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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry, complete idiot question.

After riding into work and then wondering why the Africa Twin was performing like my grandma drives her car suddenly realised that my chain was a bit loose.

Now, being at work and having no manual with me ... plus this being the first time I've attempted this task, was wondering how you adjust the chain tension?

My experience from adjusting the chain on my Kawasaki was that it was damn fiddly. If someone can let me know how it needs to be done would be great!

Of course I could just sit in front of the bike and try and figure it out, but if someone can give me a quick guide will save me from freezing in the office car park.

Ta. Must remember next time to do my pre-ride checks before I ride :roll:
 

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Its so easy, even I can do it.....
using a bloody big socket or spanner, loosen the big nut (right hand side of the bike) that holds the rear wheel spindle on. Mark/ Note the current setting on the Adjuster CAM (The thing with bumps on)... Adjust the cam to physically move the wheel / chain/ sprocket backwards (1 notch is usually sufficient). When the correct tension has een achieved, tighten nut to correct torque.

The chain should move about 1cm (according to my book) from the top of the swing arm up and down (I believe there is a mark towards the front of the swingarm).

I hope this is clear.. It makes sence to me as I read it and look at my bike out of the window
 

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Only thing to add is to make sure that both adjusting cams are set up the same. Otherwise the rear wheel won't be lined up with the front, and I leave it to you to imagine how the bike will handle in that configuration... :evil:

Iain
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the help.

A lot easier than I thought it would be ... so going to give it a go now before it gets dark!!! As to the lack of a torque wrench, I always just wing it and make sure its tight.

Not the most technical solution I know, but don't think your in immediate danger of crashing if it's not absolutely spot-on. Or maybe I've just been very lucky in the past!
 

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If you tighten it up really tight, do a few miles, and re-check the tightness.
If you have a friendly garage close to your home , or a friendly dealer, pop in, ask them if they can check the tension.

I dont see any reasonable dealer not helping you .. it is after all in the interest of bike safety.
 

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Don't tighten the chain too much, you'll sh*g the gearbox output bearing. The AT (and probably all trail bikes) run with a looser chain than most road bikes.
 

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Yeah, I second xrv_jim's comment. The correct tension to the chain appears ridiculously slack. I noticed that I had been riding the bike with too tight chain for thousands of miles when I first bough it. Luckily the output shaft bearing is still fine, but the chain life was reduced a lot and the chain appeared te be needing tightening all the time.

I now keep the chain "tightened" so that when the bike is on side stand I am able to lift the bottom length of the chain just to touch the swing arm.

With this tightness there is still a touch of free play when the bike loaded with a heavy mate of mine :)
 

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If you've got a centrestand then check the tension with a 70mm long piece of dowel or copper pipe. If you can get this between the bottom chain run and the swing arm then the chain is not too tight. This equates to the correct tension on the sidestand.

Don't forget to look for the tightest part of the chain if you've got one. This is where the check should be taken.
 

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Chain tension

To see what the chain is really doing with weight on the bike, just lean over the pillion part of the seat from the right hand side, pull the bike upright off its side stand and rest your chest on the seat to load up the suspension. You can then reach down and feel the slack. You need at least 4cm nice and loose up and down movement.

Always go for a slack, rather than a tight chain. The trouble with the snail cam adjusters, is that one notch is really slightly too much - so you'll find that you have to let the chain get quite slack before its ready for the next notch.

I have over 50,000km on one chain and its not even half way through the green sticker on cam. I use hypoid 80/90 as recommended in the manual. The caveat is that I am lucky enough not to have to ride too much in the wet - if I do, I'll lube the chain at each fuel stop (maybe I'll invest in an oiler!). Also, I have no problems with any corrosion as this method is quite messy!
 

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Re: Chain tension

nfield750 said:
...I have over 50,000km on one chain and its not even half way through the green sticker on cam. I use hypoid 80/90 as recommended in the manual. The caveat is that I am lucky enough not to have to ride too much in the wet - if I do, I'll lube the chain at each fuel stop (maybe I'll invest in an oiler!). Also, I have no problems with any corrosion as this method is quite messy!
50K is a good result. Mine's only done 10K with a scottioler and it's in the "red" zone already.

What's "hypoid 80/90"? Some kind of lube?
 

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gearbox oil.
 

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No but I have used normal 10/40 engine oil and it worked fine.
 

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ignore the vain
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I use old used engine for my scottoiler just pass it through a good filter and hey presto its already nice and thin after use in the engine :wink:
Oh and its free I really am that tight :roll:
 

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12 inch said:
I use old used engine for my scottoiler
Crikey you must have to mash that up a bit to get it to liquid format.
Don't you find the pistons get stuck in the tubing? :lol:
 
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