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I hate adjusting chains, its never precise enough?

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I’ve had my XR650R for 8 years and I still HATE HATE HATE, adjusting the chain… :moon::lol::p:banana: not the tension but getting both sides the same! Its to the point that I have ridden my 13/50 and 14/48 for commuting just because I dread readjusting the chain. I had one incidence where I mistakenly had one side as much as a centimeter off and it caused worn bearing with play in the rear in only one trail ride and it caught my attention that they needed to be more precise. There was noticeable wear on the sides of my rear sprocket afterwards as well.

I have read that you can’t trust the tic marks on the swingarm but I measured mine the best I could to center of swingarm pivot bolt and they are the same but the process is not precise enough. I still adjust one side and then adjust the other which tightened the chain too much so I then re-adjust the first and see that they aren’t the same between the two so back to first and then the other side then pull out metric ruler and measure the mm the front of the axle tic to the end of the swingarm tic… I miss my old axle adjusters with the notched cam “…set to one notches past #2 and tighten the axle bolt.”

Again…Tension aside what is a good sure-fire way to adjust the chain adjusters? I tried to make a home-made tool like the one motion-pro sells that clamps on the sprocket and has a guide rod which is supposed to be parallel to the chain but it wasn’t very good.

After 8 years its my main pet-peeve with this bike and I would like to learn a better way or a trick to getting it right. I spend more time on this than actually changing the sprockets. :p:ride::moon:

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Set the chain tension and just make sure the sprocket is parallel to the chain, I just eyeball it, spin the wheel and look at where the chain leaves the sprocket you can see the chain and how it is aligned with the sprocket.

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Not sure it it's correct, but I assume the ends of the swingarm are true to each other. I use a vernier caliper from the ends to the back of the adjuster blocks. Then I use a mark all to put lines from the blocks to the swing arm in case trailside adjustment with the eyeball method is needed.

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I eyeball both sides of the tire and try to make the gap between the swingarm and tire the same on the both sides. Has worked so far with no problems

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