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Discussion Starter #1
for the past year, my 03 has felt like it leans about 5-10 degrees to the left while going straight down a road. i feel the lean on straigh roads about 90% of the time. it really bothers me, and i can't figure out what the problem is. i've narrowed it down to the following, but could use your help in further solving my problem.

mis-aligned rear wheel: i've aligned it using the hash marks, measuring points from axel to pivot, and lasers. i don't think this is the issue anymore, because every time i take up slack in the chain, i re-adust alignment and there's no way i could've messed up every time for the past year.

bent forks: could be an issue? but i've owned bike since new and it's never been down.

bent frame near steering head: same as above

stock exhaust: because it's on the right side and is fairly heavy, i suspect this is causing the sensation that my bike is leaning to the left. this week i put a spare shock in the left side saddlebag on my sv and rode for a while, and it seemed to be better balanced, or even beginning to lean to the right

wind: for a while, i thought the lean was caused by the wind, specifically strong wind blowing from the left. however, i notice now that i lean to the left even if the wind is blowing from the right.

street grade: most streets are graded with a curve to their profile so that water runs towards the edges of pavement. i have noticed the bike feels better when i'm on pavement that is noticeably flat.

Does anybody else have a similar problem? or can you think of additional causes that i'm over-looking?
 

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there's been times mine has felt like it's leaning, but I'm not sure if it actually was. alot of the time i think it can be attributed to an offcenter tank bag, perpendicularly inclined road or wind.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In addition, I've never EVER had the sensation that the bike was leaning to the right.
 

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Benda said:
street grade: most streets are graded with a curve to their profile so that water runs towards the edges of pavement. i have noticed the bike feels better when i'm on pavement that is noticeably flat.

There's your answer.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
LordKyl said:
That is strange! When you say you feel it's leaning...do you have to make a correction to your line at all?
no. but if it's leaning and i try to put it upright, the bike veers to the right towards the white line.
 

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street grade prolly, ive experienced similar feeling on some roads
 

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yeah, alot of bikes do that. mine has more wear on left than right and Ive pretty much narrowed it down to street grade and the right fork being a little higher than the left.
 

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I've noticed the same thing...and I'm almost 100% certain that it's street grade.

Don't let it bother you, if it was a problem, you'd have known by now. :)
 

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No lean relative to gravity, but to the road? sure. There is always road crown to account for.
 

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ASCSurveyor said:
I'm thinking it's the crown (grade) of the road.  My dad has a Goldwing and noticed that the wear on his tires was always a little left of center.  Since not all roads are crowned with the same %, sometimes you'll notice it, and sometimes you won't.
I used to think it was the street crown that caused wear slightly to the left of center... but I was educated, it's cause we ride/drive on the RIGHT side of the road and turns to the left average out being longer than turns to the right , in other words put more milage on our tires in left hand turns than right hand turns

crown of road is only 2-3% slope, not enuf to make the wear as far to the left as it is
 

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I'm glad somone brought this up. I noticed that the wear marks on my k5 svs went away sooner than the right. Well, fine I guess accept left hand turns are my weak spot for the time being. I actually prefer making right hand turns and feel more confident leaning it harder over on the right hand side. I agree that most roads are peaked in the middle and the left wearing faster makes sense.
 

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Most roads I ride dont have that much crown, 2-3% like randyo mentioned...but I imagine if I was still down in TX it would make a difference. I recall the crown being so steep there the outside lane had a 30mph limit when you hit a cross street or my f150 would throw anyone on the passenger side into the roof.
 

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Luckily we do not really have crowned roads here.

My bike has never felt like it was leaning. EVAR. ;D
 

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Never really noticed this sensation on mine... I'd guess it's just the crown of the road like most people said.

Find a long stretch of straight road and see how it feels when you ride on the wrong side of the road. If it then feels like it's "leaning" right, you'll have your answer and can sleep better tonight. ;)
 

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It's the crown

The crown in the road will make your bike feel like it's not vertical. It's also what makes the left side of the tread wear faster. The "left turns are longer" theory doesn't hold water. Think of how much time you spend turning vs. how much time you spend running straight. Also think about the higher loads on the tread when making shorter (right hand) turns. Sort of evens out.

Don't trust the hash marks when aligning the rear tire. Measure from the swingarm pivot to the rear axle. This is more reliable. On bikes with torque arms connected to the rear caliper, loosen the torque arm before aligning.
 

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I definetely get a feeling of a slight lean to the left when I take my hands off the bars at low speed and try to balance. I always figured I was sitting on the seat slightly off center, or that I wasn't putting even weight on the pegs, but if it is happening to other people, then I don't know what to think. It could be the roads, but most of the roads seem pretty level around here. The idea of uneven weight distribution due to the exhuast is intriguing, but I have a full M4 and it doesn't weigh that much.
 
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