Aligning the chain... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Aligning the chain...

For a long time, whenever someone mentioned getting an alignment-tool and doing a chain alignment, I kind of chuckled to myself, then went on to read another topic, AFTER ALL - MY ORIGINAL chain has OVER 40,000 miles on it, on a diet of WD40, proof that I'd 'got-it-right' when I had "eyeball-aligned-it" shortly after I got it back in '08.

Well, a few days ago on a ride, I stopped at Cycle Gear in Tucson and wandered around seeing if there was anything NEW. The "Motion Pro" chain alignment tool caught my eye (yes - I KNOW that a bunch of you have posted about it, giving it high marks!), so - what the hell - I bought it.

Got home, put it onto the bench and forgot about it, then, seeing it later, decided to give it a "run"....

Picture 1 shows how close my "eyeball-aligned-it" had gotten. Looks CLOSE, doesn't it?
Picture 2 shows it AFTER alignment (), when it FINALLY IS ALIGNED!
Pictures 3 and 4 show my axle-alignment "hash-marks" AFTER alignment.

Now for the "don't-try-this-at-home-kiddies" disclaimer:
...several times today during a 200 mile ride, when there were NO vehicles near me (I was on a 'closed-course' of course ...) I tried removing my hands from the grips....

Previously when I'd done that, I had some SMALL difficulty keeping BIG RED from going into a gentle 'bank', using "body-English" to keep it tracking straight.

Today it stayed PERFECTLY upright without any added inputs from my knees, or me...!

For those who haven't done it - beg, borrow, or steal (No - NOT really...) an alignment tool and check YOUR chain! (A little bit goes a long way....)
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File Type: jpg DSC09504.jpg (77.5 KB, 293 views)
File Type: jpg DSC09505.jpg (74.6 KB, 279 views)

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 11:10 PM
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Before i got the Motion-Pro alignment tool the only time i adjusted the chain i didn't trust the alignment marks on the swingarm. I took a tape measure and made sure each side was the same distance. When i got the tool and checked my work it was spot on but having the tool made it fast and simple.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 11:58 PM
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for sharing with the picture.

Very Informative and useful on chain care.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 04:16 AM
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When I align my chain I put a string line along the front and rear wheels and get the rear wheel aligned to the string. Aligning the chain in my opinion does not guarantee an accurate wheel alignment. Surely it's the wheel alignment that govern's if the bike runs true with hands off.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:21 AM
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Pure Motion Pro Bro!!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:37 AM
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My chain is in alignment (with the motion-pro tool) and it leans to the left if I take my hands off of the grips.

My bike is one of those where the hash marks actually match up when the chain is in alignment. I've never tested to see if the tires are actually in alignment.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwitourer View Post
When I align my chain I put a string line along the front and rear wheels and get the rear wheel aligned to the string. Aligning the chain in my opinion does not guarantee an accurate wheel alignment. Surely it's the wheel alignment that govern's if the bike runs true with hands off.
I tried doing that once but the problem was that my front wheel wasn't in alignment!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:50 AM
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It's one of the first non-farkle item I purchased after buying my V. Before I had a shaft drive ST1100. I too am a believer in this nice little tool.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 10:41 AM
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I think I might get one of those now. Your chain looks pretty dang good (I know, wd-40)!

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tig View Post
...Your chain looks pretty dang good (I know, wd-40)!
This is "anecdotal" - when I finish squirting the WD40 onto my chain (the bike's on a T-Rex stand) I spin it with my foot against the tire, and it spins much more freely than other bikes I've 'spun'. Then I wipe the excess off the chain and tire. I BELIEVE that my gas mileage MIGHT be a bit better due to how easily the rear wheel spins on its WD40 'diet'...!

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I BELIEVE that my gas mileage MIGHT be a bit better due to how easily the rear wheel spins on its WD40 'diet'...!

Be Careful not to inhale to much of the WD-40 Fumes...

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 03:57 PM
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Not having to worry about chain alignment is one of the things I appreciate about my old Speed Triple's single-sided swingarm.





Yeah, I know, that comment was utterly irrelevant to the Kawasaki Versys, Motion Pro tools, and the conversation in general.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Be Careful not to inhale to much of the WD-40 Fumes...
huh ... wadid he say...?

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post

Picture 1 shows how close my "eyeball-aligned-it" had gotten. Looks CLOSE, doesn't it?
Picture 2 shows it AFTER alignment (), when it FINALLY IS ALIGNED!
Pictures 3 and 4 show my axle-alignment "hash-marks" AFTER alignment.
Can someone help me here. I am really not seeing much if any of a difference.. what should I be looking at/for?

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 05:21 PM
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Can someone help me here. I am really not seeing much if any of a difference.. what should I be looking at/for?


First photo. The metal rod is right at the inner side of the link at the point where the rod and blue holder start The far end of the rod is pointing more toward the middle of the chain.

Second Photo. The whole length of the rod is lined up with the inner side of the link.

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 05:56 PM
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I would like to know what Keith Fenner thinks of this method. A link for the curious: http://turnwrightmachineworks.com/blog/

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 06:06 AM
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Cool Tool.
I have my own way. Run the bike in about 2nd gear on the rear stand.

Chain should run back and forth on the rear sprocket. IF it wanders to both sides, its in alignment. This works on all chain drives. I learned this on snowmobiles. When the track runs on only one side, its not adjusted properly. Its the same for chain.

One possible fault, my new rear sprocket is not exactly true. The tool or my method could be off a little.

For 30 years all I rode were shaft drive bikes. This is a relearning thing for me.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 12:53 PM
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Is it just me, or does that seem like a lot of chain-fling on the rear-wheel? I mean, for a bike that gets wd-40 and a wipe-down.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Is it just me, or does that seem like a lot of chain-fling on the rear-wheel? I mean, for a bike that gets wd-40 and a wipe-down.
One day I'll post a picture of my rear wheel the day after I WD40 the chain, and gone on a longish ride. (Just added TWO...!)

DEFINITELY my rear wheel will NOT rust...!
(And - yes - I KNOW it's made of aluminum.)

I would prefer it to be pristine and lovely, but the chain being CLEAN and LUBED is the BIGGIE, so a 'dirty' wheel is collateral damage....
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