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Discussion Starter #1
I put on a new fender eliminator so I took a ride down my street at low speed over a few bumps to make sure everything was tight. I went over the bump and heard a small clank coming from the rear end somewhere. I wasn't wearing a helmet so I could hear clearly. I went over the bumps a few more times and something was still clanking. I went back to my garage and made sure everything was tight and nothing was loose or wobbling. Everything was tight. Then I rode one more time and discovered the small clank over the bump was my chain. The tension seems OK on it, maybe a little on the loose side. On the top run of chain I can push down on it behind the chain guard and get it to touch the chain guide. I'm thinking perhaps because I wear my helmet all the time except this one time, I was picking up noises I never generally pick up wearing my lid, like the sound of the chain rattle over rough road.

Can anyone else push downward on their chain and get it to touch? I'm due for my 600 mile service probably next week, so I'm hoping they will adjust it if needed. Rather not mess with the back wheel.
 

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I believe mind does as well. will have to check it out tomorrow morning.. and am gonna get my first oil change tomorrow also. if it is I will ask them to see if they will adjust it or if its "normal" or what...
 

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Checking and adjusting the chain should part of the 600 miles service. Make sure your dealership service dept does more than just change the oil when you get the 600 mile service done.
When you ride away after paying for that service EVERYTHING should be adjusted properly.

My CBR 250, Ninja 250, and FZ6R all needed chain tension adjustments at the 600 mile service.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_WdhZGJsTg This is a great video about having too much or too little chain slack.





I've always used the above "card method" to check my drive chin slack.

Drive chain slack should be 35.0 to 45.0 mm (1.38 to 1.77 in.) on a Yamaha R3. Page 7-23 of the owner's manual.

I hate screwing with chains too. I always clean and lube them using a swingarm stand (DON'T PINCH YOUR FINGERS BETWEEN THE CHAIN AND REAR SPROCKET WHILE SPINNING THE REAR TIRE) but I'll pay the service department to adjust it every 1500 to 2500 miles. Last time I had that done on my FZ6R it was like $25.

If you decide to do chain slack adjustments yourself DON'T get a cheap torque wrench. NOTHING is more dangerous than an inaccurate torque wrench!

 

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Yes, you can push down on the top of the chain and it will touch the upper chain guard. Pushing up on the lower portion of chain you can't quite touch the chain guard when the chain tension is proper.

I have 500 miles on my chain and it is still in specs. I had to adjust my FZ-07 chain after the first 40 miles. Might be a torque thing or just the fact that some chains seem to need early adjustments while others don't.

I have a block of wood with the proper chain tension on all my bikes marked on it so I don't have to get a ruler to measure each time. Note that with this chain you both push and pull to measure the play in the chain. On the FZ-07 chain, you only pulled down to measure. Why? Because that chain did hit the lower chain guard when you pushed up and you measured tension right from the back of the chain guard. After a while, you can pretty much look and tell if the chain is in specs by how much it hangs down in the middle and for sure just moving the chain up and down with your finger will tell you. Best to measure if you are new at it though.
 

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Thanks for all the replies! I'm good until 600 mile service.
If you have the dealer do the service, don't assume they check the chain. Measure it before you take it in and after. Most mechanics are doing work by book rates so if they go fast they can double or triple book. Chain adjustments take time so it is easy to not do it. Then there is the matter of alignment. Those little marks on the swingarm aren't always correct. I use a Motion Pro chain alignment tool.

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0048/
 

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The top of my chain currently touches the chain guide below it, a few inches back as it drives into the front sprocket. My chain seemed a little too tight from the dealership. I took about a half hour before my first ride getting it adjusted perfectly. I used the chain tension marks at the rear to center it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you have the dealer do the service, don't assume they check the chain. Measure it before you take it in and after. Most mechanics are doing work by book rates so if they go fast they can double or triple book. Chain adjustments take time so it is easy to not do it. Then there is the matter of alignment. Those little marks on the swingarm aren't always correct. I use a Motion Pro chain alignment tool.

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0048/
Good advice. I'm going to give my dealer the benefit of the doubt and assume they will perform the work I ask them to. I met with the head the service department when I took delivery and he seemed very reputable. The chain tension is part of the first service, but I'll remind them just to be sure. I've been around the block a few times at 48 years, so I got my own back when dealing with service departments.

I keep my wrenching to making minor adjustments to levers, replacing bulbs, adding fluids, etc. or installing aftermarket parts that do not impact how the bike operates mechanicaly. (Fender eliminator, seat cowl, grips, levers, etc) everything else goes to a mechanic. I won't be messing with chain tension!D :D
 

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The issue I run into with adjusting chains is not with the alignment. I can lie down at the back of the bike and eyeball that plus those chain guide marks have always been accurate on my bikes. No, my problem is that the wheel moves a little when you tighten the axle nut and that throws everything off a little. In other words if you have the proper tension and the chain is straight and the same amount of lines show on each side of the chain tension plate, and the wheel is tight against both adjusting and locking nuts in the back, then as you tighten the axle, a gap forms at the back of the right side adjusting screw meaning the wheel has moved and everything is now out of alignment. I can often prevent this by holding the wheel in place as I tighten down the axle nut...actually, since I adjust chains on the floor, I pull back on the wheel and use my feet to push forward bracing them against the back of the swing arm as I tighten the axle nut...but often I wind up purposely adjusting the chain slightly out of alignment so that as I tighten the axle nut, the wheel turns just enough to put the chain into alignment with proper tension. There are a few tricks...like winding up a small screwdriver or other tool between the chain and rear sprocket to keep everything tight once you get proper specs, but there is an art to adjusting chains.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The issue I run into with adjusting chains is not with the alignment. I can lie down at the back of the bike and eyeball that plus those chain guide marks have always been accurate on my bikes. No, my problem is that the wheel moves a little when you tighten the axle nut and that throws everything off a little. In other words if you have the proper tension and the chain is straight and the same amount of lines show on each side of the chain tension plate, and the wheel is tight against both adjusting and locking nuts in the back, then as you tighten the axle, a gap forms at the back of the right side adjusting screw meaning the wheel has moved and everything is now out of alignment. I can often prevent this by holding the wheel in place as I tighten down the axle nut...actually, since I adjust chains on the floor, I pull back on the wheel and use my feet to push forward bracing them against the back of the swing arm as I tighten the axle nut...but often I wind up purposely adjusting the chain slightly out of alignment so that as I tighten the axle nut, the wheel turns just enough to put the chain into alignment with proper tension. There are a few tricks...like winding up a small screwdriver or other tool between the chain and rear sprocket to keep everything tight once you get proper specs, but there is an art to adjusting chains.
Exactly. The service department puts it up on a lift and do all this stuff much easier. And I have no interest in turning my garage into a bike shop by buying every tool under the sun. I already have a crap ton of tools in there already for my remodeling business.
 

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I have 500 miles on my chain and it is still in specs. I had to adjust my FZ-07 chain after the first 40 miles. Might be a torque thing or just the fact that some chains seem to need early adjustments while others don't.
All new chains stretch a little at first, it's just a lot less drastic with the R3's comparatively low power. It'll probably take a few hundred miles for most of our chains to stretch noticeably.

All new chains do need to be cleaned right away, though. That white goop they come with is horrible and flings everywhere. More of a preservative than a real chain lube.
 
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