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Need Help With Aligning My Forks Or Wheel

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by JustCruisin, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. I have been commuting to & from work as well as doing long distance rides with my Honda Shadow VT400 for some time now but I've just recently started to notice that my mirrors are not equally showing visibility behind me & I found out that my bike is slightly out of alignment. I'm not sure whether it's the forks or wheels but If there's anyone that has free time, aligning tools & know-how of motorcycle alignments that can help me find the issue & possibly resolve it, I'll be very grateful & I can come to you. Alternatively, If anyone knows any motorcycle alignment shops near me, please let me know. I live in Rydalmere, 2116.

  2. Unless something is twisted, it should align itself with the fork tubes through the 4 clamps. If it is visibly that noticeable, I suggest something is bent. Has it been dropped? Is it not the bars that are possibly bent? Are the mirrors mounted in identical position on opposing sides? The view in the mirror is not a good measure of whether things are straight or not.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Normally dropping the bike will knock the 4 clamps out of alignment.
    Its probably worth going over the whole bike to see if any bolts have loosened them selves off over time, its not unheard of for things to slip.
  4. Yes I dropped it. I don't really know where to start. I usually learn how to do things myself if I'm taught visually rather than theoretically.
  5. Are you talking about the clamps that are holding the handlebar?
  6. There are easy less exact ways and then there are really expensive high tech ways like Computrack Systems.Thats $500 just for a measure.
    In your case you have either knocked the bars or clamps out of Aline or bent them. Or knocked the triple trees out of square. Might be worth giving Laury Alderton a call at Smithfeild if you dont get an easy response from here, they are really helpful blokes and if its simple might do it while you wait, dont quote me on that.There as old school as you can get. They do all sorts of bike crash repair,wheels frames, so simple stuff is easy for them. 2/10 Long st Smithfield 96092889
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Alignment of wheels on a motorbike is traditionally measured with string, and/or a long straight edge.

    On a cruiser such as yours, with no centre stand, it is a two person job, as someone has to hold the bike up vertically.

    I have both string and a fairly long straight edge.

    Checking the alignment is easy..... fixing it, if it is out, less simple.

    I can't remember if you have my address, so I'll PM you.

    I'll be home this arvo, and probably tomorrow arvo also.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. That will work for the wheel alignment , you might need a couple of 600mm straight same thickness sticks to check forks being square in the trees , or out of wind as us Carpenters say.Hold the sticks against the fork legs, one horizontal as high as possible and the other as low as possible and sight down through them checking for parallel. Loosen the trees and adjust to parallel.I also like to check even distances between center of swingarn pivot and wheel center either side. You can spend a lot of time doing this and getting good chain adjustment.All good fun but tedious. Finding bent bars or bar mounts can be not so simple.You might think its a feel thing but over time you seem to adjust to slightly bent bars.
  9. Aye, Zim, I certainly can't get too carried away with offering to fix any misalignment.

    BTW, I agree that Laury Alderton is The Man for straightening stuff in the Sydney area.

    IIRC the VT400 is a shaft drive, and I have no idea how, or even if it is possible, to adjust the back wheel's alignment.
  10. Unless you have dropped it hard, the chance of the frame being bent is all but nil, and tubes can't twist far (more than a couple of mm) in clamps before they crush stanchion tubes and render them useless.

    I reckon it is far more likely an issue with 1 side of the bars (the side you dropped it on) being bent up slightly. Cruiser bars will bend far more easily than clip-on types.
  11. Why do you think it's out of alignment ?
    how can you tell ?

    It is typical to not see the same amount out of each mirror as it's almost impossible to get each one in the exact same position.
  12. Me & CrazyCam have long since found the issue & he taught me how to determine if my bike's in alignment or not. I can't seem to lock this thread. ADMINISTRATORS!!! Lock please...
  13. what was the issue?
  14. Ok, so to help others can you answer the questions before it's locked.
  15. The risers and the rubber seals between them were the problem which caused my handlebars to not be parallel to the fork frame.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Easy... You should feel much better now and Cams experience saved you a lot of fcuking around.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Dunno if you are still watching this thread, JustCruisin, or, if you have done anything to the bike since leaving my place.

    It occurred to me that if you fairly gently loosen off the riser bolts on the top and nuts on the bottom, you MAY fine the bars come back into line....no guarantees, but it might solve the problem.

    If it does do the trick, you then need to tighten up the nuts and bolts that you loosened off, but you need to do that gently and bit by bit, going round them one by one, not gorillaing the first one, then the next.....
  18. Just for any of you who have a front end out of alignement.
    Pretty sraight forward fix, better than running the bike straight into a wall, we used to align dirt bikes this way when we came off.

    Thanks to Delboy.