Yeah, the notion that the front suspension components are under more stress when they’re being pulled up through straps instead of being pushed up by the floor is…. Interesting.I do the way you describe all the time when I change the front tire. I use a strap suspended from my garage ceiling and with the bike on the center stand pivot the front end off the ground enough to remove the axle and the tire. Never have had any problems. Seems it would be tough to do something to the front suspension from this.
Hard to imagine sudden shock failure resulting from a tire change in which the front end was lifted from above.Get on the bike, engine off. Feet on the ground either side, bring it up vertical, then push down. Click or clunk will be heard and felt. most likely the ball joints that holds the strut in place, if not that, then the shock is bottoming out. Get them rebuilt is cheaper than a set of Wilbur's (~500bucks front and back vs. 4k for wilbers where I am).