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I have a somewhat odd question so please bear with me. I know in dealing with bicycles that there is a tool that you can use to check your chain tension. By knowing what the "parameters" of a good chain are you know how much longer you can go before you have to buy a new one.

Now, with that said, I was doing some "preventative maintenance" today & noticed while I was lubing my chain that it's "drooping" a little. I know from the shop that does all of my "big" work that these chains DO stretch & that you have to loosen & reposition your rear tire periodically to combat this. My question is does anyone know of a tool where I can check to see if my motorcycle chain is stretched like I have on my bicycle? Also, how easy is it to adjust your rear tire? I haven't tried any of this because I didn't think I have all the proper tools to do it. After looking at it for a bit I realized that all it seems I need is a couple wrenches. (probably not the case, but....) Am I missing something here?! :confused:

Thanks for your help!
 

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A chain stretches very little when new and never after that. Chains wear when the lube that is installed at the factory leaks out due to worn o-rings or abuse. There are parts of the chain that do not have factory lube and must be manually lubed, maybe every other tank when running in dry weather, and every tank of gas when running in the rain or off pavement.

Once the chain is correctly adjusted, expect it to run many, many miles before another adjustment is needed--if you lube it adequately.

A few tips--
--The marks on the swing arm for rear axle position are not to be trusted. Sight down the chain (or use an alignment gizmo) to get the rear wheel correctly aligned with the front sprocket.
--Give the chain the amount of slack shown in the owner's manual. A bit loose is better than a bit tight. Remember that the chain tightens when the swing arm goes up, and too tight wears the chain very quickly.
--Put the rear axle in from the right. It is easier to keep all the parts lined up.
--Put some antiseize on the axle threads and torque the axle nut to about 58 lbs-ft.
 

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My experience is different. The chain adjustment will change when new and will require 1 or 2 tweaks before it settles in. Then as sprockets and the chain wear from fatigue...you will get slack again...but at much longer intervals between adjustments.

Run your chain on the loose side of spec...1.2 inches or so. The main issue with a tight chain is not chain wear as much as sprocket bearing wear as the chain tension tightens up with swing arm travel. On my bike, I have micrometered the rear wheel/axle alignment and my witness marks are dead nuts accurate..a first for me.
 

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anti seize

A chain stretches very little when new and never after that. Chains wear when the lube that is installed at the factory leaks out due to worn o-rings or abuse. There are parts of the chain that do not have factory lube and must be manually lubed, maybe every other tank when running in dry weather, and every tank of gas when running in the rain or off pavement.

Once the chain is correctly adjusted, expect it to run many, many miles before another adjustment is needed--if you lube it adequately.

A few tips--
--The marks on the swing arm for rear axle position are not to be trusted. Sight down the chain (or use an alignment gizmo) to get the rear wheel correctly aligned with the front sprocket.
--Give the chain the amount of slack shown in the owner's manual. A bit loose is better than a bit tight. Remember that the chain tightens when the swing arm goes up, and too tight wears the chain very quickly.
--Put the rear axle in from the right. It is easier to keep all the parts lined up.
--Put some antiseize on the axle threads and torque the axle nut to about 58 lbs-ft.
Are you sure on the anti seize? Is the 58 ft/lbs de rated for anti seize?
 

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Are you sure on the anti seize? Is the 58 ft/lbs de rated for anti seize?
Yes, he's sure. The factory recommendation for that nut is 75 ft/lb on dry threads. 58 is what many people around here run with anti-seize on the threads.
 

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To answer the question about the "tool for gauging adjustment". I have not seen one specific to our bikes being sold. It is too easy to make one and few people feel they need one. You will probably feel the same way after you have become familiar with the procedure. If you want to make one, cut/make a piece of plastic/cardboard that will, when held behind the chain, indicate by three marks, how far the chain can travel. The lowest mark, when held firmly where the lower chain travels and half way between the sprockets and with you pushing down on the chain, will be your benchmark. The next mark will be at .8 inches, the min. stretch. The next mark will be at 1.2 in. the max stretch. If you lift the chain it should not go too much past the upper mark or it needs adjustment.
 

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You guys measure the chain with the bike unloaded, right? Or do you climb on and have a helper measure?
 

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You guys measure the chain with the bike unloaded, right? Or do you climb on and have a helper measure?
Do you have the owner's manual? It gives a detailed proven method to check chain slack. If not, check back or do a search.:yesnod:
Edit. The more I read my question the more I realize you already answered it. Anyway, yes, as it came from the factory, if your going to use their recommendations for slack. If you have a center stand put it up on that first, and try to find the tightest place in the chain as you spin the wheel to say 5-8 different positions. Then when you have the tight spot, put it down on the side stand, to make the actual clearance adjustment.
 

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I literally just received my owner's manual about 20 min ago when I went out to get the mail this evening. It was not available when I took delivery of my (used) bike. It was since located and mailed to me.

I shall consult the manual. Sorry for the dumb question. Thanks for the patience.
 

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This is a great forum

I just went through my real first chain tensioning today. It was a piece of cake. I was worried that I'd get the rear tire out of line with the front tire, but that didn't happen. After I went through the steps mentioned in the 3 or 4 threads on Stromtrooper on how to do it, it was just easy.

Loosen the axle nut, yea you have to have a wrench on the other side too.

Turn the #5 hex in the back of the swing arm a quarter turn on each side.

Remeasure the slack and adjust if necessary.

Spin the nut off and put some anti-seize on it. Tighten back down to 58 ft lbs, eyeball it and you're done.

I could tell the difference in the ride. A little more smooth and the herky jerky stuff was gone. Turn loose of the bars and she just tracks like butter.

Great stuff, thanks you guys.

RR
 

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Here's my input.
The axel should go in from the left side, nut on the right.
This is due to the rotation of the wheel naturally working on the nut in a tightening motion.
I use a spare axle to align the caliper hanger and spacers, pushing it out with the axle I'm using.

Measure the axle from the center of the swing arm pivot to the center of the axle on both sides,
And run two long, I use 40" rulers on each side of the rear wheel to align it while tightening the chain,
I adjust the chain with the bike vertical and someone sitting on the seat.
Kind of a pain but I know that the slack is decent and the chain isn't too tight.
 

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The axle does not move and the nut is self locking. The axle can enter from either side.
 
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