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Tightening chain (wheel alignment)

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as easy as it may seem, I have a question. While tightening chain, you must must also align the wheel to be straight.

I found this vid that transworld just posted. http://motocross.transworld.net/1000092076/features/how-to-presented-by-bikebanditcom-chain-maintenance/

And I noticed that he measured the axle block to the swing arm.

Please correct me if im wrong, because I don't know how the manufacture tools up the swing arm for welding, but from my experience, non of my bikes' swing arm has been accurately symetrical.

To illustrate, I had an 07 YZ450, and when i aligned the axle blocks to the tick marks, my chain wore ridiculously fast. Out of suspicion I measured for straightness (measured from axle to front swing arm bolt, and used a straight edge to eyeball the alignment of the rear sprocket) and one side was over .150" longer than the other side.

I know the best way to align the wheel is to measure dead center of teh front swing arm pivot bolt, to the center of the rear axle on both ends. They sell tools for that, but its pricey. (geared mostley for street bikes where alignment is a bigger deal)

they also sell chain alignment tools for $20(ebay)-$25 that lets you eyeball the alignment.

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/2/9/205/4876/ITEM/Motion-Pro-Chain-Alignment-Tool.aspx

Does anyone know the best way? or how the manufacturer tool the swing arm for accuracy? Maybe that YZ happened to be a fluke?

I think i'll invest $20 bux for the eyeballing alignment tool for a piece of mind.

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The only really accurate way of aligning the rear wheel is to physically align the front wheel to the rear wheel and vice versa. This can be done visually or with the aid of two strings.

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It depends on the size of the chain. If it is a S-450xb chain you need to use a 5mm wrech soket tool. And a five stroke nozzle.

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as easy as it may seem, I have a question. While tightening chain, you must must also align the wheel to be straight.

I found this vid that transworld just posted. http://motocross.transworld.net/1000092076/features/how-to-presented-by-bikebanditcom-chain-maintenance/

And I noticed that he measured the axle block to the swing arm.

Please correct me if im wrong, because I don't know how the manufacture tools up the swing arm for welding, but from my experience, non of my bikes' swing arm has been accurately symetrical.

swing arm pivot bolt, to the center of the rear axle on both ends. They sell tools for that, but its pricey. (geared mostley for street bikes where alignment is a bigger deal)

they also sell chain alignment tools for $20(ebay)-$25 that lets you eyeball the alignment.

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/2/9/205/4876/ITEM/Motion-Pro-Chain-Alignment-Tool.aspx

Does anyone know the best way? or how the manufacturer tool the swing arm for accuracy? Maybe that YZ happened to be a fluke?

I think i'll invest $20 bux for the eyeballing alignment tool for a piece of mind.

You're absolutely correct that it's common for a swing arm to not be perfectly symmetrical. What I do is set it up properly, swing arm bolt to axle and measure the error, if any. If there's a difference - and my bike HAS a difference - I write the amount of error on the swing arm with a fine point permanent marker. Next time I adjust the chain, I know that this side, for example, measures + .150 and I set it with a calipers with the depth gauge rod. Works great!

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I've never had a problem just using a ruler to measure according to the swingarm... Never noticed anything at 150mph.. Or on 1 wheel at 80mph... So I doubt it would be MUCH of a issue on a dirt bike :banana: But maybe the honda's I work on were built more accurately? Also went 24k miles on my stock chain, and have 16k on my current chain which still looks new!

that's my 2 cents lol

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There are indeed several possible problems that can arise from having the rear wheel misaligned. In the "as built" condition, both wheels should be centered on the same vertical plane as the steering axis, and the rear sprocket should point straight at the front. If you can assume that the frame is straight, and was made right to begin with, the wheels are properly laced on center, etc., you can align the rear wheel with everything else by aligning the two sprockets. Try this method, then when finished, make a note of any variation in the OEM markings and either correct them, or compensate on any future adjustment of the chain:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=548940

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I just stick a large screw driver on the sprocket and revolve it back to TDC and that will always align the wheel to the front sprocket. I have already put the chain tension block bolts in the correct position.

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