The drive chain sees quite a bit wear and tear as it operates nearly all the time that the motorcycle is in motion. Maintaining the drive chain is vital for it to last longer, and for you to enjoy your motorcycle's performance to the fullest.
Chain maintenance can be divided into three chief areas: 1. Setting the right tension (tightening or loosening) 2. Cleaning and 3. Lubricating
Let's start with setting the drive chain's tension. A motorcycle's chain needs to have the right amount of flexibility to prevent snapping or excess wear and tear of allied parts while not being too loose so that it doesn't slip off the rear sprocket. Adjusting the chain to the right tension is vital. Before you get to adjusting the chain, you need to first figure out the tension (play). In normal circumstances, a motorcycle's chain usually will exhibit play of 20-30 mm. This means you can move it up and down by about half an inch each side. If the chain is too tight, it will not move up or down by half an inch, and if it's too loose, it will move much further than half an inch on each side. If either of the above cases is happening with your motorcycle's chain, it's time to adjust it.
How to adjust the chain?
1. With the engine off and gearbox in neutral, put the bike on the center stand (paddock stand for bikes that don't have a center stand).
2. Loosen the axle nuts on both sides of the swing arm.
3. Turn the chain adjustment bolt at the back of the swing arm by quarter turn at a time while checking for chain tension at the middle of the chain (between the front and rear sprockets)
4. Once you achieve the desired chain tension, tighten the axle bolts while ensuring that wheel alignment stays true.
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