wheel alignment

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May 6, 2006
While riding my 850, If I take my hands off the bars it will drift left. Do I want to adjust my right adjuster rearward or the left one? Also, I can't use the old string method when aligning my wheels because the string hits my center stand, any suggestions?
Yes strap it between two walls with hold down straps.Strap to the handle bars. Use a plumb bob on the front rim to get it setting level. Now use the same bob to check if the swing arms bent the rear wheel is often found out of plumb with the front because the swing arm gets bent down on the chain side. If you have ever seen a horse shoed you will remember the faireer having tied the horse in this manner. Kind of funny you must do the same to check the feet on your bike aye. Old 8 foot light bulbs make good straight edges for this. Before you bother getting it straight be sure the swing arm is not bent many are. The plumb bob is only as good as your eye. Take your time hold the string tight against the top of the rim let it fall till the point is just above the bottom of the rim you will need a partner to make adjustments quickly. You don't need to be in the center of the wheel so the axle woun't be in your way. Happy shoeing

I’ve noticed Commando swingarms that were bent down on the chain side – sometimes dramatically so. I’ve often wondered what in the world could cause the seemingly beefy swingarm to bend so much. Do you know what causes this phenomenon?

Remember: you can’t win, you can’t break even, but you can’t quit!

Wheel alignmaent

It is possible that the front steering triple clamps are distorted. I have had this exact same symptom on my 850. When riding hands-on you did not notice anything wrong until, out of bravery or madness, you released grip of the handlebars. The bike would consistently veer strongly to the left.
I noticed that with the lower steering stem nut untabbed and loose so that the lower yolk could move on the steering shaft, I seemed to get a preferrence for the forks to sit pointing slightly to the left with bars straight ahead. It was difficult to measure but enough to make me invest in new yolks.
If a bike gets dropped on its right side whilst in motion, the steering stop restricts the lower yolk from turning but the leverage on the handlebars is great enough the force the top yolk to twist relative to the bottom yolk. The net result is that both top and bottom yolks twist slightly, levered by fork stanchions, and then hold the fork legs in a slightly turned attitude. With the yolks removed it is possible, using a flat surface, to confirm that some movement has taken place.
With new yolks in place my forks bolted up and aligned themselves and the bike now steers dead straight with hands off. I opted for standard original Norton steel yolks, although they do need a fair bit of fettling to remove the paint masking bits inside the tapers and stanchion holes.
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