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Chain tension questions

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Hi. Noob here. How often should I check and/or adjust chain tension? I know there are a ton of variables. This is my first chain-drive bike, so I'm open to all advice.

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As long as your swingarm bearings and wheel bearings are ok, the longest part of the rear axle's arc is when the centre of the sprocket, the pivot, and the axle are in a straight line.

    So, with the bike on a stand, hook a ratchet tiedowns on both side of the subframe and pull the swingarm up till points are aligned. Set the chain so there is slight slack.

Rotate wheel a few time, checking tension doesn't alter  too much. Could be bearings or sprockets out of round, retension if necessary.

  When you've finished, take note of how much slack there is  when sitting on its wheels unladen so its easy to check at a glance.

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In answer to the question you asked - I would suggest you make it part of your riding routine to check the chain every time you clean the bike (assuming you clean the bike on a regular basis). As for the adjustment - everyone has their own method of checking - search through this site and you will find a method that suits you

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I would recommend you download a manual for your bike off an internet website (about $6-$7 best investment for your bike). There may be a number of ways to check the chain, but technically there is only one correct way to do it and adjust it. For most bikes it's wheel completely off the ground and looking at the top portion of chain. With a ruler, see how much up to down movement there is. I think for my 1999 xr400 it was like 20-40 mm but I would never just guess. Trust me, get a manual and follow the manual. If you have question's about the way the manual words things, we can answer that no problem. Also, get a torque wrench. Good luck

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In answer to the question you asked - I would suggest you make it part of your riding routine to check the chain every time you clean the bike (assuming you clean the bike on a regular basis). As for the adjustment - everyone has their own method of checking - search through this site and you will find a method that suits you

 

These bikes can be cleaned?!?

 

I check chain tension every ride or two.  Lift the top section of chain, approximately midway between sprockets, and gauge how high off the swingarm it can be lifted.  I think the spec is just about teh width of three fingers.

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These bikes can be cleaned?!?

 

Heart of Darkness,  I am told this can only happen during a rain storm and when 10 virgins are dancing naked around your crash helmet..... you do have a helmet?

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Honestly after a chain gets broken in, the slack doesn't change much. More important thing to do is clean it with a power washer and lube it every ride. I think the original poster has ditched this topic now so it's just some guys bickering about their methods haha. But if not,

 

BUY A MANUAL, BUY A MANUAL, BUY A MANUAL, BY A MANUAL, and a torque wrench. 

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These bikes can be cleaned?!?

 

Heart of Darkness,  I am told this can only happen during a rain storm and when 10 virgins are dancing naked around your crash helmet..... you do have a helmet?

 

I must have bought the wrong helmet, because mine has 10 haggard ladies of the evening.  I've found that water crossings do a good job of cleaning the bike, at least below the high tide line.

 

Re pressure washing, I've heard they can force water past the rubber O rings

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Quite correct - never use a pressure washer on chains or in the vicinity of any bearings- it will push the crap in .... and the grease out

PS buy a New Helmet.... it may work....

Edited by reduceus

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Quite correct - never use a pressure washer on chains or in the vicinity of any bearings- it will push the crap in .... and the grease out

PS buy a New Helmet.... it may work....

 

There is a lot of centrifugal force in a chain. If you keep it kept up (after every ride) and lube it after you wash it, you never get major build up of anything. Stays really really clean. But now I have to ask how do you go about keeping the nooks and crannies clean? I mean I have tried everything and pressure washing is the only answer. 

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