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Just recently I downed my 09' Vstrom on my morning commute and had the unfortunate experience of my front tire giving way as I rode over a manhole cover. I was doing about 35 mph when this happened. The bike fell on the right side and scraped up the cowling pretty good (low side fall). Turn indicator was sheared off, along with damage to the front fender, bar end weight, and rear brake lever. Amazingly enough I was able to pick my bike up and finish out my commute to work. The bike seemed to handle ok after the accident. I took my bike in the shop to have estimates done for the repair work (as an insurance claim). The shop is saying that my front forks are bent and need to be replaced. However, the bike seems to handle ok. I find it hard to believe that by taking a sliding fall on the right side of the bike would damage the front forks. I didn't hit anything to apply that much force on the front end. I'm just trying to get a feel if the shop is blowing smoke or if the forks are actually bent. The insurance adjuster is making noise that the repair cost could exceed the value of the bike. The Vstrom is fairly durable bike and I wouldn't think a low side fall would cause this type of damage to the front forks. Is this possible? Anyone ever experience a similar low side fall? How did your bike hold up? Especially the front forks!

ftibbits
Lake Stevens WA
 

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Hard to say but I would ask the shop to show you where the forks are bent. Could be they are just tweaked in the triple.
 

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I would agree about the the forks just being tweaked. I would think they would rotate in their clamps before they would bend. I bought a bike that I though the forks were bent, the whole front end looked messed up. Loosened the triple clamp, let everything return it its proper position and retightened. It was perfect after that.
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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I have had four crashes. The hardest one was at about 55mph last Fall, (The bike slid well over a 100' down the road and flipped over into a ditch.). I am still on my original forks. I would be VERY surprised if your forks are bent in a relatively "simple" crash as the one you describe.

If the fork tubes are scratched, typically the insurance company will pay for new ones. Mine were scratched, but functioned fine. I told the insurance company not to replace them. I am not that concerned about how my bike looks, nor greedy.

B.L.
 

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I wouldn't rule out the bent forks, but I would also ask them to show you.... Its surprising but I know that is does not take a lot of force to bend and tweak lots of parts fast, especially in a situation where you drop the bike at street speed.
 

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Another possibility is that the top triple and the bottom triple clamps got misaligned from each other and are forcing the forks out of position. Its best to pull off the front entirely and check each part for damage.
 

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Was the manhole cover missing? At 35mph that would cause quite the impact force on the forks.

I would think if they're even slightly bent the damping action of the front would be compromised and excessive wear would result.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I'm reading it as a right turn was in progress when the front tire went over a manhole cover and lost traction. Manhole covers are to be avoided when stopping or turning. They can be very slippery.
 

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Ya didn't slide across the intersection and stop against a curb or anything like that, huh? No mention of a wobbly wheel rim or brake disc damage?

Definetly could only be twisted in the triple clamps. BUT, the shop must do a significant disassy, (labor costs involved), to know for sure. Those potential costs along with an educated guess,(hopefully they asked you lots of questions about the accident), formed their opinion.

Heed this though: if you prefer they don't total the bike, (bent forks, along with the associated things would deem it totalled), you better be darned sure they are NOT BENT... at all. I say that because I've diassembled two DL's with bent forks. One pretty severe, one very minimal. In both cases there was frame damage that for the most part ruined the bike. Don't need to detail it but the DL models frame steering head, backbone and engine craddling method is not the strongest of designs. Don't wish to open up a can of worms but I've seen/measured it.

So, if fork the tubes are proven bent some, suspect frame twist and damage specifically where the "skinny" bearings fit into the steering head.
dave
 

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As far as I know it usuall takes a pretty solid impact to actually bend fork tubes. I mean, just look at the sorts of loads they're subjected to in normal use and abuse. A simple fall without hitting something solid shoudn't bend forks - it might twist them in the triple clamps, however, as others have pointed out.

It might be a reasonable thing for a shop to do for insurance purposes to remove the forks from the bike and actually check them for straightness, although I'm not sure that I would bother.
 

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I'm reading it as a right turn was in progress when the front tire went over a manhole cover and lost traction. Manhole covers are to be avoided when stopping or turning. They can be very slippery.
Particularly when they are wet from rain!!!
 

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I bent my forks lowers at about 35 MPH when I hit a guardrail.

I rode the bike home about 40 miles (half of it very twisty).

The forks didn't look very bent until I got them back from the shop.

As bent as they were, it was pretty difficult to sight down them with the fairing and fender in the way.

I stuck them in the ground on either side of the driveway for a while, so I had to see them every time I left the house on two wheels.

If you want, I'll dig out the receipt to let you know how wide to open your wallet.

BTW, I also put a little ding in my front wheel, it held air, but I could feel it riding home.
 

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One bike I bent the forks just a tad. The shop said if the bend is very slight they have a hard time chasing it right.
Another bike I crashed and the front end was all screwed up. I rode it home and started to undo all the bolts and I could hear a lot of clicking noise. Once it was all loose and I worked the forks a few times it was fine upon re-tightening.
I was lucky!
 

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I t-boned a car last year and bent my fork from the impact. The dealer estimate came back high enough to total loss the bike. Dealer claimed the swingarm was also bent. The fork estimate was for the entire assembly. Suzuki sell the fork tubes separately which is all you would probably need as a worst senario. I elected to buy the salvage from the IC ,received $6800 from them and put the bike in perfect condition for about $1100.. Dealer repair estimate was $8400. The dealer also called and offered to buy the bike from me. If you would like to send me a pm, we could talk about it. With the state of the MC buisness as it is, desperation has set in. If the IC totals losses the bike see if you can buy the salvage. if the bike is in storage at the dealer, storage fees are accumulating so the clock is ticking for them.
 

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If they are bent maybe you could do something like this. I mean forks that are apparently bent so slight you can't see it can't be actually damaged, just very slightly bent. I could understand replacing them if they were like bent 10 degrees but just slightly?

Motorcycle fork tube repair
 

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Can the fork be tested by removing the spring cap, unbolting any interferences, and stroking it by hand? If it strokes all the way smoothly, can it actually be bent?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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A bend can often happen where the tube meets the lower triple clamp. That would not interfere with fork travel. I had a CB500 Honda that handled bumps pretty well until I got it home to change the fork tubes.
 

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I say that because I've dissembled two DL's with bent forks. One pretty severe, one very minimal. In both cases there was frame damage that for the most part ruined the bike. Don't need to detail it but the DL models frame steering head, backbone and engine craddling method is not the strongest of designs. Don't wish to open up a can of worms but I've seen/measured it.
I recently had a minor rear end (I hit them) and bent the my forks. It was straight on, full compression from braking and we did not go down. I rebuilt the forks with salvaged tubes and did a visual inspection of everything else (still need to de-tweak the radiator).

Could you describe or post pics of the frame damage you're describing? I haven't noticed any issues, but it would be nice to know what to look for.

FYI: In Virginia, when determining the value they start with a "book" value and then add the retail value all your upgrades (i.e. farkles). They had valued my bike (K6 w/ 20k miles) at over $6000!:jawdrop:
 
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