Hi Folks. A while back I had, um, a slight accident on my '69 Royal Enfield Interceptor. The usual things got bent, dented, or scratched. I must have hit something pretty hard (I have no memory of the accident and nobody saw it -- they just found me by the side of the road with the bike in the bushes). The fork tubes seem to be unbent, but they are considerably out of parallel when they are clamped in the lower fork yoke, so I'm assuming the yoke got bent. Can the yoke be bent back straight? I have a couple of old fork tubes that could be clamped in the yoke to bend it. Anybody done this? Would I have to heat it? How hot? Would this weaken the yoke? Or should I just start looking for a new/used one? Thanks for your help!
During my dealership time I fixed hundreds of wrecks and near wrecks. Even removed a piece of foot meat from a primary case... but I digress.
• The first step is to loosen all the front end bolts and then kick the tire in the opposite direction. The forks may pop back around to the straight position. During enduros, the guys would find 2 trees close together and use the bars to bang the tire around between the 2 trees to achieve the same effect without getting off the bike. It's quite common for these old front ends to take a set to one side after a fall.
• If that does not work, then remove the fork tubes and roll them on a counter top. One of them is bent. You cannot see this in place, it must be removed. Being bent that little, any good Brit bike mechanic can straighten them out in a matter of 15 minutes or so.
• If the tubes are bent, then the triple tree (TT) may also be bent. (But if the tubes did not bent, then the TT is usually not bent.) Offer the straight tube back into the TT and up into the crown. Put it's fork cap nut on finger tight. Then offer the new, or straightened, tube up through the TT. If the tube does not head directly for the hole in the crown, then the TT is bent. Since the tube was pushed backward, the natural position will be aiming in front of the hole in the crown. Crowns do not get bent.
If you'll put your foot on the front motor mount and pull on the bottom of the offending tube, then the TT will slowly bend back. This takes a young, strong back, but it will come around. This process takes maybe 3 pulls and 5 minutes.
• If the tube(s) and/or TT are bent then you'll need new head post bearings.
• Also spin the front wheel and inspect the wheel bearings and front axle while the front end is up in the air.
I just saved you about $400. Wanna make a donation?
HMmmm I've got 2 sets that need work at the moment, and 1 that I have already ruined. I will have to try RF's method, as it is much less labor intensive than my failed attempt was. One thing I did learn from that: make sure that the lower clamp pinch bolts are tight! If not, you will probably just end up with egg shaped lower clamp holes before the clamp actually bends. KC
RF, thanks for the advice. I tried most of that already. As far as I can tell, and strange as it seemed to me, the fork tubes are not bent. But when I clamp the tubes in the fork yoke (or "TT", as you call it), and this is off the bike, the tubes are not paralell. Not even close. My back is neither young nor strong, and there was nothing I could do to get the tubes back to paralell. GT Enterprises quoted me a lot less than $400, so I'll probably just send it off to them.