By: Anonymous: Mark () Tuesday, 06 September 2011 @ 12:12 PM ICT (Read 1509 times)
I bought a used sportsbike that had been down once before. The owner replaced the plastics on the one side it went down on. However, I noticed the left clip-on is just a tad further away from the tank than the right one. I had to have a couple of friends site on it and see if they were seeing the same thing, I also noticed that in left turns I have to push outward on the left side of the bars to keep a line, but right turns seem effortless. Plus, I found that the bike drifts on the right as soon as I let go of the bars and let the bike coast.
The clip-ons don't seem to be damaged or bent in any way. At first I thought the only solution to finding out where the issue lied was by replacing the clip-ons, but if that winds up not fixing the problem then I'm stuck with two sets of clip-ons and the same problem. Could it be an alignment issue? My friend suggested loosening the upper and lower triple clamps and the head nut on top of the upper triple clamp and see it it might pop back into alignment, if it is an alignment issue, how would I be able to figure that out, and more important, what would I do next? My thinking may be way off, so any other tips on how to work out this problem would be helpful too.
It sounds like your motorcycle definitely has an alignment problem, with the front wheel to the left of the centerline of the rear wheel. This is the reason why your motorcycle needs constant input to turn left, but effortlessly steers to the right.
The easiest method to check alignment is with some long straight edges, or barring that, the 'string method.' This entails wrapping a long length of string once around the rear tire at about the 8 o'clock position, and then bring both ends forward so that they just touch the edges of the forward portion of the rear tire. You then check the distance of each string to both sides of the front tire (obviously you must have the motorcycle on a stable stand of some sort).
You can check the basic alignment of the front fork by removing the front fairing (if your motorcycle has one); simply check the position of the front tire relative to the perpendicular plane of the fork tubes. If it' s been tweaked already, loosening the triple clamp bolts won't let it miraculously 'pop back into alignment'; you'll need to straighten everything manually, whether on your own or employing a professional. You should also check the alignment of the rear axle adjustment hash marks (you can also use a tape measure to check the accuracy of the hash marks to the centerline of the swingarm pivot).