Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Fairfield, CA, USA
Mysteries of Chain Adjustment
I bought a brand-new DL650K9 in mid-January, and have noticed for a while that the chain is a bit on the loose side (about 1.5" of slack). So today I finally decided to do something about it.
Checking the owners manual, it looks pretty simple. It says to do it all on the side stand which is good, since my center stand has not arrived yet.
Then it said to loosen the right side axle nut. Oops, I didn't read carefully enough, and loosened both sides. I did quite a few turns with my torque wrench first on the left side, then not so many on the right. Thing is though, it never felt very loose. There continued to be a lot of resistance. Not wanting the wheel to fall off, I finally gave up and started on the adjuster bolts with an allen wrench. Gave both of those a few turns, which took a fair amount of pressure.
Oops, too tight! No problem, I'll just turn them the other way. However that had no effect on chain tightness, because the loosening does not apply any pressure on the axle. Tried tapping on the adjuster bolts with a small hammer. No effect. Then dug up my 5-pound mallet and a big screwdriver, and gave the axle nuts a few stiff whacks at their base (the round part). Finally the axle went forward enough so the chain was about right.
Time to tighten things back up. I screwed the adjuster bolts back in until there was good resistance. The manual says to torque the axle nut to 72.5 ft-lb, so I started by torqueing the right side to 55. Then moved to the left side - oops, it's already at 55! OK, back to the right side, tightened it to 72.5. Hmm, the left side already clicks the wrench at 72.5 also. I guess they are connected?
Went for a short test ride. Shifting is much smoother. Returned home and checked the chain slack again. Still good, just under an inch.
But... did I mess anything up??? What's the deal with the axle nuts? It bugs me that I did a lot of loosening on the left one and very little tightening.
Orange Wee Club member #18
DL650K9 with Murphs center stand, SW Motech Rally crash bars, Madstad bracket, Dan Vesel luggage guard and tube,
Bestem top box, Nelson Rigg CL-850 saddle bags, Rapid Transit Abrams tank bag, Beadrider, SH-775 R/R