Steps to Check Wheel Alignment in a Motorcycle
Wheel alignment is one of the most basic processes that needs to be done to maintain a motorcycle or any vehicle. This process essentially means adjusting all the wheels of the vehicle in a way that adheres to the specifications of the manufacturer.
Proper wheel alignment is needed to ensure that the vehicle travels in a straight line, has proper balance and is safe for usage. Furthermore, well aligned wheels make the bike smoother and easier to ride and thus are a necessity.
Here are 11 simple steps to check the wheel alignment of your motorcycle:
Step 1: Gathering the material
First, you will need to gather all the necessary material which you will need to measure and check the alignment. These are all household items that are easily available in most people’s homes. You should have a long string or thick thread, a ruler and an adhesive tape
Step 2: Positioning the motorcycle
Once you have the things with you, you need to position your motorbike well. Position the bike on flat ground, without incline and in such a place where there is space for you to move around the bike.
Then place the bike on the centre stand in such a way that both wheels can be rotated freely.
Step 3: Inserting the String
After the bike has been placed on the centre stand, take the string, insert it in the spoke of the wheel and loop it around the centre of the rear wheel in such a way that both the other ends can be extended towards the front wheel.
Step 4: Positioning the String
Now, ensure that the loop of string around the rear wheel is placed right in the centre of the wheel and is straight and parallel to the ground. Once the string has been placed well, stick the tape on the string and secure it around the wheel so that it does not move later.
Step 5: Attaching string to the front wheel
The next step is to take the two free ends of the string and extend them towards the front wheel. While doing this, ensure that both ends are on either side of the body of the motorcycle and are straight and parallel to the ground.
Step 6: Checking the allignment
At this point, you should have a length of string going from one side of the front wheel to the rear, which is looped and secured to the rear wheel and is extended back to the other side of the front wheel. If you have this position correctly, then you can move ahead with the next steps.
Step 7: Place the Ruler
Now it is time to take the ruler. Place the ruler perpendicular to the front wheel such that the flat surface of the ruler is against the wheel. Ensure that the ruler is straight and parallel to the ground.
Step 8: Tying ruler to the sting
Now, tie both ends of the string to the ruler, on either side of the bike’s body. This means that you should have one end of the string tied to the start of the ruler and the other end tied to the end of the ruler. While doing this, ensure that the string is pulled taut and has no slack and that it is parallel to and sticking as close to the body of the bike as possible.
Step 9: Checking the wheel gap
Once you have done this, you will notice that there is a slight gap between the start of the tyre and the string. This is because the rear wheel is bigger and wider than the front wheel. Note the gap between the string and the tyre on both sides of the body of the bike.
Step 10: Rotating the wheel
Once you have noted the initial gap, rotate the tyres a bit and measure the gap again. Continue this multiple times, taking note of the gap each time.
Step 11: Final checking of alignment
If the gap between the string and the tyre is same for the right and left side of the bike, and if that measurement remains the same even after rotating the tyre, then the alignment is perfect. If not, then you might need to get your tyres realigned.
In order to check whether or not the wheels of a motorcycle are aligned, one needs to loop a string from one tyre to the other and check whether the gap between the string and the tyre remains the same on both the sides of the bike and even after rotation.
If the gap measured is the same at all times, then the wheels are aligned well and you need not worry.
However, if the gap changes from one side to the other, or on rotation, then you probably have an alignment problem and should get the wheels realigned at a service shop as soon as possible.