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Discussion Starter #1
I might be a bit paranoid, but I swear my handlebars are just a tad crooked when riding straight on the road. I haven't done anything recently to knock it out of whack (though I did let my little brother ride it and I don't think he'd own up to dropping it :p). Bike is a 2013 with 9k miles on it.

It handles fine and has no wobble or drifting. Is there something I'm needing to adjust to straighten out the steering by a millimeter or two?
 

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It could be the rear that's out. If you adjusted the chain and didn't get it aligned right the bike will "Crab" making the handlebars off.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Time...I think you nailed it. I did adjust my chain tension recently and was a bit unsure if I got the wheel centered back up perfectly. Didn't realize it would manifest up front but it makes sense.
 

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Oh yeah every time.

Don't depend on the marks on the swingarm to get things lined up right. I have a Motion Pro gauge I use now but I have used cord before . Pull the tow frame covers off the left and right side that cover the swingarm bolt and measure from the center of the bolt the the center of the rear axle.

Here's the tool I have it makes things faster and easier. I think I gave about $20.00 for it. It clamps to the rear sprocket and you simply sight down the chain and adjust until there are parallel.

 

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Oh yeah every time.

Don't depend on the marks on the swingarm to get things lined up right. I have a Motion Pro gauge I use now but I have used cord before . Pull the tow frame covers off the left and right side that cover the swingarm bolt and measure from the center of the bolt the the center of the rear axle.

Here's the tool I have it makes things faster and easier. I think I gave about $20.00 for it. It clamps to the rear sprocket and you simply sight down the chain and adjust until there are parallel.

if you find out were you got that post it up, ive seen them befor but could never find them and really want one
 

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Yep, great tool. No guessing.
 

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Some people align the rear wheel with the front when they adjust the chain. I just align the chain. On the Versys it always works for me. Sometimes people find aligning the chain leaves the rear wheel misaligned with the front (don't know if this ever happens on a Versys).

I use a Profi SE CAT, a relatively inexpensive laser alignment tool.
http://www.2wheelpartssupply.com/dot-laser-chain-and-belt-alignment-tool.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_campaign=paid_search_google_pla&scid=scplp469624&gclid=CN_thPXmxsACFUJqfgod0gwAKA
 

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Some people align the rear wheel with the front when they adjust the chain. I just align the chain. On the Versys it always works for me. Sometimes people find aligning the chain leaves the rear wheel misaligned with the front (don't know if this ever happens on a Versys).

I use a Profi SE CAT, a relatively inexpensive laser alignment tool.
http://www.2wheelpartssupply.com/dot-laser-chain-and-belt-alignment-tool.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_campaign=paid_search_google_pla&scid=scplp469624&gclid=CN_thPXmxsACFUJqfgod0gwAKA
+1

I used this to align my new chain when I put my new sprockets on.
with the front sprocket cover off you can align nearly all the way to the front sprocket for best alignment.
 

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Don't discount the fact that your handlebars may not be straight. The dirt bike trick to straighten them is to put the wheel against a tree, have a helper steady the wheel with his boot, and give the bar a good shove in the direction that it needs to go. You could also use a garage door frame or other wood structure that won't scratch the wheel.

Check your wheel alignment first, of course.
 

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Your forks might bet a little crooked. The factory isn't very picky. I always check for alignment and rear wheel alignment on every bike I get. The forks on my '12 were close but not spot on from the factory. You can check fork alignment with a surface plate. A field expedient surface plate can be made from a piece of thick plate glass. The local glass shop will make you one or give you one from a piece of scrap. It need to be about 4 inches wide and long enough to reach across the fork tubes and maybe 3/8" thick. Lay it across the fork tubes where it is machined. If the plate rocks a little the forks are out of alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ya'll are priceless. The only thing better than the support and community I've found on here is the actual Versys itself. Back tire is aligned and the handlebars are straight as an arrow again. Thanks!
 

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Some people align the rear wheel with the front when they adjust the chain. I just align the chain. On the Versys it always works for me. Sometimes people find aligning the chain leaves the rear wheel misaligned with the front (don't know if this ever happens on a Versys).

I use a Profi SE CAT, a relatively inexpensive laser alignment tool.
http://www.2wheelpartssupply.com/dot-laser-chain-and-belt-alignment-tool.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_campaign=paid_search_google_pla&scid=scplp469624&gclid=CN_thPXmxsACFUJqfgod0gwAKA
yep align the chain its not that hard unless your are blind i guess,
 

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yep align the chain its not that hard unless your are blind i guess,
These tools align the chain from the side of the rear sprocket... ie sprocket and chain point in same direction ergo it points to front sprocket and is aligned.

how do you do it by just looking?
the chain is wider than the sprocket so you cannot sight down the side of the sprocket from the rear.
 

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if you find out were you got that post it up, ive seen them befor but could never find them and really want one
Cycle Gear sells that Motion Pro tool, too.
 

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Do you want the chain perfectly aligned or the wheels? I go for the wheels.
Fair enough.

Chain is easier, and could result in better chain life. If after aligning the chain you find evidence the wheel isn't aligned properly it's time to look further.

But if the simple step of aligning the chain has everything working OK, why do more?
 

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It is simpler for me to align with the front wheel and requires no special tools. If the rear wheel is aligned with the front wheel the sprockets should be aligned as well unless the frame is bent.
 

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Another way to do it is use a large Beam Compass and to measure between the rear wheel axle and the swingarm pivot axle. I use this, got it a Sears and a dowel at the hardware store. You need to remove the swingarm pivot covers on each side to use it and I center punched a small point on the axle and swingarm bolts to be easier to line up. This aligns the wheel and Hopefully the chain as well.

 
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