So I dropped my bike pulling it inside at one point last fall and bent the right steering clamp. At that point I replaced the entire right bar, and around the same time adjusted my chain. It didn't feel right after that, as if the right bar was a few degrees closer to me than the left was, and it was drifting right.

Just now, pulling it out for spring, I had the tires replaced and double checked the chain adjustment to make sure it was aligned correctly. Now, the drift is gone but something still feels wrong, I feel like I'm shifted to the right on the bike a little and it feels like it's tilted slightly right as I'm riding straight. I can feel a line of tension down the right side of my body while I'm riding that isn't there on the left, like somewhere there's extra strain being put on it.

I'm not even really sure what to check to diagnose this kind of issue, since its main symptom is "doesn't feel right". Sometimes the bar feels too far forward, but it's hard to tell. I've tried re-setting the bar clamps in case I just messed it up the first time, but that didn't seem to help. Any advice? It's an '07 Kawasaki ZZR600.

  • Handle bar bearing might need replacement. Lift bike so front wheel hangs free turn handle bars anything suspicious in the turning off handle bars the smallest click or anything replace handle bar bearings.
    – danny117
    Apr 24, 2017 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


Checking the geometry of a bike normally requires a special jig for the frame. However you can approximate it all using a string and weight as well as strings to check wheel alignment. Most likely when you dropped it the top and bottom yokes (triple trees for the American audience) may have twisted slightly, slackening the clamps on the forks a little may allow them to reset themselves correctly.

You can try the techniques mentioned here http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/tech-tip-front-fork-alignment

To correct a slight misalignment, loosen everything but the top clamp pinch bolts (you don't have to remove anything), and start at Step #3. Anytime the wheel is removed, perform steps #4 and #5: that'll center the wheel in the fork and provide better suspension and braking action.

using the full set of instructions from the same page

  1. Set the fork height in the upper clamp, and then tighten the pinch bolts in stages to the proper torque. If you're not convinced that the heights are equal, slip the axle into place. If it doesn't glide smoothly through the forks, one leg is higher than the other, so readjust them until the axle slides through them with little or no effort.
  2. Install the front fender-but don't tighten the bolts.
  3. Install the front wheel and axle. If the axle threads into the fork, thread it in loosely; if it uses a nut, just snug the nut down by hand. Do not tighten the axle pinch bolts.
  4. Spin the wheel as vigorously as you can and abruptly clamp on the brake. Holding the brake lever on, tighten the front axle
  5. Lower the bike onto the ground, and, while holding the front brake, gently pump the forks a few times. You did remember to tighten those upper pinch bolts didn't you?
  6. Tighten the lower clamp's pinch bolts, followed by the axle pinch bolts.
  7. Tighten the fender bolts.

Also check the angle of each of your bars is the same, you say you have clip-ons so it may be the clamp is rotated slightly or the bar is pushed a little further in. You can't go wrong with a measuring tape and measuring everything looking for discrepancies.

  • so just suspend the front end, loosen the axle nut, loosen lower (and upper?) pinch bolts, spin the wheel, brake hard, tighten front axle, then 5 & 6?
    – Ceshion
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:37
  • Pretty much. Try without loosening the top pinch bolts but doing the rest.
    – Mauro
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:39
  • sounds good, I'll try it tonight!
    – Ceshion
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:40
  • 2
    Here are some great videos on the topic of aligning the front end: youtube.com/watch?v=IFV7ZJrORWw and youtube.com/watch?v=vSunBRB6-r8
    – raydowe
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:15

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