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When the back wheel is off the ground and bike in gear there seems to be a lot of play when you turn the wheel back and forth before it engages something. Is that normal?
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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Yep, normal.
Don't remember just how much it is, but I'm guessing a couple inches of tire travel?

It is the slack in the 3rd member, and the transmission gears.
 

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When the back wheel is off the ground and the wheel hanging the change in the drive shaft angle has an effect on this. I seem to remember that, strangely, if you have the shocks undone and the swing arm hanging very low the wheel won't turn at all.
 
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