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2022 ES
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking my handlebar was crooked, but the more I look at it the more I think it might be the wheel. The same wheel the dealer assembled backwards and had to fix. What I realized yesterday is the bar looks aligned to the fork perfect yet I'm still crooked. I also tried to let go of the handlebar and it didn't go well, I had to counter balance with my left bottom to get any kind of straight.

I'm not going back to the dealer (I also found the top exhaust bolt hanging off the threads completely from when they removed the massive panniers I wasn't paying $1500 for). How do I test this to know for sure if the front wheel is straight before I go messing with it?
 

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2019 ATAS DCT
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A lot of us complain about the bike not tracking well, always pull to the right. Tires, DCT and exhaust on one side, wheel alignment......Mine got better after different tires, still not perfect but better.
 
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Also every road is sloped to the right for drainage... it would be interesting to hear if AT's in UK, Australia,South Africa etc are reported to be "pulling to the left"?
 

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2022 CRF1100 ATAS ES DCT
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Loosen the wheel then re-do as per the method in the owners manual, if the dealer could put the wheel on backwards he probably didn't bother fitting it with the correct procedure when he swapped it around.
 

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2022 CRF1100 ATAS ES DCT
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Also every road is sloped to the right for drainage... it would be interesting to hear if AT's in UK, Australia,South Africa etc are reported to be "pulling to the left"?
My 2021 would go to one side, I don't recall which but once I twisted the bars in the rubber mounts it was fine. My 2022 ATAS is also fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Loosen the wheel then re-do as per the method in the owners manual, if the dealer could put the wheel on backwards he probably didn't bother fitting it with the correct procedure when he swapped it around.
This is what I'm thinking. I can't imagine this being normal. I was comfortable taking my hands off on my KLR with 80/20s. I looked in the owners manual that came with the bike, which is complete garbage, so I figure it isn't the owners manual you are referring to.

Is what Bailer mentioned, pushing wheel against wall and retighten, what I need to do more or less? Or is that something different?

Maybe I drive down the wrong side of the road see if it changes :unsure:
 

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This is what I'm thinking. I can't imagine this being normal. I was comfortable taking my hands off on my KLR with 80/20s. I looked in the owners manual that came with the bike, which is complete garbage, so I figure it isn't the owners manual you are referring to.

Is what Bailer mentioned, pushing wheel against wall and retighten, what I need to do more or less? Or is that something different?

Maybe I drive down the wrong side of the road see if it changes :unsure:
Loosening and straightening the front wheel won't change the way the bike rides down the road. It will just make the handlebar perpindicular to the front wheel.
 

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Also every road is sloped to the right for drainage... it would be interesting to hear if AT's in UK, Australia,South Africa etc are reported to be "pulling to the left"?
Ya know,
I have two major bikes I ride on the street. One is my '18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT and the second one is an '18 Honda Goldwing Tour DCT Airbag. On different occasions, I have tested this crown or slope theory. We have lots of desert roads in our section of the state where there's no one on the road but me for miles in each direction. For the test, I'd ride in my normal lane in various parts of it, i.e. next to the dotted line, in the middle, and close to the right side.

And, as normal, at my normal speed of around 60-65 mph, if I'd let go (carefully) of the bars, the bike would automatically drift to the right. It really doesn't take much to keep it straight as all of us know.

But, when there's no one either behind me or coming at me for as far as I can see (in many sections I can see for at least a couple of miles), I would simply aim the bike over into the oncoming lane. Again, NO ONE IS COMING AT ME so, don't go thinking I've got a death wish! And, based on the fact that, that side of the road does have a crown to THE LEFT, I'd let go of the bars in that lane for the same test.

And yes, the bike would just start drifting to the left, not the right. I did the same pathway tests. Close to the dotted line, in the middle, and way over to the left. Each time the bike slowly started drifting to the left.

So, does this prove anything? Well, it sure has tendency to point to the road surface inclination as at least ONE reason for the bike's tendency to drift with less hand control on the bars.
Scott
 

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Well,
I don't know if this will help but, maybe what I'd do in this situation is, I'd clamp or have some one place a straight edge, like a framing square or a piece of aluminum or steel or anything that's dead straight and maybe 3' or so long across the front edge of the forks, above the front tire and fender. Then, I'd somehow place another straight edge against either side of the front tire, near the top. That is if you can get one in there and in place against the tire so it would represent the actual direction the tire is pointing.

