We all know wheel alignment is important, but how many of you have had a mechanic check your bike? You may well use the swing arm marks, but these are often 1/2 to 2mm out due to mass manufacturing tolerances.
Using traditional methods (string lining), can be time consuming so it is not regularly performed as part of a service.
There are specialist tools such as our Laser BAT (Bike Alignment Tool) that some dealers may have which allows them to check for wheel and frame alignment quickly and accurately.
A print out can also be given to you with the measurements for a really professional service.
However this tool is usually out of the budget range of the home tinkerer!
What is availab;le to the average home mechanic's tool box budget is the Laser CAT (Chain Alignment Tool).
This can also be used with belt driven bikes as it is delivered with a card that clips to the belt to allow measurement.
There are 2 version of the Laser CAT
1 - A budget dot laser version which requires you to either rotate the tool to move the "dot" along the chain, OR rotate the wheel a little if you have a stand to raise the rear wheel off the ground.
2 - A line laser version that directs a laser line along the length of the chain giving an instant alignment view.
Which one you choose is up to you, they both do the same job, however the line version is best used indoors as the laser is not easily seen in bright sunlight.
Both versions include a belt alignment card, batteries, and a neat little carry case to protect the tool while being shoved around your toolbox!
So for a relatively low cost, compared with chain and sprocket replacement, you can be sure your sprockets are in line, therefore your wheels are inline (unless the bike has been crashed) and you chain and sprockets will last a lot longer.
Either tool will pay for itself over the increased life span of one set of chain and sprockets, or indeed the life of a drive belt.
Check out our web site for more info and prices. http://www.moto-tech.com.au/motorbike-alignment/
Keep it rubber side down!