Chain alignment tip. - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-28-2017, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Chain alignment tip.

I asked before about making sure the left/right were equal so that the rear wheel would be straight.

I was servicing the chain on the rear stand and had it in 3rd gear idling. I noticed a different sound as I would adjust the right side. I adjusted the left to the spot I wanted the chain, then adjusted the right for least noise.

Seems pretty accurate as you can hear the difference of a 1/3~1/2 turn.

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post #2 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 07:20 AM
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I use a MotionPro chain alignment tool. It works pretty good as long as you don't bend the "straight" rod. They should make that rod out of drill rod or something hard/brittle. I like your tip for rolling the rear wheel and listening though. Maybe a touch on the dangerous side, but as long as you keep your fingers away from the chain you should be fine.

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post #3 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
I asked before about making sure the left/right were equal so that the rear wheel would be straight.

I was servicing the chain on the rear stand and had it in 3rd gear idling. I noticed a different sound as I would adjust the right side. I adjusted the left to the spot I wanted the chain, then adjusted the right for least noise.

Seems pretty accurate as you can hear the difference of a 1/3~1/2 turn.
Please, NEVER do this again. This is a major safety concern in so many ways it's horrifying. My god... One of the worse tips to be posted. Right up there with sand, bricks, etc.

If you're really concerned about the alignment, just put dimples into your rear axle end, and swing arm pivot bolt ends. Then you can use the large hf caliper to bring it true and you're set.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 08:27 AM
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Actually, the method you describe is quite valid, with one difference: simply spin the rear wheel backwards by hand while listening to the chain. With a little practice it works quite nicely.

Needless to say I strongly recommend against using the motor to spin the rear wheel while adjusting the chain, or pretty much any other situation other than actually riding. Very dangerous!!!

Rob

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post #5 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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I've used this to clean the chain before and understand the danger, I guess someone could turn it by hand or use an motor to turn the wheel. It just seems like a finer way of lining things up vs measuring. I was able to get rid of a chain noise this way.

I've seen the string method, where you run a string to both edges of one side of the rear and check that the front is straight with the rear.

Those adj rods seem ok, but like you said, they can bend.

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post #6 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 11:34 AM
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This tip reminds of a "here, hold my beer" story. Never do anything with the chain while the motor is running. That said, I just use calipers and call it a day.

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post #7 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 09:07 PM
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I remove the hugger or chain guard & lay a metal straight edge on top of the chain & against the rear tire at two points. Very easy to see if the rear wheel is straight relative to the chain & you can watch a 1/4 turn of either adjuster make a huge difference via the straight edge up at the front sprocket. This aligns the chain & sprockets as opposed to the rear wheel to the front wheel but I think the former is more important.

Plenty of pics out there with finger tips gone from adjusting chain with motor running & wheel spinning.

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post #8 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 11:20 PM
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There's usually notches on the chain tensioners themselves to guide you. I use those. Also, as others have said, your method is extremely dangerous.

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post #9 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
There's usually notches on the chain tensioners themselves to guide you. I use those. Also, as others have said, your method is extremely dangerous.
I see those notches, but when I did what I did, 1/3~1/4 turn made a difference. When I look at those notches, I had a bad noise.

I would adjust the chain and hear a noise. I'd see the chain bounce on the underside and hear the noise.

I was able to get the noise out using this method, the chain bounce is still there.

Maybe I need to do a video to show what I'm doing ( or doing wrong )

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post #10 of 23 Old 03-01-2017, 11:34 PM
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If it's bouncing, it might be too loose or it might have some tight links. It's hard to check chain tension on stands though, as the chain typically tightens once there's weight on the bike.

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post #11 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Actually, the method you describe is quite valid, with one difference: simply spin the rear wheel backwards by hand while listening to the chain. With a little practice it works quite nicely.

Needless to say I strongly recommend against using the motor to spin the rear wheel while adjusting the chain, or pretty much any other situation other than actually riding. Very dangerous!!!

Rob
I do the spinning the tire by hand and just adjust until the sprocket is right in the middle of the roller. I think I started doing that based on an earlier post by Rob. One of the many things I have learned from him.

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post #12 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
If it's bouncing, it might be too loose or it might have some tight links. It's hard to check chain tension on stands though, as the chain typically tightens once there's weight on the bike.
If he's running the bike unloaded on a stand in third gear the chain is going to bounce unless its waaaaaay too tight...

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post #13 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
If it's bouncing, it might be too loose or it might have some tight links. It's hard to check chain tension on stands though, as the chain typically tightens once there's weight on the bike.
You mean the weight of the rider? The stand keeps the weight of the bike on the rear suspension.

I assume the 1 1/8" measurement is with no rider.

I wouldn't be surprised if the chain had tight links. I bought the 17/44 kit from here on the big thread a while back, I just haven't installed it yet.

It's kinda odd, the sprockets on the bike look great, the chain looks great, but I have no clue how old it is. It was stored dry by the PO and the whole area was very dirty. I would actually like to do a good cleaning of that whole area someday, but I don't want all the cleaning fluid on my tires.

