How to Tension a Motorcycle Chain?

To better understand how to tighten a motorcycle chain, it is worth thinking a little about the concept of a motorcycle transmission chain. A motorcycle is a two-wheeled transport that usually has a gasoline engine, although there are electric ones. With a transmission chain, although there are belts on the market which are quieter and maintenance-free than chains. The transmission chain of a motorcycle is in charge of mobilizing the energy or power of the engine for the rear wheel through a gearbox. The calibration of a chain is fundamental in motorcycles, a very pressed chain brings many problems to the motorcycle and also if the chain is too loose it has its drawbacks.

  • What are the consequences of a motorcycle chain being very pressed, the very pressed chain produces noise? It produces jerks when starting the motorcycle, problems in the rear wheel shock absorbers, increases the wear of the pinion. Of the crown and of the same chain and a very pressed motorcycle chain could break at any time causing an incident or a bad time.
  • What are the consequences of a chain being too loose? It can jump or come off the pinion or crown teeth. A loose chain generates noise, loss of power, premature wear and can also break because the chain can get stuck on the rim or rear wheel.

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Steps to follow to loosen a motorcycle chain.

  • You have to have the rear wheel free without the weight of it on the ground. Because it is more difficult to tighten it and make a good adjustment, the ideal is that you put the stand on the motorcycle. Or raise the bike with some wooden slats safely.
  • The tools that you must use keys according to the size of the motorcycle that go from 9/16 to ¾ with a lever to give it strength when loosening.
  • Loosen the nut holding the left and right wheels without removing the nut.
  • The wheel has to move forwards and backwards so that you can tighten the belt. Another system that is also very standard is the tensioner by a system of eccentrics. There are two types, the one with toothed washers that push the shaft to the desired tension. The other more modern one in which the wheel axle itself is installed in a peripheral position where there is a piece in the shape of a ring that rotates on the swing arm. The second and more evolved cam system is used on many sports bikes and is the most precise. The first thing we must do to be able to tighten the chain is to loosen the screws that hold the cylinder in each extension of the peripheral where we can locate the axis, placed eccentrically or offset. Subsequently, using the correct key and facing the chain (clearly). The cylinder must be turned until it is displaced from the axis and the chain achieves the correct tension. And with great care, stop the mechanism using the locking screws (or rods). Of course, before starting to work, it is necessary to check that the axis is located in the same position on the sides.

How do I know when I have to change the motorcycle chain?

They usually have to be changed after 20,000 kilometers but with good maintenance you can reach 30,000 kilometers. But I recommend changing the complete kit that consists of chain, pinion and crown for a good operation of it.

The chain of the motorcycle must be in a neutral point neither too tight nor too loose since it is an important part of the motorcycle and its main transfer of power to the rear wheel. We must keep the chain in good maintenance and constantly lubricated to minimize its wear and tear.

The truth is that the chain has several advantages. But they will not be reflected if they are not properly maintained, which is based on 3 elements: greasing, cleaning and tension.

You must be aware of these three elements to know how to tighten the chain of a motorcycle, and thus make the chain last much longer than you initially thought. It should be taken into consideration that the large motorcycles that have huge engines that demand greater efforts from the transmission group. In the case of this type of motorcycle or pilots who have a great character when driving, the strap is used. Which is a much stiffer and harder element than the chain. Thanks to the fact that you know how to tighten the chain of a motorcycle.