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Rear tire tracking

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  • Rear tire tracking

    What is the best way to make sure your rear wheel is lined up correctly on both sides. I know there are hash marks on the side of the swing arm you can use as reference. Is there a better way? and how can you be sure the rear wheel is lined up correctly nd tracking properly.
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    "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." - Declaration of Independance

  • #2
    they make a allignment tool that goes on your chain so you can see if it's straight or not.i see two kinds at www.denniskirk.com part#28186and282298

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    • #3
      I use the hash marks and my eyeball, the tool is probably more accurate.
      AMA member # 224227

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      • #4
        You can also use straight boards (think 2x4) or string to see if the wheel is lined up with the front wheel. If set correctly, the front wheel will be centered between the boards when they are pressed against the side of the rear wheel.

        Personally, I recommend the chain alignment tool, which is manufactured by motion pro and available via any dealership or shop with PartsUnlimited access (although the mail order dealers are probably cheaper).

        Cheers
        =-= The CyberPoet
        Remember The CyberPoet

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        • #5
          This may be a stupid question, but.....
          When one talks about checking the alignment what are they checking? Are they checking the alignment between the front and rear wheels? This makes sense because if the wheels are not aligned then that bike will not track properly. Or are you checking the alignment of the front and rear sprockets? If the sprockets are not aligned properly then you will have excessive chain wear.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The CyberPoet
            You can also use straight boards (think 2x4) or string to see if the wheel is lined up with the front wheel. If set correctly, the front wheel will be centered between the boards when they are pressed against the side of the rear wheel.

            Personally, I recommend the chain alignment tool, which is manufactured by motion pro and available via any dealership or shop with PartsUnlimited access (although the mail order dealers are probably cheaper).

            Cheers
            =-= The CyberPoet
            So what's your take on it, Cyber, should you align the sprockets as much as possible or the wheels?

            I've heard people saying that aligning the wheels will ensure that you're cornering properly, but that aligning the sprockets will favor chain life... Now in an ideal world the two would be aligned at all times, but it doesn't seem like everyones are (even new ones).

            The marks on the swing arm could be really off, though..

            Here's another method I found a while back ago:

            http://www.yamahafz1oa.com/sportryde...ntmethod.shtml
            - Samuel

            My 1988 Katana 600

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tzortn
              This may be a stupid question, but.....
              When one talks about checking the alignment what are they checking? Are they checking the alignment between the front and rear wheels? This makes sense because if the wheels are not aligned then that bike will not track properly. Or are you checking the alignment of the front and rear sprockets? If the sprockets are not aligned properly then you will have excessive chain wear.
              heh, it seems we got the same idea simultaneously
              - Samuel

              My 1988 Katana 600

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              • #8
                IMO you can check alignment for front to back with a staight edge and string but the chain alignment tool is for the rear only.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by the wind
                  IMO you can check alignment for front to back with a staight edge and string but the chain alignment tool is for the rear only.
                  So the chain alignment tool only checks to see if the sprockets are aligned.?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tzortn
                    Originally posted by the wind
                    IMO you can check alignment for front to back with a staight edge and string but the chain alignment tool is for the rear only.
                    So the alignment tool only checks to see if the sprockets are aligned.?
                    if there straight then the back wheel has to be straight too.(right)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by the wind
                      Originally posted by tzortn
                      Originally posted by the wind
                      IMO you can check alignment for front to back with a staight edge and string but the chain alignment tool is for the rear only.
                      So the alignment tool only checks to see if the sprockets are aligned.?
                      if there straight then the back wheel has to be straight too.(right)
                      if the swingarm and the frame are...
                      - Samuel

                      My 1988 Katana 600

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Yellow
                        So what's your take on it, Cyber, should you align the sprockets as much as possible or the wheels?
                        If you're using the stock sprockets, the alignment should be the same (wheel and sprocket). Even with aftermarket sprockets, having the sprocket aligned should align the rear wheel parallel with the bike's motion -- and since you can't control left-to-right placement of the rear wheel when it's straight to the bike (except via rebending the swing arm or replacing bearings/rear axle), that should be as close as you can get without a frame straightener.

                        Cheers
                        =-= The CyberPoet
                        Remember The CyberPoet

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                        • #13
                          In theory should't you be able to also compare the distance from the rear of the swing arm to the axle on both sides?
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                          "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." - Declaration of Independance

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zleviticus
                            In theory should't you be able to also compare the distance from the rear of the swing arm to the axle on both sides?
                            In theory, yes, but if you only have a small misalignment, the error you make when measuring (or a millimeter of production tolerance in the swingarm) will be relatively big compared to a measurement over a longer distance such as the entire chain length or the wheelbase; which is what you want to get right in the first place anyway - you're really interested in that your chain and your wheels are straight => you're better off measuring that than making assumptions...
                            - Samuel

                            My 1988 Katana 600

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zleviticus
                              In theory should't you be able to also compare the distance from the rear of the swing arm to the axle on both sides?
                              Yup, provided (A) you could ensure that the tension on the tensioners was identical on both sides, and (B) the swingarm itself was perfectly straight. I think the problem is the tensioners in part -- if you back off the tension at any point (say you over-tightened the chain), the measurement wouldn't necessarily change, but there could be enough slop for it to move after the fact.
                              Personally, I usually press the alignment plates forward in their holders (so there's no slop) and check that way, then go back and eyeball the wheel from behind again. I also count rotations on the tensioners, on the basis that if it was aligned before, it should still be aligned if I turn them both exactly the same number of rotations (and I usually go 1/8th to 1/4 at a time, once every 3k to 6k miles -- the benefit of oiling well and regularly).
                              Still, I think it's time to buy a chain alignment tool for myself...

                              Cheers
                              =-= The CyberPoet
                              Remember The CyberPoet

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