1st Gen Chain Tension - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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  • 1 Post By pdwestman
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-26-2017, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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1st Gen Chain Tension

Recently sold a 2004 KLR650 and noticed something with the drive chain tension as we were tying it down on the new owners bike carrier. We had tightened the bike straps down until the swing arm was horizontal and the drive sprocket, swing arm pivot and wheel sprocket centers were all in line. Just for the hell of it I checked the chain tension and found it tight with ZERO slack instead of the one inch play I was expecting.

Now this is a chain that has been adjusted as recommended, that is to say, with the bike on the side stand and the lower chain run touching the rubber strip on the bottom of the swing arm.

Has any one else run into this?
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-26-2017, 11:01 AM
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Overtightening the chain is a significant issue with the KLR and as you've noted the chain is tightest when the sprocket, swingarm pivot bolt and rear axle are in line. I lined mine up with the shock out and set the slack, then put the shock back in and felt how much slack I had with the bike resting on the sidestand so I could easily duplicate it. ......I find that if you can touch the rubber at the bottom rear of the slider but not quite get the chain to touch the metal of the swingarm, the slack is spot on.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-26-2017, 11:02 AM
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....and when in doubt, a bit too loose is better than too tight IMO

Dave
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-26-2017, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinjet View Post
Recently sold a 2004 KLR650 and noticed something with the drive chain tension as we were tying it down on the new owners bike carrier. We had tightened the bike straps down until the swing arm was horizontal and the drive sprocket, swing arm pivot and wheel sprocket centers were all in line. Just for the hell of it I checked the chain tension and found it tight with ZERO slack instead of the one inch play I was expecting.

Now this is a chain that has been adjusted as recommended, that is to say, with the bike on the side stand and the lower chain run touching the rubber strip on the bottom of the swing arm.

Has any one else run into this?
twinjet,
I'll bet 'dollars to donuts' that the bike was turned off, in-gear.

Your +/- 1/2 inch of chain slack at Horizontal was probably On the Top Chain Run!

You probably did nothing incorrect, rest easy.
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pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-26-2017, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
twinjet,
I'll bet 'dollars to donuts' that the bike was turned off, in-gear.

Your +/- 1/2 inch of chain slack at Horizontal was probably On the Top Chain Run!

You probably did nothing incorrect, rest easy.
Bike was turned off but in neutral so we could roll it onto the bike rack. The front wheel was secured to prevent the bike from rolling back. Not my problem anymore but I did show the lack of chain slack to the new owner so he could put some more slack into the chain when he got it home.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-26-2017, 10:45 PM
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One or two flats (1/6-1/3) of a turn can make a big difference at the snug end of things.
The sprockets never wear 'perfectly even' all the way around.
A drive chain could have 'slightly' different metal alloy in a section.
Combine the 2 differences in the same exact spot and we can get "slightly too tight or slightly too loose".

You did the best that you were taught, and you passed your Best info along. Rest easy.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-27-2017, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
One or two flats (1/6-1/3) of a turn can make a big difference at the snug end of things.
The sprockets never wear 'perfectly even' all the way around.
A drive chain could have 'slightly' different metal alloy in a section.
Combine the 2 differences in the same exact spot and we can get "slightly too tight or slightly too loose".

You did the best that you were taught, and you passed your Best info along. Rest easy.
Thanks, resting easy and looking for the next bike!
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