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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Swing arm alignment

Does your bike want to turn or lean, if you let go of the handlebars? You may need to align the swing arm.

My bike would always want to turn to the left, when I let go of the handlebars. I checked everything, air/oil in the forks and rear shocks, air in the tires, front brake disc's, I thought maybe the frame was tweaked.

Then in my Kawasaki Service Manual (page 230-231) of the download version that shows how to align the swing arm.
I dug around and found a scrap piece of metal that was 2.5mm thick and made U shaped shim. I went through the procedure. My swing arm was off, not much mind you, maybe .5mm. Locked it down at the proper clearance. What a difference, the bike tracks strait now.
You wouldn't think being off that little bit would make the bike act the way it did. All seams well now.

Glenn

1985 VN700
Saddle Bags
Small Sport Windshield
R/R moved
Home built coasters
Kaw touring front fender
1990 Fuel tank
Kenda Kruz 110/90-19 & 170/80-15 tires
NGK Iridium plugs
NGK plug caps and 7mm copper core wires.
Deer Whistles

My VN700 pic's

VROC #7740

Last edited by Glenn M; 07-28-2008 at 02:12 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 01:58 PM
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Good info Glenn, thanks.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 03:14 PM
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Now I need to go check mine, Thanks!!

87 vn750at least that is what the frame #'s say
"Squirrel Bike" aka Jersey

Rat bike with a good PR agent

shaved and coastered
2 into 1 exhaust
rear 170 and front 110
Relocated R/R
custom dash with voltmeter
Spitfire windscreen
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More to come
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When someone tells me "Great minds think alike" all I can think is "You Pervert"
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for the info Glenn! When I reinstalled the rear end after I refinished the swingarm, I went out and picked up a couple of 2.5mm valve shims like the manual suggested, and went through the whole alignment process. I am very happy to hear that it was time well spent!! I'm glad you got her running straight!

Chris
Wayne, NJ
1989 VN750-A5
VROC #27781
-Replaced/Fused Stator & Replaced/Relocated R/R (15K mi.)
-MF Battery
-De-Goated/Re-goated
-Coastered
-Splines Lubed
-Stebel Nautilus Horn
-AutoMeter 2" VOM
-Silverstar Headlight
-Refinished Gauge Rings and Mirrors(Flat Black)
-Refinished Swingarm/Lubed Pivots
-K&S Turn Signals Clear Cover/Amber Bulb
-Kenda Kruz 110/90-19 front 170/80-15 rear
-Clear Alternatives LED tail light
-Plexifairing III
-Willie & Max Saddlebags and SissyBar Bag
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 08:40 PM
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Oh Man, you are such a Stud!! I have been looking for the cause of EXACTLY those symptoms for a year and that's the one thing I haven't tried.

Any idea what caused yours to start tracking off-center? I dropped mine on the right side very gently (if that's possible) in a low-side slideout and it started pulling to the left.

I will check my alignment this weekend.

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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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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I know my bike was dropped on the right side, before I bought it. No big crash or slide, just layed over. So I don't know if that did it or it was just not done right at the factory or maybe someone greased the swing arm and just threw the adjusters back in. I don't know.

Glenn

1985 VN700
Saddle Bags
Small Sport Windshield
R/R moved
Home built coasters
Kaw touring front fender
1990 Fuel tank
Kenda Kruz 110/90-19 & 170/80-15 tires
NGK Iridium plugs
NGK plug caps and 7mm copper core wires.
Deer Whistles

My VN700 pic's

VROC #7740
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 08:37 PM
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When you say it turned left when you let go of the handlebars, did it require that you constantly push forward on the right handgrip to keep it tracking straight?

Which direction was your swingarm pivot 0.5mm out? Too much clearance between the frame gusset and the swingarm or too little?

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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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrelc5 View Post
When you say it turned left when you let go of the handlebars, did it require that you constantly push forward on the right handgrip to keep it tracking straight?

Which direction was your swingarm pivot 0.5mm out? Too much clearance between the frame gusset and the swingarm or too little?
Push on the right handle bar or pull on the left, which ever to keep it strait. When you let go of both, the bike would turn left and I mean left. I could not keep it going strait by leaning, if you plopped your right ham off the seat and throw most of your weight to the right side, maybe.
The gap was too wide.
I'm not sure it was exactly .5mm maybe a little more but it wasn't much at all.
I did notice, this syndrome changed, depending on whether you were accelerating or decelerating. Must have something to do with the torque of the driveshaft/rearend.

Glenn

1985 VN700
Saddle Bags
Small Sport Windshield
R/R moved
Home built coasters
Kaw touring front fender
1990 Fuel tank
Kenda Kruz 110/90-19 & 170/80-15 tires
NGK Iridium plugs
NGK plug caps and 7mm copper core wires.
Deer Whistles

My VN700 pic's

VROC #7740
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 10:05 AM
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Damn, that is EXACTLY how my bike reacts - including the change in pull on accel and decel and barely being able to counteract the pull by leaning heavily to the right.

I did a quickie check of the left side spacing of my swingarm yesterday and it is definately over 3 mm. I'm off of work tomorrow and will make the adjustment and test the tracking. I'm pretty hopeful because, like I said above, I've been looking for the cause of this problem for quite a while and nothing else has helped.

Thanks for the great detail in your description.

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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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Darrel
I tried the eyeball thing at first, adjust a little test ride, adjust test ride, I did this many times. I couldn't get it right.
Then I went around my shop and scrap pile with a digital caliper checking everything. I finally found a hunk of metal 2.5mm thick. 2.5 must be the magic number, because once it was set at that spec, all was well.
My advise would be, find something 2.5mm thick before you start. ChrisC went with a pair of 2.5mm valve shims.
Once you get it set, don't forget to put some RTV on the caps before you push them back on, trust me, they will fall off, if you don't
.

Glenn

1985 VN700
Saddle Bags
Small Sport Windshield
R/R moved
Home built coasters
Kaw touring front fender
1990 Fuel tank
Kenda Kruz 110/90-19 & 170/80-15 tires
NGK Iridium plugs
NGK plug caps and 7mm copper core wires.
Deer Whistles

My VN700 pic's

VROC #7740
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