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Discussion Starter #61
I wonder if the front axle is not completely true on these early 2020's? This could possibly cause the front wheel alignment to be off center enough to make the bike pull to the left slowly. Maybe check that front axle trueness. Or replace it with a 2018-19 axle and see what happens.

BTW when you install the front wheel, there is a proper procedure and order in the tightening of the pinch bolts, loading the front axle/wheel before tightening, etc. So maybe first, remove front wheel and axle. Check for true. If all checks out, reinstall front wheel carefully according to the Service Manual. If it still pulls left, check rear axle. But only check each end one at a time.
One of the first things I did was loosen the axle pinch bolts, loosen the axle itself, then sat on the bike and rocked on it front to rear then put it back up on a lift and retightened everything in the correct order.

In my opinion, there is no way that the factory randomly screwed something together wrong on all the bikes being reported on in this thread. The exhaust is such a logical change to the bike, and I did see a very noticeable difference when I took mine off that I feel certain that is the problem.

I’m no genious, and I’ve been wrong an awful lot in my life. But this just seems too obvious. I would love to take it off and run it for a full day with it off to be sure. But I don’t think it’s in my best interest to do that. I’m not unhappy about this, just a wee bit obsessed with proving my theory.
 

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One of the first things I did was loosen the axle pinch bolts, loosen the axle itself, then sat on the bike and rocked on it front to rear then put it back up on a lift and retightened everything in the correct order.

In my opinion, there is no way that the factory randomly screwed something together wrong on all the bikes being reported on in this thread. The exhaust is such a logical change to the bike, and I did see a very noticeable difference when I took mine off that I feel certain that is the problem.

I’m no genious, and I’ve been wrong an awful lot in my life. But this just seems too obvious. I would love to take it off and run it for a full day with it off to be sure. But I don’t think it’s in my best interest to do that. I’m not unhappy about this, just a wee bit obsessed with proving my theory.
I suspect that you're right about the muffler being the main cause. However, as you will see from my previous post, I spent half a day setting up a tracking jig that demonstrated the markings on the rear concentric adjuster are not perfect. When my wheels are perfectly aligned/tracked, the Brake side adjuster is forward by the thickness of the markings.
The bike then runs with just the merest of right bias and can easily be compensated by leaning a small amount, which would bolster your view that it is the exhaust.
When I picked up the bike just 2 weeks ago, the rear axle was basically the opposite of what it is now, with the brake side a notch further back in the suspension arm. This would result in the rear wheel pointing to the Right. This in turn would trigger counter steering above 12mph or so and thus induce a right drift that would continually increase.
 

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'20 Kawasaki 1000SX, '18 KTM Super Duke R, '16 Yamaha FJR1300ES
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Further update......

I have made a robust and accurate wheel alignment jig (might patent it, it's that good :) )

With my sons help (better eyes and easier to adjust the jig), I can confirm that my wheels are about as true and aligned as possible without some fancy laser setup.

But here's the problem, my axle markings are out of sync and as I suspected, the Brake side has to be set forward by about the thickness of 2 markings.

Here are images of the 2 sides as they are now and an image with both side by side:
The bike rides 'True' as you'd hope (but further test rides later)

This suggests to me that, one or some of the following:
Geometry is out
The markings are out
The tyres is out
Other?
What this may also mean is that when the wheels are correctly aligned the Exhaust Weight has minimal impact (as Twist of the Wrist states)

Now imagine that the bike I collected 2 weeks ago was the complete opposite of this, where the difference was completely reversed.

As stated the resulting wheels would not be tracking true and given the current markings (with perfectly aligned wheels), then the original setup would have resulted in considerable misalignment and the 'muffler/end can' would have amplified the issue further.

As I said to the dealer in an email, no amount of leaning to the left would stop the veering off to the right, merely slow it down, with the bike as set up for collection.
Can you post your images? I'm not sure I understand your description of the position of the markings on the eccentric adjusters. My left adjuster is set at 5.6 marks from the furthest rear mark and my right (brake side) is set at 5.9 marks. That would point my wheel slightly to the right.
 

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Those are not weights, under your peg. Those are feelers. Thise are set up so those will be the first thing that touches the pavement as you lean the bike.

If they are not there, odds are something heavy duty will touch down and this can lever the rear tire off the ground. If you dont do any serious cornering, its no big deal. Put them back on. They don't hurt anything.
 

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These are not normal chain adjusters. When you dont set each side the same, the axle sits at an angle. That will make the rear tire angled, as well. With that in mind, those really are not going to be a tuning option, or they shouldn't, like they are on other bikes.
 

