Checking and adjusting the tension of your motorcycle chain is a relatively simple task. A few basic steps that, performed periodically, can significantly improve the life of your motorcycle, reduce fuel consumption and keep your ride smooth.
Let’s see in detail what are the correct steps, that anybody can performed using some basic tools.
First, find out what is the correct tension of your chain, as recommended by the manufacturer. It should be clearly indicated on a sticker placed on your swingarm, but it’s also specified inside your User’s Manual.
Take a measurement, try to be precise but don’t worry, there is a little tolerance.
At this point it is a good idea to verify the tools you need and get them ready: keep your workspace neat and organize and you will work faster.
In our case the chain is a little loose, the slack is higher than what recommended by the manufacturer, so we will go ahead and adjust it.
Loosen up the nut retaining the wheel axle, but don’t remove it completely.
The next step is to loosen up the nuts on the threaded chain adjusters, those that control the horizontal travel of the wheel axle, on both sides of the swingarm.
The wheel is now free to move so we pull it back enough to create more tension and remove the excessive slack of the chain.
Lock the nuts to secure the adjusters in place, follow these steps on both sides.
On the sprocket side, we can make the procedure easier by inserting any kind of wedge between the chain and the sprocket itself (avoid using anything metal, it will damage its teeth).
Now it is important to double check that the rear wheel is perfectly aligned: do that using the marks on the wheel axle as a reference. Once everything is correctly lined up, you can tighten the big nut that locks the axle.
The final step is to check to make sure the slack is now within the specs recommended by the manufacturer.
Always remember to keep your chain clean and lubricated, using only dedicated products that will not damage it.