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This is my first time to ever adjust a motorcycle chain. I'm determined to learn to do this simple service myself. I watched a few videos and read the owners manual for my versys. I followed the instructions. Seemed like a simple procedure. I cleaned the chain and relubed it as well. I started with 2.5 inches of play. Now I'm at 1 inch of play. Of course now the chain noise is different. Louder. At low speed I also feel vibration through my feet and some pulsing like chain noise. Maybe chain rubbing too much on the plastic guide? Will this go away? Have I adjusted it too tight? Is the chain worn out? I'm a little OCD about it being correct. Any help appreciated!


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it may be very tight, it is better to ride 2 people on the bike to adjust the chain, or it is also possible that the chain or front sprocket is worn
 

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I found that one inch... although within spec... might be on the tight side of things. Also... Make sure you're measuring at the chain's tightest point. With your back tire elevated with a rear paddock stand... Rotate the rear tire and you'll find where the chain is tightest. Use that spot for your adjustment measurements.
 

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I found that one inch... although within spec... might be on the tight side of things. Also... Make sure you're measuring at the chain's tightest point. With your back tire elevated with a rear paddock stand... Rotate the rear tire and you'll find where the chain is tightest. Use that spot for your adjustment measurements.
+1

I mis-adjusted my chain because I measured at a loose spot. The chain was really tight in other spots (not the best thing for chain life). Turns out my chain needed to be replaced, worn too unevenly. Supposedly you check the tension with the bike on the side stand. Not sure how much that affects the tension, but it's a pain to put the bike on a paddock stand to find the tight spot and then on the side stand to measure the tension, then back on to the paddock stand to adjust the tension.
 

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Personally, I think that the miles I rode with the chain a bit too tight is what wore the chain the most. I would suggest adjusting the chain to the loosest setting. Then adjust again if needed.

I am definitely of the school that believe looser chains are better. I do not know why I believe this, other than it seems to work. I hope to get more than 20,000 miles out of my current chain.
 

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According to the manual, you check the chain slack when on the side stand.. not when on a rear stand..

You will get totally different measurements..

I recommend following kawasaki - On the side stand, test it.. look for 1.0-1.4 inch slack in the tighest spot of the chain.. Top of the chain to top of the chain, make sure to press downward and upward on the chain before taking the measurement.
 

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Just to add on chain care and adjustment. The chain aligment tool make a difference. Its a small piece of clamp on tool that you clamp on your rear sprocket to get the chain align to the front sprocket. When i followed the adjustment marks on the arms the chain did make some noise, but when I use the align tool , its perfect and no noise.
 

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Also make sure you're measuring chain slack from bottom of chain when pulled down to bottom of chain when pulled up, or from top of chain when pulled down to top of chain when pulled up... Measure at chain's tightest rotation position with rear suspension extended out, but with at least 1.25" of vertical chain slack, and make sure alignment marks are matched on both sides if not using an alignment tool.

How much mileage is there on original chain and sprockets?
 

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The chain could be worn, or have some (one or more) frozen links.
If you tighten a chain with frozen links it will give a higher noise because the bad links will be stressed more. If this is the case you might be able to loose the links with chain lube and some TLC (twisting, bending these links when spraying lots of chain lube) - if not, it might be time to replace the chain/sprockets.
 

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Ideally 3cm of slack is best. Is measured from pulling up chain to pulling down chain in middle. After getting the slack set up IMO it is import to also align the rear wheel. The easiest way to do this is with string. See youtube video. Also you need to check slack after the alignment as this can effect chain tension slightly and readjust. There is also a Motion Pro tool for alignment but string is just as accurate. Normally you only need to replace front sprocket with chain.
 

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I found that one inch... although within spec... might be on the tight side of things. Also... Make sure you're measuring at the chain's tightest point. With your back tire elevated with a rear paddock stand... Rotate the rear tire and you'll find where the chain is tightest. Use that spot for your adjustment measurements.
I do this, and measure every 6" or so.

+1

I mis-adjusted my chain because I measured at a loose spot. The chain was really tight in other spots (not the best thing for chain life). Turns out my chain needed to be replaced, worn too unevenly. Supposedly you check the tension with the bike on the side stand. Not sure how much that affects the tension, but it's a pain to put the bike on a paddock stand to find the tight spot and then on the side stand to measure the tension, then back on to the paddock stand to adjust the tension.
The reason your manual says to check it on the sidestand is because the V ONLY comes w/ a sidestand. IF it's on a paddock stand, ALL the rear weight is still the same as on the rear wheel, so... adjust away.

According to the manual, you check the chain slack when on the side stand.. not when on a rear stand..

You will get totally different measurements....
Don't see HOW you could get different measurements - the weight is still TOTALLY supported at the rear of the swingarm.
 

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IF you want to be REALLY anal adjusting your chain... find a way to get the centers of your countershaft sprocket, swingarm pivot 'bolt' and rear axle DIRECTLY in line (normally you'll need stands under various parts, and your shock removed) - THAT is the point at which your chain will be its tightest. Then adjust it to be CLOSE to having NO slack. Let your bike go back to normal configuration and MEASURE the slack. You should end up at just under 1".

And that's how Kawasaki determined the chain slack to be 1" to 1.4".

:yeahsmile:
 

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This is my first time to ever adjust a motorcycle chain. I'm determined to learn to do this simple service myself. I watched a few videos and read the owners manual for my versys. I followed the instructions. Seemed like a simple procedure. I cleaned the chain and relubed it as well. I started with 2.5 inches of play. Now I'm at 1 inch of play. Of course now the chain noise is different. Louder. At low speed I also feel vibration through my feet and some pulsing like chain noise. Maybe chain rubbing too much on the plastic guide? Will this go away? Have I adjusted it too tight? Is the chain worn out? I'm a little OCD about it being correct. Any help appreciated!


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As stated more slack is better. Don't OCD about it, I've always keep mine just off the swing arm, I've only tighten it one time in a year and a half and that one time was because I had the wheel off to change the tire.
 
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