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FORKS: How bent, is too bent?

Old 07-18-2013, 02:48 PM
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FORKS: How bent, is too bent?

So after I started cleaning and lubing parts I had taken apart to do my steering head bearings, I noticed this.
This is really the first time I actually went into the front end and took everything apart; after my intimate contact with a cager's rear bumper over memorial day weekend (at @5mph)

I've ridden on it like this for more than a few 50+mi rides (including the 200+mi ride home that weekend) and no issues? After initially straitening out the forks roadside, it rode fine...I could coast with no hands an it would stay strait.

Forks compress normally. One not more, or different from the other, straight one. They slide out of the triples not too bad either, once everything was loosened an had a shot of PB blaster.

Is it really worth another few weeks of down-time and more money spent to get a used, un-slightly-bent one? Remember, buying used you gotta go through all the BS of new oil, seals; all that crap, screw what dude who sold it to ya said.
So.

What would Jesus do??

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The black **** is over-spray from black spray paint...

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:52 PM
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Jeez man, I wouldn't ride it like that...

Do you have a breaker anywhere near you that has a hawk fork?

If it was the off season, I'd say its time for a front end swap, but for now I'd say find yourself a front fork asap.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:20 PM
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That fork is done.
Yes it makes a difference...It's possible some riders could not tell the difference riding your bent forks and serviceable ones back to back... but that would be the few, not the norm.

And thats just the handling issues... There is no doubt additional friction (stiction) in that bent stanchion,, perhaps not enough to cause it to stick.. but still.

And ever placed a soda can on end and gently stepped on the other end? Held your weight....then just barely indent the side of the thin aluminum can,,, and crush it goes. Thats a terrible analogy,, but all i can come up with off the top of my head... That bent fork is weaker.. How much weaker? Don't know,, but ride it bent like that and perhaps you'll find the limit.

Last edited by E.Marquez; 07-18-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:38 PM
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Word....good anology with the soda can Marquez...F*&k me...so close but yet, ...far enough away to **** me off and cost more LOL. Damn...

Anyone else wanna chime in? Has anybody actually, consciously, knowingly rode with a tweaked fork? Or did ya find out an just replace it...
Its almost seems like a tire plug. Some say you'll eventually die riding it, others say [email protected]#k it, its good for another 40K...
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:50 PM
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If you literally ride like an old lady, 0-15~25 MPH front door to post office in town, corner store, never see any speeds or corners that the bike is leaned over.. Sure ride it.

But more then that, and as that front end compresses, it is going to change the direction the tire is pointed, it is going to change rake... it will impart all kinds of interesting handling changes.
Might be fun to play with in a controlled environment... But I sure as hell would not want to be leaned over in a corner, come up on a dip or rise that works the suspension and have the bike dart off on it's own.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:58 PM
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True...I tend to stay @ 10--30mph over the limit every chance I get...Dammit...like I say so close
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:25 PM
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The way I look at it is: Is your life worth less than the 100-150 its going to cost to get new forks? I don't know if that is a little too grave, but it is true, same way I look at riding gear... I'm gale you value yourself at more than 200 , Best of luck with the rebuild, I just did the valving and didn't mess it up so it can't be too hard. (Re reading I see you have already pulled them apart so there is no excuse now I guess )
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:33 PM
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You might want to contact Frank's Maintenance and Engineering, Inc., (a.k.a. Forks by Frank) 945 Pitner Avenue, Evanston,IL 60202 847-475-1003. The company is a replacement fork tube manufacturer. They've been around a long time and have a very good reputation.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:49 PM
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Frank's Maintenance and Engineering, Inc.

They used to have a web presense for just fork tubes
Franksforktubes.com
but let the site go away.

