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This question comes from my vast mechanical ignorance: My 2005 DL650 has 33,000 miles and the original chain has stretched a good 2 inches. I purchased a new chain and found a pretty helpful YouTube video showing how to put it on. All has gone well, the new chain is "on" and now I'm ready to rivet the master link. Because of the many adjustments needed to tighten the old chain, my chain tension adjusters seemed to be at the maximum point. Is it possible to "back up" the tension adjusters? I lack that 2" of being able to install the master link. Am I looking at this totally wrong?

Any help from you much more experienced riders would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your indulgence of one who is mechanically-challenged.
 

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Assuming the axle nut is loose, unscrew both sides of the chain tension adjusters, a lot, say 5 full turns, then with rear wheel off ground, give the back portion of the rear wheel a good push or kick towards front of bike.
That should move the wheel forward. Rinse and repeat till you have sufficient slack to connect chain ends, followed by proper chain tension adjustement.

Mark
 

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If I understand your question, first make sure the chain you are installing is 116 link. 2007 and later use 118 link, prior is 116 links. I remove the chain guard and the chain, and turn the wheel adjusters all the way to the front. Essentially shorten the wheelbase. I install the appropriate chain, draping it over both sprockets. I insert the master link to hold the ends together. I look at the available slack and if it seems OK (does since my 2011 uses an 118 link chain that fits fine especially with the wheel forward) I will install the master link with a tool. Once that is done I start to adjust the chain tension but also sight down the chain to make certain it's straight with the front sprocket. I also take the time to clean and check the adjuster hardware to make sure it operates smoothly, etc.

The chain lengths mentioned above are those mentioned elsewhere on these forums. I only have ever had my 2011 using 118 links.

Rick
 

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Certainly you have too many links. Standard chains come with 120 links and are meant to be cut to size while precise length chains for 2007 and later 650s have 118 links. As Rick said, you need 116 links. You need to grind the end of a pin level with the side plate and use the chain tool to press out the pin. In case you aren't familiar with the terminology, the pic shows 5 links on top and 3 links on the bottom.

 

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Chains don't stretch (at least not with V-strom horsepower). They wear inside the rollers, so that's where they get longer. If yours gained 2", that's really a lot of wear, and you're lucky it didn't break.

The chain is wearing and ready for replacement when you see sticky links, or can pull the chain away from the rear sprocket, or you see rust coming out under the rollers.

Wilson, you did replace both front & rear sprockets, right? They wear as well. At 33k, they're overdue. A new chain on worn sprockets won't have a long life.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My measurement of 2" was against the new chain, which now I'm educated to verify the number of links... Both front and rear sprocket were replaced previously. Thanks for your response - much appreciated!
 

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116 links includes the master link. Notice the chain always has an even number of links. In the above picture, the segments have an odd number of links with narrow ends. Connect the ends with a master link and you get the even number of links including the master link. The only way to get an odd number is to use a half link like in the picture below. It's the way to get two narrow ends with an even number of links.

 
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