Chain Alignment Part Deux - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Chain Alignment Part Deux

I posted a question yesterday about a discrepancy between the alignment marks on the swingarm and true alignment as well as my inability to get my adjusters to work independently of each other. Here's a video done by a gentleman w/ a very similar markings mismatch, but seems to be able to adjust each side to get proper alignment. I watched several of his videos & enjoy them a lot (does a whole series on the Versys). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0qwoTKLbd4

Would still appreciate any thoughts on how I can get my adjusters to work independently of each other. When I adjust one side a certain amount, the other side is moving the same distance???

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 01:07 PM
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When you turn left adjuster, the right side shimmies away from the adjuster as well?


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 02:18 PM
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Get your chain/wheel aligned with chain too slack. Tighten the axle bolt snug but loose enough to move axle with adjusters. Adjust the adjusters one flat at a time, same amount on each side, until you get the chain slack that you want.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yes.........I've owned dozens of bikes & never experienced anything like this before. It would be great if things were in alignment.

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When you turn left adjuster, the right side shimmies away from the adjuster as well?

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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That's exactly what I did - three times & it still moved both sides. Once things warm up - I'll try it again w/ the axle nut even tighter & see if that doesn't work. It's really noticeable w/ the alignment tool in place when you turn flats & nothing happens. Thanks for your response - I'll report back after going tighter yet.

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Get your chain/wheel aligned with chain too slack. Tighten the axle bolt snug but loose enough to move axle with adjusters. Adjust the adjusters one flat at a time, same amount on each side, until you get the chain slack that you want.

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 04:25 PM
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I always kick the tire forward with the axle nut just snug enough, to positively set the axle forward on the adjusters. It won't go uphill in the swingarm slots on its own... Mine needs to be half the distance between two marks ahead on the right to be properly aligned.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, but that's what I did all (3) times. Actually, I loosened things up a lot, pulled down on the chain & it slid both sides forward before snugging things down prior to the adjustment. I don't think it would make any difference, but I am doing this w/ the bike on a swingarm stand & the tire off the ground. I know it likely makes the chain adjustment a little looser than spec, but can't imagine it would have an effect on the both sides moving at the same time deal.

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I always kick the tire forward with the axle nut just snug enough, to positively set the axle forward on the adjusters. It won't go uphill in the swingarm slots on its own... Mine needs to be half the distance between two marks ahead on the right to be properly aligned.

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 06:29 PM
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That's weird... You bought it used, and never removed the rear wheel or axle? All spacers and rear caliper appear to be in place? Can you take photos?
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Brand new left-over 2015 w/ one mile. Chain was tight as a drum from factory or dealer & why I adjusted it. I've had the Motion Pro alignment gauge for a while & thought I'd try it out. Nothing really to photograph.

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That's weird... You bought it used, and never removed the rear wheel or axle? All spacers and rear caliper appear to be in place? Can you take photos?

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 09:28 PM
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Someone else had a similar problem because his rear brake caliper was out of place... That's why I'd like to see if I can spot something off with yours.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, okay - I'll try to take some photos. With everything assembled, what should I be shooting?

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Someone else had a similar problem because his rear brake caliper was out of place... That's why I'd like to see if I can spot something off with yours.

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 11:19 PM
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Try to get the rear axle area from both sides and the back at different angles, showing the caliper mounts, axle spacers, etc...
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 02:16 AM
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I also had a problem with chain alignment marks on the swing arm. My issue was that mis-alignment of the chain was affecting handling. I used a laser alignment tool to get proper alignment.

However, when I adjusted both sides, they remained where I put them. That is, I did not have the issue being discussed here.

But, this discussion, and my experience, indicates that you can't trust the alignment marks on the '15 V.

I have no suggestions on how to fix the issue being discussed here.

