Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Installing Tri-Glide Triple Trees on Petunia Almost Complete

Petunia is almost road worthy again.  Because I had to remove the gas tank I have decided to add a quick disconnect on the bypass hose to make life simpler.  That means waiting for a couple of days for the part to come in because I couldn't find one local.  It doesn't seem worth the effort to install the tank without the disconnect in place, so it is looking like Saturday before I will get to ride her and see how she handles.

With theTri-Glide front end

With the original front end

There are only a few differences between the 09 Tri-Glide tree and the stock 03 tree.  First was to drill the Tri-Glide tree to hold the roll-pin that keeps the wiring mount/stem nut locking plate in place.  It is my understanding that the Tri-Glides don't have anything to hold this nut after torquing.
Yes, there has been a problem with Tri-Glides having loose steering heads and a service bulletin was issued because of this.  There are two ears to lock this nut and when I took Petunia apart only one was engaged.  Now both are doing the intended job.

New, on left, after drilling. Original on right.

Then the brake line wouldn't bolt to the new tree.  It wouldn't clear going up to the master cylinder.  I used an L bracket  to move it enough to clear and will have to make a decision what the next step will be.

The special tool I ordered to remove the bearing races didn't work.  It wouldn't catch the lip on the races no matter what I did. I finally used a big socket and 12" extension with the tool to knock out the top one.  The bottom one was a PITA! I ruined a couple of tools trying to make an adapter, I bought another tool that didn't work, and finally ground down a brake spoon that I made work.

This idea was born after searching for a product called EZ Steer. I found an article by Dave "Ultraboy" Bickford who did the change on an 07 he triked using Harley parts.  Props to him for all the leg work, parts list, and saving me a bunch of money.


  1. Looks like quite a reduction in trail. Did the front end drop much? It doesn't look like it but kind of hard to tell. I don't think I've met anyone who enjoyed changing the races in the head bearing. Was this preventative or was there noticeable wear?

  2. Richard; It doesn't look like it dropped much at all, but I haven't taken the jack out from under it or used a level yet. I had to use a second jack to put the bike jack under it at the start. Petunia has 86,000+ miles and going this deep, with this much work, I wouldn't take a chance of not changing the races. The upper one was pretty good, the bottom had noticeable wear.