wheel alignment and belt deflection - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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wheel alignment and belt deflection

I had new tires put on my bike a few weeks back. Afterwards the belt noise wad noticeably bad so I took it back and asked them to take a look at the alignment and belt deflection. I dont have the tools to do it myself but ive read up on it. They said it was out line and after fixing that the belt noise went away. All is good right? I looked at the markings to make sure they lined up with the markings on the swing arm on both sides and they didn't. When i asked them about that they said the markings were unreliable. So I left happy that noise was gone. It still troubled me because I thought i read somewhere those markings are important so I looked it up in my manual. The manual says make sure they are the same on both sides. Of not, check belt deflection. I cant do it properly for lack of tool but the belt can be pushed 2-3 notches by hand with wheel on the ground whereas before I couldn't hardly move it at all in same position. So now im worried my wheel is still out of line and my belt is too loose. Any one have some knowledge they can share on this?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:22 AM
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the markings are reliable, at least on my bike. i measured from the swing arm and used the markings and they matched up exactly.

if they set the belt deflection to factory spec, it is too tight. search the forum for discussions on this.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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I have. Most are about getting rid if the noise. Many have said getting the wheel aligned is the trick. Some say use belt dressing. I took it for a ride again and it doesnt seem to drive any worse or better, just quieter. I'm just concerned that the manual says the notches should align on both sides and they don't. Do you know of a way to adjust belt left and right on the pulley without moving tire alignment? I dont see it in the service manual. When the notches were close to being the same, indicating the wheel was aligned properly, it made the belt rub the side of the pulley. Now belt side is on notch 2, the other side 4. When measured its pretty much the same distance. Is that all that matters?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:54 AM
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Normally, I wouldn't rely on the markings as gospel, there are too many variations in the manufacturing process. The adjusters are stamped thousands at a time, the axle has some play within the adjusters, the swingarms are manufactured by the crate, and who says the swingarm even square to the rest of the frame? How was the notch alignment prior to replacing the tires? I find on mine, I'm about 1/2 mark difference when I adjust for tension first, then tracking. If I adjust the marks identical, the belt has a tendency to walk towards the outside edge and I get a squeak during acceleration. Having 2 full marks between the sides does seem excessive tho.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gosupes View Post
Normally, I wouldn't rely on the markings as gospel, there are too many variations in the manufacturing process. The adjusters are stamped thousands at a time, the axle has some play within the adjusters, the swingarms are manufactured by the crate, and who says the swingarm even square to the rest of the frame? How was the notch alignment prior to replacing the tires? I find on mine, I'm about 1/2 mark difference when I adjust for tension first, then tracking. If I adjust the marks identical, the belt has a tendency to walk towards the outside edge and I get a squeak during acceleration. Having 2 full marks between the sides does seem excessive tho.
since someone else changed the tire, he prob has no way of knowing how it was aligned before that.

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Originally Posted by IDONTWANTO View Post
I have. Most are about getting rid if the noise. Many have said getting the wheel aligned is the trick. Some say use belt dressing. I took it for a ride again and it doesnt seem to drive any worse or better, just quieter. I'm just concerned that the manual says the notches should align on both sides and they don't. Do you know of a way to adjust belt left and right on the pulley without moving tire alignment? I dont see it in the service manual. When the notches were close to being the same, indicating the wheel was aligned properly, it made the belt rub the side of the pulley. Now belt side is on notch 2, the other side 4. When measured its pretty much the same distance. Is that all that matters?
i agree w/ gosupes, 2 full marks seems excessive even for any variation due to manufacturing. if it is not aligned properly, it can damage the wheel bearing and, possibly, the swing arm bearing. it may damage the front pulley bearing, too, but that seems to happen more from using the factory spec for belt tension, which many believe is much too tight.

frankly, unless you feel comfortable dealing w/ it yourself, you might consider taking it to another shop to see if they think is aligned correctly. i've seen mfg authorized shops do some pretty crappy work. the shop you took it to may not know what they are doing.

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Things to do:
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Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:32 PM
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The wheel alignment issue is what's causing your squeal. The Kawasaki belt is carbon fiber, and different than the typical kevlar belt. Follow the manual's instructions on adjustment and wheel alignment. By the way, you can get a tension gauge at H.D., too. Good luck!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Hathaway View Post
The wheel alignment issue is what's causing your squeal. The Kawasaki belt is carbon fiber, and different than the typical kevlar belt. Follow the manual's instructions on adjustment and wheel alignment. By the way, you can get a tension gauge at H.D., too. Good luck!
too much belt tension (i.e. factory spec) can also cause the oem belt to squeal, even if properly aligned.
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Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
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__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure what notches they were on before I got new tires. I rode about 1500 miles on new tires till I just couldn't stand the whining anymore. I could tell by inspecting the belt that it was rubbing the side of the"teeth" off. There was no gap between belt and pulley on outside edge. Now it tracks about 1-2mm from outside edge. I haven't found any other way to adjust the belt track without adjusting alignment of the wheel so I guess it's good. Anyone else know a different way? I think if it's out of line there would be some rear brake drag as well. I can't hear any.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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How much flex do you guys have in the belt with wheel on the ground. Before the last wheel adjustment I could barely make it move when pushing on it. Now it moves a couple notches easy. The shop I'm using is a kawasaki dealership. I took it there believing they would know all the intricate details and I would be able to avoid all this.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 09:29 PM
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I have a V2KLT and it was like yours, way, way too tight from the factory and it was noisy because of it. I can move it about 3/4" with good force but more than my 20lb fishing scale can register. I'm fairly certain there's a spec (on all belt drive Kawasaki bikes) that will spec deflection by force varying, of course, from model to model.
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