For as long as I've owned bikes I've aligned my rear wheel using the marks on the swingarm. The other day on this site, I read someone write that the marks are often off. So I checked and boy are they! Once I aligned my wheel correctly, I saw that the marks on my bike are at least a millimeter off - that's a lot for such a crucial measurement.
My advice - paint over, scratch off, or somehow get rid of those marks. They'll make you think you're doing it right while they set your wheel up all wrong.
So let's share techniques for aligning the wheel and chain. I found a great site that shows what looks like a very accurate method using a string. http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ho...els/index.html
That's what I used.
On a different thread biz2dwl wrote:
"I take a straight edge, about a foot long, and put it against the face of the sprocket extending towards the front of the bike. I want the right edge of the straightedge to be aligned with the inside edge of the left side of the chain. In otherwords, right where the sprocket would be if it extended that far. The straight edge is simply an extension of the sprocket, so line it up accordingly. Will the chain and wheel always be in alignment? Probably not, but if I had to choose one, I'd like it to be the chain."
A nice simple method.
I also tried this technique and it lined right up with the alignment I did with the string.
So what do you folks use?