Sigh. Replacing bent front forks.
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  1. #1
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    I need to replace a pair of bent forks on a 2003 TW.



    A pair of brand new forks shipped from Stadium Yamaha would cost about $500.



    I know many of you guys have years of experience working with bikes and I wondered if you had any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
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    If they aren't bent to bad you can straighten the tubes with a hydraulic press, it's not hard to do.
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  3. #3
    Senior Member mtkd's Avatar
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    May also be able to swap to forks from a different bike for less then what stadium is charging and it will be an upgrade in the process. I forget who (I think Lzrdbreath) did a swap on his forks from another machine.
    -Szj



    2001 TW

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  5. #4
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    I believe the swapped forks of choice are YZ80 forks.



    Sounds like Brock got a pretty good deal on some!



    Read that whole thread and you should find out everything you need.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
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  6. #5
    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    If they are just barely bent i wood do what r80rt said. The 98 i used to have ha bent forks when i bought it. They werent bent just a tad right at the bottom of the lower clamps. I took them off and put them on a hydraulic press. I put a 3/4" board on all sides touching the press and pressed them about 1/8-1/4" past level and when i released the pressure it came back up level. Perfect. But if they have a crease you might be sol.

  7. #6
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    FWIW all fork tubes from all years of TW's are identical. The only difference is the lower left leg. As long as they aren't pitted or bent and your lowers are still in good shape the tubes from an '87 will fit a 2013.



    Straightening them is an option, depending on the degree of damage. As R80RT suggested, it's not hard to do. One of those things that useta be common but if you can't do it yourself these days finding someone who'll do it right and at a fair price may not be as easy as it once was. Try automotive machine shops or ATV shops. They sometimes still have "real" pressmen. ATV guys straighten axles all the time. Good ones sometimes get them straighter than when they were born.



    As Smalls said if you can see a distinct indent or ridge in them at the point where they enter the lower triples, they're toast. Too dangerous for straightening.



    YZ80 tubes will work, but they're a couple inches longer. Usually dirt cheap and I can tell you how to set them up to behave exactly like your stockers. The extra length can just be slipped up in the triples on a stock height bike.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  8. #7
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    R80rt, SZJ, DonBenito, Smalls and LB,



    Thank you for the ideas and the link to LB’s/Brock’s thread. I just had a look and found quite a few YZ80 forks on e-bay. I guess I do worry a bit that whatever I buy from an unknown source could be slightly bent. Anyone know if all recent years of YZ80 tubes are the same diameter and length?

    (Interesting – a zillion years ago a YZ80 was my first REAL motorcycle – or at least it was the first thing on two wheels that I owned that wasn’t powered by a lawn mower engine).



    I am still not sure what I am going to do but I will examine my tubes in more detail and keep looking. I will probably forego the straightening for now and look for replacement parts. I don’t know anywhere local that would do this or that I can trust. After I get replacement parts I may experiment with straightening my old parts to see what I can do.



    Other than having both forks protrude the exact same amount is there anything I need to do to “align” the forks? Anything I need to watch out for? I just want to be safe.



    Thanks guys.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Point37's Avatar
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  10. #9
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    You're correct. Buying used, sight unseen is always a crapshoot. But at least it's a cheap crapshoot if you get burned. Any chance that you might find some locally that you could view in the flesh?



    I never really considered the YZ tubes as direct replacements for stock tubes until you started this thread, but I can't think of a single downside. I've concluded that they may be the most cost-effective solution. I haven't looked in awhile but I assume you can still get a complete YZ80 front end for less than one stock TW fork tube. Mine came from a mid-80's bike. I'm not sure all years had the 33mm tubes but I believe all their conventional forks on early YZ80's and 125's had them.



    As I said earlier as long as you set them up like stock forks the only thing you'll need to do differently is slip them up in the trees an amount equal to the difference in length, which is a bit over 2".



    Everyone's probably tired of seeing this pic but they'll look something like this. A nice side benefit is that you can also slip them down in the tubes to make longer road trips a bit more pleasant. Yada, yada. If you wanna get all geeky about it you can also set them up to be a far less crappy version of our crappy fork:







    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    What symptoms are you having? Who told you they were bent?



    When I put new seals in mine and reinstalled them the bike pulled to the left. The axle was also very difficult to install -- the holes didn't align. I loosened the triple tree bolts, removed the front fender brace / bridge, removed the front wheel, and rotated the upper part of the fork. As I rotated it the lower part wandered around in a big circle. I played with both fork tubes until I found a spot where the axle easily passed through the holes and then tightened up the tree bolts, put the front fender back on and installed the front wheel.



    Edit: I have been thinking and I now think I removed the front wheel but only loosened the four bolts that holds the front fender on. That way as I rotated the upper part the lower part would not rotate but could still "wander". You have to at least loosen those four bolts.



    It still wasn't right, but better, so then it was just a matter of loosening one fork and rotating it slightly one way and going for a ride. If it was worse I rotated back the other way. It is a bit of a pain but it tracks straight ahead now. BTW, if you do this put a piece of masking tape on the tube and mark a spot on it with a pencil. It is much easier to keep track of which way and how much you turned it.



    My guess is none of us who ride over bumps and things have perfect forks.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

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