How I Line up my Wheels

A recent Classic Motorcyclist meet up involved a short discussion on how I line up my wheels... I had noticed just how much a marked improvement there was to lining them up properly. The problem without such a specially made tool is that it can be nigh impossible to line them up correctly and various unsatisfactorily methods are used with little impact on success.

Last MOT tests on all three of my bikes prompted me to think and make up some sort of satisfactorily tool to make this important job easy. I wanted something that would fit all three bikes, two bikes being the same model and probably the easiest to fit the tool to.

As can be seen in the photos following, I use a 2" x 3" straight length of timber and this MUST be straight even to the extent of double checking with a line of cotton before use, it is amazing how timber can warp in dry/damp atmospheres. If the timber can be substituted with a length of Aluminium then this would be a wise improvement.

I then use some threaded rod cut to lengths that clear the obtrusive parts of the motorcycle and these must be fitted squarely into the timber, I used a work bench pillar drill to ensure that the holes are drilled squarely into the timber. I then use some nyloc nuts along with washers at each end of the threaded rod to hold the rods securely in place. (For a neater result and ensuring square ness to timber, screw the rod into the timber using workshop plyers.

The crucial part of this lining up tool is the use of some very strong Neodymium magnets and you'll find that the correct size ones will fit nicely on the nyloc nuts as shown in the close up picture below. These magnets I purchased quite cheaply off of ebay.

With the timber secured under the A10 foot rest the threaded rod lined up to the front and back wheel the strong magnets will snap in place onto the steel rims, it is now that you'll find out if your wheels are lined up or not. It is important to check that the two magnets are snapped into place on the front wheel, the handle bars may need slightly turning to ensure this, but you'll likely find that the super strong magnets will pull the front wheel in to line. One magnet on the rear wheel will likely find its place either to the front or back of the rear wheel, and the final remaining magnet that is not attached will show just how far out the back wheel is out of line with the front.

Adjustment of the rear wheel so that all four magnets are nicely fitting against the steel rims will ensure that your motorcycle wheels are  now perfectly lined up. You should even find that you can ride the motorcycle with out holding onto the handle bars. (not recommended to try out though)


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