Chain Question - Page 2 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 07:14 PM
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In BOTH situations your bike's weight is ON the suspension, so there should NOT be a difference. Do the spools you have, attach to the swing-arm, or somewhere else? (I can ONLY see what you describe as happening, occurring IF the swingarm can somehow 'sag' letting the rear suspension extend.)
The spools I have are attached to the bottom of the swingarm near the back just forward of the adjusters.

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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 08:49 PM
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When my 16 is on its sidestand the suspension is completely unloaded so there is slack in the chain. This is how the owner's manual says to measure the chain slack. When I put it on my paddock stand (which supports the bike from the swingarm) the weight of the bike compresses the suspension and tightens the chain.
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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 12:27 PM
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When my 16 is on its sidestand the suspension is completely unloaded so there is slack in the chain. This is how the owner's manual says to measure the chain slack. When I put it on my paddock stand (which supports the bike from the swingarm) the weight of the bike compresses the suspension and tightens the chain.
On the sidestand your suspension is completely LOADED - ALL the bike's weight IS on both wheels and the stand., the SAME AS ON YOUR paddock stand.

THAT is WHY the manual says to "measure the chain slack" that way. To 'prove' it - measure your slack while on the sidestand, then put it onto the paddock stand, and measure it AGAIN. It will NOT be different!


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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 06:40 PM
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I don't think chain and sprockets are covered by any warranty. neither are filters and brake pads, etc... those are considered wear items

if I'm answering your question I assume the basic points have been addressed, such as: did you do a compression test? is it still on fire?
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Butch1581 View Post
When my 16 is on its sidestand the suspension is completely unloaded so there is slack in the chain. This is how the owner's manual says to measure the chain slack. When I put it on my paddock stand (which supports the bike from the swingarm) the weight of the bike compresses the suspension and tightens the chain.
On the sidestand your suspension is completely LOADED - ALL the bike's weight IS on both wheels and the stand., the SAME AS ON YOUR paddock stand.

THAT is WHY the manual says to "measure the chain slack" that way. To 'prove' it - measure your slack while on the sidestand, then put it onto the paddock stand, and measure it AGAIN. It will NOT be different!

:-)
I respectfully disagree. Just checked it again today. On the side stand the suspension is completely unloaded. I can push on the bike towards the side stand and the rear tire comes off the ground, but before that happens I watch the swingarm and it does not extend any further than when it's on the side stand. Now if I have my fully loaded panniers on the bike that is a different story and if the bike is on an incline that will affect it, but on my flat garage floor my bike sits with unloaded rear suspension. I would agree that the front is loaded on the side stand though.
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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
On the sidestand your suspension is completely LOADED - ALL the bike's weight IS on both wheels and the stand., the SAME AS ON YOUR paddock stand.

THAT is WHY the manual says to "measure the chain slack" that way. To 'prove' it - measure your slack while on the sidestand, then put it onto the paddock stand, and measure it AGAIN. It will NOT be different!

That doesn't sound true. On a paddock stand, the weight is distributed only between the front wheel and the slightly lifted rear wheel. On the side stand, the weight additionally rests on a third point, which bears part of the load. As an analogy, consider standing straight on both your legs (which simulate your front and rear wheels) vs additionally leaning against a bar stool. A third point of contact takes a bit of the load off your legs, even if you're not completely sitting on it. You still weigh the same, but your legs are less tired.

Or consider the fact that you can completely lift both wheels on the ground and balance the bike on the side stand. This is an extreme situation, but it shows that there's a gradient - between zero weight resting on the side stand and the suspension fully loaded (when the bike sits completely upright) until full weight resting on the side stand and the suspension fully unloaded (when the bike is balanced on the side stand). When measuring slack like the manual instructs, you'll be somewhere between those two extremes, with the suspension partially loaded.

How much that actually influences your chain slack depends on several factors, including your static sag. If the spring is stiff enough, there may indeed be no sag difference between the two scenarios and consequently no chain tightness difference, but that doesn't mean they're equivalent by definition.
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:33 AM
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On the sidestand your suspension is completely LOADED - ALL the bike's weight IS on both wheels and the stand., the SAME AS ON YOUR paddock stand.

THAT is WHY the manual says to "measure the chain slack" that way. To 'prove' it - measure your slack while on the sidestand, then put it onto the paddock stand, and measure it AGAIN. It will NOT be different!

My stand LIFTS the rear wheel off the ground. Also, when I check it on the side stand as per the manual, it is ALWAYS tighter than when I check it on center stand. Been that way with every bike I've ever owned since the 70s (chain drive that is).

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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:39 PM
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I respectfully disagree. Just checked it again today. On the side stand the suspension is completely unloaded. I can push on the bike towards the side stand and the rear tire comes off the ground, but before that happens I watch the swingarm and it does not extend any further than when it's on the side stand. Now if I have my fully loaded panniers on the bike that is a different story and if the bike is on an incline that will affect it, but on my flat garage floor my bike sits with unloaded rear suspension. I would agree that the front is loaded on the side stand though.
I just went out to my bike, removed the left saddlebag, then measured the 'slack' [on my TREX rear paddock stand] using the chain side-plate which I have painted RED, for the measuring point. I got two numbers: 2 1/8" and 3 5/8", the difference being 1.5", so slightly too loose.

I then removed the paddock stand, settling the bike onto the sidestand, then measured the 'slack', AGAIN at the RED chain side-plate, and got two numbers: 4 1/8" and 5 5/8", the difference being 1.5" AGAIN.

