1. The first thing you will want to do is locate and loosen the jam nuts on the tie rods. Some tie rods have a nut on either end and some only have one nut, depends on machine and manufacture. Do not rotate the tie-rod at this time.
2. I usually use ratchet straps to the footpegs or racks to lock the handle bars to what I think is straight, your helper may not think straight is the same straight as you do.
3. Use a thread or string to run from the rear tires to a moveable point/object in front of the front tires, you want the string to dissect the center of the hub. The object here is to get the two strings perfectly parallel with each other. Measure the distance between the two strings at separate points, the further the points are from each other the more accurate you measurements will be. The only point that strings should be touching the machine at is at the rear tires. Due to design the front wheels on some machines may have the EXACT track as the rear tires, thus the string may touch the front tires. This is fine, but you still need to get the string parallel as you can. Any string deflection is bad!!!!
4. Once you have the string set up, have your dead weight, I mean helper get on the machine without moving the handle bars. Double check your string to ensure its still parallel.
5. On the right side measure the distance from the string to the wheel on the rear of the wheel, record the measurement. Repeat this measurement on the front of the wheel , record the measurement.
Example: ½” on the rear measurement
¾” on the front measurement
Total toe-in ¼” BAD!
5/16” on the rear measurement
¾” on the front measurement
Total toe-in 7/16” BAD!
1/2” on the rear measurement
7/16” on the front measurement
Total toe- out- 1/16” Good! Left and right side total 1/8” total toe-in.
But remember you are shooting for 1/8” dead on the money between the two front tires, so you actually only want 1/16th on each side. This will give you a grand total of 1/8” toe
6. Turn the tie-rod clockwise or counter-clockwise to achieve the desired 1/16” you want.
7. Repeat steps 5-6 for the left side.
NOTE-Failure to get the left and right side measurements the same will result in the handle bars not being straight as you ride.
8. Once you have the correct toe-in, its time to tighten the jam nuts. There is a little more to this than one might think. The rod ends should be in a neutral position in regards to the mount that its mounted in. This allows for maximum movement of the tie-rod during steering without causing it to be placed in a bind. Use the proper wrench to hold the rod end neutral and tighten the jam nut up to it. It may be necessary to have the helper hold the tie-rod to keep it from turning while you are tightening the jam nut.