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  • Dyna Fork Brace

    I rode my 2008 XL883 for two years, most of that time with a fork brace. On a Sportster a fork brace is, in my opinion, a very necessary suspension add-on. When I bought my 2009 Dyna Super Glide back in October of 2009 I wasnít sure that those beefy 49mm front forks would need a fork brace, so I put off buying one. The Dyna, stock from the factory, didnít exhibit any of the twitchy front end issues that are the hallmark of the XL series. The bike was stable in turns and it had great straight-line directional stability too.

    Based on that assessment, I donít know exactly why I broke down and ordered a Super Brace brand fork brace for the Dyna, but I did. I put it on last Thursday and put the Dyna through its paces over a three day period. It is fair to say that I was surprised that the fork brace changed the handling of the Dyna as much as it did. It was not as pronounced change it was when I put a fork brace on the Sportster, but it was nevertheless a marked improvement.

    The first leg was a series of country roads that have more than their share of tar-snakes, patches, and other road defects. It was immediately noticeable that the Dyna took pot holes and road depressions a lot better than it did without the fork brace. I guess that will the flex in the forks gone that the front wheel was able to get through these sharp dips in the road with a lot more directional stability. This effect was there no matter if I was going in a straight line or on a turn. This Saturday on the Blue Ridge Parkway those treacherous dips just east of Mt. Mitchell were a lot less jarring. In some cases I could just barely feel the bike roll a little instead of the usual harsh jolt. I was not expecting that. I actually turned the bike around and rode that section again just to make certain that I had not missed the parkway maintenance crewís lack of repair prowess. I hadnít.

    Tar snakes and road level changes are pretty much nonexistent. Before the fork brace the Dyna handled tar snakes with ease and only wandered a little on the worst of them. Changes in road elevation were most noticeable at freeway speeds. With the fork brace different road heights, which are usually found around road construction projects and old roads, were a lot smoother. Crossing them didnít create any twitchy front end movements.

    Cornering was the area where I didnít expect to see any significant improvement over the stock front end. I was wrong in that assumption too. Tight corners as well as sweeping turns are more precise. That is a lot to say considering how well that bike cornered before the fork brace. The difference was as pronounced as when I switched from the stock Dunlop tires to Metzler ME880ís.

    When I put the fork brace on my XL883 it produced a sense of stiffness when I turned the bike at normal road speeds. It took a little while to get used to how that felt. The Dyna does not feel any different than it did before the fork brace was installed. By that I mean that the feedback from the handlebars is not any heavier or stiffer. It just handles better and takes road defects better than it did before.

    I would recommend a fork brace to Dyna owners. Even if they donít push their bikes hard the benefit of better control and a smoother front end ride are worth the cost. The brand of fork brace that I used is SuperBrace. There are online dealers like onestopmoto who have them, Dennis Kirk doesnít, or you can order directly from the factory. Installation takes about ten to twenty minutes. It is one of the simpler mods that you can do to your bike.

    A word of caution Ė if you tend to push your bike had in the corners and use the feedback from the front wheel to let you know when you are getting near the limit of traction be advised that a fork brace tends to dampen that feedback. With a fork brace you can push you bike into a front-end drift or slide without getting a lot of warning. As we all know, drifting a 700 pound cruiser on asphalt or concrete is something that should be avoided. This is not a big problem and once you are aware of it you can adjust your approach to fast corners.
    Pete Bucy
    Herd Member #60.

  • #2
    Thanks Pete. Very informational. I appreciate the play-by-play feedback of the different scenarios.
    .
    2010 FLHX - Street Glide
    HERD MEMBER #00003

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    • #3
      I've been watching out for one that I can actually afford for about a year now. I'm thinking it'd make a big difference for us 'heavy' riders.
      The Confederate States of America - Fighting terrorism since 1861

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      • #4
        I installed a Kuryakyn forkbrace on my softail standard and it made a world of difference in the handling...No wobbling on sudden braking as before...
        Chris (Steveston)
        Herd # 93
        Retired Navy Vet

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        • #5
          I braced up the sporty front a few months back, and the change was dramatic to say the least. I would say a good quality brace is a "need" more than a "want" on any bike looking for better handling, and stability.......IMHO

          Great write-up Pete, thank you......g
          U.S. Army "Retired"
          (Disabled Veteran)

