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Discussion Starter #1
So with a little over 1000 miles on the bike, it came time to adjust the chain for the second time. With the free play adjusted to 1.25", I tightened her back up and everything was golden....

Then I measured from the plastic cover over the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle

22" on the sprocket side

22.125" on the passenger side.

My question: should I remove the plastic covers, which may have some manufacturing differences causing the issue, and measure from the actual axle nut, or trust that everything is alright since the adjustment marks are perfectly equal?

Here's a pic of what I'm talking about. Tape is slack because I was taking a picture...
 

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Get A Motion Pro Chain Alignment Tool... Riders Discount had a good deal on them when i got mine.....

IMG_1728 by weljo2001, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think I'll set the axle straight for now until I can mess around with the motion pro tool.

I'm not a fan of the string method because it's so difficult to determine if the front wheel is dead straight, or just looks like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well after taking the side covers off, and removing both of the footpeg mounts so I could get a tape flat from the swingarm pivot to the rear axle, both sides measured out exactly the same. I think I'm going to add some more marks on the swingarm so make it more exact for the next go-around...
 

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I have the same Motion Pro Alignment tool. It's a nice check.

I would NOT use the plastic side covers as a gauge point. They are only a cosmetic cover. Pull them and use the center of the swingarm axle if you want to do it that way.

I first clean and lube the chain. Then I set the tension so it just clears the swingarm, more chains and sprocket sets are kill by over tightening than anything else. I then check alignment, make sure the tension stays where it was adjusted to. I end up working back and forth between the two to keep them set where I want. When torquing the axle be careful to check both alignment and tension as it will change at times.

I have 16,000 on my Versys and have only adjusted the tension once. The chain set is good to go for many more miles.

I have 31,250 on my KLR and it's on it 2nd chain set ONLY due to a big rock I smacked while offroading bending the rear sprocket so badly the chain wouldn't stay on. I did this at 12,000 miles Even after pounding the sprocket halfway strait I knew I'd never make it home BUT the guy I was riding with have a brand new set up he let me beg off him, I replaced it of course within the week.
 

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The "alignment" marks on your swing-arm are MERELY a guide. Align your chain (HOWEVER you like), then whenever you adjust your chain, only move the adjusters EXACTLY the same amount, side-to-side. As they are HEX nuts, they have SIX flats, so I count the number of 'flats', and ALWAYS re-check the slack AFTER tightening your axle nut (because it TIGHTENS the chain when you do!)!!!

IF you ever need to loosen your chain - stick a screwdriver BETWEEN your chain and a sprocket tooth, turn the wheel so the chain's REALLY tight, then tighten the axle nut (and remove the screwdriver!!!).
 

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The laser tool is pretty cool. I have a line laser for building, but I never came up with a good way to use it for wheel alignment. Hold it on the sprocket, duh.
 
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