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Old July 14th, 2019, 03:47 PM   #1
MichaelS214 member
Name: Michael
Location: Seattle
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Motorcycle(s): 2008 250r

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Chain slack guides

Hi all - sorry if it's been covered, but I didn't find anything in the last year or so.

I never did a chain/sprocket job before yesterday and it's left me with a question, as well as an uneasy feeling! Lol

So there's some play in the adjustment guide plates (a little more on the right side) - which makes it not totally reliable. I ended up measuring from the notch to the end of the swingarm while pushing the plate forward to get what I hope to be a good alignment. Upon tightening the axle bolt, i again pushed the plates forward and the notches seem to be very very very similar on both sides.

I did that after one attempt at just using my eyes and how much thread is sticking out of the back of each lock/adjuster bolts. Since i used the second method, the amount of thread seems very slightly different.

How do you guys work around that bit of play in those plates? Do you even have play on yours?

Maybe I'm just over thinking it - but after reading and watching many videos before the job, I see so many warnings that mistakes may end up costing you major damage to both the bike and yourself. As far as I can tell - the wheel seems to rotate straight, line of sight down the chain seems straight - but i do notice an ever so slight rub on the brake pads at one small area of the rotation.

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old July 14th, 2019, 04:06 PM   #2
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Don't over-think it. There's actually over 1/2" of play at plates when you loosen axle. Just happens that they were at roughly correct placement, so you won't notice play unless you yank on them. What you can do is shove wheel forwards to take out all play from adjusters, then use bigger nuts on each side to pull wheel back and take out chain slack. This keeps both adjusters under tension and no play!

Also lookup "string method" for aligning wheels. Due to manufacturing tolerances and wear & tear, markings on swing-arm may not accurately reflect physical alignment of wheels. Using string to line up all 8 edges of tyres ensures proper alignment. Then you may want to make new marks on adjusters to show true alignment.

Good job, it'll be easier next time!

Link to original page on YouTube.

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Old July 14th, 2019, 05:11 PM   #3
MichaelS214 member
Name: Michael
Location: Seattle
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Motorcycle(s): 2008 250r

Posts: 46
Thanks Danno!

I'll look up that string method and try it out!

I did see that video you posted - in fact, I've seen so many chain adjustment videos online that are specific to this gen ninja (and some for other gens). That guy in the video just blows through it like nothing lol.

Just got back from a 30 mile ride with various types of roads ranging from slower 30-40mph zones, to 60+ zones. Everything seemed to hold up well and the bike operated just fine.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 06:30 AM   #4
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Here's another good video -

Link to original page on YouTube.

Note the use of something in the chain/sprocket to apply tension and snug the adjusters before tightening the axle nut.

Locating the tightest spot before setting the slack is also important.

Major changes in slack as you rotate the wheel lets you know there is wear or damage to the sprockets or chain.

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