Adjusting and cleaning the chain.
Your motorcycles chain is one of the most crucial parts of your bike. Right next to the tyres, brakes and motor oil. Without the chain your bike has no transfer of power from the engine to your rear wheel which drives the bike forward. (unless you have a bike with cardan, then skip this post and check out my blog about CLICK HERE WHEN YOU HAVE A CARDAN 😉 )
Such an important piece of your bike needs its attention on certain times. Depending on your aggressiveness on the throttle you will need to inspect your bike chain around every 500-700 km. I recommend cleaning it while you’re at it. This makes it easier to see any deformities or other things you don’t want on your chain. This was how I found out my X-rings were coming out of their place. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MOTUL POST for that story!
Oke! let’s get started, what do you need:
- Raggs or towels
- Soft brush (I use a fingernail brush, its perfect for this task!)
- Tape measure
- Paddock stand (or the centre stand on your bike, just keep the rear wheel off the ground)
- Chain cleaner (check if its compatible with the rubber O/X/Y rings)
- Chain lube (Also check if you can use it on your rubber O/X/Y rings)
- Wrenches ( which ones depend on your type of bike, a number 22 and 24 for the Vstrom)
- Allen wrench ( depend on your bike, but for the Vstrom 650 its a 5mm)
Running low on some of the above? Then click the logo below!
Let’s clean up everything first! What to do:
- Put your bike on the paddock or centre stand.
- Make sure your rear wheel is free.
- Check if you need to remove some stuff from your bike for easier access,
While turning the rear wheel and moving the chain, spray the cleaner on the chain and sprockets until you cover it all, watch out for your fingers. Let the cleaner soak in for a minute and then start brushing the chain with the soft brush. Use the rags to remove the grime. Repeat until it’s all clean. Be sure to check if you find any broken rubber rings in the grime. This can indicate that your rings are getting pushed out of the chain links. This can lead to losing the internal lubrication out of the chain and can make it possible for rust to get into it.
Now that everything is clean we can go ahead and check it for any abnormalities. Take a good look at your sprockets too. Make sure they are still intact and that there are no cracks, wears and tears. To check if you need to tighten or loosen the chain do this:
Take it between two fingers somewhere in the middle from the rear and front sprockets. Put the tape measure behind it and move the it up and down. If it has more than 2.5cm (1 inch) diversion up or down, you need to tighten it. If it has less, than loosen it. Always consult the owner manual for your specific slack. Note that your chain has different stiffness on different points. So run this check on multiple spots on your chain to get a good average. I will be demonstrating this in the video.
Make sure that when you adjust the tension by moving the rear wheel back or forth, that you align the left and right side exactly. Doing this wrong could influence your riding pleasure and safety. Most bikes have some sort of measuring stripes engraved into the swing arm on which you can align everything.
Check out the video for a guided tutorial.