So, there was NO difference whether the GREEN HORNET TOO was on the paddock stand, OR on its side-stand.
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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 07:29 AM
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Chain Question

Well, all this discussion got me curious, so I checked my 2011. There is a noticeable sag when the bike is lifted off the side stand. To the point that the chain was rather tight. So I got on the bike and put most of my weight on the seat while reaching down to feel the slack in the chain - NONE! I said bad words as I recently replaced the chain and sprockets and obsessed over the chain slack and alignment.

So, I added some more slack to the chain, beyond spec and checked again. Better, but still too tight. Added even more and checked again. Better yet, but if I bounced on the seat the chain appeared to get too tight. So I grabbed a couple car batteries and put them in my top box, and tested again. You know it - still too tight!

I increased the slack until there was some when loaded down. And when I check it unloaded on the side stand there is no way to measure it. The chain easily touches the plastic chain guide before becoming tight. But as soon as I stand the bike up and it settles, it is a reasonable amount of slack (sorry donít have a paddock stand and I couldnít measure the slack while holding the bike up). Once I get on the bike, there is still some slack, so Iím going to ride it as is for today and see how it feels and sounds.

This may be another example of Kawasaki not revising the manual after making changes. Like their suggested suspension settings, which are completely wrong (for my bike and me) with excessive preload and damping, and as a result no sag. Iím getting very suspicious of the manual. If they canít get basic adjustments correct, what else is wrong?

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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 07:45 AM
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Yes. And that you may be over tightening the chain. And that you may not be lubricating the chain enough.

When you buy a replacement chain, also replace both sprockets. And donít waste your money on a JT chain. JT makes good sprockets, but terrible chains. Iíve just replaced my second JT chain in 20k km. This time I bought an EK SRX2 chain, and new JT sprockets.
My OEM chain was binding in multiple places at 11K miles 2011 gen 2. I replaced it with JT front, Sunstar rear sprocket and JT x ring chain. Now at 19K miles the chain needs adjusting every 1K miles or so. Will take 16VGTIDaves advise and go with EK chain next time.

I had used KLR chain lube but it left a build up on the swing arm and I suspect it may have contributed to OEM chin binding. I now use Dupont Teflon chain lube 1/2 the price available at Walmart, it dries quickly leave little cast off and there is no binding in my chain so far. I lube my chain every 2-300 miles.
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post #31 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 04:39 PM
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Well, all this discussion got me curious, so I checked my 2011. There is a noticeable sag when the bike is lifted off the side stand. To the point that the chain was rather tight. So I got on the bike and put most of my weight on the seat while reaching down to feel the slack in the chain - NONE! I said bad words as I recently replaced the chain and sprockets and obsessed over the chain slack and alignment.

So, I added some more slack to the chain, beyond spec and checked again. Better, but still too tight. Added even more and checked again. Better yet, but if I bounced on the seat the chain appeared to get too tight. So I grabbed a couple car batteries and put them in my top box, and tested again. You know it - still too tight!

I increased the slack until there was some when loaded down. And when I check it unloaded on the side stand there is no way to measure it. The chain easily touches the plastic chain guide before becoming tight. But as soon as I stand the bike up and it settles, it is a reasonable amount of slack (sorry donít have a paddock stand and I couldnít measure the slack while holding the bike up). Once I get on the bike, there is still some slack, so Iím going to ride it as is for today and see how it feels and sounds.

This may be another example of Kawasaki not revising the manual after making changes. Like their suggested suspension settings, which are completely wrong (for my bike and me) with excessive preload and damping, and as a result no sag. Iím getting very suspicious of the manual. If they canít get basic adjustments correct, what else is wrong?
I find this to be somewhat true as well. I have to set mine at 1.5" of slack in order for it not to be really tight when fully loaded with panniers and top box. I just hold the bike up straight as you are saying. Sounds like you might be a little too loose though if the chain hits the plastic slider that easily. When you fully load the bike (or when the front and rear sprockets are aligned horizontally there should be virtually no slack in the chain as others have said. This is how mine is currently on the side stand. I am starting to wonder if I am doing it correctly now with all this chain slack talk. I used to keep it set at 1" slack, but that just seems too tight. 1.5" seems the best to me. Seems similar to my KLR where the factory chain slack is just a bit too tight.
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post #32 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:24 PM
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I recently replaced chain and sprockets, and set the chain the way the manual says (side stand, 25-35mm). My dad told me it was going to be too tight, and so I mentioned that I had done it exactly how the manual says. He followed me on my first ride, and we pulled over after a few miles. He said it looked way too tight with me sitting on it, and checked it as I sat there - basically no slack. So, I loosened it off slightly, and checked again - more than 35mm when on the side stand, but Ďjust enoughí slack with my weight on it.
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post #33 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 04:51 PM
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I'm baaack

I adjust chain how manual book say and 30-35mm is chain slack (chain have only 6500 km so this 5mm depend how hard I press chain to down and how hard i push chain up.),
I would say that chain slack are about 32mm on 95% of length of chain.
Also I put bike on paddock, and measurement are almost same +-2mm.
When I was on service (before 1 week, service guy check chain while I was sitting on bike, and he say it is perfect)

So this was my first chain adjusting at home, and I spend 30 minutes to check is rear sprocket in line with front sprocket.
First time is hardest, next time it will be much less hard because now i know what i doing.

So I have to admit that manual is OK (just like you say)


I still ride alone, without passenger ,and with maybe 5 kg of load behind me, so I don't know how tight chain will be when I put maximum load on bike.

Last edited by kardan; 08-01-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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