Scooters...How do you know if your forks are bent?

i would post this on some scooter afficianado website, but I don’t know of any and I think this crew probably has enough experience with the scooter to get me an answer. I have hit a couple big bumps lately, and I noticed that when I lock my front wheel, there is a click and a bit of a catch when I try to bring the wheel to straight again. it is way more noticeable, when there is no weight on the bike. I don’t notice much on the road, but what should I look for when riding? Any telltale signs that the forks are bent? Anyway, I’m just trying to keep myself out of major trouble, so if this sounds bad, can you give me any suggestions on where to have the bike serviced?

Thanks in advance,

Look for the Bikefarm banner ad on this website, or click on this link. Go there in the evening and speak to Jeremy, the English laoban.
[color=red]CALL FIRST![/color]
He gets busy.

It’s just as likely that your forks are ok, but your head bearing’s shot. To tell, put your bike on a centre stand, and lean it back so that the front wheel is in the air. There should be no resistance and the wheel should turn smoothly from left to right and back again. If you feel any friction, it’s likely your head bearing is kaput.

At any rate, go to BikeFarm - they’ll set you straight. (pun intended). And while you’re waiting, avail yourself of the excellent cooking of the BikeFarm cafe. They do a very nice shepherd’s pie, as well as a great vegetarian Thai green curry. :smiley:

Dear feds
This is Jeremy from Bikefarm. Just noticed your enquiry and thought I would offer you my humble opinion. Generally speaking if you have not crashed into anything then your front forks will not be bent. The advice that Mao-man gave you is good but relates to the function of the head bearings (as he clearly said) but your concern is with the forks. If the head bearings are in poor condition then the bike will tend to “swim” from left to right as you try to steer straight. If your forks are bent to one side or another then the bike will pull to one side though there are other causes for this. If your forks have been bent directly in then the bike will feel like it wants to force you into any turn you make. If your forks are bent out…I’d be really curious to know how you achieved it!
A stab in the dark concerning your clicking problem is that one or more of the internal guards has come off its mount and the fork or one of the cables is riding on it causing the sound as it pushes past.
If you would like us to check it out to put your mind at rest please pop into our shop ‘Bikefarm’ between 2pm and 10pm Mon-Sat and we will be happy to help with no obligation to get the repair done.
Good luck, Jeremy

FormosaHoosier, if you’re still concerned about your bike, taking it to Jeremy would be a good idea. We’ve heard nothing but good about him.

For the benefit of anyone else who is interested; if they are slightly bent to one side it may be difficult to tell at first but could still affect stability. The way to tell is to go to a nice quiet street, get to around 20mph then slowly and gradually loosen your grip on the bars a little. Do NOT completely let go! You will feel if the bike is pulling to one side or the other.

I’ve bent forks by dropping bikes a couple of times; once on my old Yamaha SR, once on the CB400 in Thailand. Seems fairly easy to do - both times were lowsiders, neither was above 40mph.

Jeremy - was it you I saw on TV a few months ago?

Dave here, Jeremy was just using my account to answer FH’s question. Yes, we’ve been on TV a few times.
-Dave :smiley: