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Discussion Starter #224
Just rode it. Steering feels like crap. Loosened the stem collars, felt better, but still not safe.

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #226
Yes sir, I installed new tapered bearings. It moves freely parked, once I ride, even at very low speed, it feels locked.

I made sure no wires, cables, or brake lines are causing the restriction.

Should I take the front end back apart?
 

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I'm trying to imagine what could change, static vs rolling.....? 🤔
Other than the obvious, tire pressure good, damper backed all the way off?
What offset bushings did you use in the triple clamps? What offset are the clamps with zero bushings? You do have the same bushing offsets, top, and bottom, true? One of your earlier pics looks like you have a 5mm in the top, I can't read the bottom one though.
 

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Discussion Starter #228
I removed the damper.

0 offset on both top and bottom.

Going to lift the front end off the deck tonight and see how it feels.
 

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Discussion Starter #229 (Edited)
I’m thinking the bearings didn’t seat properly on the race, maybe not parallel?

Update***

I lifted the front on Pitbull jack stands, and I could easily push the forks back and forth.

Bad bearings I assume?
 

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Discussion Starter #230
I stand corrected, I did not install tapered bearings. Only replaced the oil seals.

I don’t see how that would affect the steering. Bearings are fine, races are fine. The only thing off is the rubbing on the stem?

Do any of you gentlemen see anything out of the ordinary?

445418
445419
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445421
 

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That "rub" on the stem appears to be similar to a ball rubbing against the stem. Is there a corresponding mark inside the neck? The "rub" definitely should not be there. These triple clamps were new, correct?
 

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From the rubber "scuff" on the top front of the lower clamp, it also appears the seal was dragging against the clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #234 (Edited)
Correct, brand new triples. No rubbing on the races inside the neck, not even any dents.

The scuffs may be the paint off the frame, the steering was very hard at first when I reassembled the bike. I noticed it when I test rode it for less than 50 yards. I went back and loosened the stem collar and removed the damper to eliminate any doubts.

The steering was better, but still stiff once rolling. The forks made the “clunking” sound when pushed back and forth.

Do you think it’s the bearing improperly seated or the design of the new triples? The triples are Gen1 specific.
 

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Looks to me like there was no inner bearing face fitted, you just dropped the bearings onto the stem so they dug into the softer alley not a steel race.
bearing set.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #237 (Edited)
Good catch! I didn’t think I would need that piece with aftermarket triples.

It looks like that piece is part of the entire bearing kit from Kawasaki. The OEM one is pressed onto my OEM triple. I hope this works....
 

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Just use the OEM kit. Tapered bearings aren't worth the trouble and there's a reason OEMs don't use them. Installing the lower race is easy if you fashion a driver out of a piece of pipe. I actually sandblast the races on my bikes to provide a little more resistance.
 
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