Wheel alignment refers to adjusting wheels in a manner so that they are in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. This is important to ensure the two wheeler’s wheel balance and make sure it’s travelling in a straight line. In this article, we will tell you how to check the alignment of the front and rear wheel of your bike.
Before starting the exercise, you need to arrange certain things such as a string, ruler and adhesive tape. After that, put your bike on center stand so that both the wheels can rotate freely.
Then double the string to reduce it to half its length and tie it to the rear wheel in a manner so that the folded end lies at the middle of its surface area. Now, stick the tape to make it stationary.
The next step is to take both ends of the strings to the front wheel. The major benefit of tying the string’s center to that of the middle of the rear wheel is that its free end will be of the same length with respect to that of the front wheel.
Once done, tie the two ends of the string to the ruler. Now, keep the ruler on the front surface area. While doing so, make sure there are no bends. It is also essential to note that the string attached to the rear wheel is parallel to the ground.
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Now, it’s time to check the gap on both sides. Once you note down the initial readings, rotate the wheels and again note down the readings. Do this exercise multiple times. In other words, rotate the wheels several times and note down the readings.
If wheel alignment is perfect, then the readings will be the same. However, if the readings differ, then you need to align the wheels of your bike properly. It is advisable to check out the alignment of your bike’s wheel after a few rides for a smooth experience.
Foremost, tie the center length of rope around the front tyre. After that you must place it somewhere that is higher and doesn’t hit the brake discs or bodywork. Now it’s time to align your front tyre. You must start with pulling the strings until they touch the tread at the front side of a rear wheel.
Now, have a look at the front wheel remember there must be a little gap between the rope and trailing edge of the front tyre. Always ensure that the gap is equal on both sides. You’ll be able to easily find out when the front tyre is not looking straight. Last but not least, keep turning the handlebars until the front tyre is straight.
Once the front wheel is properly aligned, you’ll have to bring that rope back to the rear tyre. After that, pull the rope inwards until it reaches the edge. While pulling the rope make sure that you don’t pull it too far that it gets crooked. There are greater chances of such incidents when you’re at a low angle.
Now that you’re assured about the alignment, it’s time to measure the gap of the rear wheel. Make sure that the gap is the same on both sides (left and right) and if it’s not that means the rear wheel is not tracking the front.
Bike wheel alignment is a standard step in the maintenance process of your vehicle. It should be done periodically and properly, to avoid sudden and unwanted accidents. Bike wheel alignment is important because: - It keeps the wheels in coordination with each other. - The alignment of the wheel can help in saving fuel and improve handling. - It prevents unnecessary wear and tear of tires, suspension, and brakes.
- Put the bike on the center stand. - Wrap a thin rope around the front wheel. - Pull the two loose ends of the rope towards the rear wheel. - Align the front wheel of the bike. - Check the alignment of the rear wheel. - Note the distance between the tire and the rope to know the misalignment. - Using the obtained reading, check which side of the rear wheel needs adjustment.
Yes, it is recommended to get the bike wheel alignment checked when you get new tires. After all, you are also going to drive it through some rough terrains. So, it is best to get the new wheels aligned. If not taken care of, misaligned tires can: - Cause tires to wear asymmetrically. - Disturb the handling of your bike. - Strange noises from the chains.
- Put the motorcycle on the center stand. - Turn the ignition off & put the transmission in neutral. - Loosen the rear axle bolts with ring spanners. - Free spin the rear wheel and jam the rear brake. - Keep the brake lever in the same position by placing a spanner in between. - Re-tighten the bolts and remove the placed spanner from the brake lever. - Check the wheel if it spins the right way!
Although it is recommended to maintain the bike wheel alignment. But if, in any case, they are unaligned, it can lead to a plethora of problems. - Misalignment of wheels can greatly affect the stability of your bike. - If there is a misalignment in the wheels of your bike, it can lead to uneven wearing out of tires. - Misalignment of wheels can also lead to accidents on the road.