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kme said:
Hi Everyone,

I know this subject has been addressed in the past but I'm having difficulty finding a few topics on chain tightening. I apologize about the long list of questions; I'd appreciate any ideas. Thanks.

1. First, I'll start off with a question on the tolerances of chain adjustment. How crucial is the alignment? I noticed that after the dealer adjusted the chain for the 500 mi maintenance, the chain tension guides where misaligned by about on increment on the chain tension guides (small measurement ticks). Also, the rear sprocket teeth ride slightly to the right of the chain (more toward the right hand link plate).

2. How is the bike oriented when checking  the chain tension? I have a rear wheel lift which is what I have used in the past. However, I have heard of checking the tension while some one is sitting on the bike.

3. How do you 'square up' the rear sprocket when tightening the chain? The best explanation I have heard is to have the rear sprocket teeth ride in the middle of the chain. This makes sense. Has anyone used this technique or have any other ideas?

4. What is the optimum chain slack. The manual says 0.8-1.2; however, others have stated that this is too tight.
You should check out the manual at this gives a pretty decent description of how to properly tighten the chain.

1.  It sounds like the tech person did not align the wheel correctly  ::).  The rear and front sprocket should both be aligned with one another.  You can run a string from the front sprocket to the rear sprocket for a visual aid if you want.

2.  You can tighten the chain with the real wheel off the ground (I do)...however, the manual says to do it on the side stand.

3.  When you have the chain set at the correct tension and the sprockets aligned slowly tighten the axle nut.  Check the tension again and alignment and if everything checks out torque the nut to the proper spec.  Check to make sure the sprockets are still aligned and if everything looks good put in a new cotter pin.  And yes, the rear sprocket teeth should ride in the middle of the chain.

4. I have always used the manual specs for the chain slack.
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