Properly aligned wheels will extend the life of a motorcycle’s tires.
Maintaining proper wheel alignment is crucial to the overall performance of any motorcycle, new or old. Misaligned wheels obviously affect tires and can also cause undue stress on shocks and springs. Regular use subjects a motorcycle to wear and tear due to uneven road surfaces and weight distribution, potholes, or improperly inflated tires. To keep the bike in optimal condition, check the wheel alignment at least once a year as good preventive maintenance. Complete this project at home without the need for expensive diagnostic tools, lasers or the help of a professional mechanic.
1. Set the rear wheel on a stand or blocks on a level surface, ensuring the bike is secure. Have a friend adjust the front end so it’s straight.
2. Find the center point of a 10- to 14-foot length of string or fishing line and secure it to the center point of the rear tire tread using duct tape. Adjust the string to ensure it will reach the front tire while clearing any obstacles on either side while running parallel to the ground.
3. Bring both ends of the string to the front of the bike, one along either side. Kneel or crouch down directly in front of the front tire and pull the strings taut, holding them several inches out from the front wheel.
4. Move the strings inward toward the front tire and have a friend adjust and hold the front wheel as straight as possible. Check the distance between each string and the outer edge of the front tire, using a tape measure for accuracy if desired. The wheels are properly aligned if the distance is equal on both sides.