Hi Calum, you seem to be disappearing down a rabbit hole
Yep - you hit the nail on the head there
That's why I'm waiting on the OEM parts. I need to make sure I'm not creating this problem myself. The races are installed the correct way round. The 7-8mm was poorly worded, I was referring to the shoulder of the bottom bearing (the bit between the rollers and the base of the steering stem).
I'm pretty sure this is all because the bottom outer race sits about 1-2mm too high and the replica parts are probably add another 2-3mm to that. I'll wait for the original parts and see how they fit. I'm picking up the wheels this week so I'll have something to do in the meantime.
Thanks for the bearing sizes - that will make things easier if I have to swap out the spacer.
I managed to get hold of some OEM parts (only the left hand headlight ear at the moment but both covers). Chucked everything on the fork tonight and it all fit like a glove. Have a bit of room to spare so the smaller 1.5mm spacer will probably be perfect. That should also put the steering stops at about the same height as in Mikaws photo, ath the moment the bottom of the stops are flush with the pin on the frame.
I won't change it right away though. Everything fits at the moment so no need to take the bottom bearing off.
Making a bit of progress. The front end is giving me grief again, though... once I got the wheel on I could see it was twisted. The wheel is turned to the right when the handlebars are straight.
The headstock was straightened and wouldn't cause this anyway (it would cause the entire front end to be off). The forks are straight (checked with a dial gauge). I've eliminated everything else except the bottom triple clamp. If I look carefully from the side the right hand fork sits steeper in the bottom clamp. I think the bike was hit from the left and twisted the headstock as well as pushing the left fork forward a bit. I imagine the forks were totalled and got swapped out before it was sold on, but I don't have any history there. Tried to find out but the previous owner got the bike in the same state.
Anyway, may have tracked down a replacement triple clamp that I can borrow to confirm if this is the problem. Until then I'll just keep bolting random parts to the bike (I'm just trying to empty the shelves at the moment).
Hi Calum, before you worry too much try slackening the clamps again then with somebody holding the wheel jerk the bars to align with the wheel then tighten everything back up. The trees can twist on the forks during tightening, with dirt bikes we used to carry this out up against a tree but your wheels are too nice for that.
What a nightmare, do you have a piece of flat board (MDF etc) that you can hold against the trees, this will at least confirm if they are in line (if not the board will rock corner to corner) not the most scientific I know but quick and easy
On a slightly more positive note I got the crankcase back today. It doesn't quite have the sheen that vapour blasting seems to have but that's not really an option here. One good thing is the care the guy takes to clean everything out - all the threads and galleys are spotless, no glass bead dust on any surfaces.
Yeah, dry blasted. As I said above, wet blasting isn't really an option here. Very few people do it and most shy away from doing the head. I got my engine guy to do the valve cover as a test piece and it came out nice enough for me to decide against spending a lot of time and money on vapor blasting.
Regarding the forks: I'll have another look but the top clamp needs to be pretty loose and still doesn't go on easily. I don't think I've actually put the forks in when both clamps were installed.
Not sure about postage cost but I have an spare triple I could sent you. You could mock it up to find out if that is your problem before you spend money on a replacement. Shipping might make it unpractical but.