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Tracking straight

2794 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  buyarbi
My bike tracks off to the left when I let go of the handlebars.
Any suggestions? Could it be rear wheel alignment? Belt shifting
in tire? Thanks.
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I know of a 2000 in Denver that is doing a similar thing and he has not been able to find a cure for it. It would be great if we can figure out the problem and get it tracking straight. I know he has already tried to adjust the rear wheel to the point his belt tracks way off in the pulley.
Joe R came up with a way to adjust the rear wheel to keep it going straight and it does work.

Number one item, forget about getting the belt in the center and worry about the alignment with the bike going straight. If the bike pulls to the right then tighten the right adjuster allen bolt (maybe 1/4 turn) then try it again. Take the tension tester along and keep the belt at 400 lbs. Keep this up until it will go straight and you will find the belt will center its self up and be a great ride.
This will also help the high speed wobble.

Adrian, I eligned my rear wheel with the front by using a long straight edge along the the sides of the rear tire and by taking measurements on each side of the front tire . As it turned out my belt tracks slightly against the outside of the pulley but doesn't chirp , my axle is square in the swing arm and the bike tracks down the road perfectly. You mentioned that you aligned your bike using a laser level. That sounds interesting , could you explain how you did it. I don't have a laser level but I think they are the nuts and am going to buy one .

This is just a though , but for the guy that is having tracking problems , if your swingarm bushings are worn , accurate elignment could be a problem .

The Kragans or Checker stores have a deal on a laser 16" level for $4.99 after a $5.00 rebate. First I lay the laser next to the front tire toward the rear and get the front wheel as straight as I can. Then lay the laser on the side of the rear tire towards the front putting a ruler, setting on it's edge, on the floor and see what you have. I set the ruler directly under the axle up to the tire so it will be in the same place on the other side when I move it over there. You can check this a few times and get it perfect then tighten the belt the same on each side until you have the 400 pounds or where ever you want it. It should go as straight as a string but you will need to recheck it again with the belt tension set up to make sure it didn't change.

Thanks for all the advice. I think I will do the 1/4 turn method. I need
to find a nice long flat road. I have always thought is was a front to back
wheel alignment.... but I talked to Rad out at Sturgis last fall and he
said if the alignment was off, then the tires would go down the road
straight, just offset from each other. He said the only reason it would
not track straight was that the tire was bad and the radial belts had
shifted in the tire maybe. I will do the 1/4 turn and tweak it down to
see it I can make it go away. Thanks again.
In this case I think Rad is wrong because when I installed my last new set of tires it pulled right off the bat. I aligned it like I said and that was the end of the pull. You only need to go a couple of blocks at 50 MPH and then check it for a pull.

Tracking (The only way to get it right)

I told Adrian about this method years ago and it is still the only way to get it right. It's like the difference between static balancing which is OK but not nearly as good as dynamic balancing. You can try all you want to get it "balls on" straight while standing still but at 70 mph it can still not be right. Keep adjusting 1/4 turn at a time until you can take you hands off the bars at any speed and not have to lean AT ALL to keep it dead true.
Be sure to loosen the caliper holding bar each time or you'll do what Eddie and I did which was to pull your rear caliper into the rotor!
Just go out for a ride taking the few tools necessary and you can get the job done quickly.
About the tires

Adrian is correct here also. Every time I've put a new rear on, spin the wheel to check how the belt tracks, equalize the amount of adjuster slot showing on each side, or every other static method tried, I have to go through the same routine each time with brand new rubber.
This has been true of every belt or chain driven bike I've ever owned. Only my shaft driven bikes stayed dead on after a tire change.
did you ever figgure out the pull to the left.
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