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how does one go about making sure that the top triple is true and straight? i'm pretty sure that mine is not straight (see 'bella meets the ditch' thread). how would i go about making the necessary corrections to get her back in plumb?
 
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secure the bike with a front stand that goes under the bottom yoke or some other means to support the front's weight.
loosen the pinch bolts on top and bottom triples including the center pinch bolt on the top unit.
jug the front tire around a bit. if they're not bent, the forks will want to straighten out with the slack allowed in the triple's bore. tighten back up and you should be square.
 
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so a fork-peg type front stand won't work? damn, i can get my hands on one of those, but i don't know anyone with a yoke-type stand.
 

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strapping, a come-along and a ceiling joist would work too.
 

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Usually it's the upper triple not aligned with the lower one. Try loosening the upper, but leaving the lower one tight, & wiggle it like that. That way you won't need a stand. If one of the triples is truely bent, you can still fix it, but it involves bending & such.
 
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