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Chain Loosening

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Hi all, I've been noticing on my 2005 DRZ400sm that the chain seems to get ridiculously long everytime that I adjust it. I try to take very good care of it, cleaning it with kerosene and a toothbrush every 600 miles and relubing and adjusting it. I adjust it on the sidestand to be within the 1.6-2.0 inches, but it seems like everytime I do that and then go for a ride, it stretches out or something goes out of adjustment and it gets too much slop in it again. I'm confused how the chain could get looser without stretching because the adjusters would have to screw in farther, but I've tightened them well and marked the bolt and it doesn't look like they're moving. Is there something I'm doing wrong to make this happen?

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You should be adjusting the chain with your weight on the bike. By adjusting it on the sidestand you may be overtightening it, causing it to prematurely stretch.

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Well either the chain/sprockets are wearing and/or the chain adjustment is slipping. So every 600 miles the chain needs adjustment? How old is the chain? O-ring chain? Measure between 21 pins on the chain, while applying tension to chain. New should be 12.5" (317.5 mm) and worn 12.57" (319.4 mm) for a 520 chain.

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You should be adjusting the chain with your weight on the bike. By adjusting it on the sidestand you may be overtightening it, causing it to prematurely stretch.

The spec 1.6 - 2.0 inches is with the bike on the side or center stand. People's weight differs, so that isn't a good method or adjusting chain tension.

The best way is to remove the shock, raise the swingarm till the output shaft, swingarm pivot and rear axle line up horizontally. At that point the chain will be the tightest it's ever going to get and the chain should have little play, maybe 1/4" or so.

Once you reinstall the shock you can correlate the 1/4" play (horizontal alignment) to the play (should be much more than 1/4") when the swingarm is at rest and the shock fully extended (i.e. similar to bike on side stand).

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You should be adjusting the chain with your weight on the bike. By adjusting it on the sidestand you may be overtightening it, causing it to prematurely stretch.

Found some humor in this... how am i supposed to sit on my bike and at the same time adjust the chain! Lol

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Very carefully, lol. I just have my GF sit on the bike to get an approximation. I am about 85 lbs. over her though.

Edited by UFboostedgator

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Found some humor in this... how am i supposed to sit on my bike and at the same time adjust the chain! Lol

I sit my ass on the back of the seat and reach down and make sure there is still play in it after I make an adjustment. That way I know it is about right when it has rider weight on it. Sometimes I have someone else help compress the suspension to make sure that it doesn't get too tight as the suspension compresses.

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