How to Adjust Your Steering Stop
If you own a dirt bike, you are probably familiar with how hard it is to make a tight turn without the right set up. While the overall ability to navigate tight spaces is usually a mix of riding skill, set up, and design, there is also something called a steering stop which plays a big role. Let's take a look at what it is and more importantly, how to adjust your steering stop.
What is a steering stop?
A steering stop is a standard feature in many KTM bike models. It is a part of the set up that stops the frame from turning in on itself near the front tire when making a turn. This gives the rider more leeway on navigating tight turns without damaging their frame or tire. More importantly, steering stops prevent damage to areas such as fork tubes or triple clamps which could be pushed into the radiator without the stop in place.
Adjusting the Steering Stop
When it comes to how to adjust your steering stop, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, you should know why a rider would want to adjust it in the first place. The steering stop on a bike can be adjusted for a few reasons such as adjusting based on new tires, attempting to ride where the track is deep or sandy, or restoring it back to the factory setting. It is also a good idea to pay attention to how your bike handles when you turn that front wheel so you can notice any tightness or anything inhibiting your ability to turn. If a steering stop isn't set out far enough, it can make turns harder and you will feel the friction which is a sure sign you need to adjust the steering stop. Many steering stops come at a factory setting of about a quarter to a half inch out from the frame which is probably to account for aftermarket parts being installed over time without losing the turn protection. While this may be fine for some people, other riders will definitely want to adjust it as they go to find the right balance between full turn capabilities and stop protection.
In order to adjust the stop, you will need a 13mm deep socket which will remove the locknut. If you do not have one on hand, a 10mm socket can also be used to back out the adjustment bolt with a little more time and effort on your end. If the bike is mostly stock parts rather than aftermarket parts which come in different sizes, you should be okay to simply adjust the bolt all the way to the locknut. This shouldn't create any contact between the fork and the radiator while still giving you enough turn ability. While some people claim you can simply remove the locknut or bolt entirely to create the biggest turn radius, this is a bad idea for your bike. If you remove the nut or bolt completely, it leaves the fork tube way too close to the radiator and creates some costly problems down the road for your bike. Just remember that the steering stop serves a purpose in protecting your bike from damages and it isn't just there to annoy you or get in the way of doing a 360-degree turn.
You should always keep in mind the setting stop when installing aftermarket parts in that area. For example, if you add an aftermarket tube fork or radiator with larger size specifications than the factory issued parts originally installed in the bike, you will need to adjust the steering stop once more.
Basically, your steering stop isn't always a one and done type of setting. You will likely adjust it several times over the years based on your needs and specs of your bike.