been riding over 40 years, most of those on shaft drive... one thing I have never seen explained. Is the slack measurement a center to center measurement, or is it outside to outside? big difference.
I installed new BS tires and did the old fashion fishing line alignment method to verify front to rear tire alignment. I then marked the top flat on the adjuster bolts as reference points for future adjustments.
With all the high tech lazer beam alignment tools available this is still a good final check verifying even their accuracy.
One thing to keep in mind while pondering which method is right for you: Using an alignment tool that attaches to the sprocket versus other methods such as string lines or measurements from here/there to axle - they are not accomplishing the same result. Anything that attaches to the sprocket is aligning the sprockets; those which do not are aligning the wheel against some other reference point. In theory and in a perfect situation, they are one in the same. But as some are seeing, this is not always trues. So I have chosen to use a laser alignment tool for a long time now (as some of you have recently discovered and commented on in other threads) to ensure sprockets are aligned and chain life is maximized. If this is at the expense of a bit of accelerated tire wear, that is fine. I'd rather have my chain last 30K miles. As I can eyeball with a laser to within a 1/16 inch or less, I'll go with that over other methods that seem far less accurate or more time consuming.
I just had my rear tire replaced by a guy that use to own a bike shop in Vermont. After he put the new tire/wheel on, and while the axle was still loose, he tensioned the chain. He sighted down the chain from the rear while spinning the wheel and watching the rear gear as it ran the chain. He made a couple of minor adjustments to the chain adjusters, tightened them down and then watched the rear wheel/tire spinning. I specifically asked him what he thought of the chain marks for accuracy. He said they are usually close enough unless the bike has been wrecked. I've put about 300 miles on it and it seems to be wearing even. Today I put a new front tire on. Got to his house/shop at 9:10 a.m. and 9:30 was on my way home. His speciality is carbs and classic restorations.
As a side note I'm running a Motobriiz oiler and am learning when a chain stays lubed it never seems to stretch.
Just remember when the bikes are crashed or fall down hard...........the alignment issue is not usually related to the swing arm to engine alignment. There is a lot more than sprocket alignment if we are now getting into handling and stability. Even a new stock bike "uncrashed" will vary on frame and wheel alignment. It could be possible to improve sprocket alignment and make front to rear wheel alignment or tracking worse.
The frame twisting, steering head alignment ( tweak) , fork twisting/bending and front tire to rear tire tracking is far more likely to be an issue.
Two of dozens of articles on alignment:
Chassis Alignment Basics
Do It Yourself, Motorcycle Frame Check
Last edited by showkey; 10th March 2016 at 07:39.
Just adjusted the chain on my 2014 and checked it with a motion pro rod and noticed after aligning the rear sprocket, chain and front sprocket the marks on each side of the swing are not in the same spot. Off by about 1/16 of and inch. Does this sound right ?. I have double checked everything. I have a hard time believing Honda would be off that much.
The adjustment marks on the NC are pathetic imho. I never use them.
I find mine very accurate and corresponding on each side with the chain alignment rod aligning ok