Chain adjuster alert - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Chain adjuster alert

Xrmikey first told me of this issue with the chain adjusters at the start of one of the group rides when I noticed he had safety wired his chain adjuster bolts. When I asked why he told me the chain side adjuster screws itself in when the bike is ridden hard. Thinking it was not a problem under normal circumstances I forgot about it until I removed the rear wheel to replace the tire and noticed the chain was looser than I expected, so I marked the head of the bolt before the last group ride and checked it at the end -- it had backed out (actually in) by almost 1/2 turn! For obvious reasons it only happens on the left side. No wonder I had to adjust the chain so often. Needless to say I drilled the head of the left bolt and am safety wiring it after adjustments. This happens with the axle nut properly torqued (in case you were wondering) and I do not recommend overtightening the axle as a cure due to the increased load compressing the bearing spacer which can cause excessive side loads on the bearings -- very bad on standard deep groove ball bearings!

This also taught me how to align the rear wheel by spinning it and listening to the chain -- if it is as little as 1/4 turn different the chain gets quite noisy from the side plates contacting the sides of the sprocket teeth, which can also affect the life of the chain by continually compressing the o-rings, wearing them prematurely. Once it is aligned the noise practically disappears.

Rob

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post #2 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 09:49 AM
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Now that you mention it, my adjustment screw was completely loose last time I adjusted the chain. You planning to drill the head and safety wire it to a hole on the u-shaped adjustment bracket?

Madmotor
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post #3 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmotor View Post
Now that you mention it, my adjustment screw was completely loose last time I adjusted the chain. You planning to drill the head and safety wire it to a hole on the u-shaped adjustment bracket?

Madmotor
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Yup. I just loop the safety wire through the outside cutout in the adjuster, then through the hole in the bolt head. Remember the bolt tends to rotate clockwise (loosening the chain), so make sure the wire is stressed to prevent motion in that direction. I'm working on a more elegant solution, but in the meantime this works quite well.

Rob

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post #4 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the heads up, I had wondered how secure they were myself.

Lets have this post made into a sticky.

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post #5 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:07 AM
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Is this issue specific to the 919?
JohnnyB

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post #6 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
This also taught me how to align the rear wheel by spinning it and listening to the chain -- if it is as little as 1/4 turn different the chain gets quite noisy from the side plates contacting the sides of the sprocket teeth, which can also affect the life of the chain by continually compressing the o-rings, wearing them prematurely. Once it is aligned the noise practically disappears.

Rob
This is a old trick I have used for years. In addition to what Rob mentions since my hearing is shot, verify their is NO contact between both sides of the chain plates and the sprocket. A simple test is to push on the left side plate, spin the wheel, push on the right side plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Yup. I just loop the safety wire through the outside cutout in the adjuster, then through the hole in the bolt head. Remember the bolt tends to rotate clockwise (loosening the chain), so make sure the wire is stressed to prevent motion in that direction. I'm working on a more elegant solution, but in the meantime this works quite well.

Rob
Rob: Could you please take a photo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffcycles View Post
Thanks for the heads up, I had wondered how secure they were myself.

Lets have this post made into a sticky.
Jeff: Good idea It will be added to the 919 Helpful topics under the Heads Up column.

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post #7 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
Is this issue specific to the 919?
JohnnyB
Good question. The 919 does not use the most sophisticated adjusters.

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post #8 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMike View Post
This is a old trick I have used for years. In addition to what Rob mentions since my hearing is shot, verify their is NO contact between both sides of the chain plates and the sprocket. A simple test is to push on the left side plate, spin the wheel, push on the right side plate.

Rob: Could you please take a photo.

Jeff: Good idea It will be added to the 919 Helpful topics under the Heads Up column.


+1 Yes Rob, please post a photo. And MisterMike, can you please explain your technique for chain alignment in a little more detail? Are you saying if the chain is aligned it will self center and pushing on the left/right plates should result in equal movement?

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post #9 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:53 AM
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I had this issue on my Yamaha YZ250. I understood it happing on that baike due to the amount of vibration from the single cylinder. I found that the locking nuts would loosen allowing the bolt to turn. I ended placing a lock washer, the type that folds onto the side of the nut and bent another tab around the corner of the swingarms depression. I have not had a problem with them coming loose since.

