forked up suspension-how to improve your motorcycle's front suspension

I had problems removing the fork stanchions from the triple trees but once they were out I saw the major problem. The fork stanchions and lower triple tree were bent and that was the reason the steering stem bearings were causing the front wheel to bind under heavy load. I even went so far as to order new steering stem bearing replacement kit from All Ball Bearings, part number 22-1014.

After a quick internet search I had two leads to straighten the forks in southern California: Buchanan Spokes in Azusa and Dr Johns in Anaheim. Buchanan Spokes doesn't straighten forks anymore but Dr Johns said they do in so I called Dr John who told me to bring the entire front end and $150.

Dr John removed the old lower steering stem bearing and trued the forks, triple tree and front axle for $150 and had the job finished an hour after I arrived. He estimated the forks were off 20,000th of an inch out of true. Here is what the forks looked like after.

Since I already ordered the tapered steering stem bearings using less then $10 worth of supplies. Dr John's saved the old bearing races for me to help pound the new bearings into place with the help of a steel pipe. Working slowly, I was able to remove the old races and pound in the new races without encountering any problems. Patience and cleanliness are the key to properly installing the new bearings.

Unlike replacing wheel bearings, where the bearings can be frozen and the hubs heated with a torch to give the mechanic a couple extra thousandths of an inch, the steering stem bearings and triple tree were at room temperature when I installed the bearings using a pipe, hammer, a block of wood, sand paper and carburetor cleaner. The key was to clean all of the surfaces well, apply force only to the outside of the bearing (never to the race itself) and to seat the bearings evenly.

Making sure not to over-tighten the collar above the upper triple tree bearing, I re-route the wires, mock up what goes where, which leaves me at where I am tonight.