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So, I looked at 2 T-dubs today. One was a 93 in pretty rough shape for $1200. It had been in the salt in the winter at some point (lots of rusty parts to prove it) and had spent a fair amount of time stored uncovered outdoors in Michigan. It was a Californication model with the carbon canister on the engine mount tube. It also was very weird in the front end while test driving it, like the head bearings for the steering were tight. I'm thinking being outside the head bearings are shot and just are notchy so would need replaced. The stainless oem header was pitted almost through because of the salt and the starter was rusty as could be as well as the rear swingarm.

The other was an 04 with 1,500 miles. The 04 was in pretty nice shape for the year with the usual scrapes, scratches, and bruises you would expect. It was shiny and well taken care of. It's a 2nd owner. It spent most of it's time on the street in a small town and some in the yard by an older gentleman just putting around with the grandkids in front of him on the seat. When test driving it, the upper triple tree was canted over to the left quite a bit. It was quite noticeable going down the road yet it tracked straight not pulling left nor right. i wish I would have taken a photo to show you. Obviously this isn't normal for any bike I've ridden. When I asked the owner if it had ever been wrecked he said the guy he bought it from (with 200 miles on it) had dumped it over on the left side and scared him enough to sell it. The left side of the front fender had a rash to show that. He tried telling me the handlebars are just bent but I can't believe that since the top triple tree was turned left while the bike tracked straight down the road. So, what is really bent? I read through a bunch of threads and if I went back I would check to see if there is a kink in the left upper fork tube just under the bottom triple tree clamp but it's an hour away. Because something is bent up front I set my price at $2000 but he would only come down to $2200. I think I could get an 01 or newer that low of mileage without possibly a bent fork for around that price if I keep shopping for a while but it might take some time. A brand new 2013 is listed in Indiana for $3390 or a 2014 for $3499.

Again, what do you think is most likely to be bent and how much money roughly would it take to fix? I would have thought the bike would pull to the left if a fork was bent. I work on my own bikes and have changed out steering head bearings several times before but I've never dealt with bent forks. I'm not even sure that the forks are bent. Anyone deal with this before?

Jay Dub
 

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More than likely the forks are just twisted in the clamps. Stand in front of the bike with the front wheel between your legs and squeeze the front wheel with with your knees. Give the handle bars a good whack in the direction needed to straighten it out. If that don't work put it up on a stand, loosen the clamp bolts, straighten and re-tighten.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I doubt the seller will let me try this without buying it first. Could it be something expensive? I don't want to buy a pig in a poke.
 

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It could be something expensive but like I said, it more than likely is not. Just a minor adjustment needed. Anybody who rides trails and dumps their bike has done this hundreds of times. If it's a bent fork tube it would be obvious. Look for a slight crease, kink or small dent just below the triple clamps. There would almost have to be other (severe) damage to the bike in other areas. (Any broken spokes in the front wheel? Front wheel true?) Try to eye ball down each fork tube and see if it looks like it's tweaked. If they're straight it probably just needs to have the forks realigned in the triple clamps.
 

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If the loosening and twisting doesn't fix it and the forks are not bent, probably the lower tree is bent.
 

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I bent the forks on my XT350 and moved them in the clamps so the bent section was in the clamp section.
I hit a boulder at 40 mph to bend them.
As has already been stated the forks are most likely just twisted and it is an easy fix.
 

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as echoed above, i'd guess for the forks, or even more so the triple, to be bent there would be a lot more evident damage to the rest of the bike.
the first bike sounds like more maintenance than what would be worth $1200.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the first bike sounds like more maintenance than what would be worth $1200.
I agree. Once the salt gets to it, there's no stopping the rust and other corrosion issues. Living outside for several years didn't do it any good neither.
 
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