When fitting your front wheel do you know which side of the fork foot
needs to be tightened first? Which bolts when over tightened will
compromise fork action?
Never over tighten the lower triple clamp bolts. Fork outer tubes are fairly thin and triple clamps these days are made pretty rigid.
During fork action the inner tube sliding bush must pass through the
area of the outer tube clamped under the lower triple clamp.
If these bolts are too tight you will distort the outer tube directly under the clamps. This distortion can cause the outer tube interfere with the fork action and can even damage fork bushes.
Always use a torque wrench when tightening these bolts. Tighten them to 13Nm to be safe. Anything over 17Nm is unnecessarily tight and can cause problems with fork action. Some manuals may recommend tighter, but 17Nm is plenty tight enough.
The picture shows how to apply lateral force on the fork foot to make sure it can slide along the axle.
By doing this you make sure that the front forks can move in and out freely without any misalignment or bending due to unnecessary lateral force disturbing their action and causing any unwanted friction.
The Golden rule is always tighten non disc side fork foot pinch bolts last making sure fork is aligned perfectly on the wheel axle.
Read more about optimal motorcycle suspension performance.
The Dirt Bike Garage Manual
HOW TO GUIDE for "do it yourself" riders