5 Simple Steps on How to Tighten Motorcycle Chain

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Driving a motorcycle is a powerful feeling. Some even prefer riding a motorcycle to a car as it makes for a thrilling journey. However, in order to enjoy the full motorcycle experience, you need to make sure that your motorcycle is in good condition.

Well-maintained motorcycles enhance your riding experience. If you diligently care for your motorcycle and all its parts, you will be able to enjoy your bike rides without worrying about technical issues. Knowing how to tighten the motorcycle chain is something every biker should know.

Motorcycle chains are the most important part of your bike; it is responsible for keeping your motorcycle running smoothly. This chain connects the engine of your motorcycle to the rear wheel, allowing your bike to move forward. So, it goes without saying that checking up on your motorcycle chain is critical to the health of your bike.

If it seems like a daunting task to you, fear not. Our article will help you learn the fundamentals of tightening your bike chain. Other than telling you how to tighten the motorcycle chain, we have included a few basic tips regarding your bike chains.

How to Care for Your Motorcycle Chain

1) Cleaning

Cleaning your chain is vital for the efficiency of your motorcycle. Regular cleaning with a high quality cleaner removes all accumulated dirt and grime stuck to the chains, ensuring the longevity of your motorcycle chain. Make sure that your engine is turned off and the chain is cold to touch before cleaning.

2) Lubricating

Lubricate your chain with a good motorcycle chain lube uniformly. Frequent lubricating improves the condition of your chain and the overall performance of your bike.

3) Alignment

Wrong alignment can cause severe problems while riding your motorcycle. You should measure the alignment of your chain and rear wheel every time you clean it. It can be measured using either an extendable measuring tape or a ling piece of string.

4) Adjustment

Chains that are too loose or too tight can be a source of discomfort to the rider. An accurately adjusted motorcycle chain is crucial to the smooth running of your motorcycle. Tighten or loosen your chain as required with the help of a user’s manual and a few tools.

5) Replacing

Your motorcycle chain plays a big part in keeping your bike up and running, acting like the spine of your entire bike. After some time, it isn’t enough to just care for your chain and you must replace it with a new one for a better bike riding experience.

There is an easy way to tell if your motorcycle chain needs replacing. Pull your chain away from the sprocket of the rear wheel, if the chain moves away easily instead of attaching itself back to the sprocket, you are in dire need of a new motorcycle chain. Another sign that your chain needs replacing is if the teeth of the sprocket seem to be shaped like shark fins.

You must have realized by now that the motorcycle chain literally carries your entire weight and ensures that your motorcycle functions effortlessly. Consistent maintenance is essential for the performance of your chain and bike. Loose chains can be detrimental and sometimes even harmful to your bike riding experience.
Without further delay, let us examine the steps to tighten and adjust your motorcycle chain. This will increase the efficiency of your motorcycle exponentially.

How to Tighten Motorcycle Chain

1) Tension of Your Chain

The first step to adjusting your chain is to measure the tension of your chain. The best way to do this is to study the user’s manual carefully. Chain tension and slack vary according to the kind of motorcycle you have, and your manual will tell you how to go about measuring it.

Once you have determined the required slack for your chain, note it down for convenience.

2) Adjusting Gear

There are a few essential equipments that are necessary for adjusting your motorcycle chain. The most important gear is a reliable wheel chock and a sturdy motorcycle lift. This will raise your motorcycle and the rear wheel to a comfortable height, enabling you to adjust your chain with ease.

You will also require a few essential items, like a ruler and some spanners.

3) Loosen the Axle Nut

Now that your rear wheel is at some level above the ground loosen the axle nut slightly. Take care to relax the adjusters by a similar amount on both sides with the help of your spanner.

Keep adjusting the axle nut and the adjuster accordingly until you reach the desired level of slack and tension. This might take a few times but once you obtain the perfect tension in your chain, it will improve the performance of your bike significantly.

4) Achieve the Correct Tension

Now comes the important part, modify and balance the motorcycle chain to a suitable level of slack or tension according to your needs and make sure that there is no resistance in the movement of the chain.

You can verify the tension of your chain using a ruler. Hold the ruler perpendicular to the chain and move it around to check for a firm but smooth movement. This will tell you whether your motorcycle chain is at the correct level of tension.

5) Align Your Rear Wheel

Ensure that the measurement from the center of the axle to a certain point in the swingarm of the bike is the same on both the sides. This means that your rear wheel is aligned perfectly. In case the measurements don’t seem to match up, keep measuring both the sides until the rear wheel is aligned and positioned correctly.

6) Tighten The Axle Nut

Make a final check to ensure that the adjusters and axle nuts are in place. Once you have achieved a suitable level of tension in your chain, hold the chain steady with your hand and start tightening your axle nut slowly. Be careful that your alignment is accurate, and your rear wheel is firmly in place.

We hope our article helps you understand how to tighten motorcycle chains a little better. A well oiled and adjusted chain is essential for your motorcycle. With our suggestions, you can just get down to work in case you feel your bike isn’t performing properly.
Once you have followed these simple steps you will be able to hit the road with your motorcycle and enjoy your journey to the fullest.

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Emanuel Smith

Emanuel Smith

Emanuel has a degree in mechanical engineering and a great interest in the workings of bikes. His articles are always well-researched and are supported by his good knowledge of how bikes work.
Emanuel Smith

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