How do I adjust the chain slack? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Question How do I adjust the chain slack?

I tried the manual, but I'm Stoopid and a half to understand all of the terminology. Is there anyone who has posted or that could post a "HOW TO" with pictures? "How to adjust chain slack: with pictures" Just curious. I'm trying to save some money and avoid having to go to a shop.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 08:23 PM
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I think you can figure this one out from the manual. You are not studid. I bet you just don't want to start it because of the normal first time fears.

It is easier than changing your oil and only slightly more complex than adjusting your mirrors.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 09:06 PM
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Thumbs up

You might want to invest in one of these rear stands...Makes chain adjustment and oiling a whole bunch easier...And don't forget the spools, they attach to the swingarm, I just left mine on permanetly...Good luck

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 09:30 PM
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It's a pretty simple process, really.
You just need to pull the pin, loosen the axle, and adjust it using the little adjusting bolts on each side, carefully adjusting them the same amount and counting threads if you have to.

The tricky part is that you had better get a socket set and a breaker bar to loosen the axle.
It's torqued to 10 million foot/pounds by a little japanese man with an atomic powered torque wrench at the factory.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 10:13 PM
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There might be some better pics. in the factory srvice manual you can download on the above sticky.
Good luck!!
The first time I tightened my chain i got one of the guys at the dealership to do it for me, I told them I wanted to know the correct way of doing it,lol.


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatrat View Post
It's a pretty simple process, really.
The tricky part is that you had better get a socket set and a breaker bar to loosen the axle.
It's torqued to 10 million foot/pounds by a little japanese man with an atomic powered torque wrench at the factory.
That's not so tricky if you have a million foot long pipe to slip on the end of the torque wrench.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 05:41 AM
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As Mark M. said, it's easy as pie, but just keep in mind that small adjustments on the set screws on either side of the swingarm have big effects on the chain slack. Often a quarter turn on either side is all you need. It's better if the chain is a little too loose than anywhere near too tight. You can do this job with the bike on its side stand, if you don't want to invest in a paddock stand yet.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 12:21 PM
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SK, that's what this forum is all about, learning about your toy and how to care for it, ask all the questions you can.

Good advise above, one more I would add is make sure both sides are 'dead' even. Line up the notches by the axle, if you don't it could cause your chain to wear unevenly. Also lube it on a regular basis, I do mine every 300miles or so and have over 21k miles on same chain and sprockets. If you don't, you can trash a chain in under 10k easily.

If you live in the US, trundle up to your local Harborfreight (or go on-line) and you can get a torque wrench for under $20.00. The actual ft/lbs are a bit under a million, at 80ft/lbs. You'll need a few sockets as well, but its money well spent if you are going to keep your bike for a while.

When you have mastered chain adjustment, look at doing your own oil changes, that can save you quite a few bucks and pay for your tools. If you are interested, I have a recommended tool list for the V in particular and bikes in general, PM me. You can get everything you need for under well $100.00.

Machog


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 12:19 PM
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I have never trusted the method the manual gives for adjusting the chain, there is too much room for error imo.

I like to compress the shock and pull the swing arm up as high as I can and hold it there with some straps over the seat, and then rotate the wheel to find the tightest spot in the chain during rotation.

When I have found the tightest (least amount of slack), I adjust the chain so there is the proper amount of slack at that point. That way I know there is not a spot where the chain is going to be putting too much strain on the front sprocket bearing as the chain rotates.

Anybody else think these buffalo wings taste a lot like chicken?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 02:23 PM
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Hey StoopidKid, where do you live? There is probably someone on this forum that lives near you and could help out with this and a lot of other procedures. It could save you a lot of money and you'd learn a few things in the process.

Jeff in Illinois
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I live in South Florida... I still dont get it. lol what's a breaker bar? and wheres the axle?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoopidKid View Post
I tried the manual, but I'm Stoopid and a half to understand all of the terminology. Is there anyone who has posted or that could post a "HOW TO" with pictures? "How to adjust chain slack: with pictures" Just curious. I'm trying to save some money and avoid having to go to a shop.
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Originally Posted by StoopidKid View Post
I live in South Florida... I still dont get it. lol what's a breaker bar? and wheres the axle?
You may want to re-evaluate your position on going to the shop....


Unless you're just messing with us....



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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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You may want to re-evaluate your position on going to the shop....


