Proper Drive Chain Adjustment

7 replies to this topic
  • ETP

Posted April 12, 2003 - 02:35 AM


Anybody have any good advice for proper drive chain adjustment? The shop manuals call for a measurement of about 1.7 inches of play with no load. This is way too tight when the shock in compressed.


  • foursmoke

Posted April 13, 2003 - 03:02 AM


I have 2" from screw in chain buffer to chain. That is the max recommended.

  • ETP

Posted April 13, 2003 - 03:28 AM


The shop manual settings of 1.5-1.8 inches, with no shock load, on the last 3 bikes I have owned is too tight when checking the tension with the shock depressed. I have tended to adjust them by having someone sit down hard on the seat, and checking for about 1/4 - 1/2 of chain slack at the tightest point (which is not fully compressed). After this adjustment, and with no load on the shock, the chain slop is about 2.5 - 3 inches.
Maybe I have been interpretting the manuals wrong.
I am wondering if you TT'rs agree, or have another technique.

  • MN_Kevin

Posted April 13, 2003 - 06:31 AM


the trick is to get the swingarm to be completely horizontal >> this IS where the chain will see the longest distance between the countershaft sprocket and rear sprocket.

You can either have someone compress the rear end or you can compress it and hold it compressed with a tie-down. (tie-down is in a loop connected to itself wrapped around the swingarm or even through the rear tyre rim and up over the seat).

My trick is to pull the shock and move the swingarm through it's arc, checking chain slack the entire way. When you come up w/ the proper slack, put the shock back on AFTER A THOROUGH LINKAGE CLEANING AND RE-GREASING. Now, w/ the bike on a stand, measure the chain slack at a place on the swingarm where you will never forget (like at the end of the big swingarm rubbing pad). Drill this number into your brain and it will make a quick check of the proper slack simple.
>> As a caveat, the buffer will wear down which should throw off your number a bit.

At max distance, you MUST HAVE chain slack. Otherwise you will be w/ the wisdom acquired group that has grenaded the rear hub from too taught a chain.

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  • adamwagar

Posted April 13, 2003 - 08:13 AM


Better a bit loose than too tight. I've found that after the first adjustment your good to go for quite awhile.

Keep the chain and sprockets clean and rustfree. If you do they'll last a couple seasons. Not bad considering what Dirt Bike Magazine thinks. They said "stock chain is an offroad embarrasment".

Dirt Bike Magazine can kiss my :)

  • Indy_WR450

Posted April 13, 2003 - 05:14 PM


Factory spec is right. Just make sure you are not tighter than 1.5". I think the chain last longer if you keep it closer to 2" but I would not go higher than 2" either.

  • foursmoke

Posted April 14, 2003 - 06:02 PM


Whats up Indy! I adjusted my chain with bike on stand and tires off the ground.I adjusted it to 2" at the screw on chain buffer like the manual states.I was rideing with a friend this past weekend and he says it was too tight.How is yours adjusted? :)

  • Indy_WR450

Posted April 14, 2003 - 07:18 PM


The chain can handle being slightly tight during the range of swing arm travel. It is a compromise for being to loose in other positions. I run mine at 1.75" and have 850 plus miles with 3 chain adjustments over that time. Regina ORS Heavy Duty O-ring with Ironman sprockets. No breaks or failures. :)


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