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Tightening your bike chain

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Johnskis, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    I need to get my bike chained tightened as it seems rather loose. I was wondering how much this actually costs and places that do it? I live in the Cabramatta area.

    Also how long does this take to do? I need to done pretty urgently as I am doing my Ps test this weekend.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Should cost nothing as it's something you should be able to do yourself, that's why it's usually described in the owners manual.

    All it requires is loosening the nut holding the rear wheel, then turning the adjusters at the back of the swingarm (by equal amounts) till the chain is right. Then re-tighten the rear wheel nut and re-check the chain tension.

    You don't say what bike you have, but here's a guide with pics. for a GPX 250 (other bikes are similar)
  3. Thanks mate,

    its a Suzuki VL250. I'll give it a go tonight.
  4. Take extra note that there should still be some slack - it should NOT be fully tight. You may already know this, but you wouldn't be the first here who didn't.
  5. oh, can i add ..make sure you tighten yr chain whilst it is on the stand..dont lift the wheel off.it gives a false reading...
    in the middle, the bottom chain, you shld be able to lift it up with your finger about 20-25mm, thats it, dont over tighten, yr fku yr sprockets over time, or worse...wheel should spin freely with no heavy kink noise ,,otherwise , to tight
  6. I just take mine off and microwave it on 'high' for 5 minutes, takes all the wear out of it. Same for worn pistons, but only 3 mins as they're lighter.
  7. Any bike shop can do it. Shouldn't cost much as it is about a 15 minute (conservative) job.

    However as pointed out it is one of the easiest jobs you can do on your own bike and you ought to learn.Your biggest issue may be that you need to buy a large spanner to loosen off the axle nut. They are usually around 22mm and you don't usually get one in the srtandard tool kit with the bike.

    When you tighten the adjusters make sure you do both sides the same. I usually get the spanner into a position that is either straight up or down or strraight across position (ie 3,6.9 or 12 o'clock and tighten one quarter turn, then do the other side the same. keep doing that until the chain is correctly adjusted. If the wheel was straight to start, this technique should keep it straight. But there should be marker lines on your swing arm that you can check to see that the axle is adjusted the same both sides.

    Remember it needs a specified amount of slack (usually about 30-40mm) and that is at the tightest point. So rotate the chain a few links and measure the slack, then do this again until you have found the tightest point in the chain. That is the point that needs the 30-40mm.

    If when you have the your chain correct at the tightest point, it is too slack at the loosest point, your chain is probably cactus. Also grab the chain at the middle point of where it makes contact with the sprocket (the point furthest to the rear and pull backwards away from sprocket) If it comess off the sprocket by half a tooth or more your chain needs repacing.

    Take the opportunity to check your sprocket teeth. If they have formed narrrow points or are cuved like a shark fin, it needs replacing. If anything needs replacing replace the lot, that is both sprockets and the chain.

    There will be other threads here to do this so search, read them and read the manual so you know what you are meant to do. Better still find someone to show you.

    Why not post up in expressions of interest and see if someone in Canberra who knows how to do it will do it on your bike as a spanner day so that you can teach others.
  8. A BMW owner giving advice on chain maintenance! Now I've seen it all!!!!!
  9. I did think of that at the time. However I do have two bikes in the household which require chain maintenance.

    Besides after the microwave comments I figured the guy needed some reasonable advice :LOL:
  10. Hi mate,

    Thanks for that write up. it was actually very usefully. Only problem was that I couldn't even get past the first time... I wasn't even strong enough to take the axel nut off :-(. Even my dad tried and he had a hard time of it.

    This time round I'm just going to bring it to Red Baron Motorcycles. Hopefully its just super tight and next time around I will be able to do it myself.

  11. Way too tight then, most bikes are about what... 80 foot-pounds? Shouldnt take too much pressure to crack it. Silly question, but did you remove the locking split pin? (most bikes have one of those too).

    Ask the mechanic if you can watch them do it, that way you dont just have a write up on how to, you have seen how to :).
    Always adjust tiny bits at a time, like 1/4 turn on each side, as it quickly makes a difference to chain tension.
  12. If this is the case you can put the end of your spanner or socket wrench into a long piece of strong metal pipe or tube and use that as a lever, which will allow you to break the nut loose with almost no effort. Just don't use it tighten the nut up or you'll over-torque it.
  13. Bwahahahahahaa
  14. The specs on my bike have the axle nut at 105Nm (75 FtLb) . Since that is the spec I use it but frankly I suspect that is unecessarily tight. When it comes to loosening, I tend to find it difficult to loosen by hand. I tend to put a foot on the spaner and lean on it.

    If the last service was done by a shop they may have put the nut back on by rattle gun, which could make if very tight.
  15. If its that tight, make sure you use a ring spanner or socket on it, not an open-end. +1 on some sort of extension to loosen it.
    P.S. I was kidding, don't use the microwave, it'll make your veges taste oily.