Chain adjustment while touring - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Chain adjustment while touring

Hey there. I just adjusted my chain yesterday for the first time. Not too difficult, but that's because I have a rear stand and some spools. Next summer, I'm planning on taking a trip possibly in excess of 5,000 miles.

I'm fairly certain my chain will need adjusting somewhere along the way with that kind of mileage, but I'm not going to be able to bring my pitbull stand with me.

I'm wondering whether anyone has any suggestions on how to adjust the chain while "on the road." I'm assuming it's not something you can do while the rear tire is on the ground, but are there any methods for getting the rear off the ground when you don't have a stand handy?

The other thing I was thinking was posting here and on adventure rider just asking for volunteers along the way who'd let me use their garage/stand in return for a six-pack, or just to help a fellow v-rider.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:23 PM
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I have a rear stand but have always done my adjustments on the ground and can't see that being a problem.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:24 PM
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Check these pics: (takes up very little space, and helps if you have to remove a wheel....)

Also - don't be afraid of trying the "SEARCH" function.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:25 PM
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I think that they recommend that the adjustment be done WITH the wheel on the ground.
However, there are a couple of travel stands that let you prop your bike up on the road. You can even make one fairly easily.
(Wow, those guys were fast-)

Last edited by Versystole; 05-09-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Check these pics: (takes up very little space, and helps if you have to remove a wheel....)

Also - don't be afraid of trying the "SEARCH" function.
Thanks, that looks good. I searched for "chain adjustment," but I wasn't sure what to search for in terms of doing it without a stand.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 03:11 PM
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First of all you don't need to lift the wheel to adjust the chain. You just need a 27mm wrench like any other bike, and I think there's one in the tool kit.

For in-the-field lifting, front or back, these work exceedingly well, are compact and lightweight, and quite inexpensive (about $30): http://www.endurostar.com/

Here's my husky with the back lifted with it. Any bike is easy to lift up with the sidestand extended.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 08:15 PM
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FWIW, I check my chain slack pretty routinely and it wasn't out of spec until close to 15,000 miles. I wonder if a 5,000 mile ride will find you needing to adjust the chain. Just a thought.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 09:06 PM
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FWIW, I check my chain slack pretty routinely and it wasn't out of spec until close to 15,000 miles. I wonder if a 5,000 mile ride will find you needing to adjust the chain. Just a thought.
+1

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
FWIW, I check my chain slack pretty routinely and it wasn't out of spec until close to 15,000 miles. I wonder if a 5,000 mile ride will find you needing to adjust the chain. Just a thought.
What those guys said. I'm betting a proper adjust and align before you leave and you'll be good to go.

One of these little gizmos takes some of the guessing out of getting a good alignment.

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0048

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 02:46 AM
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
FWIW, I check my chain slack pretty routinely and it wasn't out of spec until close to 15,000 miles. I wonder if a 5,000 mile ride will find you needing to adjust the chain. Just a thought.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Soild View Post
What those guys said. I'm betting a proper adjust and align before you leave and you'll be good to go.

One of these little gizmos takes some of the guessing out of getting a good alignment.

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0048

Just don't forget to lube the chain at least each evening when you park for the night.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
First of all you don't need to lift the wheel to adjust the chain.
Really? You can loosen up the axle and move the adjusters out while it's sitting on the ground?? I had no idea. Sounds strange to me.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:37 PM
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That PackJack is sweet!! If I used my V for more than around town and day trips, I would definitely get it. (Am tempted to get it anyway!) Online lists for $32.95 plus $15 shipping.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:49 PM
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That PackJack is sweet!! If I used my V for more than around town and day trips, I would definitely get it. (Am tempted to get it anyway!) Online lists for $32.95 plus $15 shipping.

Just make sure your call when you place your order so you can get the one thats works with the Versys the normal one doesn't.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 09:29 PM
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You are supposed to check chain tension at its tightest position, which is found by rotating rear wheel... Also, specified chain tension is with rear suspension fully extended.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 02:59 AM
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You are supposed to check chain tension at its tightest position, which is found by rotating rear wheel... Also, specified chain tension is with rear suspension fully extended.
I adjusted mine tonight and was amazed at the range of tension. From about 1" at the tightest to about 3".

Is that normal?

Is my chain &/or sprockets getting worn? I have 26,000 km / 15,500 miles.

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 #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 03:42 AM
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Yeah your chain is shot... 2" of slack variation is absolutely excessive. Mine did the same from the start, and I had to replace it at 2600 miles.
Replace both sprockets and chain ASAP.

From the service manual:
(Last part doesn't make sense. You can't install an endless chain without cutting the swingarm, in which the chain is looped. New chain needs to be installed with riveted main link.)

-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 #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 09:53 AM
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Yeah your chain is shot... 2" of slack variation is absolutely excessive. Mine did the same from the start, and I had to replace it at 2600 miles.
Replace both sprockets and chain ASAP.
.
Thanks

I will get onto it next week

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 12:48 PM
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The chain tension needs such infrequent adjustment I can't see this having to be done while touring. About the only time this needs doing is after installing a new chain and having it stretch in, or after maybe after 5000km+ of use. If the chain is so slack as it can drag on the swing arm, the chain and sprockets are probably shot.

A number of people more knowledgeable than myself in these matters have told me it's a very good idea to do a rear wheel alignment after removing the rear wheel or a chain adjust. It's done by attaching string to the rear of the rear wheel and leading it up the side, under the bike, to the front tire. It makes it very easy to get an exacting alignment of the rear tire, the marks are not very accurate. Lots of videos on you tube on how to do this.

Last edited by twowheels; 05-12-2012 at 12:52 PM.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 09:13 PM
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You probably won't have to adjust it, but stop in at the dealer. Out of state riders usually get treated well.
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