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How To Adjust Your Motorcycle Chain

An improperly adjusted motorcycle drive chain not only increases chain and sprocket wear, but can dramatically reduce rear wheel horsepower. For those reasons, it is imperative to maintain the proper chain tension at all times. Here are a few tips to make the job a little easier.

Place the motorcycle on a stand or centerstand, allowing the rear wheel to spin freely.
With the proper tool, loosen the nut securing the rear axle.
Gently “snug” the chain by wedging a wrench or other tool between the chain and rear sprocket and rolling the wheel rearwards. This will ensure that the axle is fully clamped against the adjustment blocks, will aid in adjustment, and will also keep the axle from moving when you re-tighten the axle nut.
Adjust the chain tension so that there is proper slack as recommended in your owner’s manual (remove the tool wedged in your chain to check the tension.) Off-road machines usually require more slack than street bikes. Be sure that the rear sprocket is in line with the drive chain.



With the snugging tool re-inserted in the rear sprocket, firmly tighten the axle nut according to the manufacturer’s torque specifications.
Tighten the lock nuts on your chain adjusters, and you’re finished!