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Thread: rear tire alignment

  1. #1
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    rear tire alignment

    NC700X newbie here. 2012 NC700X now with 18k miles. No manuals yet.
    Noticed a .200" difference in chain tensioning adjustment bolt extension on rear of swingarm! My dirt bike days says that's awful. Looking at the slot in the swingarm confirms it's real.
    Being new to the bike (900 miles) I don't know yet how it's supposed to feel.
    I am not a laser alignment tool kinda buyer, so can't I just adjust the old school way? But - bike just back from shop for 2 tire install - shouldn't the tech have caught this? Maybe he did it?!
    What sayeth the group? Jim

  2. #2
    #1 Elite rear tire alignment
    rear tire alignment
    Beemerphile's Avatar
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    The old school way works. The difference is too great to ignore and the tech should have aligned it better than that. One thing to check before using the adjusting bolt extension as a guide is to make sure that the cast end caps are properly seated. I have had bikes in my shop where the cap was not properly seated on the end of the rectangular swingarm and this would relate to a difference in the amount of projection. Rather than using bolt extension, I would rather measure from the back end of the flat metal bracket that moves with the axle when you adjust the chain. As long as you are at it, make sure they have the slack right as well.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Most have found the marks on the side of the swing arm to be accurate. Motion Pro sells a $15 tool that is easy to use and verify proper alignment. Don't need a laser, but the technology can be fun to play with.

    Working at a mill had a consultant who said he understood laser alignment. Set up a laser and convinced mill folks they had a major misalignment as equipment didn't line up with the laser line projected. He quickly lost his credibility when it was verified he did nothing to first align the laser so the beam was projected in the right direction. A laser projects a very straight line, but if it is pointed in the wrong direction so what.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member rear tire alignment dduelin's Avatar
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    I don't use the marks on the swing arm. There are chain alignment tools for this but I just use the Mk. I eyeball to line it up. When I push the chain guard out of the way or remove it and sight along the upper chain run I can see it curve one way or the other if it's not a straight run. It sort of like sighting across a pair of gun sights.
    Dave

    GL1800
    NC700XD




  5. #5
    #1 Elite rear tire alignment
    rear tire alignment
    Beemerphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dduelin View Post
    the Mk. I eyeball to line it up..
    The famous Snowbum from the Airhead BMW group used to always employ the Mark One Eyeball. I had forgotten about that tool.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rear tire alignment dduelin's Avatar
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    Well, it stands to reason as the NC700X is the modern airhead. No wonder I like it so much.
    Dave

    GL1800
    NC700XD




  7. #7
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    Guys - I said the hell with it, took pics to show the shop/owner, and adjusted it meself.
    It was WFO! The clearance mismatch in the swingarm was not to be believed (yes,the math predicted it, but it was still unconscionable).
    Simple process. Made sure end caps seated. Used my handy $10 Harbor Freight digital caliper to get it right (had to use a LITtle bit of tech!). Adjusted chain to 1 3/8" slack (might be 1 1/4", is that ok?).
    Rode the bike. NOW I know what misalignment felt like. BIG improvement. And oh yes, less tranny snatch during shifts.
    Rant alert:
    I did something I rarely do - paid someone to do a job I can and usually do (this case, motorcycle tire install). Paid them more for the tires, got a sub-par install, he didn't even wipe the road grime off the wheels or remove all the glue from the old balance weights, stood there anyway so coulda done it myself. No, I do not have the equipment, but I'm sure I could break a bead, use the tire irons as always, and a balance shaft is close to a bubble.
    And - I tipped the tech 5 bucks. Not much, he declined, I pushed it on him.
    It's why I always do my own crap. A curse.
    I have to visit the shop next week to pick up some parts, so I owe the owner my experience. We'll see how he takes it.
    Jim in NC

  8. #8
    #1 Elite rear tire alignment
    rear tire alignment
    Beemerphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimbosToys View Post
    Adjusted chain to 1 3/8" slack (might be 1 1/4", is that ok?).
    I personally think that the 1-3/8" should be regarded as the absolute minimum. Had it been a bit higher rather than a bit lower, I'd say go with it. The amount of work and expense required to fix a damaged countershaft bearing makes me err on the loose side. Also, it is important to know that you are taking the slack at the tightest point in the chain. Check it at several (I use four) places and adjust to 1-3/8" at the tightest one.

    It's why I always do my own crap. A curse.
    When I had my chain replaced under the recall, the Honda tech adjusted the chain way too tightly. I stopped on the side of the road and adjusted it because I was afraid to drive it home. It is a crying shame when the shop rate is $85 per hour that you get a marginally trained tech with next to no experience. What would they do with a difficult repair?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator rear tire alignment 670cc's Avatar
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    I just replaced my chain. Thinking it might bed in and "stretch" a bit, I set it at 30mm slack. The chain sung loudly. Went to 40mm slack and now it's quiet. I've always run mine on the loose side of spec but now I'm convinced that around 1.5 inch is definitely as tight as I would go.

    Crazy thing. That was the first time I replaced a motorcycle chain since around 1980. Had shaft drive since then but I now have 2 chain drive bikes, 3 belt drive, and 1 shaft drive.

    In regards to hired tech labor, don't get me started . . .
    Last edited by 670cc; 21st September 2015 at 18:32.
    Greg
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  10. #10
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    Beemerphile - I'll check it again and back it off a bit before I ride. I have historically only used one location - mid span. I also usually err on the slack side.
    btw, WFO did not mean wound flat out, it meant way friggin off.

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