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Wheels & Tires Trying to upgrade the stock Wheels or Tires on your ATV? Post here! Fitment questions, sizes, brands, whatever.

Thread: Tire Alignment Issue Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-16-2019 10:25 AM
retro I run with slight toe-in on every 4 wheeled vehicle no matter what its purpose or configuration is. I learned on the racetracks many years ago that there is a sweet-spot for toe-in and almost every vehicle requires those same settings. Every vehicle becomes terribly upset whenever ya try tricks with tracking.

Tire/tread design, tread depth and rubber compound durometer are the only variables ya' have available to tweak, an' you're dealing in 64ths of an inch (or finer) increments on every 4 wheeled vehicle when fine tuning. Toe-out is a bandaid used for hiding other problems and employed to inspire owners to spend on mods and replace tires more often... both a waste of effort and $$$.

Honda ATVs are no exception. Toe-out absolutely destroys all hopes for good handling control, causes excessive weight transfer (steers/rocks about like a boat) and over-sensitivity to small steering angle changes, slows the vehicle down due to friction (tires must push/plow/slip rather than roll freely along the surface), heats up the tires excessively and wears them out much faster. Attempting to control a vehicle like that becomes a piece of work!

I found that 1/64" toe-in was almost perfect on my Rancher initially. But after the tires got a few miles on them and I played with the inflation pressures a bit I found that 3/32" toe-in is now the ideal sweet spot. I've got a couple hours invested in alignments, but it was definitely worth those extra tweaking efforts, especially when riding through the woods and creeping overtop of obstacles and in tight turns between trees where there are no trails cut.

When setting up a Honda ATV I like to find deep, dried out hard ruts and hit them at a pretty fast speed (careful here, you'll wreck if you get too aggressive), then adjust until those ruts stop tossing me into the ditch when I'm steering into/out of them. Then I'll play with tire pressures and tweak some more while riding across a steep hillside or bank (careful there too, rollovers can/will occur if you get too aggressive crossing steep embankments) until I'm satisfied that the bike is the most stable that I can get it. Then I'll go back to the ruts and see if I can take them any faster. :-)

Once a stock bike is setup right it no longer feels top-heavy or tippy... its a much safer bike to ride in my opinion. Its a lot less work to drive... and a lot faster through the woods & mud holes too. :-)
05-16-2019 03:48 AM
LedFTed shadetree; i forgot to say i eye em up too. i just give them a little toe out, in the front. it's safer for me..
05-16-2019 03:02 AM
LedFTed i do it kinda like Melatv, when i can find 2 straight 2x4's. i read also that it is better to have the front some toe'd out. it does handle better on the asphalt, if ya have to ride there, and supposedly, in the woods, grass, an mud, it dont matter. i know it helps on the road, but dont help my tire's any. of course most people wouldnt go as fast on the road as i have. topped out near 48, once.
it was on a straight, mostly.. wouldnt want to try it on a curve.
05-16-2019 02:09 AM
shadetree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melatv View Post
Hi: This is how I do ATV's --- measurements are check from service manual

Tire Alignment TRX420

Make use your tires are pump up to the right pressure and on level ground.
Use a board with a good straight edge that will reach from the rear of the rear tire all the way to the front of the front.
Place the board across the center of the rear tire so it is touching each face of the rear tire (2 people would make is easier)
Go to the front tire and measure off the board to face side of the tire facing you, measure off each face of that tire. You should have 3/8 to 7/16 inches toe out.
Then check the other side. If not the same take a good look at the tie rods for being damaged. Then adjust the tie rods to get the proper alignment
concept with boards is about how I do it with eye-balling it from front to back with my eyes, I explained this to her, its how i've done it for 26 years or more, never failed me yet !. I don't do toe in, or toe out, I put my tires straight.
05-15-2019 06:59 PM
Melatv Hi: This is how I do ATV's --- measurements are check from service manual

Tire Alignment TRX420

Make use your tires are pump up to the right pressure and on level ground.
Use a board with a good straight edge that will reach from the rear of the rear tire all the way to the front of the front.
Place the board across the center of the rear tire so it is touching each face of the rear tire (2 people would make is easier)
Go to the front tire and measure off the board to face side of the tire facing you, measure off each face of that tire. You should have 3/8 to 7/16 inches toe out.
Then check the other side. If not the same take a good look at the tie rods for being damaged. Then adjust the tie rods to get the proper alignment
05-15-2019 06:34 PM
KoolBreeze I used a set of jack stands with a piece of string pulled tight from one to the other to set mine a few weeks ago. One jack stand was placed just past the front wheel, with the other at the rear. I set them to where I had an equal distance off the string at the front and back of the rear wheel rim. Then adjusted the tie rod until the same was true on the front wheel. That allowed me to measure off the wheels instead of the tires. Did that for each side. It worked surprisingly well, I thought.
05-15-2019 03:46 PM
GirlsRideToo
Quote:
Originally Posted by retro View Post
I'd just readjust the toe and not question why its out, cause I doubt if anything is wrong with it now.

I use a telescoping tube that locks to its extended length when it is twisted for quick toe settings. Its easier for one person to use than the stretchy string method.

Just measure between the beads on the rims forward and behind the axle as close as possible to halfway up the wheel. The frame will prevent ya from getting an ideal measurement height from the floor, so just measure forward & behind the axle at the same heights from the floor to maintain accuracy. Measure your tubing lengths using a tape measure. An old telescoping transistor radio antenna might work just as well.
Thank you for the great info. I will try remeasuring and see what happens!
05-14-2019 09:44 PM
retro I'd just readjust the toe and not question why its out, cause I doubt if anything is wrong with it now.

I use a telescoping tube that locks to its extended length when it is twisted for quick toe settings. Its easier for one person to use than the stretchy string method.

Just measure between the beads on the rims forward and behind the axle as close as possible to halfway up the wheel. The frame will prevent ya from getting an ideal measurement height from the floor, so just measure forward & behind the axle at the same heights from the floor to maintain accuracy. Measure your tubing lengths using a tape measure. An old telescoping transistor radio antenna might work just as well.
05-14-2019 08:55 PM
GirlsRideToo
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlammedRanger View Post
Are all 4 tires set at the same air pressure? That could throw off your measurement some. And these frames arent a precision machined unit. They are jig welded which can have variences. Also you cant take out the possibility the oem tie rod got bent and replaced by an aftermarket one that isnt the exactly the same length as the other side.
Yes, tires pressure is the same all around. I understand what you're saying about the frame.

Great point that the tie rod may have been replaced. Guess I will have to remove both tie rods and compare them, for starters. I'm assuming there is some sort of mark/number on a OEM tie rod.

Would someone please please make me stop looking at my Rancher. The more I look the more I find to question. Maybe I should throw a tarp over it.
05-14-2019 08:31 PM
SlammedRanger Are all 4 tires set at the same air pressure? That could throw off your measurement some. And these frames arent a precision machined unit. They are jig welded which can have variences. Also you cant take out the possibility the oem tie rod got bent and replaced by an aftermarket one that isnt the exactly the same length as the other side.
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