Unless you're just messing with us....
No really, I'm not kidding. I mean... I've done all the oil changes myself with great success and I think that is a piece of cake, I already have the stands for the bike, and I think that by the way you guys describe how 'easy' it is to adjust the chain slack, I though I could pull it off as well. I also thought that maybe someone could post pictures of this, because I don't understand the terminology very well and the manual is an little confusing. I guess I could take it to a shop, but I would rather save the money. I only earn enough right now to pay for my bills with nothing leftover to even save a little bit for myself. I guess the more "DIY" posts with pics that people post on this web site, the more people that can benefit from it, thus saving hundreds of dollars that they could otherwise use for anything else. The problem is that there's not a lot of people who will actually dedicate a few extra minutes of their busy lives to take some pics while they service their bikes and then post them. I do thank everyone who has posted DIY posts on here though, they have been very helpful.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 07:16 PM
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OK you've convinced me that you're for real. I don't have the manual with me or a way of posting pictures but I'll give you the basics. The axle bolt needs to be loosened first. It's a large bolt that goes horizontally through the center of the wheel. There is a large nut on the end of the axle that you back off a couple of turns and you need to remove a pin first that goes through the end of the axle so the nut can be backed off. Now the axle can be pushed back - it will slide along the piece of frame called the swingarm. To push it backward, there is an adjusting bolt on both sides, just in front of the axle that you just loosened. Before you can move these adjusting bolts however, there is a nut that secures them so they can't move on their own. At the forward side of the adjusting bolt is the "locknut". It just needs to be turned about 1 revolution and then you can turn the adjusting bolt with a wrench on the back end of this bolt. When you turn it clockwise, it will push the axle bolt backwards which results in a tightening of the chain. It's very easy to turn this adjuster too much. Probably about 1/2 turn will be enough. After you've slid it back to the proper position then you just snug the locknut down on the adjusting bolt, tighten the big nut on the axle bolt, and secure the nut with the pin (called a cotter pin).
OK, that's the basic procedure, but there's really a lot more to it than that. #1, you have to be sure you move the adjusters the same distance on both sides or it will **** the wheel and it won't track straight ahead anymore. That's why there are alignment marks on the sides so you'll know they're set right. #2, you need to put the right tension on the chain or it can do some damage. As the bike compresses the suspension, (like when you sit on it or go through dips)the chain will become tighter, actually quite a bit tighter. If it's too tight (rigid chain) it puts a lot of stress on the chain and some bearings leading to premature wear and failure. So the proper adjustment really needs to be checked with a lot of weight on the bike. There are various ways of doing this. I think I'll end the tutorial at this point rather than get more involved.
Seriously, is there anyone here in south Florida that can walk him through this? After you've done it one time you'll find it as easy as changing the oil so don't be intimidated by it. You definitely don't want to pay a dealer to do this because it's easy and you'll certainly take the time to do a better job than a mechanic would. Good luck!

Jeff in Illinois
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-01-2009, 07:17 PM
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there is a post on how to remove both of the wheels. Alot of the information is there pertaining to the axle and the chain
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoopidKid View Post
wheres the axle?
Really?

If you need to ask this question then you shouldn't be doing any personal mechanical work on your bike.

I am not trying to give you a hard time. I am merely trying to give you life-preserving advice, since adjusting your chain incorrectly can result in bad things, like a chain flying off, uncontrolled wheel oscillations, etc.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by StoopidKid View Post
I still dont get it. lol what's a breaker bar? and wheres the axle?

Stop encouraging him, he's not serious. Can't be!

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 08:09 PM
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When adding chain slack if too much was removed while trying to adjust it, give tire a little kick forward to make sure axle is up against the adjusters, and again once it's properly adjusted, then check chain slack again before tightening axle nut. You might have to keep the axle from turning by holding it at the axle's head (on the other side) while you're trying to loosen it a bit more, or when tightening the nut to recommended 80 ft-lbs. 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 (halway between holes). Loosen once and tighten again when the slot goes past the nearest hole...
Adjusters on the Ninja 250R are slightly different and reversed, but the method is the same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-5_JbLx2Bw

Last edited by invader; 11-03-2009 at 08:18 PM.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 09:05 PM
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It's gettin cold up here now. Fly me to South Florida and I'll walk you through it.







If you are serious, check out page 48 of this manual. Step by step with pics















After you do this once, you'll never even think about going to a shop for it again. Good instructions above

Last edited by onewizard; 02-02-2017 at 09:41 PM.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2009, 04:53 AM
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Hi StoopidKid,

Try youtube like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O_5Q-pEWDk
There are other good related videos on the same page.

They don't have the Versys but the principle is the same.
+1 by Trailslapper.


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Last edited by stlee29; 11-04-2009 at 04:55 AM.
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