# How do you measure motorcycle rake and trail?

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## How are motorcycle rakes measured?

Raise the bike to an upright position, using a tape measure, hold the tape straight down from the front axle to the floor. Put a mark on the floor at that point. Then place the tape parallel to the steering neck, following the angle of the steering neck all the way up to the floor. Put a mark here also.

## How is rake and trail calculated?

Rake– The angle in degrees of the steering neck from the vertical. Fork Length– The distance between the top of the fork tubes to the centerline of the axle. Diameter of the front tire. Trail: Distance defined by vertical line from axle to ground and intersect of centerline of steering neck and ground.

## How do you calculate motorcycle trails?

Trail (B) is measured in distance (inches or millimeters) between the point of the front wheel’s contact with the ground and a line drawn through the axis of the steering head. Under normal operation, this contact point is always some distance behind the projected line—somewhere between 2 and 4 inches (5–10 cm).

## How is rake measured?

Swivel the fork 180 degrees and measure to the same 2 points. Subtract the larger number from the smaller number and divide by 2. That’s your rake.

## How much rake is too much on a motorcycle?

As in the case with rake, the amount of trail varies with the type of motorcycle. The 3.5-6 in range is what the experts say is the perfect amount.

## How do you lower the trail on a motorcycle?

To decrease rake, which also decreases trail, you can install a smaller diameter tire, or slide the fork tubes up in their clamps to give them a steeper angle—a trick many racers use to make their bikes turn quicker—or install longer rear shocks.

## What is the stock rake on a Softail?

“Rake” refers to the angle between the front forks and the ground or, in case we are talking about just a frame, the angle between the head tube and the ground. In most stock bikes the triple-trees hold the forks parallel to the head tube so rake is the same for the frame and the bike.

## How does rake affect motorcycle handling?

The smaller the rake angle, the less effort is required to turn the steering. Though, the motorcycle will be less stable in a straight line. Conversely, a larger rake angle requires more effort to turn but tends to make the motorcycle more stable at high speeds and helps maintain a straight course.

## What is the trail on a motorcycle?

Trail is the horizontal distance from where the front wheel touches the ground to where the steering axis intersects the ground. The measurement is considered positive if the front wheel ground contact point is behind (towards the rear of the bike) the steering axis intersection with the ground.

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## What is trail in a bike?

Trail is best thought of as the tire patch “trailing” behind the steering axis. Fork offset for road bikes usually ranges from 40 to 55 mm, generating trail figures from 50 to 63 mm. 57mm of trail is considered by many to be an ideal combination of stability and agility.

## What is a raked triple tree?

The ‘Raked” Triple Tree simply diminishes the trail measurement by moving the contact patch of the tire forward, much closer to the steering centerline. The resulting trail reduction has a dramatic affect on the effort of steering the sidecar rig or trike.

## How is triple clamp offset measured?

The number is achieved by extending an imaginary line down the center of the head angle to the ground. Then, a perpendicular line is dropped through the center of the front axle to the ground. The distance between where the two lines hit the ground is the trail measurement.