Chain Slack Adjustment - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Chain Slack Adjustment

Going on longest trip to date with wife and brother-in-law to Americade this weekend. Want to make sure chain adjustment is accurate.

I've always adjusted chain slack without anyone sitting on the bike. No manual has indicated adjustment should be made with someone on the bike. Versys manual indicates slack should be between 1.0" - 1.4". Once sitting on the bike, there still is some play in the chain. Anyone make chain adjustment differently? If so, why? Thanks.


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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 09:34 AM
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Good point, the chain will be at its tightest when the counter shaft sprocket, swing arm pivot and rear axle are all in line. If you can get someone to help, you can push down the rear of the bike to achieve this, then make sure your chain still has some play in it.

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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 02:20 PM
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If you are adjusting the chain to make it looser/tighter do you really need a new cotter pin? The manual states to put a new one in.

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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_milstead View Post
If you are adjusting the chain to make it looser/tighter do you really need a new cotter pin? The manual states to put a new one in.
Yes! Cottor Pins bend a few time and break like an old credit card. 5/32 X 1.5" Lowes has 'em. $1.50 for a couple.. Real cheap insurance.

If the pin breaks and falls out, and the axle nut comes off at 70MPH, should you risk it?
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchieffallo View Post
Anyone make chain adjustment differently? If so, why? Thanks.
I adjust my slack with no weight on the bike to the manuals spec. I would hope the manufacturer would keep rider weight in mind and adjust their spec accordingly. If you weight it first, it would only be more loose going down the road.

Disclaimer: I am not a mechanic and don't pretend to be one
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:10 PM
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Thanks Capn Kirk, especially for the size specs and where to get them!

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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 01:07 PM
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Perfect timing to see this tread. As soon as I find a socket big enough for the rear wheel nut, I need to do this. The biggest one I have is a 24mm and it doesn't fit. It looks like I might need a 26 or a 26. Doesn anyone know off hand what size?

"Going on longest trip to date with wife and brother-in-law to Americade this weekend."

I was at Americade that weekend too, did you enjoy it? We were staying south of Lake George in saratoga. All those thousands and thousands of bikes, and the only other Versys I saw was at the Kawasaki demo ride. I definitely got a few "WTF is that" looks. Nothing like being unique!

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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 01:55 PM
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You need a 27mm. A 1 1/16" fits perfectly also. Be sure to hold the axle bolt head when you tighten the nut back up(80ft-lb) or it will turn, at least that was my experience.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 Wheel Drive View Post
The biggest one I have is a 24mm and it doesn't fit. It looks like I might need a 26 or a 26. Doesn anyone know off hand what size?
FYI if you adjust chain tension, you will need new cotter pins (5/32 X 1.5" Lowes has 'em) as well as a 22mm and 27mm socket for the rear axle bolt as well as two 12mm open end wrenches to adjust the tensioner screws.

Above copied from here. Post # 161.

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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 03:31 PM
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Adjusted mine per manulal instructios, once I tightend the axil back up the tension got very tight. Ended up having to redo it, make sure you double check your work!
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by duster_71 View Post
Adjusted mine per manulal instructios, once I tightend the axil back up the tension got very tight. Ended up having to redo it, make sure you double check your work!
My suggestion for adjusting your chain: LESS is MORE. Turn each adjuster 1 or 2 flats, (each hexagonal nut has 6 flats) then tighten the axle and re-check slack. If you need a bit more, re-do till you're satisfied, torque the axle and install Mr. Cotter-Pin. And don't forget to check chain slack at more than 1 spot!

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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 06:55 PM
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 11:13 PM
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Adjusting the chain as per manual is not rocket science but since you are on a long trip with 2 up and with your other loads, you might want some compensation on the chain tightness or slack.

I always check with load and without load to get the correct settings with the help of my mechanic.

Just my 2cts thoughts.

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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 01:24 AM
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Question On a related note,

Any thoughts on locating the "tightest portion of the drive chain"? I could usually find a tight spot on my XV250, but this last time around on the V nowhere seemed tighter than anywhere else. I finally set it where I was and re-checked at a couple of other places. Still didn't seem to vary significantly.

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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 03:18 AM
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Tightness of a chain will occurs under the following situations:
1. Uneven stretching of the chain
2. Uneven wear of the sprockets
3. Back wheel alignment.
4. Locked links.

If you not finding any tightness in the chain then its good news provided the chain is in good condition.
Just my 2cts thoughts.

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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnie View Post
You need a 27mm. A 1 1/16" fits perfectly also. Be sure to hold the axle bolt head when you tighten the nut back up(80ft-lb) or it will turn, at least that was my experience.
This a really good point, when torque back up as you get very close to the 80ft-lb the axle may turn, had to reach around and clamp the bolt head to get the final tighten on the wrench
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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 09:09 PM
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My KLR had a quick chain slack check where you could pull up on the chain and if it just touched the slider it was good.

Any quick tricks like that for the versys?




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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 10:47 PM
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How much drag should there be on the rear wheel with the axle nut tightened? I'm following the specs of 70 ftlbs of torque, then tightening until the next hole lines up. The wheel definitely has drag.
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
How much drag should there be on the rear wheel with the axle nut tightened? I'm following the specs of 70 ftlbs of torque, then tightening until the next hole lines up. The wheel definitely has drag.
My manual says 80 ft lbs torque. And there shouldn't be much drag. Is your chain too tight?


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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_milstead View Post
If you are adjusting the chain to make it looser/tighter do you really need a new cotter pin? The manual states to put a new one in.
ditch the bendy cotter pin and get a hairpin style one never have to replace and you dont have to bend it to install and remove

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