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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

This morning I was pulling out of my driveway when a cyclist came around the blind corner to the left. There is a mirror there which works especially well to see car headlights when it is dark (it was), but the bike wasn't visible until he was in my path. I stopped short and tipped over to the right, not helped by the swale at the curb which made my reach to the ground longer.

The bike was still running so I stopped it, then pulled my foot out from under the peg (ouch). The cyclist stopped and helped me lift it (bars were hard right), then we put it on the kickstand in the swale and I sent him on his way.

I did a quick once-over in the gloaming and everything seemed okay. Once under way though it was clear that the bars had a few degrees of twist, with the right bar closer to the tank when the wheel was straight. There was no sloppiness or vibration and actually the twist seemed to make being a human cruise control a bit easier for the highway portion of my commute. :smile2:

Once I got to work I did another check. The grip guards are scraped and the OEM pannier (on its second drop) keeps shedding pieces but the Altrider bars shrugged off the hit again and everything else looks fine. A closer look at the bar riser suggests that the rubber washer at the triple clamp is slightly less compressed on the right side than the left, but otherwise I could see no other source for the twist. Photos attached.

So my question is, is this likely just a rotation of the triple clamp at the center bar? Any reason I shouldn't adjust / fix it myself? I'm handy enough with a torque wrench and have the service manual.

All suggestions / feedback appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear about the tip over but glad you & the cyclist are okay though.

Am I wrong in thinking if it the washer is "less compressed" the bars would be further away from the tank? Post some pics of the handlebars with the front wheel straight.
 

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In my experience if a handlebar bends, then the inner diameter of any radiused bits tends to flatten. You can sometimes see it by comparing it with the similar point on the other side.
Don't forget also that all the bikes seem to come from the factory with a very slight skew to the right. You don't really feel this but many have commented that the bars seem visually a degree or two skewed clockwise.
Mike
 

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Yes they likely just shifted.
Put it on the center stand and move it to full lock in the direction that you want to move the bars and give it a little force.
Check alignment
If that doesn't do it, slightly loosen the bottom bolts on the bar risers and slightly loosen the upper clamps, adjust and tighten riser bolts then clamps.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear about the tip over but glad you & the cyclist are okay though.

Am I wrong in thinking if it the washer is "less compressed" the bars would be further away from the tank? Post some pics of the handlebars with the front wheel straight.
Thanks!

The washer compression would affect the orientation of the bars along the front-back axis of the bike ("roll", if you will), not top-bottom ("yaw"), which is what is skewed. I will go out at lunch and take a picture of the bar orientation and post it up then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just went out and took a couple of photos, attached. The first photo shows the bar alignment with the wheel centered. In the second photo, you can kind of see that on the right side more of the boss on the triple clamp is visible, which suggests the riser (and bolt) shifted backwards a couple millimeters. I'm surprised the bolt doesn't fit the bushing more tightly but I guess that is how it works.
 

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Wow.

"Shifted" and possibly bent.

Considering how many people have dropped their ATs, I'm surprised they haven't reported the same experience, if any.

Dumb question but are risers that susceptible to "bending"? I don't know...this is my first bike with risers.
 

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Mine are twisted more often than they are straight. You can get them fairly close to straight but not perfect. It's a pain because it's hard to get at those bolts and it happens pretty much every drop. To straighten I loosen the bolts on both sides of the risers, shove my front wheel into something like between 2 trees and reef the bars back to straight, then tighten the bolts again. Then I align the forks to make sure that's straight too. It's hard to detect if the forks are twisted or not unless it's really bad, because everything's buried in plastic on this bike and there isn't a fender mounted to the triple to line up the wheel with. So loosen the lower triple clamp bolts, the front right side axle pinch bolts. Then hold the front brake and push the suspension down and back up a few times, then tighten the lower triple bolts back up followed by the axle pinch bolts. All straight - ride on.
 

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I was looking at the top caps on the various forks in this thread, and they look very different from mine. Did you have them worked on? If not, what year is your bike?
I've included a pic of mine for comparison. The red preload adjuster is aftermarket...SC
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was looking at the top caps on the various forks in this thread, and they look very different from mine. Did you have them worked on? If not, what year is your bike?
I've included a pic of mine for comparison. The red preload adjuster is aftermarket...SC
I have Andreani fork cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your help. Got the bars adjusted pretty good this morning by loosening the bolts under the triple tree. Reminder to add a 17mm socket to your trail tool kit. Bolt torque is 39 Nm.

Cheers!
 

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The bars of my AT has also been twisted to right, allready from purchasing this former dealer demo bike a year ago. I tought it's the forks that are twisted when the dealer had changed the Karoo 3's under it and I could correct it when changing tires. I changed new tires on summer, following the manual and carefully humping the forks before tightening the front wheel axle. No help. I've been busy at work and used my scarce free time for riding, so I've almost got used to the bars being twisted to right, about 1" measured at the bar end. I've got very long arm's ("ape index" + 4", also my fathom is 4" longer than my lenght) so twisted bars bothered me not so much. A week ago I got my bike to the first, 12 000 km service and also asked them to check the fork alignment, no help either.

However, then I saw this thread and began to investigate the problem a little bit closer. When looking the bars on the top and comparing the bars to upper fork bridge, it's clear that the bar is twisted in relation to upper fork bridge, also the reason must be on the lower bar holders or their bolts. I looked the rubber grommets under the bar holders, but the niche between the bar holders and the bridge is even, so I guess the bolts are not bent. I'm thinking to dissassemble the bars and holders during the winter and investigate the problem closer, but it's allready clear that the reason for twisted bars is between the bars and the upper fork bridge.

I've dropped my bike only once, when making U-turn on soft sand, and it had not any dropping marks after being a demo bike, so the bars being twisted may just be the nature of these bikes.
 

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I dropped my bike a couple of times (oh OK, three times, and my friend dropped it again after insisting I was in too much shock to take it to the bottom of the hill to try again. Gotta get better off-road tyres) today and found the same thing - handlebar clamps out of alignment with triple tree.

So, if I understand the previous posts correctly there a few ways to go about rectifying this, but it seems to me the best way is to slacken off the handlebar clamps' attachment to the triple tree, straighten the bars and retighten.

Admittedly without having had a close look, it's not apparent to me how to do this. The nuts are on the underside of the triple tree?

Just trying to save a bit of time doing my own investigation by fishing for advice from someone who knows...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Admittedly without having had a close look, it's not apparent to me how to do this. The nuts are on the underside of the triple tree?
Yes, there are threaded posts that extended down from the bar risers onto which the nuts thread. To access them you'll need a 12" socket extension and 17mm socket. To avoid rounding the nut, a universal joint socket adapter is highly recommended. Re tightening torque is 39 nm.
 

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I was looking at the top caps on the various forks in this thread, and they look very different from mine. Did you have them worked on? If not, what year is your bike?
I've included a pic of mine for comparison. The red preload adjuster is aftermarket...SC
I noticed that too, so same question.

Where did you get that pretty red add-on adjuster helper?? Cool!
 
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