Handlebars off center?


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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rjlv25
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Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Wed May 22, 2013 7:31 pm



Finally got my bike on the road yesterday after replacing the stator, fixing the broken bolts in the case, rebuilding carbs and several other things too numerous to mention. I see that the handlebars are off to the right. Now I suspect one on the PO's racked it up. Also find when squeezing the hand brake there must be a warped rotor. My question is how much of a job is it to loosen the steering head and get the bars straight? Is there a secret to getting it the first time or is it just trial and error?



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virgilmobile
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby virgilmobile » Wed May 22, 2013 10:31 pm

Easiest thing first....remove the handlebar and lay it on a flat surface,flip it over,you'll see If it's bent.
If the front end is twisted,your in for a bit of work.
My proper way to align the forks/triple tree.....
Remove everything from the fork pipes...tire,fender,lower tubes,seals,etc.
Just leave the fork pipes hanging out.
Using a piece of glass about 12"X 14" lay it at the bottom of the forks and let it rest up them.
If the forks are parallel,the glass will touch evenly the full length.
If the front end is twisted,first remove the forks and roll one against the other to look for a bent fork.
If all is OK,The fork can slide back into the tripple tree and be secured by the top bolt only.
I used a 2X4 between the forks and another body on the handle bars to "adjust" it.
It took several nudges to get the glass to lay flat and even.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Thu May 23, 2013 6:24 pm

Thanks. All I was really looking for is that when I hold the handlebars straight, the bike goes to the left. Is there a simple way to loosen the handlebars and turn them to the left while holding the wheel from turning?

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virgilmobile
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 23, 2013 8:44 pm

If you hold the handlebars straight and it goes left,either the bar is bent or the forks are twisted.
If you must... loosen the bottom bolts on the triple tree,stick a 2x4 through the forks and Yank on the handlebar while supporting the 2x4.
Kinda like you used to do on your bicycle.
This might get it close but be aware that the front suspension system and steering may be already compromised.Please avoid high speed cornering Fast stops,or anything that might require a high level of stability or control.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:18 pm

Thanks again. Should have known it couldn't be anything simple. Found one of the axle holders on backward last night, so somebody had no clue. I wonder what other joys await? It was definitely pre-enjoyed. Now I wonder about that 27K on the speedo.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby virgilmobile » Fri May 24, 2013 5:35 pm

I bought a gl1100 that was claimed to have 57k miles....Due to the obvious problems and wear it was more like 157k.The Odo doesn't tell.
I still put another 30k on it too.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Sun May 26, 2013 1:51 pm

OK, how do I get the lower tubes off? I drained the oil and took the bolts out of both the upper and lower clamps. The upper bolts were loose already and the oil is quite black. I would expect it to be red since the manual calls for ATF. The Clymer manual mentions something about loosening the set screw in the air equalizer, but there is nothing in the Honda manual and I don't see one. There is one air valve at the top of the right fork, so maybe somebody changed these forks from original. Either way, I can't get the lower tubes off or the whole fork out of the clamps. I do see a snap ring under the dust cap, but the 4 different snap ring pliers I have won't take it out. The next question would be do I rebuild these if they're not bent or buy replacements from eBay?

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Sun May 26, 2013 4:41 pm

Got the lower tubes off. One of the snap rings was rusted in place. Don't have a piece of glass, so it's off to the hardware on Tuesday. Going to need some new seals if I stick with these forks. Still cheaper than a payment on a new one.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby virgilmobile » Sun May 26, 2013 9:07 pm

While you wit for the glass, remove the fork tubes,lay them side by side.Roll rack one against the other.It's a easy way to check for a bent fork.
They should slice back into the triple tree dead center without having to put pressure to get them aligned into the upper hole..
secure at the top only,just snug the bottom to allow alignment.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Mon May 27, 2013 8:23 am

Thanks again. Didn't have any luck getting the upper tubes out yesterday. Shot them with some WD-40, maybe it will help. Is there anything in the upper tubes I should replace while I have them out? O-rings, seals, springs, etc.? I see a kit for the lower tubes with the dust cap, snap ring, and seal which I'll have to order. Might as well disassemble the TRAC units too and see what goodies await inside.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby virgilmobile » Mon May 27, 2013 8:48 am

I've only had to replace the Teflon coated slide bushings and seals.Inspect the bushings for wear.If there bad,you will see brass showing through the coating.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Mon May 27, 2013 6:12 pm

I see the copper about a 1/4 of the way around on the right one. The left you can hardly see any. I'm guessing that it's the right one that's bent. I got a picture frame at Dollar General for $2 to use the glass. There's a small gap at the top of the right one if I hold the glass in the center on the left. Would you recommend replacing just one or should they be replaced in pairs?

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virgilmobile
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby virgilmobile » Mon May 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Replace only If the fork is bent.The glass shows alignment, If the forks are parallel.
Obviously the front end is twisted,now pull both tubes from the triple tree and roll one against the other to verify If either fork is bent.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Tue May 28, 2013 7:53 am

Thanks again. I'll try to get them off today. When you re-install them, do they go in all assembled, or just the upper tubes, then fill the lower with ATF and slide them on?

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Tue May 28, 2013 10:46 am

Must be my lucky day! Got the upper tubes out. Amazing how easy when you loosen that second bolt in the lower clamp (Damn bifocals). Laid each one in the V of my jack stands and, lo and behold, they're both bent. Then checked the front axle. Bent also. Time to order a new set of front wheel bearings and go shopping for some forks and an axle. Thanks again for all your help.

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rjlv25
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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:21 pm

OK, so I got some replacement forks, replaced the seals, installed them and "adjusted them" per virgilmobile's instructions. The glass lays flat, but now the steering binds in the center. It feels like something's rubbing, but I'll be darned if I can see what. Any ideas?

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Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:30 pm

rjlv25 wrote:OK, so I got some replacement forks, replaced the seals, installed them and "adjusted them" per virgilmobile's instructions. The glass lays flat, but now the steering binds in the center. It feels like something's rubbing, but I'll be darned if I can see what. Any ideas?


The steering binding in the center normally indicates worn steering bearings. They wear where the steering spends 99% of its time - straight ahead.




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rjlv25
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:04 pm
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1987 GL1200I Interstate
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1982 KZ1000LTD (SOLD)
1979 KZ750B4 (Traded)

Re: Handlebars off center?

Postby rjlv25 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:36 pm

It didn't bind until I tried tweaking the forks with a 2X4. I ended up taking it all back apart and replacing the head bearings. Of course now the handlebars are off to the right. Looking for a LF brake disc because mine is warped, then I'll tear it apart again and try to fix it.




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