How to Change Motocross Triple Clamps

Triple clamps are designed to provide a solid mounting point for a motorcycle’s front fork and handlebars. A typical triple clamp is comprised of an upper and lower section with a welded steel stem. Although a dirt bike’s triple clamps are fairly durable, the rough terrain and maneuvers found on a motocross course can warp the triple clamp or steering stem, throwing the dirt bike’s wheel out of alignment and causing stability issues


1) Remove the throttle assembly and front-brake master cylinder from the right handlebar. Unscrew the throttle assembly’s bolts with a Phillips screwdriver and pull the upper throttle housing away from the throttle tube. Pull the throttle cables out of the throttle tube and slide the tube and the lower throttle housing off of the handlebar. Unscrew the bolts from the front-brake master cylinder’s bracket with a socket wrench. Pull the master cylinder away from the handlebar.

2) Remove the clutch lever and hand grip from the left handlebar. Loosen the bolt on the front of the clutch-lever perch with a socket wrench and push it away from the hand grip. Pry a small portion of the hand grip away from the handlebar with a flat screwdriver. Loosen the hand grip from the handlebar with compressed air applied with a blow gun. Pull the grip and the clutch-lever perch off of the handlebar.

3) Loosen the front-brake caliper’s bolts, the front axle nut and the axle pinch bolts on the bottom of the front forks, if any, with a socket wrench. Place the motorcycle on a dirt bike stand to lift the front wheel off of the ground. Unscrew the front brake caliper’s bolts completely and remove the caliper and its master cylinder from the motorcycle. Unscrew the front axle nut and pull the axle out of the front fork and wheel. Roll the front wheel away from the fork.

4) Loosen the pinch bolts on the ends of the upper and lower triple clamps with a socket wrench. Pull the front fork tubes out of both triple clamps.

5) Unscrew the handlebar riser nuts from the bottom of the upper triple clamp with a socket wrench. Pull the handlebar, risers and the risers’ rubber bushings out of the upper triple clamp.

6) Unscrew the steering stem nut from the top of the upper triple clamp with a socket wrench and pull the upper clamp away from the motorcycle. Hold the lower triple clamp in place and unscrew the steering stem’s collar with a hooked spanner wrench. Pull the cap and the upper bearing off of the steering stem. Remove the lower triple clamp from the frame’s steering head. Discard the lower bearing attached to the steering stem.

7) Install new steering stem bearings onto the new triple clamp. Reassemble the motorcycle, following the steps for removal in reverse order.

Extra Tips:

* Refer to a factory service manual for torque specifications and detailed installation instructions specific to your dirt bike.

* A damaged triple clamp is often accompanied by front-fork and wheel damage. Check your wheel’s rim and spokes, as well as both fork tubes, for damage to avoid unforeseen accidents.

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