Fork removal question

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Jul 10, 2004
:?: I am in the process of converting my '72 Interstate into a cafe setup. Have already fitted rearsets from CRA. I bought a set of body parts, which include a cafe faring and mounting brackets (this has a pancake headlight built-in), new side panels, a very nice fibreglass 5 gal tank, and a special HD XLCH cafe racer seat. All finished in BRG with proper transfers.

Last night I removed the stock headlight shell with integral birdsnest. Looks to me like removing the headlight mounting ears involves dropping out each fork leg, down enough to pull out the ear. What I don't know yet is whether or not my clubman bars (held over from another project) will work with this fairing, or if I'll need to get a set of clip-ons. Installing clip-ons will require dropping each fork leg again? I've not seen clip-ons with a split (2-part) mounting collar?

Anything to watch out for when I drop each fork leg? I plan to mark the vertical and angular position of each very carefully before I loosen the pinch bolts.

I still have concerns about the front brake master cylinder clearing the cutout in the fairing when at left full lock - won't see that til its back together. Is it possible that my steering will be more limited with this fairing? I remember my Dunstall Atlas (bought in London in 1969) had a remarkably big turning radius.

Thanks, Stuart Ostroff
Dropping the fork tubes is no big deal. Don't worry about marking positions. My drill is:

1) remove front mudguard and wheel.

2) unscrew top fork nut of one leg. Push the slider up so the top of the spring clears the triple tree. Use a thin wrench to hold the lock nut on the damper rod while removing the top ford nut.

3) pull the slider back down so the damper rod is below the top of the tube. Move the instrument cup out of the way or remove.

4) thread the top fork nut a couple threads back into the tube.

5) loosen the lower fork clamping screw.

6) hold a piece of 2X4 over the top nut and strike it moderately with a BFH.

This should shock the fork out of the taper. You can then remove the top nut and slide the fork tube out.

Once this is done the headlight ear is often still lightly trapped between the trees. There are usually three slender o-rings under each ear to prevent rattle. Don't lose or destroy these. Push the ear down and and tilt it out. If all else fails, loosen the triple tree stem and separate them to release the ears.

Depending on how your fairing mounts and where the speedo and tach will mount you likely will have very little steering lock. My cafe 850 with Norvil Production Racer fairing needs a 40 acre field to turn it around. Even low speed corners require most of the lane. Of course the answer is just go faster! :roll:
Cafe setup


Thanks for your prompt reply - I'll be attacking this later this afternoon. Still wondering if my clubman bars will work OK or if I'll be having a set of clip-ons sent overnight (Sat del!). Then apart and back together again.

Also wondering WHY I've decided to do this. I suppose I'm trying to relive my youth - I bought a 67 (?) Dunstall Atlas in London in 1969 (I was 20), rode it about 2500 miles in northern Europe and brought it back to the States. Only kept it a couple years after that. This had a full racing fairing and very close clip-ons. And it took about 4 lanes to turn around! Like you said . . . .

BTW my daily rider is a BMW K1200LT on which I do various Iron Butt LD rides. The Norton has been a fun machine for those 30-60 minute rides around some back roads and back home. With the new setup I think 30 min will be my MAX.


I have done a lot of research on clip-ons and found these that don't require fork removal.....broken link removed Of course I found those after I had already fitted Tarozzis to my cafebroken link removed

The cafe setup looks sooooo cool but not very comfortable. It's hard on the wrist unless you're at speed. The big thing I recommend is to try many different angles both front to back and up and down. Try not to have your hands bent outwards. Trial and error can find you a comfort zone, and the difference can be huge.

I had clubmans on before clip-ons. I was nicely surprised that the clip-ons delivered far less vibbration to my hands. This made sense right away...shorter length of pipe allowing lesser amplitude of vibrations.....

Good luck with your project!

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Main thing to watch with clipons or the clubman...M bars I think they were called, I put dents in both sides of my Interstate tank by going to full lock and not having checked that the bars/clipons had enough room to clear the tank....still got nice dents on each I'm not the fussiest about repainting things. As Dad always careful...dents and babies, once you make one, they will be there for awhile!
Clubmans OK for now

Thank you all for your comments. Chris, I checked out the special ProFlo clip-ons, very nice! Spoke to the mfr and he said that the 37mm for the Norton are a stock size but right now running about 2 weeks del.

I have mounted my fairing and have it working with my clubman bars, at least for now. The sterring lock is reduced, as expected. I looks like I could get a bit more with clip-ons. I did manage a clever steering stop using "extension nuts" on the ends of a 5/16 thru bolt, the front one holding the aluminum clamp assy for the fairing. Couple of crutch tips where these nuts will contact the fork, and its good to go!

The 5 gal tank presented another problem as the front bolts were a bit wider then the holes in the frame mount. Fixed that one with a small hack saw.

Will post a few pix when all done.

Stuart Ostroff
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