I love to teach my son how to ride and repair stuffs the old fashion way. Here I will share some of our cheap DIY projects and repairs. I will also share some of my experience as a biker and as a pro mechanic. I am not a mechanic anymore but I still do repairs but mostly for my own machineries and this is why I try to keep everything easy and cheap. I also don't race anymore but I still love riding up the mountains where there is little or no help and all I can rely on is my small tool pouch and my monkey repair skills to bring me home whenever my bike or my friends bike breaks down.

If you are a tech-wiz or some kind of high-tech repair guru who likes spending too much $$$s buying stuffs and spends most of your time at a coffee shop posing your best biker battle gear clown costume and talking how great a biker you are then THIS IS NOT FOR YOU... Here we seriously ride our bikes and we try to keep everything simple, easy and cheap. Most of what I will share here are intended for riders who usually break their bikes to peices and may not be needed by other bikers.

I will also be sharing some cheap ways how I repaired my cars and computers. And for laughs, I will also add some weird / funny / odd stuffs that I or we did that worked and didn't work. Sorry about this blog's style, set-up or whatever you may call it, I'm an old school biker and its easier for me wrenching cars and bikes than typing on my keyboard...

Friday, October 1, 2010

fork mis-alignment

This old Yamaha WR first came to me with a misaligned fork. The Old owner had a nose dive from a double jump and thought that the fork was totally damaged but all it needed was some adjustments. After some TLC, I had tons of fun riding it. 

I got this question years ago from one of the bike forums. I think I should share this here too...

HIS QUESTION: Hi, can I ask a question? I dropped my Pulsar once and one of the MRC instructors told me after the drop it mis-aligned something. I'm not quite sure which part is not aligned, what could it possibly be??? The riding is ok though ...

MY ANSWER: The best way to know what part got mis-aligned is to ask the person who told you that your bike part is mis-aligned. Some people can detect the slightest mis-alignment by just looking or by just sitting on your bike. I'm lucky that I'm one of them. I often look at my mates bikes and tell them what part needs alignment and I just tell them what to do to correct the alignment. BUT some people can tell or feel the problem but cannot pin point the exact location of the part that needs alignment. It is really up to you to find the problem because you know your bike more than anybody.

I'm sorry to say that I never got a chance to see in person a Pulsar. Here are some pointers that may help you... Most scooters like Jogs, Dios, etc... have a different type of fork clamps. Most larger bike's fork are clamped in 6 different position (3 points/ fork). #1 is the top bridge, #2 is the lower bridge, #3 is the at the axle. My bike has 8 points (4/fork) because of the stabilizer plate where the fender is mounted. Most scooters have only 4 points (2/fork),#1 is the axle, #2 is on the the lower brigde (most scooters does not have the upper bridge (steering stem). T check your scooter's fork alignment first let us go to basics... lock your front brake and push/pull your bike, if you feel a funny knock check the head set for tightness. If you plan to dismantle your scooters fork pls. be careful not to loose the ball bearing because many scooters use ball bearings than tapered bearings...
Strip all the fron plastics and get your bike to stand 90 deg. Now go around AND pls take your time and TRUST YOUR EYES. If you have doubts use a scale but as I have said YOUR EYES WONT CHEAT ON YOU. If you have a bent handle you can follow my advice by using a long pipe but be very gentle because scooter handles will easily bend. For the fork's alignment, lossen up the axle nut a bit and pump the fork like crazy. Most misaligned scooter fork will automatically re adjust when you pump it several times. You will know if the lower bridge is damaged if your fork wont go parallel... USE YOUR EYES. If you have doubts, Use a bob (string with a metal weight pointer). You can use this for you handle's alignment and agle check. You have mentioned that you bike runs OK. Do you know that some forks will automatically re audjust to it's original position once you ride it for huge distance especially with scooters becasue the clamps are fewer and some manufactures don't tighten the bolts too much But better check it if you have doubts. Brake and clutch levers gets easily bent during a fall also. Most levers cannot be stretched or hammered back to it's original form once bent because they break. Most levers are die casted metals and will break if you try to straigten it back. My trials bike levers dont break and they can be re bent or hammered back. My lever is made up of aircraft aluminium. If you have the same lever, by all means slowly hammer it back to it's orig. state.

If you cannot feel or see anything wrong with your bike... then there is nothing wrong with it. Just do a regular look/check on the parts and do some basic maintainance for your bike.

Thank you very much and enjoy your ride.

HIS FOLLOW-UP: A very detailed info there, you really must know a lot about these things, thanks =

ME AGAIN: Get it checked if you have doubts... you'll sleep better I'm just like you, if my bike has some problems I will not stop until I correct the problem even to the point where I will cancel work and all business appointments just to fix my bike..........

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