Fork binding: it's a real issue

Put the rebuild suspenders back on the WR450 last week, and the front seemed awfully stiff. Nah, just new I guess.

Fast forward to today when I tried pressing down on the forks, in neutral, no front brake.

They didn't budge without lots of force. Hmmm, wonder if they are binding?

Re set the front wheel, and re-checked the triple clamp pinch bolts.

Even though the front wheel spun freely before, now the front suspension reacts with less pressure.

The bottom clamp bolts were WAY TOO TIGHT. Changed to 13ft/lbs.

I've also heard the bottom clamp bolts can cause a harsh ride and binding if too tight.

Noone should be working on thier bikes without using a torque wrench. I'm not talking about clamp bolts, fender or seat bolts , but when it comes to engine and suspension work a torque wrench can save you alot of headaches. www.pitposse.com has this http://pitposse.com/torquewrench.html

and for the general bike owner it is a very good buy and is close enough to my expensive Snap-On torque wrench , that I am not worried about it's accuracy. WR Dave

Bill, on those 46mm forks, the specs call for 17 lbs of torque on the top clamp and 14 on the bottom. The bottom really should be set to 10 or 11.

14 is too much and these particular forks can bind. I currently have my lower clamp tightened at 11lbs. No binding

I've heard this from two different suspension tuners regarding these forks.

Bill, on those 46mm forks, the specs call for 17 lbs of torque on the top clamp and 14 on the bottom. The bottom really should be set to 10 or 11.

14 is too much and these particular forks can bind. I currently have my lower clamp tightened at 11lbs. No binding

I've heard this from two different suspension tuners regarding these forks.

Yep. That is what Dave J said too.

Today I re-set the front wheel, using the wedge method on the right fork/axle clamp: it did make a difference. The fork moved inwards about 2 mm!

Yep. That is what Dave J said too.

Today I re-set the front wheel, using the wedge method on the right fork/axle clamp: it did make a difference. The fork moved outwards about 2 mm!

Wedging the right axle lug open slightly is not a bad idea, but IMO, the push/pull method of discovering the correct center could be improved.

With the forks extended, the two bushings that carry the inner tube are close together, and that allows the clearance to be exaggerated at the axle. Taking the bike off the stand and compressing the fork as far as possible against the front brake runs the bushings father apart and forces the inner tube into line with the outer more precisely.

Either way, it's something to pay attention to when installing the front wheel.

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