How to Tighten a Motorcycle Chain: Step-By-Step Guide

If you are the owner of a motorcycle, you know that they require a lot of maintenance. From changing the oil to fixing a flat tire, there is a lot that goes into keeping your motorcycle running smoothly. However, one of the most important things that you can do for your motorcycle is to maintain it at all times.

Maintaining your motorcycle means that you are regularly checking it for any issues and fixing them before they become bigger problems. It is important to check your motorcycle’s fluids, tires, chain, and lights regularly. You should also be sure to clean your motorcycle regularly to prevent any build-up of dirt and grime.

Making sure that your motorcycle is always in good condition is not only important for your safety, but it will also help to extend the life of your motorcycle. By taking the time to maintain your motorcycle, you can be sure that it will be there for you when you need it.

How to Adjust a Motorcycle Chain: Step-By-Step Guide

Below you will learn how to do it correctly step by step.

1. Preparation

The motorcycle chain is an important part of the bike, and it needs to be properly adjusted and maintained. There are a few different ways to adjust a motorcycle chain, but the most common and effective method is by using a few simple tools.

First, you will need a set of wrenches, including a small one to get into the tight spaces. You will also need a hammer, a screwdriver, and a pair of pliers.

Next, you will need to inspect it. This can be done by removing the master link and inspecting the chain for any damage. If there is any damage, you will need to replace it.

Once it is inspected, you will need to find a good place to adjust the chain. The best place to adjust it is on a table or other flat surfaces. You will also need to make sure that the area is well-lit so you can see what you are doing.

Do not forget to clean the chain with a special tool to remove excess dirt and put the element in order.

Recommended Tools

Here is a list of motorcycle chain tightness tools, along with a brief description of each:

  • Chain Breaker. This tool is used to remove and install master links, as well as to break the chain if needed.
  • Chain Tensioner. This tool is used to adjust the tension on the chain.
  • Chain Wear Gauge. This tool is used to measure the wear on the chain and determine when it needs to be replaced.
  • Chain Lubricant. This is used to keep the chain lubricated and in good condition.

2. Know Your Measurements

If you’re looking to find out the parameters of a motorcycle chain, there are a few things you’ll need to know. First, you’ll need to identify the make and model of your motorcycle. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to find the specifications for your particular motorcycle. These can usually be found in your owner’s manual.

Also Read: Best Motorcycle Lock in 2022: Which One Is Better to Take?

Once you have the specifications for your motorcycle, you’ll need to measure the length. This can be done by measuring from the center of the sprocket to the center of the other sprocket. You’ll also need to measure the width.

With these measurements, you’ll be able to determine the pitch of the chain, which is the distance between the centers of the two pins. The last thing you’ll need to know is the gauge, or thickness, of the chain. With all of these measurements, you’ll be able to purchase the correct size for your motorcycle.

3. Check the Slack

It is critical to motorcycle maintenance. Too much slack and the chain will come off, too little and it will bind and potentially break. Here’s how to check your chain slack:

  1. Park your motorcycle on a level surface and put the kickstand down.
  2. Put the bike in neutral.
  3. Measure the distance between the bottom of the swing arm and the center of the rear axle. This is your starting point.
  4. Now, measure the distance from the bottom of the swingarm to the center of the rear axle with the bike in first gear. The difference between these two measurements is your chain slack.
  5. Ideally, your chain slack should be between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch. If it’s more than that, you need to adjust the chain motorcycle. If it’s less than that, your chain is too tight and needs to be loosened.

4. Loosen the Axle Nut

If your motorcycle chain is too loose, you may need to adjust the axle nut. This is a simple process, but one that requires a bit of know-how. Here’s how to loosen the axle nut on a motorcycle, so you can get back on the road in no time.

First, you’ll need to find the axle nut. This is usually located on the back of the motorcycle, near the rear wheel. Once you’ve located the nut, use a wrench to loosen it. Be sure to turn the wrench in the same direction as the chain.

If it is still too loose after adjusting the axle nut, you may need to adjust the tensioner. The tensioner is located on the front of the motorcycle, near the front wheel. To adjust the tensioner, simply turn it in the same direction as the chain.

5. Adjust Your Chain

It is a relatively simple process, but it’s one that should be done with care. Follow these steps to ensure that your motorcycle’s chain is properly tuned:

  1. Park your motorcycle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Place the bike in first gear.
  3. Find the adjustment screws on the rear axle. On most bikes, there will be two screws: one for loosening the chain and one for tightening it.
  4. Loosen the chain by turning the appropriate screw counterclockwise.
  5. With the chain lose, spin the rear tire to see if it is tight enough. This should have some slack, but it shouldn’t be so loose that it rubs against the tire or makes too much noise.
  6. If it is too loose, tighten it by turning the appropriate screw clockwise.
  7. Once the chain is tight enough, recheck the tension by spinning the rear tire again.
  8. Test-ride the motorcycle to see if the chain is adjusted properly. If it is too loose, it will cause the bike to vibrate excessively. If it’s too tight, it will make shifting gears more difficult.
  9. Once you’re satisfied with the chain’s tension, tighten the adjustment screws so they don’t loosen on their own.

By following these steps, you can be sure that your motorcycle’s chain is properly adjusted and won’t cause any problems down the road.

Also Read: Best Motorcycle Wheel Chock to Buy in 2022

6. Recheck Your Slack

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place a ruler or measuring tape against the bottom of the chain, and measure the distance between the bottom of the chain and the ground.
  2. The ideal chain slack is between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch. If it is outside of that range, readjust it accordingly.

What Will Happen if You Do Not Adjust the Chain

If it is set incorrectly, it can result in a number of different consequences. One of the most common consequences of having a misaligned chain is that it can cause the motorcycle to wobble. This can make it difficult to control the bike and can increase the risk of a crash.

Additionally, a misaligned chain can also cause the motorcycle to overheat. This can damage the engine and lead to costly repairs. In some cases, it can also cause the bike to stall. If this happens while you are driving, it can be very dangerous.

FAQ

How often does a motorcycle chain need to be adjusted?

It depends on the make of the motorcycle, the type of chain, and the riding conditions. In general, it needs to be adjusted every 1,000 to 3,000 miles.

How do I know if my motorcycle chain is too loose?

If it is too loose, it will likely make a rattling noise. Additionally, it might come off the sprocket, which will cause the engine to stop running.

What happens when the chain is too tight on a motorcycle?

If it is too tight, it will put unnecessary strain on the engine and other parts of the motorcycle. This can cause the motorcycle to break down or have other serious problems.

Does a motorcycle chain get tighter when you sit on the bike?

Yes, it will get tighter when you sit on the bike. This is because the weight of the rider puts additional tension on the chain, which causes it to tighten up.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to tighten chains on motorcycles. Overall, if it is too loose, it will fall off. If it is too tight, it will break. Finding the perfect tension for a motorcycle chain is essential for the longevity and performance of the motorcycle.

One of the regular maintenance tasks for a bike is adjusting the chain, which may seem confusing and complicated at first. However, once you try it and get some oil on your hands, you’ll realize that most jobs are not that difficult and can be satisfying. Keep in mind that with the right research and guidance, you can do almost any repair job your bike needs at home.

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