Motorcycle Club » The Roadliner/Stratoliners Road

Rear wheel alignment

9 posts from 4 voices
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  1. rltovnz1

    Had a new tire put on the stratoliner about a week and a half ago and have since returned to the dealer twice to get it realigned. The first time it was out of alignment so bad that it was dog leggin' it to the right and was wobbly going down the road....the second time it's pretty close except between 30 and 40mph the bars wobble back and fourth about an inch.....just enough to drive me insane and it never ever did that before. the old saying goes, "if you want something done right you gotta do it yourself".

    My point of this small rambling rant is this: If you have somebody else work on your bike....make sure they aren't crosseyed.

  2. rltovnz1

    The followup:

    I have now taken the time to align the liner on my own. It's not difficult. However, I took the time to disassemble nearly the entire rear end down to the swing arm and tire and give it a good cleaning....the amount of dirt and gunk that gets built up under the fender and between parts you can't get to is amazing. All that road grease and oil and dirt, sand, ect.. The liner must be 10 lbs lighter with all that dirt gone and it has a nice shine to it now.

    As for the nitty gritty of the entire escapade....the liner is now aligned as well as I am going to be able to get it. No more wobble and an arm full of new tools to do it with too, wheeee! As I had said before I took it to the dealer to have a tire mounted and balanced on the bike and not one, not two, but three visits to the shop and they still couldn't seem to get it aligned and on the third time I just said screw it, said "goodbye" to the guy and drove off, wobble and all. Told my wife I'd just do it myself.

    When I took the bags off the stratoliner and noticed where they beat the crap out of my pulley scratched it up all to hell and scratched up my swingarm and it looks like they hammered on the axel nut. Obviously whoever worked on my bike at that shop did not give a crap how his work looked. I am not happy and they will hear about it. There is also some scrapes on the bottom of the frame where it looks like they dropped it on the lift onto the bottom of the frame. It's not a part of the frame that would touch ground no matter how far you lean it and it is recent as I was under the bike just before it went in for the tire to adjust the rear suspension. Did I mention I was very unhappy? Well I was very unhappy about it. I can tell sometime in the near future I am going to be disassembling the bike again to take care of the scratches and paint. I know it's an aluminum frame and rust isn't the issue...but now that I know it's there it bugs the holy living hell out of me. least the bike drives strait now and I don't have any stability issues or handlebar wobble.

    I love my wife. She lets me buy tools when I convince her that it'll be cheaper to get the tools and do it myself. As a man, I must say that motorcycles are one of my greatest passions (wife is #1 though), but collecting tools is a close second and of course video games

    P.S. If you live in the Charleston, SC area I would avoid the Velocity Powersports shop. They have made me some good deals on bikes in the past and have an awsome sales team but their service in the maintenance shop stinks. I will never go back to have my bike worked on there.

  3. wdvinpop

    that don't sound good, be the first to leave a review on there service.

  4. MitWezdSdar

    Hello rltovnz1,

    Know what you mean by "you gotta do it yourself " .
    After recently having a new rear tire installed,
    I had to readjust my alignment also,
    and was wondering what method you used to check alignment?

    I started by using alignment marks on each side,
    (adjusted so both sides were the same) .
    Was informed that the alignment marks aren't always reliable,
    and to measure both sides from the center of the swingarm,
    to the center of the axle. ( Refer to pics)

    A Delphi forum member made a "nice version " of a measurement tool which he sold a few of, (pic 1 )

    Was instructed how to make my own "poor man's tool " , ( thanks V-twinNut )

    which consists of a carpenters circle beam compass (used to draw large circles), (pic 2)
    modified with,
    a longer dowel,
    a carriage bolt,
    found all at Lowe's.

    Using" the poor man's tool" , I did indeed find the marks to be slightly off.

    Thought this might help someone in the future :-)


  5. rltovnz1

    All I had to use were the hash marks on the swingarm and alignment bolts. I just ran a strait edge across the hash marks on the swingarm and eyeballed it. Took a little bit of doing but I got it done. I probably need to tweak it again next weekend just a tiny bit but for the most part it's now 95% dead on. I get about a quarter inch shake in the bars at 30mph but I speed up to 35 and it's gone. I am wondering though how much of the shake may be due to improperly worn front tire? It's 100% better than it was before I adjusted just shook like mad. But when I have more time I'll get it fine tuned. Now that I know exactly how the liner comes apart, each and every piece, It'll be 10x faster for me to do now. And I am gonna defiNadely look into your idea with the compass.

  6. MitWezdSdar

    Noticed a little bit of handlebar vibration myself recently, but it was through the whole power band,
    took it in to a local independent shop, (I'm finished with the local dealer)
    and had the throttle bodies synchronized, plugs changed, to complete my 8000 K checkup.
    Really smoothed it out, and all the connections are still there, so all I need is a Carbtune synchronizer, and the forums, to do it all myself next time.

    Funny how you're only getting a shake around 30 mph, didn't kick a weight off the front wheel, how many miles on the tire?
    My original stones that come with the bike had lots of quirks after 8 K.
    Put a set of Avon cobras on, fantastic handling, will have to see how they wear.

    Good luck with your adjustments, you'll get it,
    and have the satisfaction of doing it yourself :-)

    PS-a pic of my poor mans alignment tool.


  7. Nade

    could my tire be out of alignment? i got new tires last spring and noticed a burning rubber smell at idle and when i would stop. i looked/smelled around and narrowed it down to the back. when i looked closer i saw balls of rubber on my rim like they had dropped off somewhere. i took it to a local mechanic and he said the tire was out of alignment and re-aligned it. i still have burning rubber smell but no balls of rubber..

  8. rltovnz1

    It sounds like your tire is rubbing something and if it is you should see it on the tire itself. Also, do you have your suspension on the rear adjusted properly? I have seen where some after market tires can rub the inside of the fender if the suspension is adjusted to too low of a setting. Look around the back end of your bike and all the plastic and rubber pieces, if you are seeing rubber debris and smell it burning something is defiNadely rubbing somewhere.

    Oh and to give a final update, you can do your own alignment, and I zeroed mine in by using the method discussed above by measuring from the center of the axle to the center of the swingarm pivot. And because the bike had been a slight bit out of alignment from the dealership the front tire had worn just a little more to one side and once the bike was back into proper alignment it caused the handlebar wobble, put a new front tire on and it drives like new.

  9. Nade

    excellent. thanks. i will look. i did look initially at the tire and saw nothing. after i got it aligned again i figured it was cured and saw no rubber balls. i am 300lb's though so maybe it is the suspension. i will adjust it and see if that is a fix. thanks, i never thought of that.


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