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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I completed my 600 mile service and I have a question about chain adjustment. I've been trying to find the tightest spot on my chain by pushing the bike every few inches. ( No Stand yet) To be honest.. I cannot find one part of the chain that seems tighter than the rest. My chain measurments seem to fall consistently around 1.5". I realize the chain is out of spec... But, I am worried I will tighten the chain too much, and don't want to blow any seals. Any real life advice about chain tension? I always adjusted my KLR's chain so it was a bit loose. Your help is appreciated.

MB
 

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2500 miles, and I haven't adjusted mine yet. :) Yeah, it's a little bit loose, but not too loose.

When the time comes, I'll read the service manual and follow their procedure. At 600 miles, honestly I wouldn't worry about it, unless the dealer really messed up one way or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll Keep watching

Thanks for the input. I'm hoping my bike was put together right. I believe I found a pretty good dealer. I ended up buying my Versys from a Kawi dealer who shut down his shop to take me to the hospital after a crash a few years back, and he only charged me $130 to pull my KLR's engine and fix the valve job I messed up. Embarrassed to say... foot lbs instead of inch lbs.
 

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Chain slack should be set between 1" and 1.4", so you could tighten it a bit. Mine did initially strech quickly and unevenly with a hard break-in. It was already a bit late for me at 140 miles. After a couple of re-adjustments, it's pretty evened out and stable, now at 1800 miles.
 

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You'd sweat 1/10 of an inch? (OK OK, 1/2 inch if you like it tight, guess I'm just lazy)

It's easy to adjust, just be SURE to keep it equidistant on each side, and make sure the sprockets are aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You'd sweat 1/10 of an inch? (OK OK, 1/2 inch if you like it tight, guess I'm just lazy)

It's easy to adjust, just be SURE to keep it equidistant on each side, and make sure the sprockets are aligned.
1/10 of an inch does sound kind of neurotic... I measured I.5 by eye balling it with a ruler. Using a piece of paper with hashmarks spaced at 35 cm as a guide, the chain was at least 1/2 " beyond speck. I readjusted within speck and triple checked to make sure it was even on each side. Thanks for everyone's help... It seems the older I get the more obsessed I become.

Mike
 

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do they mean you should be able to move it 1 and a half inches or it should be loosly 1.5 inches?
According to the MOM - it's 1.5 inches up and down. From it's lowest point to the highest point - it should be about 1.5.

I've been using a Carpenters Speed square to measure the distance. Set the movable slide all the way to the bottom and set the square on the garage floor. Then flex the chain down - record the measurement and then push the chain up and record the measure - the difference is the slack.

This could all be B.S. if I read the manual incorrectly but I stared at it for an hour until I think I got it. But, the Speed Square does work outstandingly for measuring chain slack.
 

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1.5 inches is fine.

1/10th of an inch of play is not going to cause problems. It's not even going to hurt the bike (or the chain) to run it as loose as 2" of play. But the drive lash will make for a jerky ride.

The important part is not to be too tight. So best advice is to stay on the loose side of the adjustment range.
 

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1.5 inches is fine.

1/10th of an inch of play is not going to cause problems. It's not even going to hurt the bike (or the chain) to run it as loose as 2" of play. But the drive lash will make for a jerky ride.

The important part is not to be too tight. So best advice is to stay on the loose side of the adjustment range.
x2 Only first hand chain damage I've come across (not my bike) were due to being over-tightened.
 

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other stuff

There isn't going to be a noticeable tight spot, really any tight spot, on a new chain. That's the hallmark of a worn chain. If you want to obsess about something obsess about your wheel alignment. Beyond regular lubrication the number two killer of chains is misalignment. The etched marks on the swing arm are not to be trusted.

Correctly aligned wheels of course mean a correctly aligned chain. Correct alignment is obviously best for handling as well.

Start a thread on chain alignment or maybe it will carry on here. I have my own method but it's highly irregular so I won't detail it. Of course you will need a stand.

When you are totally confident it is perfect measure some points on each side with a scale (small accurate ruler) with graduations to 1/32. On my current Kawi, a ZZR1200 it's between the back of the slider block and back of the swingarm. There is a 1/16 dif on mine, left vs right. Then just adjust keeping that relative relationship.
 

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i thought chain slack should be measured from the same point. if you pull down on the chain and measure to the bottom of the chain you then pull up and measure to the bottom. correct me if i am wrong. mechanic told me if you did it from top of link to bottom of link you would be runing it about 10mm to tight.
 

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i thought chain slack should be measured from the same point. if you pull down on the chain and measure to the bottom of the chain you then pull up and measure to the bottom. correct me if i am wrong. mechanic told me if you did it from top of link to bottom of link you would be runing it about 10mm to tight.
That is correct. Measure from the same point top and bottom of the travel. You want the play in the chain, not the chain's thickness.
 

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What I'm wondering is how much force to use while moving the chain up and down to measure the slack?:confused:
 

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I like to use my toe to wiggle it. It shouldn't be "slack", as in floppy. But you should be able to wiggle it up and down. Remember, looser is better than tighter. As long as it isn't hitting the swingarm, you'll be okay.

As far as alignment, the marks on the swingarm mean nothing. I just adjusted mine and the marks are way off. I take a straight edge, about a foot long, and put it against the face of the sprocket extending towards the front of the bike. I want the right edge of the straightedge to be aligned with the inside edge of the left side of the chain. In otherwords, right where the sprocket would be if it extended that far. The straight edge is simply an extension of the sprocket, so line it up accordingly. Will the chain and wheel always be in alignment? Probably not, but if I had to choose one, I'd like it to be the chain.

B-
 

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As far as alignment, the marks on the swingarm mean nothing. B-
I'd go even farther. The marks on the swingarm are counterproductive. I think this is an important enough topic that I'm going to start a new thread "rear wheel alignment". See you there.
 
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