Drive Chain tension?? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Drive Chain tension??

The manual says check on the side stand....I checked it both on the side stand and on a wheel stand and I get two very different numbers.

On the side stand.....its correct tension...on the wheel stand its loose mostly pushing up on the chain almost no sack down....

In other post is says to check it with no load on the wheel...

so what reading to I believe...???
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:00 PM
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The manual is correct.

On the side stand it says 1" to 1.25" or something like 25 to 30mm. When the suspension is loaded, the chain gets a little tighter. Once it goes past center (swing arm up) it gets loose again. I have been taking one or two flats on the bolt every 1,000 miles.

Just a note. My marks seemed to be off and my rear wheel was not straight when I brought the bike home new. I measured it all kinds of ways with calipers and a straight edge. Then It hit me! Adjust the left side for proper tension then adjust the right side so the chain wanders back and forth on the rear sprocket. Nothing could be better. Its how we did snowmobile tracks in the 70s

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:00 PM
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Yeah. Chain slack is ALWAYS measured with the bike on the stand. Alternatively, you can unbolt the shock and lift the rear wheel until the swingarm is at it's farthest point in the arc and then make sure there is still a bit of chain slack. Or, if you know somebody who weighs enough to compress the shock far enough, that works too. I've heard of guys using ratchet straps to compress the rear shock as well.

And - in regards to chain tension - A bit too loose is always better than too tight.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:20 PM
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Chain slack is checked with rear suspension fully extended.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Chain slack is checked with rear suspension fully extended.
That's completely contrary to what the manual says. Your saying lift the bike so the swing arm is free and the rear wheel is off the ground?
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by offcamber View Post
That's completely contrary to what the manual says. Your saying lift the bike so the swing arm is free and the rear wheel is off the ground?
Sounds as though we may have the making of "another" chain adjusting controversy?
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 07:48 AM
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No controversy at all... It's all plain, simple and logical. Chain slack inspection and adjustment is of course done with rear suspension fully extended for accuracy and consistency. There simply is no centre stand, but rear suspension should normally be fully extended on the side stand with enough rear spring preload without having to help it up. You still have to rotate rear wheel to find the tightest position:

-Drive Chain Slack Inspection

NOTE
○Check the slack with the motorcycle setting on its sidestand.
○Clean the chain if it is dirty, and lubricate it if it appears dry.

•Check the wheel alignment (see Wheel Alignment Inspection).
•Rotate the rear wheel to find the position where the chain is tightest.
•Measure the vertical movement (chain slack) midway between the sprockets. If the chain slack exceeds the standard, adjust it.

Chain Slack
Standard: 25 ∼ 35 mm (1.0 ∼ 1.4 in.)


-Drive Chain Slack Adjustment

•Raise the rear wheel off the ground with 'the stand'.
(I prop it up on side stand, with support under right footpeg mount.)
•Remove the cotter pin, and loosen the axle nut.
•Loosen the both chain adjuster locknuts. If the chain is too loose, turn out the right and left chain adjusters evenly. If the chain is too tight, turn in the right and left chain djusters evenly, and kick the wheel forward.
•Turn both chain adjusters evenly until the drive chain has the correct amount of slack. To keep the chain and wheel properly aligned, the notch on the left wheel alignment indicator should align with the same swingarm mark or position that the right indicator notch aligns with.


WARNING
Misalignment of the wheel will result in abnormal wear and may result in an unsafe riding condition.
•Tighten both chain adjuster locknuts securely.
•Tighten the axle nut.
Torque - Rear Axle Nut: 108 Nm (11.0 kgfm, 80 ftlb)
•Turn the wheel,measure the chain slack again at the tightest position, and readjust if necessary.
•Insert a new cotter pin.

NOTE
○When inserting the cotter pin, if the slots in the nut do not align with the cotter pin hole in the axle, tighten the nut clockwise up to next alignment.
○It should be within 30.
○Loosen once and tighten again when the slot goes past the nearest hole.

•Bend the cotter pin over the nut.

WARNING
If the rear axle nut is not securely tightened or the cotter pin is not installed, an unsafe riding condition may result.

-Wheel Alignment Inspection

•Check that the notch on the left alignment indicator aligns with the same swingarm mark or position that the right alignment indicator notch aligns with. If they do not, adjust the chain slack and align the wheel alignment (see Drive Chain Slack Adjustment).

NOTE
○Wheel alignment can be also checked using the straightedge or string method.

WARNING
Misalignment of the wheel will result in abnormal wear, and may result in an unsafe riding condition.

