New Owners- watch that chain adjustment - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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New Owners- watch that chain adjustment

Just a reminder to anyone just coming on board that the Versys is notorious for having chain adjuster tick marks that are slightly off. Seems not everyone has the issue, but many have. I am not sure if it is as noticeable on the 3rd gen models. Eddie, Others who have had both can comment on that....

In short, do not trust the tick marks on the swing arm to align your chain.. purchase and use something like a motion pro alignment tool, or something similar. My personal bike, is nearly half a tick off from the left side to the right to be in alignment. I had just gotten in the habit of using the tool and not thinking much about it, but I just put a new tire on this evening and when putting it back together it was very obvious once again how far off the alignment is.

So Obviously, running with a misaligned chain greatly accelerates wear!
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 09:57 PM
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thanks for the heads up. I'm picking my bike up tomorrow. I'll check it as soon as I get it home.

2016 Versys 650
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:30 PM
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Mine needs to be half the distance between two lines ahead on the right to be properly aligned... I just used a long straight edge sitting on rear sprocket with chain guard removed to find the sweet spot. Before the alignment, I was always sitting a bit offset to the right with cramping in the right shoulder and wrist? I don't remember which arm or which parts were affected anymore as it's been vastly easier to ride since.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Mine needs to be half the distance between two lines ahead on the right to be properly aligned... I just used a long straight edge sitting on rear sprocket with chain guard removed to find the sweet spot. Before the alignment, I was always sitting a bit offset to the right with cramping in the right shoulder and wrist? I don't remember which arm or which parts were affected anymore as it's been vastly easier to ride since.
Mine is the opposite, slightly ahead on the left to be in alignment. Honestly I never paid attention to it the first several months I owned the bike, then I think maybe Joe mentioned something about it in response to a different subject and I checked mine. I was glad I did.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 11:40 AM
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I 'aligned' the chain on my '15 shortly after I got it into my garage



w/ a SLIGHT difference, left-to-right....






Note the punch marks I put on each adjuster, which help keeping things aligned.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 11:44 AM
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funny thing there was a time i thought those marks were just scratches put from changing the rear tire (on some of my older bikes) ive always aligned my chains with my lazereyes (never the best) or a straight edge, then i got the motion pro tool and use it (faster and easier then straight edge

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 11:44 AM
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Been riding for 30+ years and I've never had a bike yet that had accurate chain adjustment marks. You'd think it's well within today's engineering capabilities to accomplish that if they really wanted to. :^)
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 11:53 AM
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And sometimes (on any chain-driven bike) the wheel gets skewed a little bit when tightening the axle nut, and then the marks are out of line when you could swear it was all lined up perfectly before you torqued that damn axle nut down. Since I learned the Allen wrench trick (shown in the below video) that doesn't happen to me anymore.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Just Doug View Post
And sometimes (on any chain-driven bike) the wheel gets skewed a little bit when tightening the axle nut, and then the marks are out of line when you could swear it was all lined up perfectly before you torqued that damn axle nut down. Since I learned the Allen wrench trick (shown in the below video) that doesn't happen to me anymore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB4DsHV8SAQ)
thanks for the link

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 02:30 PM
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They made a great point which took me a long time of frustrated chain slack and alignment adjustment to learn, doh! "Set chain slack with left bolt and fine tune alignment with right!"

I find string, aligned against side wall of rear tire, and then extended and compared to distance from front wheel is the most precise way of getting the rear wheel aligned. Sounds complicated but is very simple and extremely accurate. Lots of youtube how to videos on this. Wish I had of known about this method before I had wasted money on a less accurate Motion Pro chain alignment tool. The secret is to sight along the string and move it laterally until it is just touching the front edge of the rear tire but NOT bending over it. Ruler is not really necessary.



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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 03:33 PM
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This is a great thread. BIG Thx. to all Posters on this.

Very helpful,

Andrew
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 06:47 PM
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No way I would follow all that fussy rope and tool BS...

a) verify the graduations are at the same distance from the swingarm bolt.
b) if not, punch a mark to remember where it is equal.
c) use that for now on.

Period.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 07:06 PM
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Bought the Motion Pro Alignment Tool when i had my V-650 now use it on my V-1000. Simple & Quick to use. The marks on my 650 swing arm was off i didn't even check to see if they lined up on the 1000.

Chain Cleaning by weljo2001, on Flickr

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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 08:31 PM
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I had a Motion Pro Alignment Tool which I had modified by changing the little metal rod (pointer) for a much longer one. It was then more precise.
However, after adding a rear wheel hugger, it was a PIA to use the Motion Pro tool.


I then purchased a Profi Cat Laser Chain Alignment Tool and never looked back. It is very easy to use and very precise.

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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 11:19 PM
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I Second That

Profi Cat Laser Chain Alignment Tool

Same situation, I used the motion pro tool upside down as I to had a Skidmarx hugger with permanent chain guard. I found the laser to be even more precise. If you have ever aligned conveyor belts or large chain drives, you get to know when the chain or belt is tensioned correctly and aligned by the fact it travels in the middle of the tail pulley or the sprocket is in the center of the chain. I did that with my 2015, don't ask how, later when the laser arrived I checked it's accuracy, 100%. One thing many don't consider is rechecking the chain after you have taken it for a spin. A correctly aligned chain will travel mainly in the center of the sprocket, but will go from side to side, depending on the angle of the bike.
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Last edited by onewizard; 01-25-2017 at 11:21 PM.
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quexpress View Post
I had a Motion Pro Alignment Tool which I had modified by changing the little metal rod (pointer) for a much longer one. It was then more precise.
However, after adding a rear wheel hugger, it was a PIA to use the Motion Pro tool.


I then purchased a Profi Cat Laser Chain Alignment Tool and never looked back. It is very easy to use and very precise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWHmlkp94U
That looks pretty spiffy.. I didn't quite catch how it mounts on the sprocket to remain stationary to check the alignment?
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:30 AM
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Watch The video

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Originally Posted by ronheater70 View Post
That looks pretty spiffy.. I didn't quite catch how it mounts on the sprocket to remain stationary to check the alignment?
My first assumption was it was magnetic, however lots of aluminum sprockets, it is designed to act as a straight edge, which could be 10 feet of chain, same idea as a laser level for dry-walling. You travel the laser beam along the top of the chain links, that is you rotate the device, if aligned the up close link will be the same position as the far away link , in the beam.
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 11:58 AM
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I use something like the "allen wrench" method - I put a screwdriver (round part) against a tooth at the bottom, then turn the wheel CCW till the chain is tight, THEN tighten the axle.

STAYS aligned, IF it was before....
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 08:37 PM
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I can't believe I rode chain driven bikes for 25 years with out any of these fancy do-hickies to align the chain.
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 08:59 PM
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Alignment/ Cleaning/Lubing/=More KM

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I can't believe I rode chain driven bikes for 25 years with out any of these fancy do-hickies to align the chain.
Now that you mention it, me too, rode numerous dirt bikes, street bikes, lubed the chain, replaced the chain numerous times, sometimes the same time as the tire, 3000 KM on a dirt bike chain was good, my DRZ400S went through 3 chains while I had it, pretty good, about 10,000 KM per chain. My 07 Versys was at 30,000 Km and the original chain, on it's 4th rear tire, must be the chains are made much more better, can't have anything to do with chain alignment, plus now that I am retired, I don't have as difficult a time explaining why I need these gadgets to my loan officer

Last edited by onewizard; 01-26-2017 at 09:06 PM.
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