What Works On Your Bike

To answer the questions asked about custom triple trees and choosing the right set for your motorcycle we have set up this technical page. To keep things simple we can use this as a starting point. The wheel pivots from the center of the forks so changing the width of the front end will not effect handling. The physical weight of a wider front end and larger tire will appear different however,tracking and cornering will remain the same.One of the benefits of running a wider front end is wheel choice.A narrow front end locks you into using the wheel designed for those forks only.Wider forks allow you to run one of many custom wheels available in the market place today.There are several things to keep in mind when modifying your stock bike or building a custom.Longer fork tubes and or lowering the back of the bike can change the handling conditions.Lengthening the rear swing arm, lowering or raising the side wall height of a tire can also change handling conditions.

Using Raked Triple Trees,what will work on your bike? We have been building custom front ends with rakes built into them for about 20 years.With several thousand sets manufactured thru the years we feel that were getting the right front end installed on our customers motorcycles.We have very few complaints on handling and installation problems.When building a tree set or conversion set were making sure the kit we build will fit your bike, handle correctly and install properly.We build raked trees in 5 different offsets,2-1/2, 3-3/4,5,6-1/4and 7-1/2 degrees.Choosing what rake will work right with your bike has to be considered.The more neck angle in your frame the more rake in the trees can be used.Most of the stock motorcycle frames manufactured set the neck angle between 27 to 34 degrees.The angle difference between 27 and 34 degrees may not seem to be much but it changes the way the bike steers and corners considerably ! A 27 degree frame will respond quickly in turns and cornering .This neck angle is very desirable for off road , road racing with sharp cornering with quick handle bar response.The 34 degree frame will present the opposite.The handle bar response is a lot slower and its turning radius becomes much greater.This type of handling is more desirable for highway cruising and long sweeping turns. With the higher neck angle the wheel base becomes greater making for an overall longer motorcycle.This style of chassis is very desirable in the custom bike market.Not all bikes come with this style of wheel base. that is where a raked triple tree comes in to play.To choose the correct set for your motorcycle a steering measurement by the industry is used called rake and trail. The preceding page shows a basic diagram of the steering trail and how it is measured.

Basic steering trail [Applied]

As the diagram above shows, this measurement of trail applies to all motorcycles big and small. The longer the trail length the slower the steering response. And opposite the shorter trail length will quicken the steering response.To determine what will work on your bike you will have to determine what your trail measurement is.Most commercially manufactured bikes set the trail between 3 and 6 inches depending on the style and model.[A highway cruiser 5 to 6 inches of trail to a scrambler or off road bike 3 to 4 inches of trail].As explained on the previous page chassis modifications will change the trail.Using our raked triple tree also will affect the trail.It reduces the distance between the vertical axle line and the neck tube line.This is very important when deciding which set of trees will perform best on your frame.Realizing this we manufacture tree sets with no rake and ones with very little rake 2 1/2 &3 3/4 degrees.This will help you create the wheel base and ride height that looks and steers best for your motorcycle.We also manufacture triple trees with more rake to accommodate frames that create a high trail measurement.[more than 6 inches].Frames with 35 degrees of neck tube angle fall into this category .The following page has some basic frame neck angle and raked tree combinations that we have experienced to work well.

Frame Neck Tube Angle/ Raked tree Combinations

27 to 29 degree frames/ No rake to 2-1/2 degree trees

28 to 31 degree frames/ No rake to 3-3/4 degree trees

31 to 33 degree frames/ 2-1/2 to 5degree trees

34 to 36 degree frames/ 3-3/4 to 7-1/2 degree trees

37 Degree and up frames/ 7-1/2 degree trees

To ensure that your chassis is set up for the best handling ,the trail measurement should be between 3 and 6 inches.

Reduced trail For Side Car and Trike applications

A growing number of motorcycles domestic and imported are being converted into a 3 wheel chassis or having the a side car installed to the frame. These bikes similar in style and looks create a whole new challenge in steering. Adding the third wheel changes the standard trail measurements.Trail reduction is needed to offset handling irregularities created by using the third wheel.We have no fast and hard rules on how much reduction is needed but we know it works. A growing number of trike and side car riders are calling on us to solve there handling problems.In most stock frame applications a 4 to 7 degree raked tree set solves the majority of handling complaints.[Steering wooble & slow speed wheel flop].There are a lot of variables to 3 wheel steering applications. With the wide variety of rake angles offered in our triple trees, A set can be built to solve your steering problems.