Still a registered domain though
Domain Name: franksforktubes.com
Created on..............: 2013-07-02
Expires on..............: 2014-01-25

Last edited by E.Marquez; 07-18-2013 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:33 PM
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Hmmm...but aint that gonna be more expensive (the tubes) than finding ones used? Plus I hate rebuilding forks lol its messy and a bitch...and those were my bandit forks, which were a much simpler design. I mean, what do you do with the fork oil? Nobody will take it except mother earth hahaha but seriously its an issue...
Ho hum LOL

But is my life worth $200? Well, I could do all that an then get T-boned by some drunken fool running a stop, ya know? If I lived, I'd DEFINITELY need new forks then! hahaha
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:35 PM
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So uh....anybody got used forks laying around? Only need the left side!
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:57 PM
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If you can see it's bent it is WAY past the serviceable limit. About .005" runout is all that I accept, which is approximately the thickness of a human hair over the entire length of the fork.

I've got plenty of parts, shoot me an email if I can help you out.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:36 PM
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Last I knew, captainchaos had a PAIR of forks for sale.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:41 PM
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I just sold mine...for $125 for a straight pair. And I believe someone else on here just sold a pair for around $100...is it really worth riding on a bent fork?
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandit400man View Post
what do you do with the fork oil?
Gets poured in the same used bottles and laundry bottles all other petroleum oil produces goes in and taken to my local auto parts stores for free drop off.

They have no restrictions on type of oil..and all 4 places in my little town that take oil have a 5~8 gal at a time limit. So I just make two or more trips a month.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:54 PM
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Bandit400man, Danger Seeker.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:35 PM
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LMFAO You have no idea how many time I've LITERALLY escaped death...I'm gonna be hurtin when I'm older.

An Marquez man I tried that before an they said no fork oil cause it aint oil...more like tranny fluid or something I guess...but I hear ya. Just lie an say 'here ya go!'
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:00 AM
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Contact 19superchicken98 he's here in central florida he has a set off used forks off of his bike for sale. He wanted $200 for the pair but I'm sure you could bring that down a bit with some sweet talking.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:03 PM
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I had my tubes straightened by a place down south. They were just out of spec. (runout is .02")
(I have F4i forks btw)
When they came back, they were more straight than some new ones (according to my suspension guy).

Once they become noticeable (like yours) to the human eye, he said the metal gets fatigued and isn't wise to make it straight.

I had to send the tube only and it was $125 to fix them.

This is before:
RT Inner: Top.006"
Mid.026"
Btm.006"
Lt Inner: Top.005"
Mid.027"
Btm.006"

This is after:
Fork X / Fork Y
Top .001" / .001"
Mid .003" / .0015"
Btm .001" / .001'

He then said - "The guy did a damn good job - I have to admit... "

It was:
Frame Straight (ask for Ron)
551 Enigma Code Way
Friendsville, Tn. 37737
Phone #'s 800-846-1306 or 586-246-4500
http://www.framestraightsystem.com/M...0%20Repair.htm

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Old 07-23-2013, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoot View Post
This is after:
Fork X / Fork Y
Top .001" / .001"
Mid .003" / .0015"
Btm .001" / .001'

He then said - "The guy did a damn good job - I have to admit... "

Not bad. I require .005in or less when I have tubes straightened. Often times they come back well within that limit.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:18 PM
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When I was in m/c mechanics school in '86, the first lab work was straightening fork tubes. Generally, it's not very difficult. Patience is a virtue with this type of work.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:20 PM
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Meh...All may be true, but take into account shipping cost to an fro, disassemble-reassemble time....bah! Unless of course you have some serious monies wrapped up into it...

But good news, 19superchicken98 hooked me up with a used one for @125 shipped to my door. So I'm happy. Good lookin sailorjerry!!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:50 PM
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I've stayed out of this so far but my 2 cents is this. I haven't straightened a fork since the 70's when they were 35mm, and in some cases 33mm. Those fork tubes bent easily and straightend relatively easily so long as there was no crease.

As the tubes went to 37,39 41 now 43 mm the force to bend them went up exponentially. I wouldn't waste my time trying to straighten a tube these days, get a new or used one. Too bad Franks Forks seems to be out of busi
ness, I spent a lot of money with them over the years!
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:15 PM
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Glad 19superchicken98 could help you out, we started parting his bike out early this year and he's down to forks and fame so I'm glad someone was in need.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:02 AM
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Word.
I tell ya most all my used bike parts come from Florida...not sure why, but keep em' comming!
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