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          • #6
            My front tire started cupping and I bought a Screaming Eagle fork brace off of Ebay for a great price. Once I installed it the cupping stopped, and I noticed a lot of handling difference as well. That is one of those things that should probably be put on from the factory, but then I guess they wouldn't sell as many parts that way.
            Sometimes it takes a whole tank of fuel before you can think straight!!!
            Ut veho est vivo!!!! (To ride is to live)
            HERD Member #00126
            Richard
            2010 Wide Glide, Black with Flames (Mistress)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bikertaz View Post
              My front tire started cupping and I bought a Screaming Eagle fork brace off of Ebay for a great price. Once I installed it the cupping stopped, and I noticed a lot of handling difference as well. That is one of those things that should probably be put on from the factory, but then I guess they wouldn't sell as many parts that way.
              By making the two front fork tubes work in unison and reduce deflection a fork brace should improve front tire wear too. I wouldn't want to ride a motorcycle without one.

              Pete
              Pete Bucy
              Herd Member #60.

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              • #8
                just installed a superfork brace on my nightster n soon a steering dampner too! i just cant wait to get some good weather to see how much of a differance it`ll make with the dreaded 39mm fork wobbles!??
                herd member #00112
                smitty
                2009 nightster
                AMA#262299 LIFE MEMBER

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the insight Pete. Been looking at buying a fork brace for the SG, but no one around here could give me any feed back on whether or not they actually worked.
                  2010 FXD Super Glide
                  HERD brand #165
                  Doin that "monkey thang"

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                  • #10
                    bowhuntr74,i dont know how it will do on your SG,but it definatley tightened up the 39mm forks on my sporty,it was a improvement!!!
                    herd member #00112
                    smitty
                    2009 nightster
                    AMA#262299 LIFE MEMBER

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MOTOCROSSER View Post
                      bowhuntr74,i dont know how it will do on your SG,but it definatley tightened up the 39mm forks on my sporty,it was a improvement!!!
                      I had a fork brace on my XL883. It made a tremendous difference. It is very noticable on the Dyna too. I would not ride a motorcycle without one.
                      Pete Bucy
                      Herd Member #60.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by petebucy View Post
                        I had a fork brace on my XL883. It made a tremendous difference. It is very noticable on the Dyna too. I would not ride a motorcycle without one.
                        yep it did just that and i also installed a STORZ PERFORMANCE CERIANI steering damper to and now i have absolutley no fork wobble or head shake at all!!! well worth all the money spent!
                        herd member #00112
                        smitty
                        2009 nightster
                        AMA#262299 LIFE MEMBER

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                        • #13
                          I've got one on my wide glide and think it helps a lot. I survived HS II and those twisties so must work.
                          x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x
                          HERD member #66
                          HS I Survivor
                          HS II Survivor
                          HS III Survivor
                          HS IV,V,VI wanted to go.....

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                          • #14
                            I remember those (fork brace) from the 70's but haven't noticed them around much lat'lly. Mabe cause I haven't rode since then. I'm back into it since last august when I bought a 99 FXSTC. BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN. There is alot of changes in bikes since then. The bike I bought was lowered in the back. I haven't been able to find spcs on where it was stock. The shop manuel says saddle hieght. What is that............depending whitch type of seat it has?? I did find some documentation on the shocks under the bike. There nitrogen filled and adjusted way low so I adjusted to what looked good to me. Another thing is, how do you determin what is stock length of the forks. I would think by measuring from the lower side of the triple tree to the center of the axle would be a good refference point. I would like to add 2" to the tubes, maybe thats the old school in me. I rolled it up on 2"s of blocks in the front and liked the feel of it. The thing is, when I get some new tubes, what do I ask for, if I don't know the length they are now. Does anybody have that info without pulling the tubes out??
                            Hay thanks for any input
                            Mikey

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                            • #15
                              great read but i have had fork braces on my bikes in the past and never had the front slide out no matter how hard i was on the throttle im not sure i agree with that statement, but the brace is an improvement big time .
                              imo where it is noticed most is on wideglide front ends.you can actually feel deflection when cornering as OP mentioned and its not a good feeling lol like butterflies in your stomach
                              09 Softail Springer FLSTFBT "AKA" Heritage Fatbones Touring
                              www.youtube.com/user/bcvtwin?feature=mhee

                              herd #148

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