Adjusting chain tension with side stand vs. center stand?

AP1

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I saw a thread about this topic from 2015 (three years ago). I wanted to get an updated version.

Simple question: How much different are the chain tension measurements when using the side stand (recommended in the manual) vs. the optional center stand?

I'd prefer to adjust my chain using the optional center stand, since the bike is straight up and down and the wheel is easy to turn (to check multiple measurements). Rather than testing both myself, I wondered if anyone has experience to share.

Thanks in advance.
 

Jos

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Tension will increase as the rear arm pivots up. So on the center stand the tension will be less than on the side stand, which is less than pilot on bike, and less than full shock compression.

In short, when adjusting tension on the center stand, be on the loose side.
 

AP1

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Tension will increase as the rear arm pivots up. So on the center stand the tension will be less than on the side stand, which is less than pilot on bike, and less than full shock compression.

In short, when adjusting tension on the center stand, be on the loose side.
Thank your for your quick reply, from across the "pond." Easy to understand. I appreciate it.
 

DirtFlier

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It's much easier to do the chain adj with the bike on the centerstand but it would be a good idea to get a baseline before you start.

The Owner's Manual says to do it with the bike on the ground and level so do that one first, then see how much the number changes when the bike is lifted onto the centerstand. From there you can extrapolate that x-mm of freeplay on the centerstand = x-mm on the sidestand. :)
 
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670cc

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I think we decided in the old threads to leave the slack 5mm looser when adjusting on the centerstand vs the sidestand.

I always adjust mine on the loose limit of spec. Loose chains last a long time and need fewer adjustments.
 

jimmy da vig

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For that matter I always felt that none of it mattered unless you checked the play with you sitting on the bike with your normal load. A PITA to do depending on the bike or how bike smart your helper might be.

But yeah, lean toward the loose side.
 

Griff

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Best way to decide a figure for centrestand chain slack is to undo the bottom shock bolt and then move all the axles inline (Countershaft, Swingarm bolt and rear wheel axle ). That is the tightest point that the chain will be at during the suspension stroke. Theoretically the slack should be zero at that point on a chain without any tight spots.
 

dduelin

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Nothing has changed in 3 years just add 5 mm to the recommended 30-40 mm adjustment range......use 35 to 45 mm and you are good.
 

Therapy

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We did it again (the comparison) before KSL-9 on our three NCs because I could not remember. Nor could one son!
We used a tape measure in inches and honesly, crawling on the ground and moving the chain up and down to get a measurement, we could not tell a 5mm difference. I could get more than that by pushing harder up and down on the chain.
Just how hard does one push/pull on a chain to measure how slack it is? Super hard would be at the limit and the chain pretty rigid, like....more than the tension change when letting off the throttle. I never pull that hard.
I do follow the loose end of the recommendations even though I can't "pull" that hard.
Is that why there is a decided lag and "catch" when letting off the throttle? Or am I still remembering how smooth my old Concourse (shaft) was???
 

Red Rider

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Don’t overthink it. Your head will explode long before any harm comes to your chain, your sprocket, or your “counter shaft output bearing”. :cool:

Gross negligence or competition motorcycles would be the exception - but a couple dozen bikes, a couple hundred thousand miles (the vast majority on chain driven machines), and a half dozen forums later and I seem to have missed the threads of the failures of those components by well meaning (diligent) shade tree mechanics, myself included, who split hairs over millimeters when adjusting their chains.
 
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b_rubenstein

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The chain is only a consumable. It's the very high loads on the counter shaft output bearing that can be damaged by insufficient slack in the chain.
 

JimTid

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I like chains. I've never had a failure. I adjust mine on the side stand trying to achieve 1 1/2 to 2 inch deflection from center point between sprockets. I count the threads on the adjuster bolts to align the wheel. If the chain looks dirty I scrub it with kerosene and a nylon brush. I routinely spray it with WD40 or a Teflon spray preferable when arriving rather than departing. If I notice persistent kinks in the links I replace the chain using a master link. I don't replace the sprockets unless the teeth are pointed (some folks replace chains and sprockets at the same time.) If I notice chain noise, I tend to it.
 

Therapy

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Don’t overthink it. Your head will explode long before any harm comes to your chain, your sprocket, or your “counter shaft output bearing”. :cool:
The chain is only a consumable.
I like chains. I've never had a failure.
I don't replace the sprockets unless the teeth are pointed (some folks replace chains and sprockets at the same time.) If I notice chain noise, I tend to it.
Well, I guess that even though I am a "very exacting" person and have done OK with 200k or so of chain driven miles with few problems I will just quit reading the "news".
Now, on to the suspension..........
 

BerndM

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I remember reading something somewhere quite some time ago that seemed like a great and simple idea, but I have never tried it.
This old timer used a round shafted Philips screwdriver and inserted it into the rear sprocket so that it was between the chain and the sprocket. I don't remember the diameter of the screwdriver shaft.
He then adjusted the chain "snug" and he was done. He said he'd been doing that for many years without issue.
Any of you ever heard of this sort of technique??
 

Doc True

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I remember reading something somewhere quite some time ago that seemed like a great and simple idea, but I have never tried it.
This old timer used a round shafted Philips screwdriver and inserted it into the rear sprocket so that it was between the chain and the sprocket. I don't remember the diameter of the screwdriver shaft.
He then adjusted the chain "snug" and he was done. He said he'd been doing that for many years without issue.
Any of you ever heard of this sort of technique??
I want to know more. Can some one please try this? I know it's stupid and pointless, but I want to know if it works.
 

Therapy

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Nope.
But if you do that and turn the sprocket/wheel some I think you will ruin one or two links.
 

MZ5

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Starting a thick screwdriver (or any metal rod) in between the chain and rear sprocket is about making sure the slack in the axle adjusters is taken up, _not_ about chain slack itself.
 

dduelin

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Starting a thick screwdriver (or any metal rod) in between the chain and rear sprocket is about making sure the slack in the axle adjusters is taken up, _not_ about chain slack itself.
^^^^^^ This.

If you use a Motion Pro chain alignment tool you insert a broom handle or an aforementioned screw driver handle between the sprocket and the chain then rotate the tire (by hand) to take up the slack in the run - this pulls the chain adjusters tight against the back of the swing arm and lines up the Motion Pro against the top run of the chain to check alignment.
 

StratTuner

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2 cents more...

Is the chain measurement the same when on the side stand as it is up on the center stand?

well... measure it... after a long time of taking measurements both ways, I have to conclude that they are virtually the same.

Beemphile (respected poster on ANY forum) once suggested measuring as follows

1) set your tape measure on the ground and raise the tape out until it hooks on the chain. hold it on the chain with your thumb.

2) lift the chain as far as you can and take a reading from the tape measure. (what does it read right where the tape enters the box it comes out of)

3) push the chain down as far as you can and take another reading...same way.

4) 3.5 centimeters is GOOD.

Hope that method helps you...like it did me when I first read how to do it.
 

frog13

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Adjust as the manual advises.....side stand.....why make guess work of it.
 
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