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Really stupid questions on chains

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Ok, I just bought a '95 XR200R. As my introductory post stated, I know next to nothing about motorcycles. The previous owner said the chain was too loose, and that I should tighten it up. He said to loosen the nuts on both sides of the rear tire and use a hammer to tap the adjusters up. Right now it's on 29 and he said to tap them up to 30. I don't know if this is a standard measurement or bike specific. Ok, here's my stupid questions:

1. Can I do this while the bike is on the ground?

2. Should I look into getting a new chain? 30 is closer to the end than the beginning of the "guide". Plus, I don't know how old the chain is.

3. If #2 is yes, any recommendations?

4. The bike didn't come with a manual. How do I know which size chain to buy?

5. The biggie...can an idiot change the chain?



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Do not hit the chain adjusters (snail adjusters) with a hammer. Use an adjustable wrench or a pair of pliers on the tab of the adjuster and move it up or down as needed.

To tighten the chain, first clean and lube it. This can be done either on or off the bike. I prefer to do it off. Clean with a non-flammable solvent and a soft brush and wipe dry. Allow to dry completely before lubricating. Lube with Pro Honda Chain Lube, or equivalent.

The chain slack is checked midway between the sprockets. There should be 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 inch) of free slack, up and down, on the chain. The bike should have both wheels on the ground, and vertical. Have someone hold it while you do the adjustments.

Inspect chain for wear. Replace if there are damaged rollers, loose links, or otherwise looks unservicable. Check the teeth on both sprockets. If they are worn small, or are "hooked" at the ends, they will need replaced. Commonly, the chain and sprockets are replaced at the same time.

Get yourself a Honda Service Manual from your local dealer for maintenance procedures.

Good luck, have fun, be safe.

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