Need help! Please check your front/rear wheel alignment. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Need help! Please check your front/rear wheel alignment.

I dropped my bike on the right side a couple of years ago on mud (yes, mud) and it has pulled to the left ever since. I have set the forks in the triple clamp and rotated the fork tubes and checked the handle bars and replaced the handle bars and nothing has changed. I was about to do a string test and noticed that the rear wheel and front wheel are waaaaay out of alignment. At least they are not parallel. As I don't know any other Vulcan owners around here (Tucson, representin') I want you (that's right, YOU) to check your alignment and tell me what you see.

1) put your bike on the center stand with the front wheel fairly centered
2) move to 30 feet in front of the bike
3) sight past the front wheel and observe the rear wheel. You'll have to peer around the center stand, but you can tell if they are centered or parallel with each other.

Does yours look centered?

Darrel
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:33 PM
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Have you checked the fluid level in the shocks? Uneven levels could cause a pull to one side.

What about the removable frame section... are you sure it's tight?

Have you managed to tell for sure if it is the front or rear wheel that is out of alignment?


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Old 02-18-2008, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't set up a string test yet because I can view the alignment from far in front of the front wheel and see that the rear wheel is quite a bit off to the left (right side of bike). I am wanting to know if this is normal for vn750s because I heard that some other bikes actually have an offset between wheel tracking to correct for engine/frame geometry, specifically the large Ninja.

I want a few owners to view their bikes and tell me if the rear wheel appears to be off to one side with respect to the front wheel.

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:17 PM
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I check the wheels on my bike and things look relatively straight. If you layed the bike down pretty hard the frame could be bent or tweeked. Something like a car can get after an accident. LOL with finding what is really wrong.

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Old 02-18-2008, 09:51 PM
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I don't think there is any offset of the rear wheel to the centerline of the bike.
And, seeing how there is no way to adjust the rear wheel like on a chain drive bike, it kind of sounds like something just might be bent, or maybe bearings that are really bad or improperly adjusted??


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Old 02-19-2008, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I checked alignment visually this morning in my garage and it's not out much, if any. The parking lot test is not accurate because the slightest turn of the front wheel causes the alignment to appear to be WAY off. My garage floor is higher than the driveway, so I can sight along the bottom of the bike easier and that made a lot of difference in viewing the wheels.

I still need to find out why the bike pulls. I'll do a meticulous string test and check the fork oil.

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013

Last edited by darrelc5; 02-19-2008 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:30 PM
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The front and rear should be staight, there is no offset. Now the rear tire is wider than the front, so it is a bit harder to check visualy.

If you have taken everything apart and put it back together
(wheel and forks*)and it still is out of line, then something is bent other than the forks....which is a bit perplexing as your fall did not sound like it was very hard, and the steering head is one of the stonger parts of the frame.

KM


*This involves checking the runout of the wheel and taking the springs out of the forks to see if they compress without binding.

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Old 02-19-2008, 05:18 PM
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Did you check and see if the swing arm had any play in it, the berrings might be a little loose.
Just a shot in the dark.

Chad Falstad "Hawk"
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:46 PM
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Just a thought, but when JR did his spline lube at one of the Gatherings he found out he was missing a spacer on the rear wheel. Seems he had been riding around like that for some time so the bike was rideable, but makes me wonder now if maybe he noticed any sort of pull..
So maybe the front is ok but the rear is off?
Doesn't seem like a fall in the mud would do much damage alignment wise.
How are the tires wearing?

Dianna
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:13 PM
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easiest way to check alignment is with 2 straight boards (or angle iron) long enough to extend past the front tire, on each side of the back wheel as snug as possible to the tire. I generally clamp the boards to the back tire as square and straight as I can. and measure in from the board to the front rim on each side.
Your front wheel/tire should be centered between the boards.

This will tell you if everything is straight, or if not straight, it will help determine why. If neccessary, you can hand a plumb bob off any center point and check your centerline from front to rear

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