Adjusting chain tension with side stand vs. center stand?

DCTFAN

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Adjust as the manual advises.....side stand.....why make guess work of it.
Sidestand or center stand; they are both guess work and thus you adjust within a range.
Scientifically you could conclude there is that sweet spot that will make your chain last longer.
But time is precious and you have to make a trade-off and go with "good 'nuff".
+/- 5mm is good 'nuff for me.
 

mercurydog47

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With the centerstand approach make your chain snug but not straining with a wrench stuck in between the chain and rear sprocket. When you drop the wrench out your chain tension should be just about right.
 

flyinfree.00

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There's another thread here that hashes this sidestand/centerstand question. The concensus was add 5mm when checked on the centerstand. Also seemed a lot felt better to stay to the looser side of spec.

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frog13

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No, it isn't guess work by doing what the folks who designed the bike say to do.
Do not drive yourself nuts with a simple task / measurement.
 

Hondafan

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I use a procedure that is pretty simple. I set the chain slack with the bike on the side stand, then put it up on the
center stand. Get the metal sleeve out the tool kit that fits over the wheel nut wrench. Place it on the bottom of the
swingarm halfway between the front and rear sprockets centers. Pull down on the chain and make a line on the metal
sleeve coinciding with the top of the chain. On my bike I believe that is 2 1/4" down. When you check your chaiin
slack, if it falls above the mark it is too tight, below the mark is too loose.
 

ST13Fred

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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.
I believe the term is concentric when describing the rear wheel travel up and down. The chain is at its' most slack at the very top and bottom of travel; at its tightest at zero degree or horizontal in its travel.
 

greenboy

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Here's what works for any bike with any sprocket sizes and any suspension travel or modifications. Compress the swingarm so that the back sprocket center lines up with the swingarm pivot point and the countersprocket center. Do 2% total travel of the swingarm pivot point to rear sprocket center for total free play. You can be a little looser than this (3%), but not wise to go much tighter. This can derive a figure once the bike is on its sidestand, that can even be made into a little wooden block with scribe marks or whatever. But with the limited travel and gearing choices for the NC it all ends up being about what's in the manual anyway, if you have pre-sag adjusted correctly... (EDIT: amended diagram to reflect full recommended range rather than just the minimum)


2020-03-22 10;00;00
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showkey

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I don't remember anything in the manual about pre-sag.
correct....that’s because the chain tension spec and technique in the shop/owners manual takes all the suspension variables .........to make simple and easy.
 

greenboy

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I don't remember anything in the manual about pre-sag.
I don't recall anything in the manual about aligning front and rear sprocket centers with the swingarm pivot point either. Nevertheless, it's really the key point at the center of any chain & suspension setup. But for most people with stock short travel suspensions and short manuals for their bike, no need to think. Which begs the question, why do such topics come up in forums in the first place.
 

Therapy

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Cause people like me are (were) perfectionists and want(ed) to know how everything works.
Not so much any more as I can't remember many things I knew before.
 

lootzyan

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Here's what works for any bike with any sprocket sizes and any suspension travel or modifications. ...
I used your advice to calculate the chain slack for the NC700 and the result is 13.5 mm or 0.53". (Measurement between the centers of the sprockets is approx. 675mm).
Owner's Manual and SM recommend that the slack is 30-40 mm on the motorcycle sidestand.
The difference in slack relative to the aligned position is within 3-5mm less, which gives 25-35mm.
It follows that Honda engineers, for some strange reason, recommend chain slack more than 2 times larger (over 100%) than "commonly recommended".
 

greenboy

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The difference in slack relative to the aligned position is within 3-5mm less, which gives 25-35mm.
hey lootzyan, please clarify what you mean in this sentence, I'm not understanding.

I should have also noted that 2% to 3% chain free-play is the generally agreed on figure when a chain path is at its tightest, but the diagram itself only had 2% shown, which I amended rather than including the text that originally accompanied the diagram.


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lootzyan

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hey lootzyan, please clarify what you mean in this sentence, I'm not understanding.
This is what your diagrams show - when the centers of rotation of sprockets and the pivot point of swing arm are in one line.
 

lootzyan

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... (EDIT: amended diagram to reflect full recommended range rather than just the minimum)
2020-03-22 10;00;00 by greenboy, on Flickr
Now, your corrected diagram still does not match the actual chain slack recommended by Honda (it should be around 4%-5%).
But we also don't know how this "universal advice" would match other motorcycle models.
So it's probably better to stick to the manufacturer's recommendations.
 

greenboy

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Now, your corrected diagram still does not match the actual chain slack recommended by Honda (it should be around 4%-5%).
But we also don't know how this "universal advice" would match other motorcycle models.
Every chain-drive suspended motorcycle I've seen uses the same principles, all that I've seen and ridden anyway. But even fixed-length chain applications (industrial typically) typically list 2% and maybe 3% as a good figure to balance sprocket wear, chain wear, and chain lash.

I've tried over three percent (4 and more) on my motorcycles before, too much chain slap/lash. On example: when the the rear sprocket is running unloaded – and then acceleration power is suddenly applied – experienced as kind of a jerk on the chain. the opposite is also true. That's harder on chains and sprockets and sliders (the wear part at the front of the swingarm) than needs be.

On the other hand, too tight of course is also hard on chains and sprockets, and even bearings and shafts. A lot of people seem to not realize that the chain on a properly preloaded rear end should look a little "saggy" so they set things too tight.

So it's probably better to stick to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Your choice : }
 
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lootzyan

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...On the other hand, too tight of course is also hard on chains and sprockets, and even bearings and shafts. A lot of people seem to not realize that the chain on a properly preloaded rear end should look a little "saggy" so they set things too tight.
Your choice : }
But that's exactly what you do (13.5 - 20mm slack) - adjusting the chain "too tight", judging by the opinions of many experienced NC riders (I have very little road experience).
Your choice...
 

greenboy

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But that's exactly what you do (13.5 - 20mm slack) - adjusting the chain "too tight", judging by the opinions of many experienced NC riders (I have very little road experience).
Your choice...
The world is a lot bigger than "opinions of many experienced NC riders" – if what you said is even true. Polls mean j**k-s**t anyway. I get a lot of miles out of my chains so I'm happy to abide with an engineering principle that seems to be widely applied across brands and applications. And it works without so many other variables skewing things – length of suspension travel, how much of that travel is used by properly or improperly set rider sag, shock and spring suitability for the rider's weight with gear, etc – none of those change a measurement that's made when the two sprockets are at their furthest distance.
 

lootzyan

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First you say that you have a proven, universal advice on how to set a chain slack on any motorcycle, without exception.
Now you say that these are your preferences and that Honda's instructions are worthless.
That is the end of this discussion.
 
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