Tech Tips: Installing Triple Clamps 1

Video file
Tech Tips

Getting ready to swap out your bikes triple clamps? Get some quick tips on how to make your removal and installation process easier along with some easy maintenance advice.

If you want to get your hands on some new triple clamps, check out

For any other motorcycle parts, accessories, or gear needs, you can find them at

Transcribed version:

"Hi, this is Michael Lindsay from Vital MX, we're here at Chaparral Motorsports today and we're gonna show you how to install a set of XTRIG trip clamps on our KX450F. So to get things started, we need to get most of the front end components off the bike. Most of the tools you'll need will an eight millimeter, a ten millimeter, either socket or end wrenches. You'll probably need a 22mm for the axle, a 32mm for the trip clamp is the most common, and maybe a few Allen heads for either the brake caliper or the fork guards, depending upon what bike you have. We're gonna start with the front fender, move down to the wheel, and then we're gonna wanna leave the triple clamps on to help hold the clamps straight so they don't spin when we're trying to get the head stem nut off. After that we'll pull the forks out and then we'll take the bars out by loosening the bar mounts. Okay, now that we have the forks, front fender, front wheel, everything else out of the way, we can get right to the clamps. For the most part, as long as you're working in a clean environment, I tend to just let the controls hang as long as you're not getting your brake caliper in the dirt or anything like that. Able to remove our stock top triple clamp. And most your stock clamps, of course, have this lock nut right here. Spin that off and remove it and slide out that bottom triple clamp. So now that we have our triple clamps off, we're gonna take our stock top bearing out and we're gonna clean it off, then clean out the races. 

Big key to re-greasing this is not just to slather grease all over and expect that to work, you wanna actually try to work it in the bearing. You can do this two ways, by trying to roll the bearing and work the grease in and also just trying to kinda force it down in the slot and just kinda spread it in there. You slather on top, you're mostly just gonna lose most of that grease when it slides in the race, it's all just gonna kinda push out around it. So you wanna try to work it in there. Spin the bearings and just take your time to really make sure you get this done right first time. And then of course the race itself also needs grease. The big key with the race is to double-check and to make sure that you haven't run the bearings too tight or that they haven't seized up and caused any galling or any kind of chips, and you just wanna roll your finger around, make sure it's smooth. As long as it is, you're just good to re-grease it as well and slide your bearing back in. So you wanna, you know, repeat the same effort down below. Usually down below is where you get the most dirt buildup and it needs the most attention as the water drips down through your stock clamps and everything kinda buildups down here and just gets a lot more grimy.  So now we're gonna slide in our X-TRIG clamp now everything's greased up. The key is to remember to get your controls out of the way. I cannot describe how many times I've actually started on this and left the cables down on the wrong side of the clamp and then you gotta start from scratch. So you'll find that most your aftermarket clamps don't use the lock nut that's found on the stock clamp, so instead use the steering stem nut to create the tension needed. So in this case, we're just using a little metal spacer and we're sliding the top clamp directly on. And then just lightly pin on the steering stem to help keep the lower clamp from falling out while we continue working. 

So now that we have our trip clamps on, it's time to slide our forks back in. Once again, talking about the controls, you just wanna make sure you have everything between the fork tubes and between the clamps. You don't wanna get done, try to pick up your bars and put 'em on and realize you've a problem and everything's all binding up and you have to start over once again. Once you have the forks up to a roughly desired height, you want to tighten down the lower clamp to hold them in place, but make sure you leave the top clamp loose because we still have to tighten down this steering stem nut. And if the clamps are tight, you'll clamp down the steering stem nut but the top clamp actually won't be all the way pressed down against the top bearing. So in this case, our steering stem nut is a little bit smaller than the stock size, we're now using a 27 millimeter wrench here to finish tightening down the clamps. This is something you'll probably play with a little more on this triple clamp, where instead of having a lock nut, the tension for easy the triple clamp will steer is based off this top nut, so you may have to loosen this or tighten it again once you have everything on and you get a feeling for the turning rate. 

Now that we've tightened down the steering stem nut, you can see that the top triple clamp did drop a little bit. So now we're gonna reset our forks to the desired height and we're gonna set the torque setting. We actually did a Tech Tips recently about how to remove you're suspension and how to reinstall it, so if you want a little more info about setting up your forks and shock, you can check back and go see that video. Something else that is common on aftermarket triple clamps is a pinch bowl on the top triple clamp. The reason for this is to help it from twisting during a crash. You can tighten these down, and it'll help hold the triple clamp in line with the steering stem, so when you crash, it doesn't try to twist the front end as easily. So now we're gonna install our bar mounts. The X-TRIGs we have here are a solid mount, so you don't have to deal with a lock nut or anything...rubber inserts, you just pick your mounting hole and tighten 'em down. Now that we have our handle bars where we want 'em and our handle bar mounts are tightened down, you just gotta go back through the steps, put your front fender back on, front number plate, your brake caliper, your front wheel, get all your controls back where you like 'em and get ready to get out and try out your new setup and see what you think. For more Tech Tips, check out"

Credit: Joe Carlino

View replies to: Tech Tips: Installing Triple Clamps

The Latest