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HONDA SPADA Drive Chain help

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by 14franko, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    Hoping someone here can help me. (and sorry for the long post, trying to give as much detail as possible)

    Bike: 89 Honda Spada VT250J

    Problem: Drive chain over tightened. (Chain is not new, but not beyond service either. Sprockets are in good conidtion, no noticable "waving" of teeth)


    My drive chain was loose. Found some info on here on how to tighten it, there is the lock nut and chain adjusting nut on the rear of the swingarm. I (thought I) was careful to adjust each side the same as to not put the wheel out of alignment. My adjustment didn't seem to make any difference to the chain tension so I gave up and thought I would seek more advice. Riding it after I had played with it, I could feel I must have put the back wheel slightly out of alignment, as it seemed to be warbling (probably the best word to describe it). Got home and thought I'd have a look and see if I could see any noticable difference. I noticed the notch marks near the wheel nut were slightly different on each side, so I thought I must have put that out with my adjusting. So I decided (stupidly) to adjust one side lots to make them even. Without realising what I was doing, I've made the chain pretty tight. Probably 15mm or so of movement (service manual says 25mm is good). Now when I walk the bike backward I get a clicking/clanking sound coming from either the rear wheel, chain, brake or something. No doubt I have put the wheel right out of alignment too.

    Can anyone please tell me how I loosen the chain off slightly again? When I undo the lock nut and loosen the adjuster nut it just comes loose and has no effect on the chain. Also does anyone know of a good site detailing the home wheel alignment procedure (using string I believe?)

    I realise this was pretty dumb of me to do! Your help is really appreciated cause I am without transport now! :(
  2. I've found that rolling the bike backwards down a hill fast and jamming the rear brake on works pretty well at moving the wheel forwards :grin:.

    Though I'd recommend getting the back wheel of the ground with a car jack, or getting a friend to tilt it over and forwards onto the side stand, then knock it forward with a mallet. Obviously loosen the adjusters first though, then move it further than it needs to go and wind it back to the right position.
  3. Thanks for your info.

    I can see myself screaming backwards down my steep driveway! :)

    So basically with my adjustments I have just moved the rear wheel backwards? Knocking it forward makes sense then.

    The alignment marks on the rear wheel, are they accurate enough to base my alignment on or not really?

    Thanks againg for your help
  4. Yep the adjusters just move the axle, and therefore rear wheel, relative to the swingarm.

    The alignment marks are really just a guide. Usually if you know it's straight you can keep it that way by always turning both adjusters exactly the same amount. Otherwise a way to check involves a long piece of string and two people. Wrap the string around the front of the front tyre and draw it back past the rear. The distance from the back edge to the string should be the same for both sides of each tyre - if not then somethings crooked (which could be either the wheel or the swingarm/forks).

    Detailed explanation with picture here:
  5. Thanks heaps for your help jd (and for the link)

    Lucky I've got all weekend to try and fix it before work again on Monday!
  6. Just make sure you do the axle nut back up when you're done ;).
    In fact best to use a torque wrench (and the correct torque setting) for that - if you don't have one, buy one. It's still cheaper than taking it to a mechanic to be adjusted.
  7. That's great advice and instruction JD.

    I'll file that away for when I need to make adjustments to my Spada.
  8. Rear wheel in air + mallet works wonders :D
  9. So do I need to loosen the axle nut or just the adjusters? Since I didn't loosen the axle nut to move the wheel backward, would I need to to knock if forward?

  10. :shock: In which case it wasn't done up properly.
  11. Uh oh! Thats pretty scary! :eek:
  12. Probably explains why the rear wheel was out of alignment after you took it for a ride. Also illustrates why tightening the nut to the correct torque is so important, and also why you should check all nuts/bolts occasionally - even if the bike is serviced professionally.