Misaligned fork issues - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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  • 1 Post By pdwestman
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-12-2018, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
Misaligned fork issues

Hey all. Had a wreck last Sunday that knocked my front out of alignment. Still to be determined what exactly is causing the issue, but what I am wondering is what issues can arise from riding the bike with a slightly out of alignment front end? The bike is still stable at highway speeds, just the bars aren't straight when the bike is moving
Tristan Squires is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-12-2018, 10:35 AM
1st Gear
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Colorado mountains
Posts: 76
From my experience with other bikes (haven't dumped the KLR yet ;-) ) unless something structural (frame, forks, etc.) is bend or broken, there aren't too may bad effects from riding with a tweeked front end. Sometimes you can straighten it out by holding the front wheel between your legs and pulling on the handlebars to realign everything. Other times its turned out to be the bars that are subtly bent. Probably wouldn't hurt to loosen everything, inspect, realign it all, and retorque all the fasteners, though.
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Conrad Long
'08 KLR 650
'96 R1100RT
'94 R1100RS
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-12-2018, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 5,704
Tristan, Next to nothing will be affected by slight mis-alignment of the front end, other than your hands will be mis-aligned also.

With a bit more mis-alignment and longer useage the upper & lower bushings inside the sliding fork legs will wear on opposing sides.

Are you sure that the handlebars are not the actual bent / twisted part? I've heard the newer bars are the soft spot. (easily bent)

It is pretty easy to re-align any slight twist in the fork legs. Take notice of front fender / front tire alignment from in-front of the bike. Straddle the front tire with your knees & pull the bars in the appropriate direction. Then sight the fender / tire alignment again. May repeat once or twice.

For bigger issues,
Put the bike on a center stand or work stand.
Slightly loosen the front axle nut, slightly loosen the axle allen bolts on a Gen 2, slightly loosen the TOP triple clamp bolts (leave lower triple clamp tight). This alone may allow the legs to self-align.
Sight the fender and tire alignment, twist a bit as needed. Re-sight fender / tire alignment. Repeat as needed. With loose bolts it will twist easy.

Snug top triple clamps 1st.
Snug axle Nut 2nd.
Snug axle allen bolts on Gen 2, 3rd.
Test ride, re-adjust if needed or use your torque wrench to properly finish torque your bolts
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Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-13-2018, 12:13 PM
4th Gear
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,458
what they said; could be the bars, could be fork alignment; re-align the forks as noted by Damocles and see.

DPelletier is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 07-22-2018, 09:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1
I’m fighting this issue right now myself. I was struck by a car while sitting at a stop sign. It twisted the forks about 20 in the tree and laterally pushed them enough that the rotor touched the fork. The forks “look” straight on a visual inspection but I’m not able to get the fender and the tire to true up. I guess it’s time for a disassembly but just wanted to be sure I was going through the realignment steps properly.
DonRu is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 07-30-2018, 10:47 PM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 116
Twisted enough that the rotor touched the fork seems like more than just misalignment to me.
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EricZ is offline  
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