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post #10 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugs View Post
+1 Yes Rob, please post a photo. And MisterMike, can you please explain your technique for chain alignment in a little more detail? Are you saying if the chain is aligned it will self center and pushing on the left/right plates should result in equal movement?
Self center might not be the correct term but you have nailed it with equal movement from both sides. Sometimes it his hard to explain a How-To without photos and arrows.

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post #11 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 11:10 AM
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Wisco919,
Do you unbend the tabs each time you want to do an adjustment?
Are you replacing the lock washers each time you do an adjustment?


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post #12 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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No need to drill parallel to the flats of the bolt -- there is not that much force you're trying to restrain with the wire. Remember to chamfer the hole on each side with a larger drill bit to pervent a sharp edge from cutting through the safety wire.

Ideally, there should be a hole drilled in the body of the adjuster as well, but where it is at the moment is quite adequate.

One thing to keep in mind whenever safety wiring is the direction of rotation you are trying to prevent: usually counterclockwise to stop loosening, but in this case clockwise to prevent "tightening", or allowing forward motion of the axle. A finishing touch I always do is to twist the end twice as long as needed and fold it back on itself to prevent snagging cleaning rags, or more importantly running a finger through with the very sharp clipped end.

Rob

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post #13 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 01:59 PM
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Rob: Nice looking chain! How many links?

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post #14 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMike View Post
Rob: Nice looking chain! How many links?
112 links. Wondered if anyone would notice that from the position of the adjuster. Hasbeenracer just handed it to me when he saw (and heard) my previous one, damaged by a misalignment caused by the mobile adjuster. Xrmikey gave me the slightly used sprockets that are on it as well. I tell you: this forum really rocks. Thanks guys!

Rob

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post #15 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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is there any way that some one could make a video for the let mechanically savvy ?

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post #16 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Less*

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post #17 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for the pic Rob!

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post #18 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 06:50 PM
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thanks for the picture rob

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post #19 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 10:55 PM
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Remember to check your Axel torque.
I have found that torquing the nut is not as accurate as the Axel shaft.
The nut has a tendency to bind, thus not tightening the rear accurately.
Check yours for yourselves.
Torque the nut first, then switch, & see if the Axel tightens more.
If not, your good, if it does, then switch your process.

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post #20 of 69 Old 11-20-2008, 11:42 PM
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Specifically how hard did you ride the bike when you noticed the "self-adjustment"? Was it a leaned over all the way in the turns, full-throttle, as hard as you can possibly accelerate all the time type ride? I have yet to have this happen to me, but I also ride like a sissy on the street. Just wondering how necessary this safety wire application is?

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post #21 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 12:19 AM
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It happened to me from just normal commuting.

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post #22 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majorrager View Post
Specifically how hard did you ride the bike when you noticed the "self-adjustment"? Was it a leaned over all the way in the turns, full-throttle, as hard as you can possibly accelerate all the time type ride? I have yet to have this happen to me, but I also ride like a sissy on the street. Just wondering how necessary this safety wire application is?
Generally, I don't use full throttle: as a matter of fact I can't remember the last time the throttle was wide open. Racing back in the days of "flexy fliers" taught me smoothness -- any sudden moves tended to get you in lots of trouble -- and it works very well with the 919. Besides, everything lasts considerably longer if you don't beat on it. The ride where I noticed the movement was a group ride, so I was not really pushing it anywhere near as hard as I am capable of. However, if I'm on my own with a new tire the chicken strips are history within 10 miles. I don't recommend this unless you have endurance racing experience and are running Michelins.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrmikey View Post
It happened to me from just normal commuting.
See mikey's avatar for his version of a "normal commute". Actually, it doesn't seem to take much to move, which is not surprising considering there is nothing to prevent it.

If you are curious to see if your adjuster is moving clean the left side bolt thoroughly and mark it on one flat with a Sharpie, make a corresponding mark on the frame of the adjuster, then take it out for a representative ride. It will be easy to tell if it has moved. If it doesn't then you are probably all right. If it does the safety wiring will be necessary.

Rob

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post #23 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 01:01 AM
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Thanks for the response. I usually take suggestions as gospel on this forum (especially the spend every spare dime one mods type suggestions), and I will definitely be checking this adjuster much more closely after my next few rides. Actually, forget checking, I'll probably just go ahead and wire it. Thy word be done.

