Adjusting Chain Slack

Charp

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I'm currently right at the upper limit suggested in the owner's manual, so I'm thinking I should make a small adjustment now rather than wait. My question is how I should lift my bike. I do have bobbins installed and have a Pitbull paddock stand, but the bobbins go through the rear axel, so that's not going to work. I've looked into use using a scissor jack, but the exhaust and sump pan are both lower than the frame. The brackets for a center stand are the only low point where I could use a scissor jack, but I'm concerned about putting the entire weight of the bike on those two points. Any suggestions?

On a side note, I have considered getting a center stand but the choices are really limited here in the US. The Triumph center stand is very pricy at $300 before tax and shipping. The only other option I can find in the US is TEC - reasonably priced at $130, but they are out of stock with only the hope that they'll have more shortly after the new year. Any suggestions for center stands that fit a 2019 Street Twin?
 

brooke

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I have been adjusting the chain for years with just the side stand . I believe the only bike I ever owned with a center stand was shaft driven . Never been an issue ,will be interested in comments .
 

Charp

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I have been adjusting the chain for years with just the side stand.
I searched YouTube for more information on this subject and have come to the following conclusions.

Chain slack should be measured with the rear wheel weighted. Some say it should be measured with the weight of the rider on the bike, but my manual does not specify this as a requirement. My take is that measuring the slack with the bike on its side stand or with a block of wood under the side stand to bring it closer to vertical is the correct method unless your manual states otherwise.

When it comes to adjusting the slack, some do it with the bike on the side stand while others use a center stand or track stand to lift the rear wheel. When the rear wheel is unweighted, the slack will be greater, so you may find you've removed too much slack after getting the rear wheel down. Examples of these two methods can be found in videos by Delboy's Garage and Dave Moss, two guys who appear to really know their stuff.

My plan is to do the measuring and adjusting on the side stand, but use my rear lift to find the tight spot in the chain from where the measuring should be done. I'm interested to hear what others think about all of this. Lastly, I got a tip from another rider to use a chain alignment tool to ensure correct alignment of the rear wheel. Picked one up yesterday for under $20.
 

CarlS

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I have adjusted the chains both on the side stand and on the center stand. Adjust it on the side stand and then put it on the center stand and check it. That will tell you how to adjust it on the center stand.

I like that alignment tool. Thanks for the tip.
 

Vector

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The rear wheel should be weighted when you adjust chain slack. Level the bike with something under the side stand or use a tie down stop to get it level.
 

Moss

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I searched YouTube for more information on this subject and have come to the following conclusions.

Chain slack should be measured with the rear wheel weighted. Some say it should be measured with the weight of the rider on the bike, but my manual does not specify this as a requirement. My take is that measuring the slack with the bike on its side stand or with a block of wood under the side stand to bring it closer to vertical is the correct method unless your manual states otherwise.

When it comes to adjusting the slack, some do it with the bike on the side stand while others use a center stand or track stand to lift the rear wheel. When the rear wheel is unweighted, the slack will be greater, so you may find you've removed too much slack after getting the rear wheel down. Examples of these two methods can be found in videos by Delboy's Garage and Dave Moss, two guys who appear to really know their stuff.

My plan is to do the measuring and adjusting on the side stand, but use my rear lift to find the tight spot in the chain from where the measuring should be done. I'm interested to hear what others think about all of this. Lastly, I got a tip from another rider to use a chain alignment tool to ensure correct alignment of the rear wheel. Picked one up yesterday for under $20.
I bought the alignment tool some years back. Very useful for peace of mind.
 

Vector

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What size is the rear wheel spindle nut, 27mm?
 

Cablemouth

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Are you all kidding ? He has bobbins and a paddock stand , put it on the stand and adjust the chain. Job done!
 

Dinney

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As I understand things, because the pivot point of the swingarm and the centre of the output drive sprocket are in different positions, the chain will be at its tightest when swingarm, swingarm pivot and sprocket centre are all aligned on centres. Adjusting outside of having all those parts in alignment (i.e. too little or too much weight on the bike when adjusting) will make the setting incorrect. I adjust with the bike on the side stand and then check that the slack is still within the correct amount when off the stand and me sitting on it. I'm 12 stone or 168 lbs. There must be enough tolerance in the adjustment to allow for light and heavy riders - if in doubt set to the higher figure of 30mm slack. Seems to work out OK and I'm happy to get about 25mm of free play.
My bike's a 2018 Bonneville and the chain can be adjusted without the bother of removing the exhausts - angled spanners for the adjusters and a well fitting regular spanner for the wheel nut. I made an adapter so that the wheel nut spanner can be used with my torque wrench and socket - need to calculate the correct setting given the longer overall length of the torque wrench and spanner. Dead easy, plenty of Apps available if you've forgotten your school physics lessons. Or just use common sense as we did before torque wrenches became affordable to home mechanics. Hope this helps.
 

brooke

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Good ideas there Dinney . My tiger is a 2011. I use the box end wrench that comes in the bikes tool kit even though I have a torque wrench. It works fine as long as you tighten it by hand , no #12 boots , and you aren’t a lineman for the Cowboys.
Once after I had a rear tire changed the axle nut was way over tight and had to use bigger stuff to loosen it . Now when I get a new rear I make sure the I’ll be able to loosen with the tool kit . Never know what could happen on a long road . I sometimes adjust it on the side stand making sure to barely loosen the axle nut enough to allow the for the axle to move back . Usually a half turn of the adjustment nuts and don’t bother about alignment . Keeping an eye on the chain rollers as they get a bit shiny should give you some hints as to whether things are lined up properly .
 

TucoTom

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