Question from a shaft drive biker When removing rear tire must I find master...


Question from a shaft drive biker ... When removing rear tire, must I find master link and undo, or can I slide tire forward and pop chain off? thanks!

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  • I bought a cheap Motion Pro chain alignment tool, which is basically a metal rod on a bracket that clamps onto the rear sprocket. You can also improvise with some lengths of string. Also look at the teeth in the chai and see if they favor one side of the chain or the other.

  • Many racing teams (bikes and cars) still use strings for their wheel alignment... :)

  • Dave, my method is stupid-simple, but effective. Bike on centerstand, transmission in gear. Tie a thin, dense, cord around the rear tire so that you have two lengths of string, long enough to to pull to the front of the bike. Straddle front wheel, pulling left side and right side strings taut, capturing respective leading edges of rear tire. Align the front wheel in a sighted straight line with the rear tire, the string barely making contact with the leading edges of the rear. Because of the front tire's narrower width, the two strings - when dead straight - should be parallel, but a few millimetres from either side of the front tire. The four points to measure are the gaps present at the two leading and trailing edges of the front tire with both strings taut. Sounds complicated, and Mickey Mouse, but it works well. I keep a string under the seats of my bikes. Handy. Long, perfectly straight boards (I mill my own from basswood) are easier to work with, but less convenient when travelling.

  • A 6ft or 8ft fluorescent tube does the same job

  • Are the alignment marks on the swinging arm not safe to use then. I have not had a problem with them so far?

  • Nah, they can be miles out john.

  • Once satisfied with the alignment, I keep track of how many "flats" I turn on the chain adjuster bolts. John Swampy French, I wouldn't worry if all seems fine. I had a GPz 750 that liked right turns more than lefts. A proper alignment check proved that the front wheel was permanently misaligned by 3/16 inch! It's amazing, to me, how we compensate for the deficiencies of a motorcycle's handling. I guess riding Kawasaki triples WFO for years was good training - LOL! I sold that GPz 750 back to the previous owner, who hardly rode it, anyway.

  • Oops! Thought Japs had that one over my old bikes, I better check the bugger then..

  • Funny I always throw bikes lower into a r/h turn much happier than left, with pretty much any bike I have owned, must be some of it in the mind too I guess.

  • I've always been stronger in lefts. Just checked the chicken strips on my Ninja's new tires, and I'm still leaning left harder.