Forks and Turn Signals ... bummer

First I want to start with how much information I've had from this site. It's pretty awesome to see all the feedback. I'm fairly new to my XR650 so these may sound pretty elementary.

#1) Went riding this last weekend and ate the dirt a few times. Feels like the handlebars are tweaked to one side while riding straight now. Easiest way to bend back the forks?

#2) Buddy's bike cleanly cut my front right turn signal off. All that was left was the stump and a 1/4 of wire. (Yes, it's an L). Got some DOT approved aftermarket signals for the front, and now the blinkers won't blink unless I'm on the throttle. What needs to be done to blink both on and off the throttle? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks for helping a new guy!

I'll answer #1, loosen your fork clamps a tad and stand in front of the bike pinching the front tire between your knees while holding onto the handlebars. Now use your knees to adjust the tire back in line with the frontend or fender and then tight your clamps back up. 9 our of 10 times people "think" they've got bent bars or forks and it's just a matter of tweaking the frontend back in line with the frame. Theres a reason the manual only calls for 20 or 24 pounds of torque on those fork clamp bolts....it's a stress point. An SRC or other forkbrace is great for keeping them in line and avoiding a tweaked fork.

On the L with the mini-forks, you don't need to loosen anything, just whack the front tire sideways against a tree while sitting on the bike.

Dave

On the L with the mini-forks, you don't need to loosen anything, just whack the front tire sideways against a tree while sitting on the bike.

Dave

Gotcha, well my "R" has the big boy forks... :thumbsup:

* Put up your dukes dave, put em' up *

LOL! J/K man.

Depending on how tweaked it is, you might get by with the hit the wheel method. I once crashed my old XR500 and the bars were like 20 degrees off of the wheel. I was sure I bent them and they were shot. Did the loosen the clamps method and all was well. :thumbsup:

As far as the lights go, I'll bet the new ones have lower powered bulbs in them. They don't draw enough current for the flasher to operate. If they use the full size bulbs like the stockers, try an 1156 (or 1073) bulb form the auto parts store in there. There are also some flashers that will operate correctly on lower current.

Get a Tridon EL-12 flasher. Available from many auto parts stores.

Forks:

Whack the wheel to get them straight. Then check the torque on the axle bolt and the clamp pinch bolts. If it's the bars bent, you needed to ditch those POS OEM bars anyway, get a good set of aluminum bars like protapers.

I commonly see people take a hit and assume the pinch bolts need to be tightened--there is a reason the specified torque is very low-usually 20 to 26lbs depending on the bike. The clamps provide very little side to side stability, if you don't believe me, loosten your axle bolt and hold the wheel. You can damn near go bump stop to bump stop with your wheel straight no matter how tight your pinchbolts are. A fork brace will do wonders in helping prevent such things in the future.

If you keep finding your forks get knocked out of alignment easily and you have to constantly straighten them back up, the culprit is usualy a tweaked axle, cheap and easy fix. I learned this trick from an old timer on RMD years ago, I thought the problem was surly tweaked upper triple. Unfortunately, I spent the bucks only to find the problem was still there. That smart old guy on RMD told me immediately it was the axle, 20.00 later I never had the problem again.

Lights:

Heck if I know, we don't have to have turn signals in AZ. I've still got part of a back one hanging by the wire. I should probably do something with it some day.

Thank you guys for the help! Finally had some time after work to loosen up the forks a bit. That did the trick perfectly. Need to order that flasher for the blinkers. I didn't realize they'd be such a pain in the butt going with aftermarkets, ah well.

Thanks again! I'm back on the road. :thumbsup:

Gotcha, well my "R" has the big boy forks... :thumbsup:

* Put up your dukes dave, put em' up *

LOL! J/K man.

I was *boasting* about the L's relative 'ease of maintenance'!

Dave

I have aftermarket "mini" winkers on my '01 L, and they work fine with the stock Honda flasher that it came with. They use the small bulb, shaped like a cylinder, with a point at the end. Are they higher wattage than some of the others?

Just go to AutoZone and pick up a $2 variable load 2 prong flasher.

Thank you guys for the help! Finally had some time after work to loosen up the forks a bit. That did the trick perfectly. Need to order that flasher for the blinkers. I didn't realize they'd be such a pain in the butt going with aftermarkets, ah well.

Thanks again! I'm back on the road. :thumbsup:

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now