Chain Alignment - TOP TIP - advice from a professional
Is my rear tire / rear wheel straight? How do I know my chain is aligned?
Start with the factory marks and adjust evenly on both sides. Only older bikes have useless frame markers, according to my mechanic. Newer ('04 and later) are pretty good.
Then you use the chain as your straight edge. (Your chain and sprockets need to be in good condition.) I attached a visual aid because as easy as the concept is to grasp, the actual application of the principles as they translate to the adjustment can be confusing, at least to me. I apologize for the extremely crude graphics but I don't have any real photo editing software at the moment.
Also here is a video I did about it:
It could be edited down but still it's only a few minutes. The video was done before the new chain and rotors.
So the principle is, the chain is your guide because it's under tension. (Medium tension is good when doing this, not too tight.) If your rear wheel is cocked to one side or the other, the chain will ride tight against that side of the rear sprocket. Wheel is adjusted to far on a right angle? Chain will be tight against the right side of the sprocket. Wheel is facing left? Chain will be tight against the left. Freewheel the rear tire in forward and reverse directions, and check top and bottom.
When the wheel is aligned, the chain rides in the middle of the sprocket. You will be able to push it a little bit either way after spinning the tire. I confirmed this at my local bike shop, where he has a metal cone alignment tool on a slide bar. And when riding my CBR, it tracks perfectly straight with no pull to either side.
Recently I replaced rotors, pads and chain and tires.
I went with a DID 530 ZVM-X chain. If you want top of the line, it costs. The DID chain that came up first on my internet searches was a VX, good but not best. The ZVM runs about $220 w/tax.
This TOP TIP comes from a great friend, a life-long Mr. Fix-It and MC enthusiast Mikey G, Hopatcong, NJ. He currently is and always was a technician, but he repairs and builds just about ANYTHING. When he started using PC's, it only took a year or so before he became a Level 1 computer guru. It's just how his mind works.