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Hey guys,

I was just wondering from everyone's mixed ways of adjusting the chain, what is the most accurate way of measuring with a tape ruler so that the chain is correctly aligned?

Draw it out on a diagram please, i'm more of a visual learner.

Maybe drawing it on this would help...

Please Include reference points of where you are measuring (and a brief lame man's description!) Thanks!

 

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svrider makes a good study break.

this is the method i use to adjust my chain. it's worked great for me. all this is off the top of my head so if some info is wrong, someone correct me.

 

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svrider makes a good study break.

this is the method i use to adjust my chain. it's worked great for me. all this is off the top of my head so if some info is wrong, someone correct me.

Just a FYI : Your model may or may not have a cotter pin. My 08 does not.
 

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Just a FYI : Your model may or may not have a cotter pin. My 08 does not.
my 08 doesn't either but my friends 05 does so i think it varies by year.

instead of measuring the axle to the pivot point there are marks on the plate that is between the swingarm and the axle bolt/nut. you just make sure the lines on both sides line up to the same mark.
 

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my 08 doesn't either but my friends 05 does so i think it varies by year.

instead of measuring the axle to the pivot point there are marks on the plate that is between the swingarm and the axle bolt/nut. you just make sure the lines on both sides line up to the same mark.
Those marks/lines may or may not be accurate. Best to use the pivot method at least once and check how they are on your bike.
 

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This is how Ive always adjusted my chain. Right or wrong, it's worked well. This is based on aligning the rear sprocket with the front sprocket using the chain as a guide. If either of your sprockets are off, this will result in the wheel being out of alignment.

Axle loose
Adjuster plates loose
Sit behind the rear wheel during the process

  1. Pull the wheel back and roughly eyeball the alignment.
  2. Tighten the axle nut until it starts to hold the wheel in place
  3. Tighten left chain adjuster until the chain slack is just a little loose
  4. Spin the tire and see where the chain tracks on the rear sprocket (at this point, the sprocket will probably ride on the left side of the chain)
  5. Slowly tighten the right chain adjuster while spinning the wheel until the sprocket centers in the chain (the sprocket will center in the chain when it is aligned and the chain slack will also be taken up a little more)
  6. Check chain slack
  7. If chain is too loose, work in alternating 1/4 turn increments starting on the left side (this should keep the alignment)
  8. Spin wheel to check alignment again
  9. Torque wheel axle nut and replace cotter pin.
  10. Spin the wheel a few more times to make sure the chain stayed aligned and tracks correctly and that the rear sprocket stays in the middle of the chain.
  11. Double check the chain slack and if that is good.

If you want, you can use a dial caliper to measure the spacing on each side of the sprocket in the chain, but I havent felt a need to get the chain aligned to the .000 in.
 

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What size rod would be good ? if the rod has slop, wouldnt that not work. Also I dont see how you can get a consistent straight line from the rod to the center of the axle. That also would not give a proper distance between each side. wouldnt it ?
 

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I don't use a rod. I just use a 30' tape measure and measure from the back of the hole in the swingarm pivot to the center of the axle.
 

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I don't use a rod. I just use a 30' tape measure and measure from the back of the hole in the swingarm pivot to the center of the axle.
There's a clear enough path between the 2 points on each side so you can get an accurate measurement ?
 

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This is how Ive always adjusted my chain. Right or wrong, it's worked well. This is based on aligning the rear sprocket with the front sprocket using the chain as a guide. If either of your sprockets are off, this will result in the wheel being out of alignment.

Axle loose
Adjuster plates loose
Sit behind the rear wheel during the process

  1. Pull the wheel back and roughly eyeball the alignment.
  2. Tighten the axle nut until it starts to hold the wheel in place
  3. Tighten left chain adjuster until the chain slack is just a little loose
  4. Spin the tire and see where the chain tracks on the rear sprocket (at this point, the sprocket will probably ride on the left side of the chain)
  5. Slowly tighten the right chain adjuster while spinning the wheel until the sprocket centers in the chain (the sprocket will center in the chain when it is aligned and the chain slack will also be taken up a little more)
  6. Check chain slack
  7. If chain is too loose, work in alternating 1/4 turn increments starting on the left side (this should keep the alignment)
  8. Spin wheel to check alignment again
  9. Torque wheel axle nut and replace cotter pin.
  10. Spin the wheel a few more times to make sure the chain stayed aligned and tracks correctly and that the rear sprocket stays in the middle of the chain.
  11. Double check the chain slack and if that is good.

If you want, you can use a dial caliper to measure the spacing on each side of the sprocket in the chain, but I havent felt a need to get the chain aligned to the .000 in.
I know I'm resurrecting and aged thread here, but back home (where most of the population ride motorcycles and bicycles), the rear wheel alignment is done by eye as well. There are two goals for doing a rear wheel alignment:
1) to ensure that the wheels track straight with the bike.
2) to ensure the sprocket tracks straight with the chain.

From my past experiences, #2 is more important than #1 to ensure the longevity of the chain and sprocket. #1 is only important if the wheel is completely misaligned by more than 2 degrees from the frame. Otherwise, the handling characteristics of the bike in street riding is barely noticeable with the wheel tracking 1 to 2 degrees off center. When I checked my bike, the wheel was off by about 2 degrees and I didn't even notice any difference riding. ???
 

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I've been having a rather peculiar problem with my chain tightening (all the way around, not sticking lengths).

I set my slack to 1" before a 1000-mile trip. When I returned home the slack was barely 1/2". I immediately adjusted it to 1" of slack (while on rear stand). Went for another lengthy ride with the same result. I thought this may be because I set the slack while on the rear stand, so I readjusted in while on the kick stand. Same result...finally, I tried giving a little more slack (1.5") and haven't had this problem.

Any insight?
 

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bump for dubtec... ;D

and is it normal to rotate the chain about 1/4 way around and measure something different? My situation is that I'll measure 1" slack, then rotate 1/4 way around in direction of engine drive, measure again and get just over 0.7". Without re-adjusting, I rotate 1/4 again in direction of engine drive and measure 1" again! without adjustment, rotate again and measure again over 0.7"

Is there a concern here?

Thanks TEAM!!!
 

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...is it normal to rotate the chain about 1/4 way around and measure something different? My situation is that I'll measure 1" slack, then rotate 1/4 way around in direction of engine drive, measure again and get just over 0.7". Without re-adjusting, I rotate 1/4 again in direction of engine drive and measure 1" again! without adjustment, rotate again and measure again over 0.7"
Yes it's normal. The reason you see the slack change as you rotate the wheel, is due to uneven chain wear. One section of your chain is stretched more than the rest. This happens to all chains as they wear. The more worn your chain, the bigger the difference is between the thigh/loose sections.

You should always adjust you chain at the tightest section.
 

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Yes it's normal. The reason you see the slack change as you rotate the wheel, is due to uneven chain wear. One section of your chain is stretched more than the rest. This happens to all chains as they wear. The more worn your chain, the bigger the difference is between the thigh/loose sections.

You should always adjust you chain at the tightest section.
I figured the rear sprocket wasn't perfectly centered. :tard:
 

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I figured the rear sprocket wasn't perfectly centered. :tard:
You're right, that's another reason for the tight/loose. Some others have posted that they bough a brand new rear sprocket that was manufactured off center.

To check if the tight/loose is due to the chain, or due to the sprocket, rotate the wheel as you observe the chain slack. It the chain gets tight with each rotation of the wheel, then it's the sprocket. If it gets tight with each cycle of the chain, then it's the chain.
 
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