Rear Wheel Alignment Tool - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 05-18-2011, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Rear Wheel Alignment Tool

What tool or how do you align the rear wheel on your KLR?

- Tool: I use a piece of tubing with two heavy zip ties cut at 45 degrees. One zip tie should be fixed and the other should be adjustable.

- Using a lathe a friend center indexed both ends of the rear axle and rear engine bolt. The rear engine bolt is the fixed reference. The distance between the center of the rear engine bolt and the center of the rear axle has to be the same on each side. The index marks make this very exact and simple to do.

- Need a tool that travels better. The distance between the rear engine bolt and rear axle is approximately 23"-24".

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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post #2 of 37 Old 05-18-2011, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomatocity View Post
What tool or how do you align the rear wheel on your KLR?

- Tool: I use a piece of tubing with two heavy zip ties cut at 45 degrees. One zip tie should be fixed and the other should be adjustable.

- Using a lathe a friend center indexed both ends of the rear axle and rear engine bolt. The rear engine bolt is the fixed reference. The distance between the center of the rear engine bolt and the center of the rear axle has to be the same on each side. The index marks make this very exact and simple to do.

- Need a tool that travels better. The distance between the rear engine bolt and rear axle is approximately 23"-24".

Why don't you use your tool to reference the chain adjusters? Get the wheel straight and note any difference in the adjuter bolts. Keep the difference the same when adjusting the chain.

I wouldn't count on a KLR frame being square anywhere, look at the welds on the thing! Chains will tolerate some misalignment, there's slop available!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #3 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 12:56 PM
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aligning the wheel to the engine will ensure the chain runs true
although
the most important alignment check is to verify the rear wheel is tracking properly behind the front wheel
this is easily done by placing 2 long straight (sticks, tubes, what ever) against either side of the rear wheel going forward to the front wheel and then check for parallelism between the sticks and wheel(s)
a good eye won't need the sticks ...
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post #4 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 06:01 PM
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Aligning wheels

Racers use a piece of string (the thin florescent type that you can grab at Lowes etc is the best). Tie it to a spoke, wrap it around the back of the rear tire and run it up alongside the front. Bring the string in towards the front tire till it just touches the front of the back tire. Adjust (turn) the front tire till the string is equal distant from the front and back of the front tire. Note this measurement. Now reverse the string on the other side of the back tire again bringing it to the front. Note the measurement. Adjust the rear tire till the measurements of the string to both sides of the front tire are identical. Done.

Quick, easy, and pretty much free.

Oh and mark (scratch) your rear swing arm on both sides so you always have a reference point for future adjustments and pass the string on to the next guy!
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post #5 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 07:33 PM
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from handyman1018

Oh and mark (scratch) your rear swing arm on both sides so you always have a reference point for future adjustments

righty O ... forgot to mention that part
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post #6 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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"What tool or how do you align the rear wheel on your KLR?

- Tool: I use a piece of tubing with two heavy zip ties cut at 45 degrees. One zip tie should be fixed and the other should be adjustable.

- Using a lathe a friend center indexed both ends of the rear axle and rear engine bolt. The rear engine bolt is the fixed reference. The distance between the center of the rear engine bolt and the center of the rear axle has to be the same on each side. The index marks make this very exact and simple to do.

- Need a tool that travels better. The distance between the rear engine bolt and rear axle is approximately 23"-24"."



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Why don't you use your tool to reference the chain adjusters? Get the wheel straight and note any difference in the adjuter bolts. Keep the difference the same when adjusting the chain.

I wouldn't count on a KLR frame being square anywhere, look at the welds on the thing! Chains will tolerate some misalignment, there's slop available!
Spec, I am not sure what you are referring to with the frame not being square. The reference I am using s the bolt that passes all the way through the rear of the engine. Are you saying the engine is not square in the frame? The counter shaft sprocket is square with the engine now the rear axle is square with the engine which would indicate the rear sprocket is square with the counter sprocket.
Are we trying to align the wheels or the sprockets?

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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post #7 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handyman1018 View Post
Racers use a piece of string (the thin florescent type that you can grab at Lowes etc is the best). Tie it to a spoke, wrap it around the back of the rear tire and run it up alongside the front. Bring the string in towards the front tire till it just touches the front of the back tire. Adjust (turn) the front tire till the string is equal distant from the front and back of the front tire. Note this measurement. Now reverse the string on the other side of the back tire again bringing it to the front. Note the measurement. Adjust the rear tire till the measurements of the string to both sides of the front tire are identical. Done.
Just a note on that. Tires are notorious for not being true radially and what with the lugs / knobs that we run can make this measurement inaccurate. Reference points need to be made at the outside of the rim. And to split the hair further you need to know that the rim is running true.

I have a setup similar to Tomato's and have often wondered how accurate that is compared to this method. Guess I'll have to get some more string.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

Unknown
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post #8 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
Just a note on that. Tires are notorious for not being true radially and what with the lugs / knobs that we run can make this measurement inaccurate. Reference points need to be made at the outside of the rim. And to split the hair further you need to know that the rim is running true.

I have a setup similar to Tomato's and have often wondered how accurate that is compared to this method. Guess I'll have to get some more string.
flash, we are just kicking alignment methods around. What is your method?

I also measured from the center of the rear engine mounting bolt to the end of each swingarm and they are the same.

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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post #9 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomatocity View Post
flash, we are just kicking alignment methods around. What is your method?

I also measured from the center of the rear engine mounting bolt to the end of each swingarm and they are the same.
Same as you. Never run the string on the KLR since I bought it new. Other bikes I've crashed or bought used or I suspected a problem I've run the string and it is a PITA.

That's why I built this.....center drilled the ends of the bolts same as you had done because the swingarm axle marks on the '08+ models are a joke. The inspiration came from a Starrett trammel we have in the shop.



Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

Unknown

Last edited by flash; 06-02-2011 at 08:43 PM.
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-02-2011, 09:00 PM
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Am I not being anal enough, or am I naive? I just use the marks on the swingarm. The chain has some slop in it, so it doesn't have to be dead nuts plum to anything. And as far as alignment from the front to rear wheel, these bikes have knobby tires, and are used on the dirt, so it's not like we're going top speed on asphalt all the time, so the tires are constanly slipping and sliding around, so I don't see the point in the wheels having to be perfectly in line. Maybe I'm missing something, but I want to ride, not wrench.
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