M/C Chain Adjustment Basics

Motorcycle chain adjustment and maintenance along with tire maintenance and oil changes is important for smooth and safe riding. Chains are said to be the upraised mechanical heroes of your biking. They handle the important job of transmitting power to the rear motorcycle wheels from the engine and the lack of proper inspection and efficient maintenance can lead to the failure of your motorcycle and lead to dangerous projectiles.

As per your ride aggressiveness, chains should be analysed every 500 to 700 miles and roughly two times a month. Remember that the major source of info on motorcycle chain adjustment for your motor bike is the owner’s manual. You shouldn’t second guess the engineers who manufactured your motorcycle, rather follow the guidelines to the core.

Principally, a motorcycle chain stretches when it is in use and thus the slack needs to be taken by the movement of the rear axle back slowly. Often a loose chain leads to premature depreciation of the rear and front sprockets and if ignored, the chain could jump off a sprocket and could end up causing a disaster.

On the other side, a chain which gets too light may lead to premature depreciation troubles and could cause overheating of the chain.

What comes first?

You should clean the chain first before you begin the adjustment process. It is also important that you wear protective gloves and keep some old paper below the chain. Keeping the bike held upright will make the cleaning procedure easier.

Center stand vs. side stand

Going for a center stand or rear wheel stand helps you when you are lubing, adjusting or cleaning the chain. However, measuring the right amount of chain slack is basically done by keeping the bike on the side stand which adds a little more load on the suspension.

Over here also, your owner’s manual will tell you the right way to orient the motorcycle to assess the chain slack.

Now find the center point of the chain between the rear sprocket and front sprocket. Push up the chain’s bottom and measure the distance between full slack and no-slack from the bottom. It is usually 1.2 to 1.6 inches for street bikes and 1.4 to 2.0 inches for dirt bikes.

In order to adjust the drive chain. Keep your axle nuts loose by a few turns. If you have a short wrench, you get the nut loose first.

Usually a lot of street bikes and dirt bikes have bolts which you may use to increase and decrease the chain slack. Adjust by ¼ turn at one time and make sure you do the same adjustment on every side of swing arm. It will keep the rear wheel aligned. Keep measuring and then adjust till your chain is in spec.

Whatever bike system you own, when you put the right chain tension, make sure you fix the axle nut back to the optimum torque.
This way you can adjust your motorcycle chains. You can also get the best aftermarket parts, performance parts and ATV parts to enhance the performance of your bike.