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When checking chain tension is it best to do on th center stand, or with someone sitting on the bike?
It seems to make a big difference.

Thanks.
 

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MOM sez check it while the bike is on its side stand. variation is .08-1.2". mine's a hair over an inch at the tightest point. it hasn't been adjusted the last few clean/lube services (every 500 miles).

well, ok, i disregarded your handle. i'm referring to the 650 v-strom.
 

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doing it on the center stand makes it slightly tighter than if you use the side stand ( recommended way). I use the center stand and make it slightly looser than recommended and then a last check on the side stand. At 27000 KM the only time I NEEDED to adjust my chain is when I change the rear tire.

Brian
 

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Side stand if you go by the manual (which most agree is too tight of a spec).

1.5"-1.75" on the center stand is GTG, easy peasy.
 

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The first time

The first time you do it, not a bad check to have someone (or a couple of someones) sit on the bike and sag the rear suspension, so you can verify that there is still just a little slack in the chain. Just to back up your actual process. Once you know your system works, no further need. But a too-tight chain can cause major problems, so maybe worth doing the backup check once. And, of course (even with new chains) sometimes a good idea to check the slack at several points on the chain , to see if any part is tighter than any other.
 

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Better to think of CORRECT CHAIN SLACK. Tension sounds tight. Your chain doesn't like tight.

On the sidestand, 1" to 1-1/8" of slack in the middle of the bottom run of the chain is fine.

Sight the chain running straight off the rear sprocket or use a chain alignment tool. Do not trust the alignment marks on the swingarm.
 

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A slappy chain is a happy chain... well, not really, but people used to pure streetbikes have to be re-trained a bit. The DL needs a good bit more chain slack than a typical streetbike. Too tight can be VERY bad, while a little too loose is no big deal at all.

Make sure you triple-check this if you have a shop do any work -- they often set it like a streetbike chain.
 
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Make sure you triple-check this if you have a shop do any work -- they often set it like a streetbike chain.
yeah, i had to remind my indie tire-replacer guy about proper chain slack on my former bike, an 09 ninja 650.

i'l need to remind him again when my zuki gets new shoes.
 

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Any bike I get, I always remove the suspension linkage and rotate the wheel to get the tightest chain & adjust from there - I found the dl has relatively little variation compated to other d/s bikes and the stock settings quite accurate.
 

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So I'm curious why several of y'all make note not to trust the marks.
Seems if the manufacturer can drill holes that match so the bike can be bolted together should surely be able to make marks that match.
What do you use if not trusting the marks?
 

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Anyone thought of a go / no-go gauge for chain adjustment? What do they use in the pits for motor gp?
 

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Anyone thought of a go / no-go gauge for chain adjustment? What do they use in the pits for motor gp?
There's a device called Chain Monkey that they highly tout. Never used it as it is pretty simple for me to use a tape measure and my finger. I'd be interested in hearing from someone who has used it.

Tru-Tension | Precision Every Time | Chain Monkey
 

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Anyone thought of a go / no-go gauge for chain adjustment? What do they use in the pits for motor gp?
I have the chain monkey easy to set up and use.
Only got it as a double check on how I usually do the chain.
 

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So I'm curious why several of y'all make note not to trust the marks.
Seems if the manufacturer can drill holes that match so the bike can be bolted together should surely be able to make marks that match.
What do you use if not trusting the marks?


This advice is common, but it's something of a leftover from the past.

I make a point to verify the marks on each bike I work on. What I've found is that in bikes built in Ye Olden Golden Dayes of Yore, the marks on the swingarms were pretty much scratched at random.

On modern bikes, manufacturing is a lot more consistent and I've found that the marks are usually very close or dead on. I'm fairly comfortable trusting the chain alignment marks on the swingarm on any bike with fuel injection.

You still want to be careful to make sure all the slop is out of the system and stays out as you tighten the axle. I usually bump the axle ends with a rubber hammer to make sure the axle and hardware stays all the way forward.


To check the measurement, you can rig up any number of objects to act as pointers (bending points into a length of stiff wire is simple and works fine), but the basic idea is to verify that the distance from the center of the swingarm pivot to the center of the axle is the same on both sides.

As long as the frame, swingarm, and forks were manufactured with reasonable accuracy and aren't damaged, this should also mean the front and rear tires are properly aligned. It once was fairly common to adjust the rear wheel relative to the swingarm just a smidgin in order to compensate for problems or damage elsewhere. You can check front/rear wheel alignment with a piece of string or one or two long straightedges. On modern streetbikes, things are usually pretty much spot-on from the factory (assuming the setup monkey at the dealer didn't screw it up), but it doesn't hurt to check.
 
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On modern bikes, manufacturing is a lot more consistent and I've found that the marks are usually very close or dead on. I'm fairly comfortable trusting the chain alignment marks on the swingarm on any bike with fuel injection.

You still want to be careful to make sure all the slop is out of the system and stays out as you tighten the axle. I usually bump the axle ends with a rubber hammer to make sure the axle and hardware stays all the way forward.

Yea on modern bikes the marks are close enough. Chains can tolerate some misalignment anyway there's some inherent slop between the chain and sprockets and the rubber cush things in the hub.

To get the axle tight up against the adjusters jam something like a rag between the chain and back sprocket by rotating the wheel back. Hold the wheel and tighten the axle.
 

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:) Hey everyone, all the major manufacturers agree that you want 1.5 - 1.75 inches of Slack in the Chain, Measured midway between the sprockets on the Lower Run of Chain with the bike upright on two wheels, and no rider on the bike.

Once set properly with this method you do not need to be adjusting your chain at all unless it goes out of these specs over time with use and age.

Enjoy the ride, and best regards all,
Blair
 
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