The easiest way to find out if you have an alignment problem, is look at the wear on the rear tire. If the wear pattern shows excessive wear or cupping on one side more than the other, than it’s a good chance that the bike is not running true or straight. I like to call it “crabbing”.
What’s actually happening is that the bike is actually going sideways. It doesn’t mean that you are at a thirty degree angle to the curb.
The slightest bit of angle of two to five degrees will be enough to peal five to seven thousand miles off of one side of your tire.
The main cause of this is improper alignment of the front fork assembly.
This usually happens when the forks are removed for seal replacement or rebuild.
One way to avoid this is to check the axle for free and easy movement every time a bolt or fastener is torqued.
If it binds then the alignment is jeopardized and the part has to either be retorqued or in some cases replaced.
Another cause is the head bearings or triple tree bearings are worn allowing the steering stem to lean to one side allowing the forks to become out of alignment.
If you notice a change in the wear pattern of your rear tire it could mean there is a problem in the front.