BruceC
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman77 View Post
Thanks, but that's what I did all (3) times. Actually, I loosened things up a lot, pulled down on the chain & it slid both sides forward before snugging things down prior to the adjustment. I don't think it would make any difference, but I am doing this w/ the bike on a swingarm stand & the tire off the ground. I know it likely makes the chain adjustment a little looser than spec, but can't imagine it would have an effect on the both sides moving at the same time deal.
Kick the tire forward after the adjustment, but before you tighten the axle. That should put both adjusters solidly against the axle. If what you describe is happening and both sides are moving simultaneously - the side of the axle you are not adjusting must not be contacting the adjuster. Kicking the tire forward should cure that.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Streak View Post
Kick the tire forward after the adjustment, but before you tighten the axle. That should put both adjusters solidly against the axle. If what you describe is happening and both sides are moving simultaneously - the side of the axle you are not adjusting must not be contacting the adjuster. Kicking the tire forward should cure that.
Instead of kicking the tire forward I stick an old wooden handle from a hammer over the bottom run of the chain, rotate the wheel forward and the handle will jam in the sprocket, which pulls the wheel forward. Need to have the bike on a paddock stand, of course, for that to work.
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Bruce......Thanks for weighing in. I'm not sure of the model year in the video that I posted originally, but it appears marks being off close to one full mark isn't new. Granted, as the gentleman mentioned in the video, manufacturing tolerances when added up (plus & minus), things can & likely will be out of whack. But for both his & mine to be off essentially the same makes you wonder. Before buying the alignment tool, I usually checked my alignment by using a centerstand or a lift so I could rotate the wheel & see if the chain ran centered on the rear sprocket. That's something I'll do if it ever warms up again & I try getting things right & taking photos.

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I also had a problem with chain alignment marks on the swing arm. My issue was that mis-alignment of the chain was affecting handling. I used a laser alignment tool to get proper alignment.

However, when I adjusted both sides, they remained where I put them. That is, I did not have the issue being discussed here.

But, this discussion, and my experience, indicates that you can't trust the alignment marks on the '15 V.

I have no suggestions on how to fix the issue being discussed here.

BruceC

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
I always kick the tire forward with the axle nut just snug enough, to positively set the axle forward on the adjusters. It won't go uphill in the swingarm slots on its own... Mine needs to be half the distance between two marks ahead on the right to be properly aligned.
I stick a screwdriver thru, between the chain and the rear sprocket, than turn the wheel till the chain goes tight. THAT way your adjusters will be 'bottomed'. Then (of course) I remove the screwdriver....

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...But, this discussion, and my experience, indicates that you can't trust the alignment marks on the '15 V....
Bruce - you CAN'T (or SHOULDN'T...) trust the swingarm alignment marks on ANY bike, that I'm aware of.

Ed
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 06:03 PM
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Make sure you push rear wheel forward against alignment bolts before checking alignment. Because of pre existing chain tension rear wheel will want to point to the right and chain will slack off, unless you do this. Chain tension should be 3.5cm, with wheel aligned, according to manual. Alignment adjustments will effect chain tension.

It is an iterative process, set tension, adjust alignment, recheck tension and adjust if necessary, repeat, each time you get closer.


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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Will do, but it may be a day or two before I get around to it. Thanks!


Quote:
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Try to get the rear axle area from both sides and the back at different angles, showing the caliper mounts, axle spacers, etc...

...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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The problem I'm running into, and I've been doing this for over 45 years, when I adjust the one side - the other side moves the same amount. Granted, up until the past few years, the adjusters have been cap screws on pulling tension rather than cap screws pushing rearward for tension, but I've never had both sides move the same amount at the same time - there's always been a difference that could be maintained. In any event, I appreciate your suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Make sure you push rear wheel forward against alignment bolts before checking alignment. Because of pre existing chain tension rear wheel will want to point to the right and chain will slack off, unless you do this. Chain tension should be 3.5cm, with wheel aligned, according to manual. Alignment adjustments will effect chain tension.

It is an iterative process, set tension, adjust alignment, recheck tension and adjust if necessary, repeat, each time you get closer.


...I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days...and nights for that matter...and it is one of my finest addictions...
--- Hunter S. Thompson 1995 ---


2017 Triumph Street Scrambler, 2012 Triumph Thruxton, 2003 Ducati M800Sie, 2001 BMW R1100R-L, 1999 Kawasaki KLR650, 1996 Harley XLH Sportster S, 1972 Yamaha XS-2
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