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Can you post your images? I'm not sure I understand your description of the position of the markings on the eccentric adjusters. My left adjuster is set at 5.6 marks from the furthest rear mark and my right (brake side) is set at 5.9 marks. That would point my wheel slightly to the right.
indeed I can. That was similar to my bike when it was pulling to the right severely...
29334
 

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If its just a weight of muffler thing, then when going down the road, and pulling to the right, stick left leg out and see if that corrects the issue.
 

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indeed I can. That was similar to my bike when it was pulling to the right severely...
View attachment 29334
You are 6.0 on the left and 5.7 on the right, or a -0.3 difference from left to right. I'm at 5.6 left and 5.9 right (from the factory), a +0.3 difference from left to right, or a 0.6 swing from your bike now. That's pretty significant.
 

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On my 2020, it was originally different on each side, about the same difference as yours. I used my straight edge tool to confirm the rear was out of alignment. After setting it to perfect alignment, the marks were now exactly the same. Probably manufacturing tolerances as my marks are true and correct.
 

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You are 6.0 on the left and 5.7 on the right, or a -0.3 difference from left to right. I'm at 5.6 left and 5.9 right (from the factory), a +0.3 difference from left to right, or a 0.6 swing from your bike now. That's pretty significant.
I have gone back and found your first post.
So we've highlighted manufacturing tolerances (and possibly tyre fitting anomalies).
The rear wheel alignment marks are a guide and most of the time are satisfactory for most bikes and riders most of the time.
Now that I know my wheels are correctly tracked and the bike is performing as expected, I am happy and at least now it is in my control. Until I change tyres, I know the difference required on the guides/markings.
It's easy to imagine that our two bikes represent the extremes of both sides of acceptable tolerances.
It is also possible to perceive that some bikes when set up at the dealer, will be trying to steer to the left and thus cancel out the effect of the single sided exhaust.

As for comments regarding riding a bike with no hands on the bars, once again, the point is being missed, it is merely a method of conclusively demonstrating the issue (small or large). Any competent rider will know that with their hands on the bars, one hand may be constantly pushing whilst the other is pulling (no matter how minor). Again it could be that many bikes suffer from this due to any of the factors mentioned in this thread and most of the time go unnoticed. But as demonstrated on my bike, the Dealer set up left the bike at the opposite end of the alignment (wheel pointing to the right) which compounded the bikes natural bias.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
I have gone back and found your first post.
So we've highlighted manufacturing tolerances (and possibly tyre fitting anomalies).
The rear wheel alignment marks are a guide and most of the time are satisfactory for most bikes and riders most of the time.
Now that I know my wheels are correctly tracked and the bike is performing as expected, I am happy and at least now it is in my control. Until I change tyres, I know the difference required on the guides/markings.
It's easy to imagine that our two bikes represent the extremes of both sides of acceptable tolerances.
It is also possible to perceive that some bikes when set up at the dealer, will be trying to steer to the left and thus cancel out the effect of the single sided exhaust.

As for comments regarding riding a bike with no hands on the bars, once again, the point is being missed, it is merely a method of conclusively demonstrating the issue (small or large). Any competent rider will know that with their hands on the bars, one hand may be constantly pushing whilst the other is pulling (no matter how minor). Again it could be that many bikes suffer from this due to any of the factors mentioned in this thread and most of the time go unnoticed. But as demonstrated on my bike, the Dealer set up left the bike at the opposite end of the alignment (wheel pointing to the right) which compounded the bikes natural bias.
All good points, and having owned two BMWs that did it, and after nine years there has never been a know fix or reason, I am very sensitive to the problem. But there is one big difference....so far. Both of my BMWs went through front tires much sooner than any other bike I’ve owned, and almost every tire I tried “cupped” on that bike. I attribute that to whatever made them pull.

After every ride on all of my bikes, I put the bikes on stands to get both wheels off the ground. I do it to make it easier to clean them, and I slowly rotate the wheels to look for nails or any other problem. Yesterday I did so on the 1000SX which I now have about 2,300 miles on. So far, the tires look perfect.

As long as that holds true I will have no issues with the pull. I’m also hopefull that an after market exhaust will help. But I’m not planning for it to help so that I’m not upset if it doesn’t.
 

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One of the first things I did was loosen the axle pinch bolts, loosen the axle itself, then sat on the bike and rocked on it front to rear then put it back up on a lift and retightened everything in the correct order.

