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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I attempted to lower my forks by loosening the triple tree clamp bolts one side at a time, the first side went exactly as planned but the second side dropped too low and I had no way to lift it back into place. I don't have any way to get all the weight off the front end, something I foolishly didn't realize I needed to do since it wasn't mentioned in the few guides I could find.Anyway, after an immense struggle to lift it by hand via my crash bars and then snug one of the bolts I was able to get them within 1/4" of each other. Is the bike safe to ride with a difference that big? I plan on taking it to a friend's house where I can get some help to lift it back to where I want it.
 

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You can try to lift the front of the bike using a ratchet strap looped through the cash bars on each side and over a garage rafter, if you have a garage. If you have help, put the bike in gear, put the sidestand down, and pull the bike up and over to the ground to lever the front wheel off the floor using the sidestand as a fulcrum. Not fun, but Ive done it in the days before I had all my stands, jacks, and equipment. BE CAREFUL!
A rear stand with swingarm spools, and a front stand with the ability to raise the bike via the steering stem woudnt be a waste of your money. I use Pitbulls. NEVER use a front stand without having the bike on a rear stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So the 1/4" difference I have now is not ride-able? Garage rafters aren't an option unfortunately. That side stand fulcrum thing sounds like it would take more muscle and luck than I have available. I would be scared of the side stand slipping out. Have to go to the dealership today to get the plates for my bike anyway, will check if they have a front end stand. Could you link the exact type I need? I can't share links as a new user and I don't want to ask for the wrong thing. It's called a "headlift" stand right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If your bike has a center stand the jack out of you car/truck works a treat at getting the front wheel off the ground
I do not have a centerstand, only a rear wheel stand and a scissor jack that I can't find an appropriate place or method to lift the front end with. It has a horrible open sided rectangle shaped jacking point with a 1/2" gap that has a provides barely any surface area. It was enough to install my rear lowering links but I can't say I'd trust it for actually holding the bike up. Could you recommend something better?
 

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If you already have a rear stand, then get a front stand. Just never use the front without the bike on a rear stand.
Pitbull stands cost more than most, but to me, are well worth it. Some raise the front via the bottom of the forks, god for wheel removal. But for any fork work that requires the front end to be unloaded, you want a stand that lifts by the steering stem, or like my Pitbull front stand and steering stem conversions, does both. The stem stand requires a specific pin for your bike, Pitbull has a chart showing which to get. I have 8 pins for working on various bikes. The Pitbull Newfront Stand is a stem-lift only stand. I'm not saying you can't ride the bike with the uneven fork heights...but why leave anything to chance? Here ya GO!
https://www.pit-bull.com/
 

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I do not have a centerstand, only a rear wheel stand and a scissor jack that I can't find an appropriate place or method to lift the front end with. It has a horrible open sided rectangle shaped jacking point with a 1/2" gap that has a provides barely any surface area. It was enough to install my rear lowering links but I can't say I'd trust it for actually holding the bike up. Could you recommend something better?
A piece of 2x4 in combination of with a scissors jack will work. Don't worry you not going to snap the oil filter off the 2x4 is on the aluminum boss at the engine.

If it made you feel better you could round out the 2x4 so the filter boss settled a litter deeper in it. This is the set up I use when changing the front tire on the DL. Rear wheel in a chock and jack the front up. Really for what you are doing you do not eve need to get the front wheel off the ground just get the weight off of it Be careful and go slow you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A piece of 2x4 in combination of with a scissors jack will work. Don't worry you not going to snap the oil filter off the 2x4 is on the aluminum boss at the engine.

If it made you feel better you could round out the 2x4 so the filter boss settled a litter deeper in it. This is the set up I use when changing the front tire on the DL. Rear wheel in a chock and jack the front up. Really for what you are doing you do not eve need to get the front wheel off the ground just get the weight off of it Be careful and go slow you'll be fine.
Appreciate the picture, that's pretty much identical to my stand but I can't help thinking how easily that will topple over while moving the front end around. If I can get a 2x4 I will try that out.
 

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I believe the solution above is a good one with the block and scissors jack.

However I don't think the quarter inch difference is a problem for a short ride. My reasoning is that the front axle is already securely clamped in place thereby keeping the fork lowers in place. The only difference therefore is the difference in spring rate between the legs caused by the difference in height which at a quarter inch is minimal. Obviously it is preferable to deal with the issue at home.

One other method to consider is to place the rear of the bike over a secure ground anchor and strap the rear down with a ratchet strap
on the centrestand until the front is off the ground. This is a method that I regularly use.
 

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Appreciate the picture, that's pretty much identical to my stand but I can't help thinking how easily that will topple over while moving the front end around. If I can get a 2x4 I will try that out.
Using that setup, you don't have to actually lift the front end off the ground, just snug the jack up tight enough to take most of the weight. I would also recommend using a smaller piece of wood, just about the size of the place it's sitting on the jack, and that's just to protect the aluminum from the steel jack. That will reduce the "wiggle" between the wood and jack, much more stable. There's also a small flat spot on the bottom of the engine just a little behind where the picture shows, aim for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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He doesnt have a centerstand. And many times Ive used a scissors jack and wood block to hold a bike up. He shouldnt have a problem...but wrenching on the front end with such a small contact area of the wood block is still iffy.
In my Jurrassic-era youth I used to crawl under a car while it was on a hydraulic floor jack. Pretty dumb, didnt think much about it until I had a close call. NEVER AGAIN. The car was on jack stands or I wouldnt get under it.
I feel the same way working on motorcycles. All it takes is one time.
 

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You don’t need to lift the front to even up the fork tubes. Leave the side that is at the correct height tight. Loosen the other side. If the tube is sticking up too far through the triple clamps, simply pry it down by wedging something against the underside of the handle bars. Once properly positioned, tighten the pinch bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You don’t need to lift the front to even up the fork tubes. Leave the side that is at the correct height tight. Loosen the other side. If the tube is sticking up too far through the triple clamps, simply pry it down by wedging something against the underside of the handle bars. Once properly positioned, tighten the pinch bolts.
I would have tried that if that side of the fork wasn't resting flush against the bottom of my bars. Anyway, in the end I got it done with a harbor freight floor jack just behind the oil filter and then used a rubber mallet on the fork tube to knock it down into position. Worked like a charm.
 

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The answer to the questioned asked is YES you can ride the bike at reasonable speeds over smooth roads with that much difference in height and will not hurt anything.

Some bikes have the compression dampening in on leg and the rebound dampening in the other. Yamaha built a bike with a single sided fork. A 1/4" difference is not going to hurt anything especially for the limited time necessary to ride a friends house.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The answer to the questioned asked is YES you can ride the bike at reasonable speeds over smooth roads with that much difference in height and will not hurt anything.

Some bikes have the compression dampening in on leg and the rebound dampening in the other. Yamaha built a bike with a single sided fork. A 1/4" difference is not going to hurt anything especially for the limited time necessary to ride a friends house.
Thanks rich, your lowering links have been a life saver in confidence on my bike. Wasn't able to tag you in my post since I'm a new user, but since you're here, thanks for the awesome service and accommodating my needy shipping request.
 

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not going to hurt for a short ride but i look at fixing it asap - your axle is now at an angle and introducing unnecessary friction
 

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You are likely also stressing the wheel bearings in a way they're not designed for.

Agree with others, it needs fixing ASAP but a short ride, at low speed, over smooth surfaces should be doable.
 
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