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Discussion Starter #1
I took my bike for a spin today after doing a lot of modifications to it...including removal of front wheel, back wheel, shock absorbers, forks, and fork/steering mounting plate for painting. While riding, it was very uncomfortable because it seemed like the bike did not want to go straight. It wasn't like an extreme pull to either side but it definitely feels as if the alignment is off somehow. I turned around when I noticed it was happening because it felt unsafe. Any suggestions why this would be happening?
 

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I would first check rear wheel alignment by measuring from swingarm center to axle center on both sides.

You may be experiencing the result of several misalignments but I'd check, alter and test ride one thing at a time.

Your tire pressure is correct? I had a set of IRCs that got squirrelly with 33lbs but were awesome at 32.5psi.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I will check the swingarm. However, I feel like it has something to do with the steering stem or front forks because I kind of hastily put those back together. I'm going to diassamble the front again and put everything back together carefully and tighten all the bolts to spec. Also, there is a squeak if I sit down on the seat fast or kind of bounce up and down on the seat. It sounds like it is coming from somewhere on or near the shock absorbers. What do you make of that?
 

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Make sure your tires are on the right direction, the arrow shows direction of rotation.
Make sure your tires pressures are good 24-28 psi front, 28-32 psi rear.
Are the rear axle spacers on the correct sides?
Is there side to side play in the swing arm?
Is the rear axle/chain adjusters on the same index marks on both sides?
Have you lubed the swing arm?
Is the fork oil at it's spec capacity?
Is the front axle tight?
Are the steering stem ball bearings all there?
Is the steering stem preload set?
 

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An issue that feels like it's in the front can actually be a swingarm pivot or rear wheel issue.

One thing at a time and test ride.
 

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Your steering stem and front forks are generally not the best candidates to hastily put together. In addition to checking everything previously mentioned, I would take all of that apart and reassemble in a calm and orderly fashion, making sure to check bearings and torques along the way. I agree with the others that something in the rear end is likely the culprit, though.
 
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It is a strange feeling flying past a semi at 90mph on a 50 year old motorcycle, especially one you have built yourself. Do yourself a favor and take your time or you may end up a puddle on the freeway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It is a strange feeling flying past a semi at 90mph on a 50 year old motorcycle, especially one you have built yourself. Do yourself a favor and take your time or you may end up a puddle on the freeway.
On that note, I think I'll just take it to a mechanic. I value my life more than the money I will have to spend for a mechanic to make sure its safe lol.
 

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How often do you hit 90mph?

You don't need to pay a mechanic, just retrace your steps and re-do what you have recently done.

If there were no more mechanics to take your bike to would you quit riding?

You won't wind up a puddle on the freeway, you can figure out what's wrong. I assume it wasn't like this before you disassembled to paint a few parts and reassembled, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hell no I wouldn’t quit riding. The bike rode straight as an arrow beforehand. Tonight I’ll reassemble everything I previously removed and test it out. Will let you know how it goes.
 

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Hell no I wouldn’t quit riding. The bike rode straight as an arrow beforehand. Tonight I’ll reassemble everything I previously removed and test it out. Will let you know how it goes.
On this note it means that something was not re-assembled correctly or one of the new parts is wrong. Go all the way back to square one of the re-assembly, take it apart, inspect, repair as needed and reassemble. Then move on to the next piece. Just because you find something on on of the steps doesn't mean you get to stop, there could be multiple errors.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quick question. Should the steering stem adjuster be tightened all the way? There is a couple of notches on the adjuster and I'm not sure if they have to line up in a certain way.
 

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Quick question. Should the steering stem adjuster be tightened all the way? There is a couple of notches on the adjuster and I'm not sure if they have to line up in a certain way.
You want to tighten the steering head bearings until there is not movement except rotation, but if you overtighten them it makes the steering stiff at first and then, if the stock bearings and races are still in it, will lead to flat spots on the balls and races to the point of "notchy" steering even if you loosen them up
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Today I took the fork bolts and steering stem nut off as well as position the steering adjuster properly. Put the bolts back on and tightened them to spec. Took it for a spin afterwards and the steering seemed to be a bit better, or maybe it was just my head thinking that it was. However, something is still not right. I wish I could explain it better and feel for where it is coming from but this is the first bike I've ever had and I've barely even gotten the chance to ride it. That being said, I've ridden it enough to at least know something is not right with the suspension/alignment.

After I painted the shock absorbers and put them back on, there has been a squeak coming somewhere from the rear. I don't want to say that the shock absorbers are the problem though because maybe I did something wrong when putting the rear back on which is causing one of the shocks to be misaligned and rubbing against something.

Could perhaps the chain be the problem? I took some measurements of the notches on the flywheel and some other parts of the suspension but everything seemed to check out. Should I just take the rear wheel off again and assemble it carefully. Oh, I also got rid of the parking brake/cable which may be dumb but it just seemed pointless to me and got in the way.
 

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So there's no balls missing and all of the balls in the stem bearings are good, there's no dimples or flat spots in the races and it's all greased. The bearing nut was tightened by hand and then tightened just enough to provide some resistance while turning just like the FSM states.
The forks have to proper amount of oil and correct oil weight.
The wheel bearings are good and the axle is torqued to spec.
Tire pressure is 24-28 psi and the tire is on for the correct rotation.
All the above correct?
The swing arm bushings have been greased and there's no side to side play in it.
The swing arm bolt is torqued to spec.
The rear wheel bearings are good.
The tire pressure is 28-32 psi and the tire is on for the correct rotation.
The shocks are tight and set for the same pre-load.
The chain is lubed and set to the right freeplay.
The rear wheel is aligned using the hash marks on the axle adjuster.
The rear axle spacers are in the correct position so the tire isn't offset when the axle is adjusted for chain tension.
All the above correct?
 
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