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So I'm a new rider, well sort of. Had the bike for some months now and put on about 4150 miles on it. I'm a fan of doing the maintenance myself because it makes me learn more about bikes in general and most importantly about my baby! Anyway quick question, the manual says you should be between 35-45 MM in chain tension. I did a quick measurement after watching a video by STG on chain tensioning and noticed mine is about 38MM. I have not touched it since i got the bike. Should i just leave it alone and check back later in the season? I also did my 2nd oil change so really the 4k service is just checking the bike out for any common wear/tear and tightening some bolts if need be?

Thank you,
Joe
 

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I'd like to add a follow up question to this on my 2019 R3 with about 2500 miles. Checked and adjusted chain to about 38mm slack no problem. Went for a ride came back yesterday. Checked slack still at 38mm. Checked later that day and still 38mm. I went out this morning and checked slack and it's now at about 32mm! Checked a few different spots and all read about 30-32mm.

Any idea what's going on here? Should chain be adjusted when warm as I thought it doesn't matter. Makes no sense.

thanks for any input.
 

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I'd like to add a follow up question to this on my 2019 R3 with about 2500 miles. Checked and adjusted chain to about 38mm slack no problem. Went for a ride came back yesterday. Checked slack still at 38mm. Checked later that day and still 38mm. I went out this morning and checked slack and it's now at about 32mm! Checked a few different spots and all read about 30-32mm.

Any idea what's going on here? Should chain be adjusted when warm as I thought it doesn't matter. Makes no sense.

thanks for any input.
Maybe the adjuster or wheel nut are a bit loose?
 

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I thought so too but I double checked the markings and torque and everything was tight. So yesterday I adjusted the chain slack again and what I noticed this time was that there are tight and loose spots depending on the position of the chain as it is rotated. Spent some time and found the tightest spot slack (34mm) and the loosest spot slack (42mm). Average slack reading is about 37-38mm.

Now I'm thinking I actually did adjust the chain correctly but didn't use the tightest spot as the consistent measuring point. So now three questions:

1. Does that variance of about 8mm from tight to loose spot sound normal? Chain has about 2500 miles on it and prior owner appears to have cleaned it regularly.

2. Any way to fix the chain so the variance is less and chain slack measurement more consistent throughout ?

3. Does the current slack measurement seem correct now or do I need to readjust again (manual shows 35-45mm) ?

thanks!
 

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A little bit off topic, but I recommend using a chain alignment tool like the pro motion 08-0048 tool. The markings on the axle adjustment plates of motorcycles can be sloppy. ]Chain alignment is very important unless you want to start eating sprockets and chains. In your case, you may have a defective chain. Just a wild guess without seeing it first hand.

 

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I thought so too but I double checked the markings and torque and everything was tight. So yesterday I adjusted the chain slack again and what I noticed this time was that there are tight and loose spots depending on the position of the chain as it is rotated. Spent some time and found the tightest spot slack (34mm) and the loosest spot slack (42mm). Average slack reading is about 37-38mm.

Now I'm thinking I actually did adjust the chain correctly but didn't use the tightest spot as the consistent measuring point. So now three questions:

1. Does that variance of about 8mm from tight to loose spot sound normal? Chain has about 2500 miles on it and prior owner appears to have cleaned it regularly.

2. Any way to fix the chain so the variance is less and chain slack measurement more consistent throughout ?

3. Does the current slack measurement seem correct now or do I need to readjust again (manual shows 35-45mm) ?

thanks!
This irregularity foes happen to chains over time as the grease in the rollers start to deplete. This is exacerbated by using things like kerosene to clean your chain as these fluids can get past the o-ring seals. Tension variance can also be due to uneven wear of the sprockets. This is why its recommended you change the chain and sprockets as a set.

There is no way to fix this variance as far as I know apart from replacing with a good quality sprocket and chain. If the variance is not terrible, measure the chain tension at its tightest point and adjust from there.

Hope this helps!
 

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This irregularity foes happen to chains over time as the grease in the rollers start to deplete. This is exacerbated by using things like kerosene to clean your chain as these fluids can get past the o-ring seals. Tension variance can also be due to uneven wear of the sprockets. This is why its recommended you change the chain and sprockets as a set.

There is no way to fix this variance as far as I know apart from replacing with a good quality sprocket and chain. If the variance is not terrible, measure the chain tension at its tightest point and adjust from there.

Hope this helps!
My understanding was that it's recommended to use Kerosene to clean your chain because it's less harsh and doesn't compromise the o-rings..?
 

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I am no expert but I first clean the chain with WD40 with the bike on a rear wheel stand. Then carefully wipe excess. Then apply a quality chain lube.

That being said, I know of a bike rental company in Baja Mexico with a fleet of DRZ400s. They spray the chains with WD40 after each day and then ride the piss out of the bikes the next day. The owner swears by WD40. I tend to err on the side of caution though, clean and lube is cheaper than crash and burn.
 

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I know they say it contains "lubricants" in the formula, but WD40 is a terrible lube, and I wouldn't use it as a replacement for chain lube. As a cleaner, sure. Not as a lube. A rental company is beating on bikes and replacing parts when they fail, so they probably don't care if they don't get 10,000 miles out if them.

And this is from someone who had WD40 as a marketing client in his career at some point. Buy a quality chain lube, and use it often.
 

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I am no expert but I first clean the chain with WD40 with the bike on a rear wheel stand. Then carefully wipe excess. Then apply a quality chain lube.

That being said, I know of a bike rental company in Baja Mexico with a fleet of DRZ400s. They spray the chains with WD40 after each day and then ride the piss out of the bikes the next day. The owner swears by WD40. I tend to err on the side of caution though, clean and lube is cheaper than crash and burn.
WD40 is a penetrant. It's also not a lubricant as it's designed to disperse oils and moisture. I would highly recommend against using it as it's probably one of the most capable fluids at penetrating the o rings.

Maybe the chains on the DRZ400s don't have ORINGs, or he's not aware that he could potentially be getting a lot more miles out of the chains if the was doing a proper clean and lube with purpose made products?
 
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