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Chain too loose?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by mattb, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Ever since stripping the drive shaft on the first motor of my SR500 I've been paranoid about chain tightness and have tended through anxiety to set it too loose, which I means less chain life but somehow I can't bring myself to be rational about it. I got a new chain on the W650 this week (heading to Tassie tomorrow morning!) and after 200km to loosen it up I've set it again in preparation for the trip. What do you think - is the chain still too loose?

  2. That looks like more movement than necessary to me, but it does rather depend on the effect of suspension movement on chain tension. I know on the DR that if I set the tension with the bike on the stand, in accordance with the factory manual, it gets tight with my weight on it and really excessive with a bit more compression. Ergo, I've taken to checking the tension with my weight on the bike. Takes some contortion to do solo, especially with the rolling back and forth to find the tight spot (oo-er Mrs) but I'm confident I'm not going to be pulling the output shaft bearing out of the casings over a big bump.

    It's worth bearing in mind that, within reason, a too slack chain will do less damage than a too tight one. Within reason being defined as not hitting any surrounding components and not coming off the sprockets.

    On balance, I'd probably go with it as is.

    Longer term, it might be an idea to take the springs off the shocks and jack the swing arm up and down while checking chain tension. That way you can determine exactly where in the suspension travel tension is at its maximum. Then for subsequent tension checks you can compress the suspension to that point with inventive use of a ratchet strap and be absolutely confident that you won't be overtightening your chain.
  3. Does it look like this:

  4. That's dangerous MV!
  5. Shite, I hope not.
  6. Yep, found it in a central Sydney car park while I was up there for work. I left a note on the back of my business card, hopefully they did something about it...
  7. Thanks Pat, I intend to go out later and tighten it up just a bit.
  8. Check the tension throughout a full rotation of the chain. I've found that some bikes tend to have loose spots and tight spots. So if you tighten the chain up at a loose section, then at the tighter sections, the chain tension will be quite excessive.