__—— Spyder or Ryker front wheel alignment using magnetic-base laser levels.
Aligning front wheels means aiming a laser pointer exactly parallel to the front wheels – BRP recommends a ( patented ) hub-mandrel system for attaching laser levels squarely to the wheels. However, it is just as accurate to use well-tested wheel standoffs ( see extra page link below ) and attach magnetic-base laser levels to them. The system is based on the ‘Alignment Box’ method, which ensures that wheel camber and chassis alignment issues are handled correctly.
__—— Spyder Wheel Alignment Kit:
In November 2013, I assembled a collection of tools needed to align the front wheels of my own first Spyder – that was the original front wheel alignment kit. Since then, I have improved the gear often and posted the kit about 30 times to owners or groups of owners in Australia for free. For the first few years I even paid the outbound postage for the 5kg kit, but since late 2017 have been asking DIY owners to pay that postage cost – less than $20 for standard Parcel Post, about $6 extra for Express Post. Also, many city Dealers now have some alignment experience so only remote area owners really still need the DIY kit.
Over time, the plastic carry-case holding all the gear cracked, so in May 2021, I found a more robust plastic ‘storage tub’ that could be modified to withstand frequent postage handling. The kit is, once again, available... for maybe another year or two. Click on the tiny photo, right, to see the kit contents – [X] to close. The Kit weighs EXACTLY 5kg, so it can’t be any heavier – 5kg is the maximum allowed in a Parcel Post or Express Post Satchel (extra-large size, 510 x 435mm / 5kg).
__—— If you wish to make your own gear for performing wheel alignments:
See this extra page, detailing all the equipment required, and how to make and calibrate it all. If you wish to read the step-by-step instructions provided with the kit, see here. Some owners may see these instructions as too hard for me!, but if you read them on a step-by-step basis you will see that each step is really quite simple – well inside DIY limits. The overall procedure is what’s important.
__—— What is the hardest part of a Spyder wheel-alignment?
That would be loosening or tightening of the inner lock-nuts of the two steering tie-rods – especially on RT models – because you can’t easily SEE what you’re doing! The alignment kit includes a Crow-foot spanner to be used on an extension arm of a ½-inch socket spanner, to make this task easier, but it is still awkward. Access on the left side of the bike is cramped, and less than half a turn of the nut at a time is possible. Although awkward getting a hand in there, finger-tightening first, then spanner-tightening is best. On the Ryker, that problem has been solved by having only an OUTER lock-nut on the tie-rods – perhaps that will be used on the Spyder some time soon!