STEERING STOP AWARENESS
STORY AND PHOTO BY SEAN KLINGER
bikes have some kind of mechanical feature that stops the bike’s front end from turning too far and doing damage to itself. Without any steering stops, you could potentially slam your fork tubes or triple clamps into your radiators, inflicting damage to both parts and your wallet. Most Japa- nese bikes have nonadjustable tabs, so there is nothing you can really do with those. But it is surprising how many KTM, Husky, and Beta riders don’t realize their bikes have adjustable steering stops that might come from the factory adjusted out far enough to inhibit their turning ability.
We found this out with our Husqvarna FE 250 when tryall ing to complete a tight turn challenge at the Bonnier ADV Rally. We just couldn’t get the bike to complete a 360 within a small group of cones while adventure bikes were doing it with moderate ease. Then we remembered to check the steering stops, and they were a quarter to a half inch out from the frame. We assume this adjustment range is to account for aftermarket radiators, radiator protection, and/ or different triple clamps. To adjust, you need a deep, 13mm socket to get to the locknut. If you don’t have one (we didn’t at the time), you can use a 10mm socket to back out the adjustment bolt if it isn’t too tight. If everything is stock on the bike, adjusting the bolt all the way to the locknut isn’t going to cause any contact between fork and radiator. We don’t, however, suggest removing the locknut or the bolt altogether. You get a little bit more turning radius, but it puts the fork tube dangerously close to the radiator. In a tip-over when things are flexing, you want some breathing room.