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Old 08-22-2006, 08:11 AM   #1
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Name: Peter

Join Date: Jun 2005

Posts: 18
Pulling to the right

Ok.. I dumped my bandit last month (not to bad... but yeah it sucked.. ) I had the bike looked over and new bars put on, they were also supposed to make sure the front end was straight..

Here's my question: after the repair the bike pulls right, I have to slide left on the seat to keep it upright when I remove my hands from the bars. (with just the slightest grip on the bars it's not noticeable) Is it possible the shop misaligned the front? Tweak the rear? what is going on..

~Ride like you want to get home!~
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:24 AM   #2
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Name: Travis

  South Lake Tahoe, CA

  KTM 300XC

Join Date: Oct 2005

Posts: 148
Re: Pulling to the right

Sure, the front could be off.

An easy, sloppy way to get an idea is by using a "string alignment." This is quick and dirty and not meant to give perfect alignment, but it will give you an idea of what's going on before you go further.

Put the bike on stands and center the rear wheel as if you had just adjusted the chain. Wrap a piece of string around the rear tire. Secure one side of the string somewhere in the rear, and pull the other side towards the front. With the string touching the sides of the rear tire, and pulled STRAIGHT forward, you can visualize what's off in the front (of course the rear could also be off!). Depending on your comfort level, you may be able to diagnose and fix the problem yourself.

Or, take it to a better shop, or and get it fixed right.
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Old 08-22-2006, 09:13 AM   #3
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Name: Steve


  Yamaha XJ Mongrel

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Posts: 5,312
Re: Pulling to the right

The same, with pictures
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:12 PM   #4
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Name: David

  Rocklin CA

Join Date: Oct 2005

Posts: 54
Re: Pulling to the right

The "sting thing" will give you an idea of overall wheel alignment. Here's an additional simple method to measure frame alignment, including a surprisingly accurate method of determining whether you bent the frame. Get some welding rods or straight 1/8" music wire in ~ 2' lengths (hobbie stores carry this). Put the bike up on centerstand or better, a rear wheel stand if you have one. Remove the tank, and seat. Put rods through the hollow swingarm shaft, rear wheel shaft and attach it to carefully measured equivalent points on the top of the frame and subframe. If you have a hollow front axle, put one through there as well. You can put them anywhere that you can confidently conclude that they should be orthogonal (i.e., at right angles) to the longitudinal (front to back) axis of the bike. Now, stand back and try to visually align the rods in pairs, from two different viewing planes - vertically from above and horizontally from behind the bike. Measure the right/left distance between pairs of rods using a 3' steel rule. You'll probably immediately see that the rear axle rod doesn't line up in the vertical plane. You can adjust the rear wheel using the right/left measurement between the rear axle and swingarm rods. If the subframe is bent, it won't line up with the swingarm rod. You can identify very small vertical and horizontal bends and twists in the frame, swingarm and front fork assembly using this method, although you can't readily obtain quantitative measurements. I used this very technique to identify a twist in the subframe and then used a biga$$ steel bar levered between the upper subframe rails to carefully bend it back into alignment. Frame shops do basically the same thing. If you suspect a bend in the frame, it's time to get professional advice, since those things are heat-treated after weld assembly and may crack if too much of the wrong force is used to straighten them. Good luck.
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