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Prater

Proper drive chain tension

11 posts in this topic

Stand on the right side and lean over the seat grabbing the swing arm,  squat the bike and pull the swingarm so all the pivot centers align (countershaft center, swing arm pivot, rear axle). Use you other hand to verify the chain is not tight at this point.  If it is back off the adjusters.  How much slack it should have at that point is your call, more if riding sticks and mud, less if street only I'd say no less than 3/4-1"

 

with a oring chain you may find it tighter after the bike sat, so might wanna check it after a ride around the block or something. 

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Vid says private, the spec is 1.6-2 inches up/down halfway between both sprockets. With mine adjusted like the spec the chain almost touches (~1/4" clearance) the underside of the swingarm just aft of the chain slider.

You can also adjust it like the previous poster said, line up the sprocket, swingarm pivot and rear axle. That'll be the position in which the chain will be the tightest (in the wheels stroke). At that point I'd say 1/4-1/2" of play is enough.

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I use 3 fingers between the chain and the swingarm buffer .

 

I agree with Backyard hack on 3 fingers between the chain and the swing arm.. This applies to most mx/dirt bikes, and has held true for years. 

 

The 3 fingers is a very good rule of thumb. Then of course if you have OCD like I do.. (being facetious) break out the digital calipers and measure the precise slack IAW your bikes service manual. 

 

Good luck.

 

JL

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whatever method still verify it's not too tight when squatted pivots lined up.   Also the method of fingers or pushing up to the sprocket pad  may change if you swap sprocket sizes around.

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Years back, i made a little wooden block with a "step" cut out for my KDX200. Every time i rode the bike, the stock pos chain seemed to stretch. 

 

So the little block of wood was cut to the measures in the owners manual. Block sat on swingarm, midway. If the chain sat on the step (lowest suggested measure) on on top of the black (highest), i was ok.

 

The block ended up being close to the 3 finger rule.

 

Once i replaced the chain with a quality o-ring chain, adjustments were less frequent.

 

So, for those who want to be exact, a chunk of wood, a ruler and a saw makes a guide in about 15 minutes.

 

PS:  I use 3 fingers on my KLX.

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Stand on the right side and lean over the seat grabbing the swing arm,  squat the bike and pull the swingarm so all the pivot centers align (countershaft center, swing arm pivot, rear axle). Use you other hand to verify the chain is not tight at this point.  If it is back off the adjusters.  How much slack it should have at that point is your call, more if riding sticks and mud, less if street only I'd say no less than 3/4-1"

 

with a oring chain you may find it tighter after the bike sat, so might wanna check it after a ride around the block or something. 

 

 

That's what I do but it's too much trouble for me to do every time. So I used adjustable tie downs  and found the aligment center for each of my bikes and adjusted the chains . Next I used my jack stand to take all the weight off the rear wheel. Found a spot or made a mark on the swingarm of each bike and measured the  hang distance with the wheel holding the chain tight. Measured the distance of the chain from the swingarm for each of my bikes. So, now I just use that measurement when I lube my chain or replace the rear wheel.

 

Tony

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