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post #24 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamperman View Post
Wisco919,
Do you unbend the tabs each time you want to do an adjustment?
Are you replacing the lock washers each time you do an adjustment?
I can usually get two adjustments per washer. I am pretty anal about recovering my dirtbike after a ride. I tear off every bit of plastic to clean it up then reassemble checking all bolts and adjustments along the way. I hope to make it last as long as I can.

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post #25 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
See mikey's avatar for his version of a "normal commute". Rob

That was funny Rob, I was thinking the same thing.

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post #26 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wisco919 View Post
I can usually get two adjustments per washer. I am pretty anal about recovering my dirtbike after a ride. I tear off every bit of plastic to clean it up then reassemble checking all bolts and adjustments along the way. I hope to make it last as long as I can.
Any issues with removing the adjustor bolts all the way and then putting them back in? I assume you need to do that to get the lock washers in place.


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post #27 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 12:33 PM
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this wire you guys keep talking about seems like an easy and good idea. Are we just talking about standard bailing wire that you can get at any tractor/farm supply store? ...or is it some special $50 spool of wire?

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post #28 of 69 Old 11-21-2008, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Any wire will work in a pinch, but as you aren't really sure of the metal or quality it is a very poor second choice to stainless wire.

0.032" diameter stainless steel safety wire made to NAS specs is available from a variety of sources, particularly auto speed shops or motorcycle accessory stores worth a damn.
Here's a listing from Aircraft Spruce as an example.
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...safetywire.php
They also have tools such as twisting pliers and no notch twisters, bolt and nut drilling jigs, and sheetmetal nut covers that are not as secure as drilling the fastener, but one hell of a lot faster (and probably won't work in this application).
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/...wiretools.html
By the way, the wire in the photo I posted was twisted by hand and cut with standard side cutters, so the trick twisting pliers are not really necessary.

Once you have a spool of safety wire you will find hundreds of uses for it, and at less than $10, a one pound spool will last a lifetime unless you are running a racing program, in which case it will only last half a lifetime.

Rob

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post #29 of 69 Old 11-25-2008, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamperman View Post
Any issues with removing the adjustor bolts all the way and then putting them back in? I assume you need to do that to get the lock washers in place.
No. None with the YZ. You of course have to have the rear wheel removed.

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post #30 of 69 Old 01-04-2009, 07:47 AM
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this is a very good thread, thanks all.




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post #31 of 69 Old 03-28-2009, 12:57 PM
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Exclamation Chain adjusting misfortune...

Sorry to dredge up an old thread here, but I've noticed over time with my 919 the chain continues to be a real hassle for me. The right (as viewed from the rear) adjuster is CONSTANTLY coming loose, for example: when I "preflight" my bike I touch everything, all nuts and bolts I can see, chain slack, lights etc... But as I said the right side adjuster is constantly coming loose. This makes people often ask me why I'm adjusting my chain so often, and then they go on to tell me they've got 10 bagillion miles on their chain and it's still in spec, and I shouldn't have to adjust my chain so often, etc...

Anyway, I've gone over every "chain lube and adjust" thread I can find to read, and I have come to the conclusion I'm doing something wrong. Rob says the left one should be the one to "self" adjust, and it very well may be... but if I'm noticing the right one being loose, how could the left one "tighten up?"

To cut to some sort of chase here, is there a thread on how to tighten the chain specific to the 919? I have to be doing something wrong, I've tried measuring right and left side to make it even, I even tried a "string" theory that didn't work out well. My other problem is when I think I've finally gotten the chain perfectly adjusted (meaning proper tension and sprocket in the center), the tire is clearly not aligned. When I get the tire and chain perfect, the sprocket isn't aligned. I've started just trying to "split the difference" on all these things. It's been working, but today I just couldn't take it anymore... What am I doing wrong?

Step one: loosen axle nut
step two: loosen chain by adjusting both adjusters (at first I just tightened them the same amount, but this didn't always work, I believe because of the self adjusting adjuster)
step three: tighten chain to speck
step four: verify tire/chain/sprocket alignment (this is where I can spend literally hours)
step five: tighten axle nut to proper torque
step six: re-verify everything, then check chain slack on side stand

I think I need help in the step three and four zone... If anyone has any good ideas and/or a visual how to I would love to know. Thanks.

