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Bent Triple Trees?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bpd106, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. bpd106

    bpd106 XS650 Enthusiast

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    Anyone ever bent a set of trees? I bought my 81 Special II from a co-worker, whose sister in law crashed the bike into a fire hydrant. I've got it on my table lift, with the wheel locked straight ahead in the wheel vise. The wheel is straight, but the bars and trees are cocked to the left. It's pretty obvious just by looking at it. I've pulled the guages. headlight, etc, off, and was wondering if these are somehow bent, or if anyone knows if they just got tweaked and can be loosened up and realigned. The bike handles fine, so I don't think the forks are bent or anything like that. It just feels really weird when you're going straight ahead and everything is pointing left.
    I've already inquired about the set that's in the classifieds in case I need a replacement.

    Thanks,
    bpd106
     
  2. bronco306

    bronco306 XS650 New Member

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    it could be just the bars. if the triple trees are cocked the fork tubes are more than likey bent. I have never see triple clamps bend. i guess they could but you would have more damage
     
  3. xjwmx

    xjwmx XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Try standing in front with the wheel between your knees and giving it a twist the way it needs to go. If that doesn't work, loosen the forks at both yokes, and the fender, and tighten everything from the top down which should pull it back together. You might need to loosen the big chrome spindle bolt and its clamp bolt too. Look at the manual specs for the right torque. If it's just the bars, take off the nuts on the bottom of the clamps and see if a spindle is bent.
     
  4. Tech7

    Tech7 XS650 Junkie

    The forks may have moved in the trees. Unlikely the trees bent. The upper is aluminum and would likely crack, and the lower is fairly heavy steel. Loosen everything and see if it moves.
     
  5. bpd106

    bpd106 XS650 Enthusiast

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    You can actually see that the right handlebar clamp is further forward than the left. I'm gonna loosen everything up and see if I can re-adjust it back in line. If not, then I would prolly have to agree that one or both of the fork tubes got bent. It doesn't look like its the bars, that was my first guess too.
    I'll post any updates, but in the meantime, if anyone has any other suggestions or has had a similar situation, let me know!

    Thanks,
    bpd106
     
  6. bpd106

    bpd106 XS650 Enthusiast

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    I was thinking the same thing. I know fork tubes are pretty hard to bend. If anything, I was thinking the top tree cracked. I haven't seen anything broken yet, but ya never know. The previous owner told me that it wasn't that bad of an accident, just a low speed, inexperienced rider crash. I don't even think the turn signals got busted.

    bpd106
     
  7. xjwmx

    xjwmx XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    The right order to tighten is top down, but loosen the two top yoke clamps again before you re-tighten the big chrome bolt, then re-tighten the top yoke bolts. I do the big chrome bolt last.
     
  8. BigGeorge

    BigGeorge XS650 Addict

    I had a bike that was involved in a low speed crash and the forks were bent and the stem of the lower tree was cracked. Sometimes its not the speed but the angle of impact that can really mess things up..........BG
     
  9. chopitdropit

    chopitdropit XS650 Addict

    X2

    The top tree can get slightly out of line with the bottom tree. My bike was knocked over and this happened....I just pulled up to a pole and hit the side of the tire against it and it lined right back up...then I tightened all my bolts...good to go.:D

    Of course the best way to do it is take the tire off, put the axle back thru the forks and realign the front end...:wink2:
     
  10. bpd106

    bpd106 XS650 Enthusiast

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    I got it straightened out. I loosened everything up and put a little muscle into it and she straightened tight up. The front wheel vise on the lift really helps out with that.
    I re-torqued everything and I think its all good. Only problem now is a busted bolt in the clutch lever perch? Anybody got one laying around they wanna get rid of real cheap?

    Thanks,
    bod106
     
  11. Travis

    Travis Staff Member XS650.com Supporter

    I guess I'm too late on this one, but I've bought a few bikes that were laid down slow or tipped over with the front ends slightly twisted. Like you did, I just loosen everything up, straighten it out and tighten all back up and everything is usually good to go. I think it's more common that you might think with slow speed crashes.

    And about your clutch perch, you can get them from mikes for $8. I'd spend the two extra bucks though and get the 2 piece one. :twocents:
     
  12. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru

    A lower tree can get bent. I have been lucky none of the ones I have are bent. I have seen pics of bent trees. To check remove the trees from the bike. Set the lower tree on a flat suface, like the edge of your work bench. Use a c-clamp and clamp one side down to the bench if the other side don't lay flat then it's bent. Clamp from both side to check which side is bent.
     
  13. pamcopete

    pamcopete Ride.Enjoy.Life is Simple

    Here is a pic of a bent triple tree. The forks were not bent.

    [​IMG]

    You have to clamp the triple to a flat surface to see it.
     
  14. Sn34ky

    Sn34ky Farmer's can build bike 2

    I'm gonna take this thread back from the deads. Last pic is pretty much what's my lower t looks like... How easy is to straighten this? Press? heat? muscle?
     
  15. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Minor tweaks can be straightened, they won't be new but..... , I like to use a set of bent tubes in the lower triple with the bolts snugged up. Clamp one tube in a big vice. twist with the other to align. You have it close when both straight tubes will slide through the lower up into the installed top triple with no forcing or tweaking required. Which is also a simple "are the triples straight?" test. Slide one tube down until it just drops out of the top triple, does it stay lined up with the hole in the top triple?
     
  16. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I had the same twisted triple tree as shown in Pamcopete's piture. I used a sheet of glass as my flat reference. The glass will show if you have a twisted triple.

    The good news is that the lower triple tree is steel, and can be twisted back to be straight once again. I clamped my fork tubes into the triple tree, and then used a length of 2X4 wood as a lever. Place the 2X4 in between the fork tubes and twist the triple tree the correct way. Each time you twist, you have to take off the fork tubes, and do a trial test on the sheet of glass to see if you have it alined. It may take 3 or 4 twists to correct it. Its not hard to do.
     
  17. wherearewe

    wherearewe Rub on Ya Titties

    Yep lower triples most def can be bent. Mine were, along with one stanchion. I sent them off to a fork and chassis repair specialist. Wasnt very expensive.
     
  18. Sn34ky

    Sn34ky Farmer's can build bike 2

    Thanks guys! My right fork tube wasn't that hard to slide into the upper clamp, but at the axel point it's easy to see the fork is a little bit forward, feeling like i'm turning to the right if I want to get it straight! Thanks for the inputs guys!
     
  19. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    I'll just throw it in here. If one part of your fork is bent or tweaked it isn't the only damaged part. Generally lighter hits will only show up in the tubes and lower triple. I will say if the triple is bent so is at least one tube. Heavier hits can also hurt the wheel and frame. Not saying this bike has an issue but the headstock isn't that well braced on the 650 I have seen quite a few (3 or 4 at least) XS frames that had noticeably twisted necks. It ain't that easy to suss out a bent neck.
     
  20. Sn34ky

    Sn34ky Farmer's can build bike 2

    Thanks Gary! My tube look pretty straight when I roll them on my pool table, the lower clamp goes up about 1/16'' on the right side, the 3 others mounting point are perfectly square. Neck look level with the tool I have.
     

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