.

    This is them

    Follow Kneedragon's advice and it should be all good.

    I'm in Werribee but if you can't manage it I've got tools I'd be happy to help.
  10. Got ya, just came out of hospital tonight, will post some more pics tomorrow, and give it a whirl maybe this weekend if I'm feeling up to it.
  11. My AC joint is messed pretty bad, ligaments and stuff in my left shoulder are shot. Left wrist has some soft tissue damage and its splinted, right knee some bad muscle damage where the bike hit it. Other than that I'm fine.
  12. Ouch ... sympathy. Get well soon.
  13. Ouch, bad luck champ.
    Are the inners of the fork legs bent ? If they are USD then the lower thinner leg.
    KD has it there for u.
    Make sure the bars are not bent as well. They can put you off a bit if bent and mm are a lot when setting up the front.
    The pinch bolts are only soft alloy. Don't go all he man on them or they will crack. You hear a ping you've gone too far.
    Do them up from the top pinch nuts a bit by bit then tension the lot like you would a cars wheel.
    Get some physio happening on the AC or you will be stuffed for life with it. Can make having a bat a nightmare

    ps yes those bolts. Do an alighnment check on the whole shabangabang before you tighten the lowers
  14. Yeah, those bolts. All 6 of them.

    Think about when you fell off a pushbike and twisted the gooseneck in the forks. You back off the gooseneck bolt, hold the front wheel between your knees, and twist the handlebars straight. Well this is the same deal, except it's all a bit bigger, and you need to back off all the pinch bolts and do it.

    Many times you get half way through loosening the bolts off and the tension in the front axle will pull it straight for you. There'll be a nasty 'crack' noise, and you'll think you just broke something, and the front end will have sprung straight on its own. If it doesn't, you need to grab the 'bars and give it a good shake and twist.

    If nothing changes or moves, then maybe the axle is bent, maybe one of the fork legs ... It becomes a job for a professional.

    It looks like your fork tubes are about 12mm (roughly) proud of the top triple-clamp. When you're finished, they should be the same, and more importantly, they should be the same as each other.
  15. Yeah, I really can't tell, its on my make shift stand at moment, and maybe I'm not thinking straight or I just don't have the eye for it.

    Might just have to bring it down to a mechanic or get one to come here.
  16. Give it a try first. Back off each bolt, loose, then nip it up just little tighter than finger tight, say +90 deg. Then move on to the next one. When they're all done, give the bars a good wrench by hand. Then tighten everything back up. Then have a look, then go for a ride.
  17. Alright tomorrow after the ultrasound ill give it a go, thanks KD! :)