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 we’re 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, 6-1/4, and 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.
Frame Neck Tube Angle/ Raked tree Combinations
27 to 29 degree frames/ No rake to 2-1/2 degree
28 to 31 degree frames/ No rake to 3-3/4 degree trees
31 to 33
34 to 36 degree frames/ 3-3/4 to 7-1/2
37 Degree and up frames/ 7-1/2 degree trees
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 their handling problems. In most stock frame applications a 4 to 7 degree raked tree set solves the majority of handling complaints.[Steering wobble & 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.