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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible/permissable to adjust the rear wheel laterally using the swing arm assembly mounting points? Mine has always appeared slightly to the right of center which I suspect may be just in the tupperware mounting. The bike rides fine and the tire wear is normal. Just curious.
 

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IIRC there has been some discussion about shims in the rear wheel, but I think that was related to tire clearance.
 

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Haven't thought of this before since we don't have chains to mess with, but for best handling and tire life the rear wheel should be in line with the front both in terms of transverse position and longitudinal pointing. I have never checked that on the BMW's always assuming it was correct. It may well be adjustable using the swingarm pivots, and there is also a shim between the wheel and the hub. I guess that shim is there for other reasons though?

But the general idea should be to have the wheels aligned with each other, not necessarily with the bodywork. Will make it my weekend project to go check the wheel alignment.
 

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deanwoolsey said:
...appeared slightly to the right of center which I suspect may be just in the tupperware mounting.
With the bike on center stand you can check for offset with a long piece of string.

Run a long string (2 strings will also work) just below the running gear from front to rear, around the rear tire and back to the front. If you don't have a helper, tie the front of the string to two chairs, etc. to hold the ends.

Move the ends of the string horizontally until that string just touches the rear tire sidewall in two places. You may have to adjust the height from the ground to be sure that it can touch the sidewall. When this is done, the two strings are parallel to the rear tire.

Adjust the handlebars to equalize the distance between the string on one side to the front tire's sidewall. Now that you have two strings parallel to the rear tire, any offset between front and rear will be visible as a larger gap on one side.

If the gaps to the front tire's sidewalls are equal and parallel, the front and rear are running with no offset!
 

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JimH said:
With the bike on center stand you can check for offset with a long piece of string.

Run a long string (2 strings will also work) just below the running gear from front to rear, around the rear tire and back to the front. If you don't have a helper, tie the front of the string to two chairs, etc. to hold the ends.

Move the ends of the string horizontally until that string just touches the rear tire sidewall in two places. You may have to adjust the height from the ground to be sure that it can touch the sidewall. When this is done, the two strings are parallel to the rear tire.

Adjust the handlebars to equalize the distance between the string on one side to the front tire's sidewall. Now that you have two strings parallel to the rear tire, any offset between front and rear will be visible as a larger gap on one side.

If the gaps to the front tire's sidewalls are equal and parallel, the front and rear are running with no offset!
Another cheap straight edge is 1"+ EMT conduit on top of 4x4s or 4x6s. I used to use it for aligning sidecar rigs.

Robert
 

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2005 K1200LT
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No real adjustment in the swingarm as the pivot bearing retainer on the right side is bottomed out and torqued to 160 Nm. Then the preload is set with the retainer on the left side. In the manual there is a procedure for measuring the offset of the front wheel and failing this measurement they send you to a check of the telelever for damage. Also no adjustment there just replacement if damaged.

I suppose shimming the rear wheel will give you movement to the left but no way to move it right.
 

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Scouter-50 said:
Another cheap straight edge is 1"+ EMT conduit on top of 4x4s or 4x6s. I used to use it for aligning sidecar rigs.Robert
Ah, the endless ingenuity of the human mind!

I might add a suggestion that you give a quick sight down the pipe and use the Calibrated Eyeball Method to check for any bends before using this method.
 

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JimH said:
Ah, the endless ingenuity of the human mind!

I might add a suggestion that you give a quick sight down the pipe and use the Calibrated Eyeball Method to check for any bends before using this method.
Rolling the tube on a concrete floor will also give you a good indication of straightness.

Robert
 

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andres said:
Haven't thought of this before since we don't have chains to mess with, but for best handling and tire life the rear wheel should be in line with the front both in terms of transverse position and longitudinal pointing. I have never checked that on the BMW's always assuming it was correct. It may well be adjustable using the swingarm pivots, and there is also a shim between the wheel and the hub. I guess that shim is there for other reasons though?

But the general idea should be to have the wheels aligned with each other, not necessarily with the bodywork. Will make it my weekend project to go check the wheel alignment.
My thoughts too. Shop manual calls for a track offset permissible at .20" negative offset to the right to a .55" positive offset to the left, when measuring the circumference centerline relation of front wheel rim to rear wheel rim. What to do if the left side of the rear tire lines up perfectly with the left side of the front tire, butt the right side's offset measures more than .20"?? Shim needed?? My head hurts!! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a real quick way to check any vehicle for a bent frame: Find a nice flat concrete driveway and wet the first half with water. Drive in a straight line through the water onto the dry section and then inspect your tire marks. Any serious issues will be very obvious. Now that Humpty Dumpty is back together again, I hope to be doing just that tomorrow.
 
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