In my opinion, there is no way that the factory randomly screwed something together wrong on all the bikes being reported on in this thread. The exhaust is such a logical change to the bike, and I did see a very noticeable difference when I took mine off that I feel certain that is the problem.
JJscsix, reading your statement above surprises me. You are making an assumption without verifying. You are assuming Kawasaki assembled your bike 100% right and all parts are 100% true. Yet you own a bike that pulls to the right. You insist that it's the exhaust. Yet there are tons of bikes out there with a single BIG exhaust hanging from the right side and none of them pull the right. You've owned a BMW K1600GT that is known to pull the left. Was there not a member in the BMW forum that had his BMW taken apart and reassembled correctly, which after doing so, got rid of the pulling to the left inherent in those bikes? I went back and read some of those BMW K1600GT threads.

It's possible it's the exhaust. But evidence across the board suggest it may not be. That exhaust would have to weigh quite a bit to effect the steering of an N1k. Anyway, I'm suggesting that you not close your mind to other possibilities. And sometimes the simplest explanation is just too obvious.

What could make a bike consistently steer in one direction? The front wheel would have to be slightly turned to one side to cause the bike to lean in one direction. That's all I'm saying. I believe you should focus your investigation to what could cause that to happen. Although you probably already plan to replace your exhaust and I hope that fixes it. I'm very curious to know. I still believe something, an OEM part somewhere in your steering system is causing that front handle bar to turn slightly right at speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #73 (Edited)
JJscsix, reading your statement above surprises me. You are making an assumption without verifying. You are assuming Kawasaki assembled your bike 100% right and all parts are 100% true. Yet you own a bike that pulls to the right. You insist that it's the exhaust. Yet there are tons of bikes out there with a single BIG exhaust hanging from the right side and none of them pull the right. You've owned a BMW K1600GT that is known to pull the left. Was there not a member in the BMW forum that had his BMW taken apart and reassembled correctly, which after doing so, got rid of the pulling to the left inherent in those bikes? I went back and read some of those BMW K1600GT threads.

It's possible it's the exhaust. But evidence across the board suggest it may not be. That exhaust would have to weigh quite a bit to effect the steering of an N1k. Anyway, I'm suggesting that you not close your mind to other possibilities. And sometimes the simplest explanation is just too obvious.

What could make a bike consistently steer in one direction? The front wheel would have to be slightly turned to one side to cause the bike to lean in one direction. That's all I'm saying. I believe you should focus your investigation to what could cause that to happen. Although you probably already plan to replace your exhaust and I hope that fixes it. I'm very curious to know. I still believe something, an OEM part somewhere in your steering system is causing that front handle bar to turn slightly right at speed.
Im always open minded, but like I have said, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that is really hard to ignore. I have not gone back and counted, but I think four out of five people on this forum say their bikes pull for sure. What are the odds that the factory built 80% of the bikes incorrectly? Possible....maybe. But in today’s assembly processes I would say a very low chance.

What changed from 2011-2019 and 2020? Easy, they removed weight from the left and added weight to the right. I admit I cannot prove the new muffler is heavier than the old one. But I can easily prove they reduced weight on the left. I would also say they definitely changed the airflow along the bike from side-to-side.

Next, some guy on the forum actually took the muffler off and rode About six miles on a long, straight road and set the Cruise Control at 60-65 mph and says he definitely noticed a difference In it not pulling. I trust that guy because I am that guy. I’m actually willing on trying it again and use some different roads to check my work.

As far as checking the assembly without verifying, both the dealer and I went through the front suspension to try to be sure it was assembled correctly, and I loosened and readjusted the rear axle to assure it was set right. Beyond that I don’t know what else I could do within reason. And I’ve seen enough evidence that I feel quite sure my theory is correct.

Yes, there are lots of bikes that have single sided pipes that don’t pull. But how many went from duals to single and we know they did not pull? I know of other bikes that did make that change, but maybe they got it right, maybe nobody noticed.

At this point, I don’t feel like it’s my job to find myself wrong. If someone has a specific idea they would like me to try, I will within reason. If you think I’m wrong, knock yourself out proving me wrong.

Could I be wrong? Sure, it is possible. But the evidence is very significant.

BTW, I am not aware of anyone on the BMW forum that fixed his with a simple reassembly. One guy put some spacers on one side of the duolever mounts to force it to straighten out. I could have missed another post, especially in the past eighteen months since I got rid of mine.
 

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There was a guy from Germany who pushed BMW to fix his K1600GT. He stated they took the bike apart and re-assembled by the book, and that fixed the pulling 100%. I don't remember if they replaced anything during the re-assembly.

