The Power of Chain Slack
Any dirt bike rider wants to be assured of their safety at all times when they head out for their daily ride. One of the most important components of a motorbike which gets the most wear and tear is the bike chain.
The chain always needs to be correctly adjusted so that it’s not too tight or loose. The chain tension of a dirt bike will either be printed on the swingarm or indicated in the dirt bike manual. It’s advisable to check and perform chain adjustments after every couple hundred kilometers of riding.
Too Loose or Too Tight
If the dirt bike chain is too loose, the rider will be able to spot this if there are unusual noises happening during a ride. If the chain is not adjusted immediately, there will be some serious wear and tear.
A chain which is too tight can result in the chain breaking, reduced suspension, and loss of power. It could also wear out the wheel bearings, affect the handling of the bike, or the rider could lose control of the bike.
If the chain breaks because the slack is too tight, this will damage the crankcase. Not to mention wearing out the sprockets. If the chain slack is too loose, the rubber on the swingarm will wear out quickly.
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When the dirt bike chain is loose, it’s very easy to spot this as the chain will be hanging loose. If the chain is too tight, you can see this by pressing down on the chain. If it doesn’t move an inch then you have to make slack adjustments.
This rule is always a go-to for many riders. It will always help one figure out whether the chain slack needs adjusting.
1 – Put three fingers on top of each other and put them on the back of the chain slider.
2 – Let the chain dangle across your index finger to check the slack. If it doesn’t feel rigid against your fingers then you best get adjusting.
How To Adjust The Slack
Take a look at the alignment of the chain blocks. You have to start the adjusting from the wheel axle. Using the correct size wrench, loosen the rear axle nut. Now you should be able to see whether the chain blocks are even or not. If not, you have to loosen the lock nut. Now check to chain slack by using the three-finger rule again.
Check the notches on the swingarm to see if the balance of the chain on both sides is even. If it isn’t then you just need to realign the wheel and axle. This is the simplest way to adjust the chain slack but sometimes option one is what is needed to fix the problem.
Now that you’ve either completed option one or two, you have to do the three-finger rule again. The chain has to be rigid against your fingers otherwise you need to readjust the chain again.
It is vital to check the chain slack before every ride you embark on!
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