Now, you can either stand on the foot pegs or a couple of boxes, one on each side of the bike so that you can get a really good visual between the two straight edges to see if your forks OR, the handle bars are the issue or maybe the front wheel somehow.
Scott
 

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It should be easy to see if the wheel is crook, put the wheel in a balancer and spin it, if the rim lools like its wobbling then it’s crook.

If you don’t have a balancer, put the bike on centre stand and place a fixed edge at the side about 3-4mm from the rim (2x4 resting on a box at the appropriate height as an example). Then spin the wheel and see if the rim stays 3-4mm from the wood. If it goes close and then away from the fixed item them it’s out.
 

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It should be easy to see if the wheel is crook, put the wheel in a balancer and spin it, if the rim lools like its wobbling then it’s crook.

If you don’t have a balancer, put the bike on centre stand and place a fixed edge at the side about 3-4mm from the rim (2x4 resting on a box at the appropriate height as an example). Then spin the wheel and see if the rim stays 3-4mm from the wood. If it goes close and then away from the fixed item them it’s out.
He's not talking about a "crook" (crooked) wheel. He's talking about the relationship of the wheel to the forks and handle bars being all perbendicular to each other.
Scott
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After further examination I believe the 2 black bars that attach the handlebar are not straight. One is more forward than the other.

AND I think my front wheel isn't straight either. But looking at how it is attached I don't see how it could be. If the dealer didn't follow the procedure for installing the wheel could it cause it to not be straight? I did grab my ruler and measure rim to fork on both sides and I believe the distance is different. Still figuring out how to get the front wheel in the air to mess with it more...going to need a motorcycle jack I guess?
 

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2022 CRF1100 ATAS ES DCT
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Regarding the bars not being straight, that is a simple fix as they are rubber mounted and move fairly easily.
Turn the bars to the full lock on the side that it needs moved to and then give them a tug, won't need much.

If you have a centre stand you can just place something under the skid plate to raise the front, if you don't then maybe you can hoist from rafters or something like that.
 

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For what is worth to you, here is my case. My bike was assembled at the dealer and delivered to me with zero miles on ODO.
Took it home and immediately noticed that my handlebars were offcenter to the right, so was the lower and upper tripple clamp.
Rode back. Mechanic inspected it, took it out and concluded yes they are off. He corrected by doing the following:
1. Loosened the lower triple clamp pinch bolts
2. The fork immediately snapped to near center
3. Loosened the axle bolts to further take the tension out
4. Inspected for straight alignment of triple clamp, forks, handlebars and wheel
5. Retorqued all back to spec
6. Test rode and confirmed straight
I had no known tracking issues nor have I been playing with how bike tracks when hands removed. All appears normal to me.
 

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2022 ES
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I tried to hire a professional but everyone is busy and wants to keep it for a week, which means 2-3, nope, I'm doing it myself today. The plan:

First, I'll put the rear up on a swingarm stand I recently purchased. I plan to leave the front wheel on the ground but I'm curious if the swingarm stand would be enough support to put a jack under the skid plate and lift the front too. I may try to use string to measure for misalignment in the front wheel. As a reference point? To make sure I'm not crazy?

Then, I will loosen: axle nut, axle pinch bolts, brake caliper bolts, and the first set of pinch bolts up the fork. Sounds like I may need to keep the pinch bolts opposite the axle nut tight until I loosen the axle nut.

Then, I am going to hop on the bike and push down on the front forks like I'm giving CPR. Maybe check around for straightness.

Then, I am going to retorque everything following the instructions from the manual provided by Hood...because they aren't in my US manual...mine says, 'take it to a dealer you dumb American'. Fair enough (speaking for myself).

This will hopefully fix the bike tracking right. But I don't think it will straighten my handlebar. For this I'm eyeing up the two arms mounted on rubber that hold the handlebar. They are visibly not aligned with the thing they are mounted to. I tried to man-handle the bars full-turn but it didn't work. I could have my son give it a twist but I'm worried any harder might break something. I may try to go up under and loosen the 2 bolts for the rubber mounted things and see if I can get them straight.

Solid plan?
 

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I haven't tried lifting this bike with the dirt-bike (under engine) lift yet.

I'd probably put it on my full-size lift, on the center stand. This gives me a way to strap the rear-end down, lifting the front.

You could probably do something similar with a sheet of plywood and a couple 2 x 4's (for bracing), on the garage floor.
 
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