I'd say do your exhaust test again. Remove that muffler and weigh it. Inquiry minds want to know. Then ride it for a while. Hell! If that fixes it then you're all good. Or if you have the hard bags, load the left bag and see if that makes a difference.

Anyway, I do believe Kawasaki would have thoroughly tested the new exhaust. You would think someone in their development team would have noticed the pull to the right especially when they were testing the cruise control right? At least one of those testers must have taken their right hand off the bars and noticed they needed to put light pressure on the left bar to maintain a straight ahead direction. This is why I believe whatever is causing the pull to the right, happened AFTER development.

Remember the Honda CBR1000rr of 2008-2009? Those early bikes had piston slap due to ill fitting pistons that made it to a production batch AFTER development was done. Honda said nothing. Owners claim their bikes burned too much oil. The saga went on and on and Honda ended up fixing owner's bikes on a case by case basis.

All I'm saying, it's possible the early N1k's got a bad batch of front axles? It's possible. Heaven forbid the early 2020 frames have had the machining of the headstock wrong which causes the front forks to turn slightly left? Maybe lift the front of the bike and check steering play? Easy things to check anyway right? I hope you find the solution.
 

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Im always open minded, but like I have said, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that is really hard to ignore. I have not gone back and counted, but I think four out of five people on this forum say their bikes pull for sure. What are the odds that the factory built 80% of the bikes incorrectly? Possible....maybe. But in today’s assembly processes I would say a very low chance.

What changed from 2011-2019 and 2020? Easy, they removed weight from the left and added weight to the right. I admit I cannot prove the new muffler is heavier than the old one. But I can easily prove they reduced weight on the left. I would also say they definitely changed the airflow along the bike from side-to-side.

Next, some guy on the forum actually took the muffler off and rode About six miles on a long, straight road and set the Cruise Control at 60-65 mph and says he definitely noticed a difference In it not pulling. I trust that guy because I am that guy. I’m actually willing on trying it again and use some different roads to check my work.

As far as checking the assembly without verifying, both the dealer and I went through the front suspension to try to be sure it was assembled correctly, and I loosened and readjusted the rear axle to assure it was set right. Beyond that I don’t know what else I could do within reason. And I’ve seen enough evidence that I feel quite sure my theory is correct.

Yes, there are lots of bikes that have single sided pipes that don’t pull. But how many went from duals to single and we know they did not pull? I know of other bikes that did make that change, but maybe they got it right, maybe nobody noticed.

At this point, I don’t feel like it’s my job to find myself wrong. If someone has a specific idea they would like me to try, I will within reason. If you think I’m wrong, knock yourself out proving me wrong.

Could I be wrong? Sure, it is possible. But the evidence is very significant.

BTW, I am not aware of anyone on the BMW forum that fixed his with a simple reassembly. One guy put some spacers on one side of the duolever mounts to force it to straighten out. I could have missed another post, especially in the past eighteen months since I got rid of mine.
This is more than circumstantial evidence and if ever there was a case to employ Occam's razor.

Firstly the obvious candidate, a big mother of an exhaust now on one side. You have already proved the steering impact of that by removing previously... so why you have to do it again, I'm not sure.

I also recall when I loaded my previous bikes Panniers unevenly (due to shape of items) I instantly noticed the impact on the steering. By all the made up gods, you only have to lean to one side slightly to feel the difference in handling/steering.

Next obvious candidate most likely to trigger the issue described is actually the rear wheel and not the front wheel. If the rear wheel is not true then that has a far greater affect on the steering. I have demonstrated with my bike that when I collected her, the rear wheel was pointing right slightly. Such a set up will result in amplifying the discussed right bias.

I also found the rear eccentric wheel marks are not perfect on my bike (or the tyre is not correct or correctly fitted or the rear swing arm is out). Even when the marks are perfectly aligned, the rear wheel points to the Right still.

She goes in for service tomorrow and it is high on their agenda to check. However the dealer has said that of 30 bikes sold, I'm the only one to have highlighted the issue.

And if you still need further proof, let's get Physics involved. The front steering is hopefully loose allowing it to, well, let's call it 'steer'. Once the bike is rolling along it will naturally want to go straight unless the tyre is buggered (an English technical term). Experience for many of us also proves this when bikes are dropped pushing the forks out! What happens? that's right, the bike goes straight regardless but the bars are anything but!.

Whether my bike represents the extreme of the acceptable tolerances built into the manufacturing and assembly process or an inherent defect we wont know unless everyone conducted some basic testing and measuring. But that would require every rider to check rear wheel markings, wheel tracking and then ride with CC and understand the required input to keep the bike straight.
 
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