-Adam

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post #32 of 69 Old 05-17-2009, 08:06 PM
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i use 8 ft long fluorescent tubes..one on each side of the rear tire with a bungee cord through the rim holding both tubes against the tire a few inches up on tire...now measure distance from front tire to tube on each side...every little turn of adjustment screws moves the tubes....those tubes are perfectly straight....i like to pump the rear brake by hand while everything is still lose to make sure tubes dont move ...and hold brake while im snugging up axel nut .....then i feel the axel adjustment screws...if there still snug i know nothing moved.......then i snug up the adjusters counter clockwise seems to lock them into place and they stay tight....my adjuster lines seem right on so far

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post #33 of 69 Old 05-17-2009, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondchance View Post
i use 8 ft long fluorescent tubes..one on each side of the rear tire with a bungee cord through the rim holding both tubes against the tire a few inches up on tire...now measure distance from front tire to tube on each side...every little turn of adjustment screws moves the tubes....those tubes are perfectly straight....i like to pump the rear brake by hand while everything is still lose to make sure tubes dont move ...and hold brake while im snugging up axel nut .....then i feel the axel adjustment screws...if there still snug i know nothing moved.......then i snug up the adjusters counter clockwise seems to lock them into place and they stay tight....my adjuster lines seem right on so far
Seems like a good method. How do you make sure the front wheel is perfectly straight and you secure it somehow? Thanks

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post #34 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 02:26 PM
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Why not just use Blue Locktite first and if it soles the problem you're home free!

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post #35 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
Seems like a good method. How do you make sure the front wheel is perfectly straight and you secure it somehow? Thanks
i look at the handle bars and wheel move it around sight it by eye...once the tubes or attached its real east to tell if the front wheel is straight...plus measurements are taken from middle of front tire...plus when riding top triple tree under adjustment nut has that line that lines up with the weld on top of my frame...

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post #36 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondchance View Post
i look at the handle bars and wheel move it around sight it by eye...once the tubes or attached its real east to tell if the front wheel is straight...plus measurements are taken from middle of front tire...plus when riding top triple tree under adjustment nut has that line that lines up with the weld on top of my frame...

Cool thanks for the info.

I was looking in the manual under chain adjusting right after setting the tension to get the right slack and it says to "Make sure the index marks on both adjusting plates are aligned with the end of the swingarm". I looked at mine and theres like 5 index marks on top of the adjusters on each side. I guess if you make sure both sides have one of the index marks at the same position (with respect to the end of the swingarm), seems like it should get you close.


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post #37 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 06:39 PM
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ever since i bought my bike i have noticed it looked like the handlebars werent quite straight.. but i never straightened them out until a couple of weeks ago (it rode fine with no head shake and i really didnt see a need to mess with it) ... so's anyway i loosened everything and held the front wheel straight and moved everything around till the bars were straight... then tightened it all back up... now it feels "twitchy"... ....

i guess its all good...



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post #38 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
Cool thanks for the info.

I was looking in the manual under chain adjusting right after setting the tension to get the right slack and it says to "Make sure the index marks on both adjusting plates are aligned with the end of the swingarm". I looked at mine and theres like 5 index marks on top of the adjusters on each side. I guess if you make sure both sides have one of the index marks at the same position (with respect to the end of the swingarm), seems like it should get you close.

theres a line also before the end of the swing arm on each side that can be used...i believe thats the line to go buy....but it ends up being the same on mine....i have done it both ways with tubes and adjuster mark...i keep an eye on the chain all the time see how sprockets and chain looks...and spray lube often ....lol first time took me a few trys to get the lines right on swingarm...i was starting to see double

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post #39 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by barton664 View Post
ever since i bought my bike i have noticed it looked like the handlebars werent quite straight.. but i never straightened them out until a couple of weeks ago (it rode fine with no head shake and i really didnt see a need to mess with it) ... so's anyway i loosened everything and held the front wheel straight and moved everything around till the bars were straight... then tightened it all back up... now it feels "twitchy"... ....

i guess its all good...
..so the bars looked a little cocked ?..what do you loosen up the risers or just move controls around on the bars

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post #40 of 69 Old 05-27-2009, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondchance View Post
..so the bars looked a little cocked ?..what do you loosen up the risers or just move controls around on the bars
i loosened the triples and held the front wheel and twisted to the side.. (kinda like you did with your bicycle as a kid)...then tightened it all back up... rides good... touch twitchy now...



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