Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!
Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting