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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I did adjust the chain slack on my bike and I use the motion pro chain alignment tool to make sure that my wheel is aligned. I tried using the markings on the swingarm but due to the fact that they are not on the same level I wasn't comfortable doing it that way. My question is if anyone knows if the motion pro tool is accurate and if there is a way to tell if I aligned the wheel right. I even tried measuring between the wheel axle and the swingarm pivot but there's things on the way any experienced with ideas?
Thank you in advance
 

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I have the motion pro tool but rarely use it anymore. I measure from the flat spot where the adjusting screw enters the swingarm to the center point of the axle on each side. I figure those are exactly the same on both sides and there is nothing to measure around.
 

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The string method is simple easy cheap and accurate:

Get a 20' piece of string
Put the bike on a rear or front stand
Tape the 10' point on the string to the middle of the tread on the rear tire
Rotate the tear tire until the string is at the 4 oclock position, looking from the left side of the bike
Extend the string along both sides of the bike
Position yourself in front of the front tire and with your eyes down level with the string on the rear tire
Then oull the string taught and bring it to toward the side of the front of the rear tire.
As the stirg jus touches the side of the tire note the distance between the string and the same side of the front tire.
Repeat on other side of front and rear tire with the other half of the string.
The distance between the string and the side of the front tire should be the same on both sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the motion pro tool but rarely use it anymore. I measure from the flat spot where the adjusting screw enters the swingarm to the center point of the axle on each side. I figure those are exactly the same on both sides and there is nothing to measure around.
I did that too and the measurements are the same but when I'm riding with a gear in if I let the handlebars go it wants to pull to the right is that has to do anything or the bike just does that?
 

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Well on low tech way to check for rear alignment is (assuming your rotor is true) apply the rear brake pedal and release. If you initially hear abnormal rotor to pad rubbing and it progressively gets better as you spin the wheel, you are likely misaligned. As the wheel spins, the misalignment will cause the rotor to slightly bump the pads back just enough to resolve the rub. With a properly aligned wheel the rubbing should be very light and consistent. Also make sure the teeth of the rear sprocket stay in the same spot in the chain links. If you see the sprocket wondering around in links you are misaligned (again assuming the sprocket is true and bolts are torqued to spec).

You may also want to ensure your front wheel is aligned. This is covered in a few posts already but front alignment consists of loosening the lower triple bolts, fender bolts, brake caliper bolts, axle pinch bolt and axle itself. Then WITHOUT applying the brakes, pump hard on the handlebars directly downward several times and then tighten everything back up to spec. The forks should move freely and the wheel (if you have a front stand) should spin freely again with only a very light and consistent pad rub on the rotors. According to the service manual Yamaha also says that the hex side of the axle should be perfectly flush with the fork bracket.
 

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The issue I had with the motion pro tool was that the inside of the tool would rest on the chain rather than against the sprocket. That caused a noticeably crooked wheel. On my track bike with a 520 series chain it rests against the sprocket just fine.
 

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The string method seems super confusing haha... I just use the hash marks on the swinger
 

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The point is that the factory hash marks are often wrong, IMO every new bike or after a crash should be checked by a method that compares the rear wheel to the front, string, straight edge, laser, etc. Do that and see how much your hash marks are off, for my 09 the marks on the left need to be about 2mm further back than the right side.
 

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I've always been told, and the way I do it is that you want the center of the axle and the center of the swingarm pivot point to be equal. In other words if the left side of the bike (center of axle to center of swingarm pivot) is let's say 34.25 inches and the right side is 34.50, the wheel is sitting in the swingarm crooked and is "pointed" to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The string method is simple easy cheap and accurate:

Get a 20' piece of string
Put the bike on a rear or front stand
Tape the 10' point on the string to the middle of the tread on the rear tire
Rotate the tear tire until the string is at the 4 oclock position, looking from the left side of the bike
Extend the string along both sides of the bike
Position yourself in front of the front tire and with your eyes down level with the string on the rear tire
Then oull the string taught and bring it to toward the side of the front of the rear tire.
As the stirg jus touches the side of the tire note the distance between the string and the same side of the front tire.
Repeat on other side of front and rear tire with the other half of the string.
The distance between the string and the side of the front tire should be the same on both sides.
I would love to see a video if you have the time and resources and time. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've always been told, and the way I do it is that you want the center of the axle and the center of the swingarm pivot point to be equal. In other words if the left side of the bike (center of axle to center of swingarm pivot) is let's say 34.25 inches and the right side is 34.50, the wheel is sitting in the swingarm crooked and is "pointed" to the right.
You're right but in this case the problem is that there is things you have to measure around on the right side that they'll make the reading not true. Vehicle Auto part Motorcycle Automotive tire Tire
 

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I would love to see a video if you have the time and resources and time. Thank you
Youtube is your friend:
 

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In 46 years of riding, I've NEVER found a motorcycle 5hat the factory hashmarks were correct. Every time I tried to use them, the rear wheel ended up cockeyed..... String the 1st time and adjust as necessary.

The point is that the factory hash marks are often wrong, IMO every new bike or after a crash should be checked by a method that compares the rear wheel to the front, string, straight edge, laser, etc. Do that and see how much your hash marks are off, for my 09 the marks on the left need to be about 2mm further back than the right side.
 

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After a minor tip over and soft landing in my driveway, I had some issues with the front being cocked.
I sorted that out and then used the string method to align the rear to match the front. The feeling was improved
greatly. Sadly, I rode the bike several hundred miles with the alignment/front end out of spec and now I have
slight cupping on the right side of the front tire, with the left side completely smooth.

Two thumbs up for the string method.
 

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Cheap Motion Pro alignment tool and old cheap screw driver is the fastest and easiest way to get straight alignment with proper chain slack. I chain tires between my bikes at least 6-8 times a week. Mostly the Dual Sport as I'm switching between on and off road tires throughout the riding season. Always remember to slab some all purpose grease on the axle bolt every time to allow the everything to turn smoothly.
 
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