Kawasaki KLR Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· Registered
2016 KLR650 Camo, Dirtracks, EM Doo,T-Bob, Giant Loop bags, rally dash, Cyclops LED, Madd Risers
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So….I loaded up with gear for my first long trip. On the way out of town in the first two miles I noticed an odd feeling, sorta like a flat spot in a tire. I thought, well it’s only 47*F so the tires need to warm up.
I stopped about 20 miles in just to check straps on bags and the bike etc, and noticed the chain was as tight as a banjo string in Kentucky!
Broke out the tools and reset the chain tension. I had set it only a few days earlier when I put a 16t CS on the pig.
Question for @Tom Schmitz or other gurus here. Could I have ruined the CS bearing in that short of time? And, without a way to torque the axle nut to spec, should I be concerned about continuing on my trip? I have about 300 miles to go.
I have checked my chain regularly, but not sure what happened this time 🤦🏼‍♂️. Newbie to KLR mistake.
Thanks in advance!
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
10,121 Posts
The short answer is "put the rear axle nut wrench on the nut, slip the wrench extension over it, and tighten it as much as you can. If you can get your foot on it, give it an extra nudge." I found that the OEM wrench will bend just about when you hit the specified torque value. Get it as tight as you can with the chain properly adjusted, keep an eye on it, and ride on.

For the longer answer, you need to be consistent when you set the slack. There is always the potential for there to be some eccentricity in the chain and sprockets, so you need to spin the thing a few times and see if you noticed any spots where there is less slack than others. If you can consistently identify that spot, use it to set the slack.

The adjustment screws will keep the chain from gaining too much slack, of course. What you need to be wary of is heavy braking having enough rearward pull to slide the axle backward because the nut is not tight enough. To watch for this look at the head of the adjustment screw where it contacts the adjustment plate and notice any gap that has occurred. This is a sign you are not getting the nut tight enough.

As to the bearing, there's no way to tell without putting hands on the shaft. Probably not. I think the seal is more fragile than the bearing with respect to living through an overly tensioned chain, so watch for leakage. If it leaks, you'll need to replace the seal and that will be an excellent opportunity to feel the bearing out.

Have a good trip.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
12,048 Posts
You did not have enough slack in the first place for the swingarm to travel thru its arc.

Again I suggest that with the rear shock topped out while leaning on the sidestand or on a center stand, the chain needs to be Loose Enough to lift the bottom run UP to just touch the rear tip of the rubber underslider (NOT Forced to touch).

To ensure that the axle doesn't slip rearward as one tightens the axle nut, slip a screwdriver shank between the chain & the rear sprocket and then roll the wheel forward til bound tight. Then initially tighten the axle nut on the RH side with the wrench pushing Forward! This keeps the adjusters fully seated against the swingarm.

The transmission shaft bearing & rear sprocket bearing will readily survive your short term error.
 

· Registered
2016 KLR650 Camo, Dirtracks, EM Doo,T-Bob, Giant Loop bags, rally dash, Cyclops LED, Madd Risers
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Peace of mind for the journey. I think the axle nut must have slipped when I torqued it last time and created the problem. I follow your advice about rear wheel off the ground and amount of slack. I’ll keep in mind the fact that there may be eccentric areas of the chain. Not any leaking after 120 miles or so.
Much appreciated @Tom Schmitz @pdwestman
 

· Registered
2016 KLR650 Camo, Dirtracks, EM Doo,T-Bob, Giant Loop bags, rally dash, Cyclops LED, Madd Risers
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. Peace of mind for the journey. I think the axle nut must have slipped when I torqued it last time and created the problem. I follow your advice about rear wheel off the ground and amount of slack. I’ll keep in mind the fact that there may be eccentric areas of the chain. Not any leaking after 120 miles or so.
Much appreciated @Tom Schmitz @pdwestman
And to “bind” the chain when torquing the axle.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
My KTM 790 Duke was notorious for this. It's swing arm was really long and the chain tightened up a lot as it went through it's travel.

The initial factory adjustment spec started out way too tight. After a couple of counter shaft bearings failed the factory revised their adjustment spec.

When I adjust the chain on any bike I begin with the factory spec and then verify it by compressing the rear suspension. Kinda like Reagan discussing nukes with the Russians. "Trust but verify."

You would be amazed at how much the chain will tighten up on some bikes.

The way I do this is fold down the rear peg on the chain side. Then I put my knee on the peg, put all my weight on it, and then check the chain slack. Sometimes I will have my wife sit on the back of the seat while I do this for more suspension travel.

This could save you a lot of grief down the road.
 

· Registered
2016 KLR650 Camo, Dirtracks, EM Doo,T-Bob, Giant Loop bags, rally dash, Cyclops LED, Madd Risers
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@pdwestman @Tom Schmitz @Hawkerjet
Gentlemen (I use that term loosely🤣) sincere thanks for the quick response to my questions the other day while I was on the road. Almost 800 miles round trip and no issues after a quick roadside adjustment. Appreciate the help!

Mark
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top