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Old 09-23-2012, 10:22 PM
DC-3Mek's Avatar
DC-3Mek DC-3Mek is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Newnan, Ga.
Posts: 835
Default Aligned my bike today!

Well, after 4 years of putting up with the dreaded Harley left lean, (TWO pounds of pressure on the handle-bars is within specs MY ASS!!! I'd love to see Willie G hold a two pound weight at arms length for a thousand miles!!!)

I finally went out and bought three digital levels and two laser pointers!
I then welded up some standoffs....don't laugh when ya'll see 'em I used a few scrap pieces of metal and some aircraft landing gear bushings that were perfect as spacers!!! And believe it or not....they are PRECISE!!! NO un-parallel-ness....Is that a word??? I needed to move the lasers out from the rotors about 3.5" so the beams would clear everything.

Then I bolted them to the brake rotors and snapped (magnetic) the levels to the rotors and went to leveling the seat.....Damn... couldn't find a frame jack....what to do...AH-HA!!! Jack the bike up with my Sears Red Jack....just enough to lift the rear tire and jam two pieces of angle I had laying around in between the lift arms! DONE!!! (The jack was too low to engage the lock pin and kept leaking down.) The angle locked the jack perfectly and at the right height!!!

Then I leveled the frame by rolling the bike around the un-even floor till I found the sweet spot and VOILA!!!! The frame is level!!!! 0.0 degrees!!!

On to the rear wheel.....Static base-line check was 89.7 degrees. Loosened the front engine mount and the Heim adjusters and leveled the rear..... doesn't sound like much, but believe me .3 degrees was a LOT!!!, it was probably 5-6 turns on the Heim joint! That equates to (guesstimating) 1.5 inches at the top of the engine!

The front wheel takes some practice to get to 90 degrees, but in a short while, I was able to get it dead on and REPEATABLE!!!

Time to switch on the lasers.......WOW!!! The MOCO was having a BAD day when they "Aligned" my bike!!! The laser beams met at the transmission!!!!

The engine had to move WAY left to get the beams parallel, but in the end, I got the beams parallel and at a spacing of .310" over a distance of ~3.5 feet!

Tightened everything down, shook it out, and tested again....REPEATABLE readings!!! I just LOVE when things do what they are supposed to and I can repeat an adjustment!!! I made sure as I was going along to be fairly aggressive with shaking and moving the engine around as I was adjusting since the rear bushings were still tight....(I'm still waiting on the Glide-Pro Stability kit to come in!)

I also brought the adjusters back from the "loaded" position, maybe a half turn or so to the "Unloaded" position. I figured this would put it in the sweet spot... This was after all, just kind of a test to see if I had the stuff to get good results while waiting for the "Good Stuff"....

Then time to ride! OMG!!! I feel like I have a new bike!!! Now the front and rear work together not against each other! feels like it's on rails! NO wobble! And the "Two Pounds"???? If any mechanic or service advisor tries to sell you on that BS, tell him he's full of it and you're gonna take your business ELSEWHERE!!!

There is absolutely NO reason other than they just don't give a shit to not get your bike riding like mine! My dealer told me the same bullshit...."Two pounds of pressure is within spec" BULLSHIT and I have the PROOF!!! And ask him when the last time was he held a two lb. bag of BULLSHIT out at arms' length for a nice Sunday ride through the twisties.....

Sorry for going off on a rant, but I HATE negligent mechanics/dealers/service advisors!!!!!
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:54 PM
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Easyryder01 Easyryder01 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Long Island, New York
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Post. Some pics please would love to see this hook up rug ya did. Love to hear the good stories of the public knowing and doing better than the stealership and best of pricing them DEAD WRONG !
Live, Laugh, Love, or Die Trying !
2011 Road Glide Ultra Merlot Sunglo
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:24 PM
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4getNo1 4getNo1 is offline
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Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
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Love your report man. It's amazing isn't it that, if 'ya fully understand the objective, then you can figure out a way to get there even if you DON'T have all the right stuff already laying around. Just build the stuff yourself instead.
Bring 'em home or send us back!!
2013 FLTRX, Candy Orange
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:39 PM
DC-3Mek's Avatar
DC-3Mek DC-3Mek is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Newnan, Ga.
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I gotta say that this isn't my idea/design.....I watched Jake Ore at Glide Pro do it and just followed his lead! And it worked perfectly! Takes a bit of time/care to get it adjustment can change the other two....just take your time, and keep checking the levels and laser lines....I probably rechecked a hundred times. That's what it takes, but I guarantee ya, you'll love the results!

And I did take pics, but they came out crap so I'll take some of the install and re-alignment with my good camera when the kit comes in.....if you want to see the man himself, head on over to Glide Pro Stability..... and I am NOT affiliated with them in any way shape or form, other than soon to be a happy and satisfied customer! As I said, I'm already ecstatic that I don't have to carry around that two pound sack of *^%# any more!!!
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:31 AM
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DarbinCo DarbinCo is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 328

I recently did mine with similar results. It's not perfect but it's close enough I won't mess with it again unless I'm really bored and have exhausted all other forms of entertainment.
2003 Anniversary Edition RG

2014 BMW K1600 GTL
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:08 PM
baldwookie baldwookie is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 103

What year is your bike and how many miles?
Fuel Moto header (no cat) Jackpot 2 1/2 mufflers, PV by Fuel Moto, BAL1, Woods 222 cam
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:46 PM
DC-3Mek's Avatar
DC-3Mek DC-3Mek is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Newnan, Ga.
Posts: 835

It's an 08 with 60K. It's never ridden better and my Glide Pro parts came in today! Tomorrow hopefully it'll be even better!

Since I've been riding it now, I really beleive that Harley is blowing it big time! This bike has always had the "Within two pounds" problem.

It is too simple a fix for them to not fix this problem. I might add along with all the other issues I and others have with them, I had my rear brake switch fail the DAY AFTER my girl and I road the mountains in bad weather all week-end. It failed blow out of the terminal. I showed the dealer manager and service manager and parts guy the video I took of it, and all they could say was "that's unusual" again....BULLSHIT. Harley is opening themselves up for some big law suits! And I couldn't....I should say THEY couldn't sell me the "Upgraded" switch because that part was "only" for the "recall" bikes!!! WE as consumers have the right to expect better.

I filed a grievance with the NTHS on the switch. These idiots are dealing with our lives here and too many times they just don't give a shit!!!
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:19 PM
dirt.bagger.11 dirt.bagger.11 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: South Jersey outside of Philly
Posts: 368

great post - love to see a picture of this rig u created.

i have the same concerns about the dealership. the service writers could care less about prompt courtious service and the kids working in the shop do not have enough foresight not to pierce their ears with giant hoops that look more like deer whistles than jewelry. yeah - i'll put my life in your hands
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:22 PM
junk runner jr junk runner jr is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 135

Great post! I think I just inadvertantly found the problem with my bike. Would a misalignment of this nature cause my bars to be cocked a few degrees while traveling down the road?

I was in an accident last fall and think something might have shifted. Shortly after making the repairs I notices the bars being crooked and the bike has always felt a little squirrely.

I have read and re-read this post and cant seem to visualize the procedure can you post any pictures at all even if the quality is not so good?
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:45 PM
madav8tr madav8tr is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 9

I would check the bushings for your risers in the top triple tree if your bars are cockeyed. Really easy to get them a little tweaked. Loosen the riser bolts at the bottom and adjust them until they are straight and then re tighten.
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