Someday, soon, I'll pull all the old stuff off, clean the heck out of everything and she'll be running like new.

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post #14 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
If he's running the bike unloaded on a stand in third gear the chain is going to bounce unless its waaaaaay too tight...
That lines up with the measurements as it's about as close as I can get it to proper measurements.

I'm going to have to make a video of this so everyone is on the same page, I think people are going to read this thread and wonder what the heck is going on here.

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post #15 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Actually, the method you describe is quite valid, with one difference: simply spin the rear wheel backwards by hand while listening to the chain. With a little practice it works quite nicely.

Needless to say I strongly recommend against using the motor to spin the rear wheel while adjusting the chain, or pretty much any other situation other than actually riding. Very dangerous!!!

Rob
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing the validity of using chain noise as a gauge for chain alignment. I'm merely referencing the use of the engine in gear to do so. Same for cleaning the chain, or scrubbing the rear tire, etc. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

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post #16 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
There's usually notches on the chain tensioners themselves to guide you. I use those. Also, as others have said, your method is extremely dangerous.
Those notches are notoriously out of spec. Why Honda even bothered is beyond me. I used a giant caliper and could do a chain adjustment and alignment to within 1/32nd in less than 10 minutes start to finish.

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post #17 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 07:45 PM
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There was a thread on a forum years ago where a guy lost his fingers while he was cleaning the chain, while the engine was running.

I will see if I can dig that up.

Edit: Here is the link http://www.600rr.net/vb/15-general-d...e-pray-me.html I would read that. It used to have pictures.

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post #18 of 23 Old 03-02-2017, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by captainchadl View Post
There was a thread on a forum years ago where a guy lost his fingers while he was cleaning the chain, while the engine was running.

I will see if I can dig that up.

Edit: Here is the link please pray for me. - 600RR.net I would read that. It used to have pictures.
He was using a rag on the rear sprocket. I use a wire brush on the upside, if it were to catch, it would kick you out instead of in.

I understand the risk and how bad things can happen, but it's pretty clear that he would have been holding the rag tight, working on the incoming side instead of the outgoing side or the rag was hung down.

I've used a wire brush on the chain like this many times. I also lube this way by dripping gear oil on it and then running it faster to spray off the extra. It allows me to clean it off the tire before I'm back on the road.

IDK how much difference a spray of oil would make on the rear, but I scuff it off with a rag with it on the stand.

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post #19 of 23 Old 03-03-2017, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
He was using a rag on the rear sprocket. I use a wire brush on the upside, if it were to catch, it would kick you out instead of in.

I understand the risk and how bad things can happen, but it's pretty clear that he would have been holding the rag tight, working on the incoming side instead of the outgoing side or the rag was hung down.

I've used a wire brush on the chain like this many times. I also lube this way by dripping gear oil on it and then running it faster to spray off the extra. It allows me to clean it off the tire before I'm back on the road.

IDK how much difference a spray of oil would make on the rear, but I scuff it off with a rag with it on the stand.
OMG Karl,
Please take suggestions made by Robert Haralson, Pvster, and others seriously! Accidents can happen but it's not an accident if you are being careless.
Oh and using a wire brush on an o-ring chain is also not good practice.

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post #20 of 23 Old 03-03-2017, 12:20 PM
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Jesus....

Another thread for posterity...

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post #21 of 23 Old 03-03-2017, 01:32 PM
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Wire brush is bad idea as it will damage the O or X rings. When people say brush, they mean a soft brush. Either a toothbrush or a 360 chain specific brush. A wire brush, even if you're being careful to only clean the outsides of the chain, which you can't do if the bike is running in gear, is very risky. The only point of the brush is to dislodge grime from the chain that you've loosened using Kerosene, WD40, cleaner of choice. You're not looking to scour the metal.

And Karl, please please please do not get near that chain when the bike is in gear. You've got just 10 fingers and your thumbs are the only thing separating you from the rest of the animal kingdom. Accidents happen and it'd be awful to have such a life changing event happen for such a silly reason. Just be careful.

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post #22 of 23 Old 05-04-2017, 11:29 AM
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Will try to dig up the photo I took using a hardware store laser point level.

Take off the chain guard. Align with the middle of the chain towards the front sprocket.

Tah Daaah.

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post #23 of 23 Old 05-04-2017, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birddogvet View Post
Will try to dig up the photo I took using a hardware store laser point level.

Take off the chain guard. Align with the middle of the chain towards the front sprocket.

Tah Daaah.
I've got the Craftsman laser system, but you're still doing this by eye. I bet if you use a laser or that long stick guide, that you won't be able to notice a 1/8th turn of the adjustment screws... IIRC, that's how fine tuned you can get, I can actually hear a change in the noise with a small fraction of a turn.

I understand the safety issues, but if a person really pay attention that shouldn't be a problem. Everything a person says about danger can be said about riding a motorcycle. How many people die riding a motorcycle, how many injuries... plenty of danger, but we use care and continue to ride.

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