-Drive Chain Wear Inspection

•Remove the chain cover (see Swingarm Removal in the Suspension chapter).
•Rotate the rear wheel to inspect the drive chain for damaged rollers, and loose pins and links. If there is any irregularity, replace the drive chain. Lubricate the drive chain if it appears dry.
•Stretch the chain taut by hanging a 98 N (10 kg, 20 lb) weight on the chain.
•Measure the length of 20 links on the straight part of the chain from the pin center of the 1st pin to the pin center of the 21st pin. Since the chain may wear unevenly, take measurements at several places. If any measurements exceed the service limit, replace the chain. Also, replace the front and rear sprockets when the drive chain is replaced.

Drive Chain 20-link Length
Standard: 317.5 ∼ 318.2 mm (12.50 ∼ 12.53 in.)
Service Limit: 323 mm (12.7 in.)


WARNING
If the drive chain wear exceeds the service limit, replace the chain or an unsafe riding condition may result. A chain that breaks or jumps off the sprockets could snag on the engine sprocket or lock the rear wheel, severely damaging the motorcycle and causing it to go out of control. For safely, use only the standard chain. It is an endless type and should not be cut for installation.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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So just to be clear you're saying the rear suspension is considered fully unloaded sitting in the normal parked position on the side stand with the preload cranked up so there is no sag....
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 09:22 AM
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I think that is what Invader is saying and the manual. Me too.

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 10:49 PM
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I struggled to do chain tension adjustment with my Ninja 250R but eventually learned to do it, maybe not the best way. And yes, loose chain is better than over tension chain, as the drive sprocket shaft are not put into unnecessary bending stress.

About to do the Versys chain adjustment and realized the axle nut is larger than that of the 250R and my socket tool won't fit. What size socket should it be?

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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by offcamber View Post
So just to be clear you're saying the rear suspension is considered fully unloaded sitting in the normal parked position on the side stand with the preload cranked up so there is no sag....
With your actual rear spring preload setting, rear suspension should be fully extended with very little help lifting it up... I don't increase preload just to check chain tension. I do have an added flatfoot welded to the base of my side stand so it doesn't lean over as much, but I do run a fair amount of preload for sufficient support in demanding conditions. You can add a thin slab of wood under your side stand so it doesn't lean too much when proping it up from under the right footpeg mount... Whatever it takes, but do it safely.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 2daMax View Post
About to do the Versys chain adjustment and realized the axle nut is larger than that of the 250R and my socket tool won't fit. What size socket should it be?
It's 27mm, just like for the countershaft sprocket nut. A 1-1/16" (26.9875mm) 6 point socket works well.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 2daMax View Post
I struggled to do chain tension adjustment with my Ninja 250R but eventually learned to do it, maybe not the best way. And yes, loose chain is better than over tension chain, as the drive sprocket shaft are not put into unnecessary bending stress.

About to do the Versys chain adjustment and realized the axle nut is larger than that of the 250R and my socket tool won't fit. What size socket should it be?
I think there is a socket in the original tool kit by kawa-Mine has one..

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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:30 AM
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I think there is a socket in the original tool kit by kawa-Mine has one..

LOL yeah we all have that fine stamped steel wrench and extension 'handle' in the tool bag, but it's barely adequate for 80 ftlb (108 Nm, 11.0 kgfm).
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:37 AM
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LOL. Your are right INVADER, but doest come handy in case of emergency.

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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 02:50 AM
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LOL. Your are right INVADER, but doest come handy in case of emergency.


It does. If wild dogs start chasing you down the road you can throw it at them.
Not to undo that nut, though.
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 02:53 AM
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I think/feel this this works well for me.

Sit on my bike will all the gear and normal weight carried.
Someone checks my chain slack about 10 ∼ 15 mm.
Readjust the slack if need be.
Sit on again to reconfirm slack. Good to go.

I feel this is more accurate as the bike is subject to the loads which influence the chain wear. This would be closer to the actual riding conditions. Thanks.

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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 03:24 AM
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It does. If wild dogs start chasing you down the road you can throw it at them.
Not to undo that nut, though.
You are right on spot bro.....

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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
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It does. If wild dogs start chasing you down the road you can throw it at them.
Not to undo that nut, though.
It would be better used as a weight for your fishing line while you wait for someone with real tools to arrive.
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocibiker View Post
Alternatively, you can unbolt the shock and lift the rear wheel until the swingarm is at it's farthest point in the arc and then make sure there is still a bit of chain slack. Or, if you know somebody who weighs enough to compress the shock far enough, that works too. I've heard of guys using ratchet straps to compress the rear shock as well.
That is actually the universal way you can check and adjust chain tension on any bike. Regardless of what slack is mentioned in the owner's manual or what the preload on your suspension is, or ...

You can do it while the bike is on a paddock stand as well.

Just make sure the center of the front sprocket, the pivot of the swing arm and the rear wheel spindle are in a straight line. That's when the chain is stretched the hardest. Then find the tightest spot by turning the rear wheel. Adjust the chain so you have a couple of mm of slack up and down.

A ratchet or loading up the bike with heavy stuff helps get the bike sag the appropriate amount to align the 3 points.
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