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crackjacker

Front wheel alignment - tool or eyeball?

9 posts in this topic

2007 WR450 - 3rd gear, step up on a trail i've been on 10 times or more, didn't quite clear the front tire. I don't know what's more messed up, my bike, or me. :thumbsup: Anyway, after it's all said and done, my bars, clamps, fender are pointing one way, my tire another. I've loosened the lower clamps and upper nut and have straightened my tire out for the most part, but I want to be a bit more accurate than eyeballing it. Any suggestions for getting a wheel aligned nice and tight to the direction of the bars?

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You could remove the forks and loosen the top triple clamp and then reassemble it all according to the manual and it should line up straight as long as nothing is bent. It shouldn't take very long and the manual is quite thorough. I believe the nut on the top triple clamp is a 32 or 35mm.

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I don't know how bad you have gotten yours out of line, but I usually pull my front tire up next to a tree and whack it against it a few times to get it eyeballed back in line. Probaly not the best method, but it beats having to put up with the misalignment for the rest of the day or heading back to the house

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i stick the front tire between someone legs and twist the bars. and the best way to tell if there straight is to ride it, if there not straight, try again.

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.

Yeah, I've always done it by eye at the track too.

Up against something stationary .... tree, rock, fence post, car tyre, whatever.

Greg

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If you're out on the trail, I agree with the rest of the posts. That works to get you riding again. But it sounds like you're looking to make the alignment perfect since you are now at home.

After having wrecked my bike a few times street racing (a sordid past), I learned the quickest, best way to align forks perfectly. The key to it is having two pieces of rod or tube about 2 feet long. That's just an approximate, the longer the better. But 1.5 feet would be the minimum. THEY MUST BE AS STRAIGHT AS YOU CAN GET!!

lay the rods across the forks, one of them as high up the fork tubes as possible, the other one as low as possible. The big deal here is to make sure they are resting on a machined surface like the chrome of the sliders and the machined part of the fat upper (upside down forks) parts. Stand over the bike looking down the fork tubes and looking for the ends of the tubes to line up. If they don't line up, loosen either triple clamp, put the front wheel between your legs and tweek. It usually take two or three shots at it until the tubes/rods line up perfectly.

Once everything is in alignment, tighten the triple clamp and recheck the alignment. Sometimes if the triple clamp gets severly bent it will try to move the forks back out of alignment.

BTW, if the tubes/rods don't want to stay in contact with the forks, like wanting to roll down the fender or whatever, you can attach them to the forks with a couple of rubber bands.

On the WR, I have been able to stuff the upper one behind the number plate just above the headlight. My rods are only about 1/2 inch diameter. The lower ones I usually just put on top of the front tire and secure with rubber bands.

HTH

trailhead

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