Rear tire alignment? - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Rear tire alignment?

How difficult is it to align a rear tire? I saw a method using a string that seems pretty straight forward but want to be aware of anything i should be concerned about. Im no mechanic but do have minor wrenching experience. I own a '12 Ninja 650 if that matters any.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 03:16 AM
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I use the string method all the time, it works great and is accurate.

two bricks, a white nylon string and a little piece of tape, along with a little patience.
I look down from standing in front of the bike to check the space on each side of the front wheel.

I also backroll a rag on the top of the sprocket (between the chain and sprocket) to press the axle tight before tightening the axle bolt, this keeps the axle from crawling out of place when tightening.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 06:59 AM
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The 3rd gen (2012+) has alignment blocks. You could probably just eyeball the lines on each side. If you want to be more precise, you can measure the distance with a caliper. I understand some people don't trust the swingarm lines but I have not had an issue using them on the 2nd gen.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, ill definitely take a look at the swingarm lines but as quick and easy as the string method looks i may do both the first few times just for peace of mind


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XPyrion View Post
The 3rd gen (2012+) has alignment blocks. You could probably just eyeball the lines on each side. If you want to be more precise, you can measure the distance with a caliper. I understand some people don't trust the swingarm lines but I have not had an issue using them on the 2nd gen.
Was going to mention about the markings and alignment blocks but you beat me to it. Never had an issue using those to align the rear tire!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:06 PM
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the marks are ok... no problems will result using them..

If you do the string method you can double check and visualize the actual alignment.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 09:27 PM
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I place a straight edged ruler against the rear sprocket under the top run of the chain.
By looking along the ruler, I can see if the chain travels straight. If it is straight, the rear wheel is aligned.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandit View Post
I place a straight edged ruler against the rear sprocket under the top run of the chain.
By looking along the ruler, I can see if the chain travels straight. If it is straight, the rear wheel is aligned.




If the chain travels straight, that does not necessarily mean that your wheels are aligned [and vice versa]. You have a few options:


1) Try to align the front and rear wheels - this should assist handling


2) Try to align the front and rear sprockets - this should assist chain and sprocket life


3) Something else




Doing #1 does not necessarily mean that #2 is a byproduct and vice versa. However, if #1 or #2 is a result of the other, that is great! If the frame, swingarm, fork tubes, fork tube clamps, etc. are bent/twisted, you will probably have a difficult time achieving #2 from #1 and vice versa.




One person's "never had a problem" may be someone else's "problem" as those are relative terms.




I am not saying which method is "best", as it is up to each person to decide what they want to do.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 08:45 AM
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I'll go with your option 3 - Something else. Seems like a box of surprises. Maybe it means 'have a few beers and then play with it by eye'. yes I think that's the safest option :P

IMO, the marks are there for a reason. Modern machining tolerances are quite exact. Provided the frame/swingarm is not bent, If you line them up properly on each side, you should have no issues at all. The manual specifies doing it this way (and mentions that straight edge or string can also be used if desired) so why complicate things.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Well the tire gets here Thursday as soon as it gets here im taking the rear wheel off and taking it down to the tire shop. I looked at my swingarm and read the manual and it does seem like they are confident in us using the swingarm lines. I plan to use them and just double checking with the string. A few more minutes of double checking will make me a little more confident so why not? Im sure if i see no problems with the swingarm alignment lines after using the string I will feel better next time not double checking with the string. Thanks for the info guys much appreciated.


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