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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I get this nagging feeling that I'm leaning or aiming right just to keep going straight. I can't tell if this is in my head or if there's an alignment problem with the bike.

Is alignment even a thing?

For what its worth, I have about 700 miles on the bike. I haven't done the 600 mile tune up yet
 

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Check that your rear wheel bolt alignment marks on the side of the swing arm match up.
Also if one handle bar is off skew then this can give you a strange feeling of being out of alignment and you compensate by pushing harder on one bar hence making the bike veer slightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Ohhh based on your responses, I think I know what happened. I lifted my bike up with a bike lift (link to the lift) to change my oil, and that must have caused it. Ahhhhhhhh

Only thing to do is bring it into the dealer to get it re-aligned?
 

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Only thing to do is bring it into the dealer to get it re-aligned?
**** no, dont give them your money! :laugh:

First have a look at your chain adjuster index marks and check that both sides are the same. If your not sure what I'm talking about then consult your manual under 'Adjusting the drive chain slack'. Its page 65 in my manual.
If they are not the same then here lies your problem and you need to slacken off your rear axle nut and re-adjust them.

I cant see how lifting your bike on a lifter would have caused this tho??

If all else fails take it to your dealer... Lol :D
 

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Ohhh based on your responses, I think I know what happened. I lifted my bike up with a bike lift to change my oil, and that must have caused it...
I wouldn't use a lift (or a rear paddock stand) for changing oil. You'll get more complete drainage of the crankcase by having the bike on the side stand, since the drain plug is located on the left side of the crankcase closer to the side stand... the manufacturers do this by design.



... I cant see how lifting your bike on a lifter would have caused this tho??
I'm wondering the same thing. :confused:

As for checking & realigning the rear wheel, it's been my experience that you can't always rely on the stamped hash marks on this style of axle adjuster to be dead on accurate. Those hash marks will get you close to having alignment, but to get the axle dead on square in relationship to the swing arm/frame I use a tape measure, and take measurements between the center of the swing arm pivot bolt and the center of the rear axle bolt on both sides., then move the adjusters accordingly.

An additional way to check for rear axle alignment is to spin the rear wheel (by hand, with the rear of the bike up on a paddock stand) while looking at the chain rotating on the rear sprocket... here you're looking for even spacing between the inside of the side plates and the sprocket teeth as the chain runs around the sprocket. If the inside of the side plates are running closer to the teeth on one side or the other, it means the axle is not quite square in the swing arm. I use this method as a second alignment check after I've got the axle bolt and swing arm pivot bolt measurements equal as described above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info, guys!

Lifting the bike up was the only thing I could think of that would have caused the alignment to go off. It was the only thing that correlated. It could very well be other things I'm not thinking about, but lifting the bike was the only notable thing that happened to it.

Thanks guys, you're a wonderful wealth of information!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It appears this may not be an alignment issue. The bike is leaning to the left. There's more ware on the left side of the tire. The nose seems to point to the left and my front tire points to the right.

It's at the dealership now
 

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The advice above is all sound. You could also do as follows:
Could be a loose fork/triple tree bolt causing the forkleg to twist in the clamps. This would cause the problem you describe.
For wheel alignment you could use a suitably long piece of timber and lay it against the rear tyre then using a spirit level make sure it is straight and then measure the distance from the inside edge of the wood to the front tyre.
Then move it to the other side of the rear tyre and repeat. You should have an equal measurement each side.
Also sight the wood and see if you can detect any discrepancies with the naked eye.
Hope the dealer sorts it but you can always use this in future.
 

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Interesting technique autopilot. I'll have to read up on it. It still seems like since the front wheel moves, you could introduce an error doing it this way. I mean if the front wheel is slightly turned one way or the other, your distances are going to vary even if the chain is straight.

I haven't owned any older bikes in a while, but I've found those swing arm indicator lines have been right on all my bikes. I always run into issues trying to measure such as one fixed point to another since there always seems to be something in the way. I get down on my stomach and double check that the chain looks straight along its length by closing one eye and shining a flashlight along the top of the chain. My CB300F chain is holding up very well and only needed an adjustment at 50 miles or so and that was 3900 miles ago.
 

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Interesting technique autopilot. I'll have to read up on it. It still seems like since the front wheel moves, you could introduce an error doing it this way. I mean if the front wheel is slightly turned one way or the other, your distances are going to vary even if the chain is straight.
This method is ldeally done with two bits of timber or even better a couple of lengths of Aluminium rectangular box section. Then you can measure the gap between the edge of the straight edge and the outside of the front tyre on both sides and adjust until they are the same figure. The straight edges ideally need to be propped up off the ground four inches at the rear to give you better accuracy and contact with the rear wheel.

I normally use this method once to check my index marks on the swing arm are accurate and OK to use as a guide when adjusting the chain then don't bother again as its a bit complicated and slow.
 

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I wouldn't use a lift (or a rear paddock stand) for changing oil. You'll get more complete drainage of the crankcase by having the bike on the side stand, since the drain plug is located on the left side of the crankcase closer to the side stand... the manufacturers do this by design.
I didn't think about this. I have a low profile cheap walmart oil change container but I had a lot of issues fitting it under the bike on the ground with the kickstand down. I find it a lot easier to raise the bike using the swing arm stand to drain the oil.

I'll probably keep using the stand though... even if more 5% oil is held in there compared to on the ground the convenience is worth it. If I was concerned I'd change the oil slightly before 8K miles then.
 

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If you don't trust your eyeball can't you just tie some string somewhere along the top of the chain behind the front sprocket, then pull it tight along the top of the chain and slightly above it so it doesn't drag on the chain and out the back and see that the string is straight relative to the chain as viewed from the back? That should be a better technique than those alignment tools like the Motion Pro that have a short arm since the string can be observed a much longer distance, plus there is no doubt a taut string is perfectly straight compared to a piece of metal that can bend?
 

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If the bike is not on a center stand, then to get additional oil out, you can sit on the bike, lift the kickstand and move the bike a little from one side to the other. I always get a little more old oil coming out when I do it that way....especially when moving it to the right since it was leaning a little to the left while on the kickstand. That's the best way to change the oil. Do it after you remove the filter too and some more will even drop from that area.
 
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