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Of all the components that make your American V-twin complete, the triple tree isn’t something talked about too often. It just rests there, quiet and unassuming, while most of the attention goes to the engine rumbling below.

That’s all about to change because, and rightly so. The triple tree can be attributed to many important aspects of motorcycle behavior.

Kraus has been at the forefront of triple tree development, especially for Harley-Davidsons, and we’re proud to offer a variety of options for baggers, Softails, Sportsters, FXRs, and Dynas. We haven’t forgotten about the growing selection of Indians, either. We’re developing triple trees for those models, also.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Harley-Davidson and Indian triple trees.

A Brief Motorcycle Triple Tree History

The triple tree, also known as a triple clamp or yoke, connects the forks to the motorcycle. There’s some debate as to why it’s called a tree, but the three contact points—two for each fork leg and one for the frame’s steering stem—explain the “triple” in its name.

Your V-Twin actually has two triple trees; one on top of the steering stem and one beneath. Together, these two triple trees connect your front suspension to your Harley or Indian.

What It Does

The triple tree is an important element in how your bike behaves because the thickness of the metal and/or the location of the two openings for the fork tubes in relation to the central opening for the steering stem can have a massive effect on overall handling.

You might hear a rider say they’re able to “feel” the road beneath them on a certain bike. The thickness of the triple clamps (and their material) is one reason why. Generally speaking, a thinner wall will flex more. This flex eventually makes its way up the handlebars and to your hands.

You can probably guess how a thicker wall will behave too, right? One needs to be careful going too thick and making the triple clamps too rigid because the rider could have very little feel. A delicate balance in wall thickness needs to be met to achieve the right amount of feel while still being strong enough to withstand the rigors of the road.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Harley-Davidson and Indian triple trees.

Beyond giving the rider feedback from the road, the triple clamps can affect the bike’s overall geometry. The fork offset—that is, the distance from the centers of the fork caps to the central steering stem—is set by triple clamps.

This affects the rake and trail of the motorcycle. Without getting into all the details, rake and trail determine how fast or slow a bike leans over and how stable it is at lean. Clearly, we all remember the chopper craze with raked-out front ends and front tires miles away from the rest of the bike. While the look is definitely eye-catching, it doesn’t do you any favors regarding handling.

Kraus isn’t about flash and drama. We make parts to get the most performance out of your V-Twin, and our triple clamps are a perfect example. A look at a few different sets will help you understand.

The Kraus Difference

The Alpha Wolf Triple Trees for Harley Road Glides are a massive improvement over the stock triples that came from the factory. The primary issue with the stock components is their weakness (remember the bit about strength and rigidity we discussed earlier?).

The Alpha Wolf Triple Trees fix this. While stock triples are usually cast, all Kraus Triple Trees are machined from solid billet and are designed with a proprietary geometry to tighten up and improve the performance and handling of your machine.

Should you go one step further with your bagger and upgrade to Öhlins forks, the ST Touring Triple Trees are designed with a perfect offset to improve performance and handling. If you don’t know what terms like offset really mean to your V-Twin’s overall setup, don’t worry. Rest assured, Kraus has you covered.

We’ve put our products through the toughest challenges, including professional racing, to get the feedback and results we’re after. And you are the lucky beneficiary of that research as you’re rolling down the road.

Moving on to Kraus’ Dynamoto Triple Tree, you’ll be amazed at the massive difference it will make to your Softail. Kraus triple trees are the foundation of a strong suspension, and as we mentioned before, instead of the cast stock components, these Dynamoto Triple Trees are machined from solid billet, anodized black, and are designed with a proprietary geometry tweak to tighten up and improve the performance and handling of your machine.

You’ll notice this theme throughout: “proprietary geometry tweaks” are part of the Kraus difference resulting from our continued research and development.

Part of what makes Kraus triple trees like the Dynamoto Triple Trees special is the attention to detail. For example, we use OEM H-D stock size neck bearings to simplify installation. And for the customizers out there, these units come complete with a removable steering stop plate for custom frames with hidden steering stops. Kraus Dynamoto Triple Trees have 50mm top clamps, the bottom tree has 54mm clamps.

The Alpha Wolf Triple Trees for Harley Road Glides are a massive improvement over the stock triples that came from the factory.

It’s not uncommon to see Sportsters running with our inverted front forks for better performance. While a great upgrade, the new forks are shorter than stock, which can lower the front of the bike.

The Kraus Drop Trees add 1.5” of height. We go one step further and perfect the geometry to improve performance and handling when running our forks on FXD, FXR, Softail, or XL platforms.

With the Dyna platform, we’ve found a way to improve upon it in a big way, even with the factory 49mm forks. The answer is the 49mm Sport Performance Triple Tree Set. We’ve used all the lessons we learned from the Dynamoto inverted front ends and put it into the design and geometry of these triple trees, maximizing what you can do with the stock 49mm forks. The 49mm trees have a proprietary offset that corrects many of the bad handling characteristics of the late-model Dynas.

In addition, the larger surface area of the fork clamps and the engineered cross section offers more rigidity and strength over stock. We then use a bearing tensioning nut that offers positive and secure bearing adjustment. These improvements directly affect the behavior of the front end, making the bike feel lighter, more agile, and more stable at both high and low speeds. It’s a win-win situation. Best of all, these trees are machined in the USA from solid billet aluminum to world-class standards.

Kraus triple trees are substantial, strong, well-designed, and expertly engineered. Many riders have proven that these are the best triple trees for the money when it comes to updating yoru American V-Twin’s performance.

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