How to check chain tension?

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by jaimev34, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    I'm just wondering how you guys check your chain tension seeing as the chain hits the swing arm before you know whether or not you've got an inch of slack. My previous bike did not have this problem; I could move the chain freely without it running into anything. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Jaime
     
  2. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Get the bike up on the center stand and kick it in gear. Pull rearwards on the tire to put tension on the top links in the chain. Push up between the front and rear sprockets on the bottom of the chain. There' s your chain slack.

    MD
     
  3. RVFR

    RVFR Member

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  4. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    Yeah, but what about the chain hitting the black plastic attached to the underside of the swing arm? This prohibits me from being able to measure the slack. Also, if the bike is up on the center stand, doesn't that give you an inaccurate measurement since there is no weight on the rear tire? I've always measured the chain slack with the bike on the side stand.
     
  5. Joey_Dude

    Joey_Dude Member

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    I sometimes check the chain when it's on the side stand and what works for me is that the chain should be millimeters away from the center stand. I know it seems too close for comfort but once the bike is moving the chain tightens up and gets away from the center stand.
     
  6. Lgn001

    Lgn001 Member

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    I know what you mean about the black plastic guard. I find it a bit annoying, too. I kind of do a composite of all of the above posts, and do what I can to ignore the guard interfering. First the bike goes on the center stand so I can find the tightest spot. Then I adjust the chain to the "loose" part of the spec, measuring the slack about 1"-2" away from the end of the black plastic guard. Then I snug the pinch bolt and put the bike on the side stand. I put my weight on the seat to compress the suspension as far as I can and check the slack by hand. If it has some wiggle to it and is not binding, I call it good. Oh, all this being done with a cold chain that has been lubed recently.

    For whatever reason(s), the VFR chain doesn't seem to need adjusting as frequently as other bikes (possibly the swingarm pivot point and the SSA keeping the chain in alignment...). I do tend to run chains on the loose side, and I am a bit fanatical about lubing them every 500-600 miles.
     
  7. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Maybe I'm not as anal on chain slack as I should be, but for the last 10 years of VFR's I've done the slack on the center stand and if I can push the chain into the lower gard on the swing arm, I tighten it up a bit. I prefer less chain lash for smoother off/on throttle transitions in the corners. I never have had a problem going this way.

    I know the 6th gen spec is 1 inch to 1 3/8 - vs 5th gen roughly 3/4 to 1 inch. It could be that the longer swing arm causes wider variation on slack measurement.

    MD
     
  8. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll just tinker around and see what works. The problem is that I like to be exact with my measurements and the VFR just doesn't really allow that. Oh well. Small price to pay for owning the best bike ever.
     
  9. RVFR

    RVFR Member

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    Right from the Honda VFR Bible. Not that they know anything right? :wink:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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  11. Lgn001

    Lgn001 Member

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    Would this be the same Honda that designed the charging system that fries R/R's and electrical connectors, and has had to recall bikes due to pretty basic electrical oversights? And then there is always the sidestand bolt that loosens itself to consider... :smile:

    Just mildly poking fun. Every Honda I have owned and/or worked on is a really good bike. And when it comes to chain adjustment..., well, it's kind of like tires and oil to some degree. If it ain't too tight and it ain't too loose, and it is reasonably clean and lubed, it works.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  12. Pliskin

    Pliskin New Member

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    Personally, I'd stress the importance of checking the tension in several different places. Regardless of how you ultimately end up checking your chain - side stand, center stand, etc. - there may be different tensions at various intervals along the chain.

    This could also be the initial warning signs that it may soon be time to replace your chain. Not set in stone, but keep an eye on it. (My chain has had a "tight spot" for about 1500 miles now, but has not gotten any worse. For safety reasons, I'll be doing a chain and sprocket package in April of 2009).

    And I'm sure you know, but always, always, always lube the chain as soon as possible after riding in wet weather.
     
  13. HondaVFR800

    HondaVFR800 New Member

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    Some years late coming in on this post but:

    Chain tension should be measured when the centre of front sprocket shaft, the swing-arm axle and the rear wheel axle all line up. This will be when the chain is tightest.
    So long as you have a bit of slack at this position, all's good.
    Get a friend(s) to help compress the back of the bike till all the points line up and adjust the chain so that it is just not tight.
    Pop the bike back on the stand and note what chain slack there is and where it extends to.
    Use this reference point in the future to adjust the chain

    cheers
     
  14. donald branscom

    donald branscom New Member

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    To adjust the chain.

    Sit on the motorcycle. off of the center stand (if it has one)
    Reach down and check the chain slack. it should only be about 3/4 inch up and down.

    Now you have done it correctly.

    None of you got this right.
     
  15. Dominator

    Dominator New Member

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    Arms ain't long enough!
     
  16. mark641

    mark641 New Member

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    Lmao...you'll land in a heap with bike on top one day.
    On the stand 0.6 - 1.0 takes account of the suspension sag when the bike is loaded with humanoids
     
  17. thx1138

    thx1138 New Member

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    I think it likely that the other participants in this thread have long since moved on, five to seven and a half years is a long time in forum world.
     
  18. mark641

    mark641 New Member

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    Fair enough..,didn't even bother to look.
     
  19. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    Just adding this to an old thread: Find the tightest spot on the chain while rotating rear wheel (most have one spot tighter than others if the chain is getting old) and adjust for proper tension there. :smug: Adjust when chain is cold, not after riding.
     
  20. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    I had to do that on my 6 Gen. One side was very stiff and the other was really loose. Replaced the chain since then. Amazing, a 5 year old thread and still breathing!
     
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