Rear Wheel Alignment

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Written by Randy Fox   
Friday, 29 August 2008

Tools Needed

Hydraulic Center Lift --or other means to lift the rear wheel off the ground. Note: This is optional for all but one of the methods described here (belt tracking).

A hydraulic center lift is one of those tools that, once purchased, you may wonder how you ever did without it. For example, it can raise your bike high enough to ease pressure on your back and knees during many common maintenance tasks like washing, waxing, and oil changes. So if you don't yet own one, this may be a good excuse.

Center lifts consume about the same floor space as a large produce box (flattened), and, although they maneuver easily on wheels, hydraulic lifts are fairly heavy. Also, if your bike's suspension has been lowered you may need someone to help you support your bike while you slide the lift in or out.

Hydraulic motorcycle center lifts are available from places like the following:

 

Expect to pay $60 to $280US.

 

Belt Tension Gauge --optional. As far as I know, few owners use these. See details within the text of this article. Yamaha part#: YM-03170

Measuring Device --such as a tape measure, a length of ceiling-fan pull-chain, Trammel Points, or other measuring tool. See the Rear Wheel Alignment Jigs and Gadgets article in these web pages for more information.

Torque Wrench --optional, but recommended. You want a torque wrench capable of recording at least 85 ft-lbs. A torque wrench prevents over tightening, which can be worse than under tightening. For instance, the rear axle must be tight, but if over tightened some riders have broken their axle bolt. A torque wrench will solve this issue, and open a world of other wrenching confidence.

27mm Wrench --If your exhaust pipes extend back and over the area near the rear axle, you may need a 27mm box, open-end, or large Crescent type adjustable wrench. Otherwise, you can use a 27mm socket.

22mm Wrench --You'll need a 22mm socket, box, or open-end wrench.

Note: You'll also need zero, one, or two socket wrench handles, depending on how many sockets you'll be using. See text above, and instructions below for details.

12 and 14mm wrenches --You will need a 12mm socket, box, or open-end wrench. You'll also need a 14mm open-end wrench.

Optionally (but recommended), you may also want a 14mm socket and extension. This is used to loosen/tighten the rear brake caliper bracket bolt, which can be problematic to reach. See photos within this document to see why.

 

 
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