Ever heard of a bent triple clamp?
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Thread: Ever heard of a bent triple clamp?

  1. #1
    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    Question Ever heard of a bent triple clamp?

    In my attempt to get straight forks on my TW, I bought another set on eBay, figuring I just needed to rebuild the left fork with the proper parts (moving my spring, drilled damper rod and gold valve) over to the new fork. But before doing that, I put the left fork on the bike just to see. And... it's still crooked!

    I put my level on all four forks, and they all appear to be straight.

    So having tested both sets of forks, and combinations thereof, I'm fairly sure at this point that the issue is in the triple clamps. And I'm thinking it's the top one. It's not cracked, and I don't see how it could be bent either. My best guess is an improper casting or something along those lines. When the forks are lined up evenly and the front wheel is pointing directly ahead, the handlebars are cocked about 10 degs too far clockwise. I've had three sets of bars on the bike and all three are the same way, so it's not the bars either.

    So before I pull the trigger and order a new triple tree on eBay, I thought I'd post and see if anybody has ever seen this kind of issue before.

    Thanks!

    Rob
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  2. #2
    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    I know what you mean; I've had it happen on my DR650 and KLX250S in the past; an easy fix. But this is not the case.

    The riser I'm using is the type that cannot be twisted (PowerMadd). In addition, before putting the riser on, I had the bars bolted directly to the triple and the twist was still there.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member andrew5336's Avatar
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    Could well be possible.

    I just bought, and returned a 2014 TW200 here in South Africa as the top triple clamp seemed bent to the left.

    Everything running straight but the bottom left handlebar bolt was waaay closer to the tank than the bottom right one.

    Factory fault? Can cast aluminium (or are the clamps steel?) bend in a crash?

    Happy ending, found a nearly new 2015 with 250km (150 miles) on the clock and fetching it tomorrow!
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    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Triple trees can bend. You can check with disassembly and surface plate. Sometimes a good
    flat piece of glass or plate will work. Install taper bearings instead of factory ball bearing while you have it
    apart. I suppose if you could "see" the bend then you might be able to bend back.
    Tonto on the "Left Coast"
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  6. #5
    Mel
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    I would have to look, but may have an extra set of triple clamps.
    Mel
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  7. #6
    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    Usually it's the bottom tree that gets tweaked, in my experience.
    2013 Yamaha TW200

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  8. #7
    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    I'm going to go ahead and pull my triple tree today and do some more measuring. I was looking at the photos of various triples for sale on eBay, and I swear I see the same issue with them in the photos. I'll know better once I can look at mine the same way.

    FWIW I had already replaced my steering bearings back when I first got the bike. The originals came apart and fell all over the floor when I took it apart, and the lower bearing didn't have any grease in it either. I just hope if I end up changing the lower that I can save the new bearing.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    I have it apart. I then put the new set of forks in it and bolted up another set of bars as a mock-up. I put the axle through the end of the fork tubes. If you stand with the axle perpendicular to yourself, as if you were riding the bike, the bars are crooked as I said before. If you eyeball down the triples and watch the lines, the top triple is canted aft on the right side.

    So now the goal is to find a known good top clamp, or complete set, as inexpensively as possible. There are several sets on eBay for $35 shipped, but who knows if they're straight. A new one is $125.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    Now I'm back to retract what I just said... sort of.

    Yes, if you view it like I said, it appears that the upper triple is bent. But it's not. I did some more testing. I took the two clamps and placed them back to back (or top to bottom if that makes more sense), essentially opposite one another but with the "V" in the same direction. Man I hope that makes sense. Anyway, both line up perfectly. I even put the fork tubes through both to be certain. Both line up and also the center hole lines up.

    Next I stacked them with the lower triple on top and the upper on bottom, again so they were right next to one another, and put the fork tubes through them. No alignment issues there either.

    It's only when assembled "properly" can you see the twist. And like my friend Jason pointed out a little while ago, you can twist them forceably to make things line up. This doesn't seem "natural" but it seems like that's the answer. Sorta like what "old w/2 many bikes & guns" said.

    So I guess the next step is to reassemble the bike, and maybe with help, do the twist thing so it all lines up, then tighten up the bolts and see if it holds.

    Trying to figure this all out makes me feel like I'm blonde.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    Bike is back together. I had another guy twist the bars for me and I tightened things up. This helped a LITTLE but not as much as I would have liked. However, the bike runs perfectly straight when you let it. You can let go of the bars and it continues on perfectly straight. Hell my DR650 isn't even that stable. So for now I'm gonna leave it. I'll just figure if I still get wallowing from the new front tire, that it has to be the tire... and either deal with it or replace it.

    Thanks everybody for the input.
    littletommy likes this.
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