Originally Posted by Nathang
But laughably imprecise IMHO. When I'm using glass fluorescent tubes like straight-edges on both sides of the rear wheels,
a quarter turn moves the tubes, but you don't have quarter turn precision measuring the stub or the hole
Knowing how meticulous you are, Nathan, I know why you'd think that.
If you've never done an engne/trans alignment on your Dyna, then you can align your rear wheel till the cows come home, and it's never perfectly straight, but 99.99% of all Dyna owners have never done it. (Only HD with the swingarm that goes through the trans case on a rubber mounted trans/engine design.)
Every time your swingarm moves due to going through a rubber mounted engine/trans, the alignment changes or becomes "incorrect".
Touring model swingarms are only second in design flaw and flexability, to the Dyna models.
Regardless of how long you spend "aligning" your rear wheel, Nathan, it's never 100%. Just tightening/torquing the axle nut changes things from what you originally set, becauses it pulls the swingarm together, changing the geometry/measurements and adds torque to the belt.
As for "laughably imprecise".....If you took it to your dealer/shop, and they had the rear wheel off, it would be "laughably naive" to think they reset it with a tension guage, and an alighment tool (as recommended in your Dyna manual) but you assume they did, and you happily drive down the road, just fine.
Your car/truck alignment is even less precise. If you ever put a car on an alignment rack, as I have, aligned it, rolled it off, drove it around the block, brought it back and placed it on the rack again, you'd be amazed at how "off" it was. But the car drives straight and the tires wear fine.
The reality of it is: The process is done to get it "In an acceptable adjustment" because wheel alignment and belt tension changes CONSTANTLY on Harleys while driving, because they move in an articulating carrier/mount. Differences in rider weight is another factor. Solo....passenger.....it's all factored.
A rubber mounted Dyna swingarm/engine/trans, more than any other HD on the road......