Can A Fork Brace Make the Bike Worse? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Can A Fork Brace Make the Bike Worse?

First, let me preface this by saying I only have 2 days of riding my new bike in the wind, today and Saturday.

Both days were very heavy wind, probably around 20-25mph, maybe gusting higher.

Saturday I handled the winds fine, there were a few gusts that threw me around a little but nothing I felt like I couldnt handle.

Then I installed my fork brace on Sunday, and rode for the first time today since installing it. It was also extremely windy like Saturday but I felt completely out of control of the bike many times during the ride. I actually felt scared at many times and had to get off the highway because it was that scary to me. I ended up taking back roads all the way home and still felt like the bike was a mess.

So basically I am wondering if a fork brace could have made the bike feel so much more out of control in the wind? Or, could it be that without the fork brace it would have been even worse (or the same)? It's possible the wind was heavier today than Saturday, I can't say for sure. I almost took the brace off in the middle of my ride but decided to leave it on just incase it was helping.

So what I was feeling normal in that kind of wind with or without the fork brace? Could the fork brace have actually made the bike worse in the wind?

Thanks
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post #2 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:01 PM
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Double check you have it installed properly and didn't mess up the front end alignment in the process. I've never heard anything worse than "made no substantial difference" with regard to a fork brace on any bike unless the installed messed up somehow

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post #3 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:05 PM
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My 650 can sometimes feel like a bucking bronco in a high wind; probably a combination of side cases and the fact that it isn't a really heavy bike. I've never heard of a fork brace making a bike handle worse (mine handles a lot better in the wind since I put it on), so I have to go with Dark Angel; make sure it's installed properly.

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post #4 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Angel View Post
Double check you have it installed properly and didn't mess up the front end alignment in the process. I've never heard anything worse than "made no substantial difference" with regard to a fork brace on any bike unless the installed messed up somehow
It's possible then the wind level was above my riding skill at the moment then.

How would I tell if I messed up the alignment? I double checked after my ride and it's properly aligned (the brace itself). It was slightly off when I installed it, then before I rode I noticed one side was slightly higher than the other so I adjusted it before my first ride.
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post #5 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:18 PM
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Go through the front end and check everything you loosened to fit the brace. Check the sliders aren't uneven in the brace in particular. It might also be worth loosening everything off and starting again to make sure the brace is straight and even on the sliders and that they're not twisted out of line with the front axle. Get the bike level and on the centre stand (or equivalent, but not the side stand) with the front wheel off the ground to take any side stresses off the assembly. That might be nit-picking, it's just a thought.

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post #6 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Go through the front end and check everything you loosened to fit the brace. Check the sliders aren't uneven in the brace in particular. It might also be worth loosening everything off and starting again to make sure the brace is straight and even on the sliders and that they're not twisted out of line with the front axle. Get the bike level and on the centre stand (or equivalent, but not the side stand) with the front wheel off the ground to take any side stresses off the assembly. That might be nit-picking, it's just a thought.
I didnt loosen anything to fit the brace. I am not sure what you mean by sliders. My brace was just 2 pieces i bolted together. I didn't install it on a center stand (I dont have one) but I do have a rear lift and spools installed so I could lift the bike with that and reinstall it.
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post #7 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:32 PM
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You should do as Dark Angel suggests. I'm curious if you are influencing the steering during the wind gusts and with the fork brace the subtle movements are more effective at causing counter steering than without the fork brace.

I am one that has never had a problem with wind gusts on any motorcycle that I have owned, fork brace or not. I have a fork brace but for a different reason.

You need to be loose and gentle in the wind. When gusts hit you from the side your bike should just lean into the wind and not move left or right. If you are white knuckling your handlebars then you are making it worse.

Wind gusts that give me the most problem happen in the White Mountains and when they are from my right or left rear when I'm leaned over. Even those don't make me move around much, they just make it where I can't hold my line like I want.

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post #8 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 09:48 PM
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Have to chime in on this.

I don't have a fork brace on my 2013 650. I've been in *very* high winds over the last couple of weeks, gusting up to 40mph, while that tornadic storm passed north and south of Atlanta.

Perhaps the 2012+ handles a bit differently than ≤ 2011 models, due to the stiffer fork configuration, but it handled SO well, I felt it had a built-in gyroscopic self-correcting script. I had to make ZERO conscious corrections. Is this an anomaly, or am I just sub-consciously correcting.

For the OP, I would definitely re-visit your installation. Remove the fork brace, and take it out again. See if the control is back. If not, and if you loosened the pinch bolts during the install, I would suspect one side may have slipped just a bit...

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post #9 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandroidx View Post
I didnt loosen anything to fit the brace. I am not sure what you mean by sliders. My brace was just 2 pieces i bolted together. I didn't install it on a center stand (I dont have one) but I do have a rear lift and spools installed so I could lift the bike with that and reinstall it.
By "slider" I mean the part of the forks that goes up and down, carries the wheel and guard, and now has the brace attached at the top.

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post #10 of 59 Old 04-09-2014, 10:31 PM
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If your bike is a 2012-14 you don't loosen anything to fit a fork brace.

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