Alignment

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by BigEd, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. BigEd

    BigEd Member

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    OK, in my continuing saga of why this bike doesn't handle like I think it should...Since I've had it, it always looked like the bars were bent while going down the road, but they measure up to be fine. Yesterday I finally realized that the front wheel is turned a little to the right when the bike is going straight. Checked vertical alignment and the rear wheel is leaned to the right about the same number of degrees as the front wheel is turned. Have I found the problem or is this two different problems? Thanks.

    ED
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If you check the alignment of the bars to the front forks/triple trees, you may find that the bars are just a bit off which is usually the case.
    The riser bolts can be loosened up after removing the light and nacelle and then the bars be repositioned and re tightened.

    Also re adjust the rear wheel so that it is even or in line with the front wheel allowing for any offset that may be in them. Try it with a long straight edge between the front and rear wheels and see what you get.
     
  3. BigEd

    BigEd Member

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    Thanks Glider. With the bike level the front wheel is plumb and the bars are straight. They only look bent going down the road because they are turned to the right, along with the head light and I am assuming the front wheel. The rear wheel is several degrees canted to the right when the front wheel is plumb and everything square and level. I guess my question is, is the vertical alignment being out the cause of the front wheel being turned when going straight down the road? Trying to get my head around the geometry. Thanks again.
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If your back wheel is canted to the right ( the front of the wheel that is ) that would do what you are referring to here.It's steering the rear of the bike to the right and the front is trying to compensate for it.
    Just picture where the bike would head if you could turn your rear wheel like the front left or right.

    This is where the straight edge between the two wheels will give you a line on it.
     
  5. BigEd

    BigEd Member

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    I'm making progress. I adjusted the neck bearings which were way too tight. Swing pattern now matches the manual. Cleaned the brake calipers which were really clogged and now I have good brakes although the front seems to rub even more than before. I verified that the vertical alignment was out and decided to have it aligned at the dealer. The tech advised that it was out quiet a bit which I already knew. This has made a huge, huge difference in the way the bike rides but still not all the way there.

    Before I took the bike in I discovered that the rear wheel had a pretty bad wobble. I started the bike while on the lift and observed the rear wheel turn and it wobbled a lot. I tried to get the tech to check this and just got a deer in the headlights look and didn't accomplish anything. The alignment helped somewhat but some wobble is still there and the front is still turned a little when going down the road. It is also harder to enter a left curve than a right one.

    Any ideas where I should go next? It almost looks like the rear wheel is warped. Over 4000 miles out of alignment. Could it be a tire balance issue now? Something over torqued? I really appreciate your help.


    Ed
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Are you sure it's the wheel and not the tire that is wobbling?
     
  7. BigEd

    BigEd Member

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    Not sure. I put the bike on a lift and started it, put it in gear and eased out the clutch. You can see the wobble. It is better than before the alignment but still has a pretty good wobble. Would a tire wobble be visible or just felt going down the road?
     
  8. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    A tire wobble caused by a defective tire would certainly be visible and also felt while riding. Have to find out if it's the tire or the wheel, are they spokes or mag?
     
  9. BigEd

    BigEd Member

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    Thanks Glider. The tires are my next thing. I am thinking that running out of alignment can play havoc with tire balance. Any chance they can be re-balanced or are they toast?
     
  10. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If it's just a balance that is out, they can be re balanced. If the tire is worn crooked, they it should be replaced. You didn't answer the other questions.