How do I know when my motorcycle chain is too loose?

Maintaining your motorcycle chain is a crucial part of keeping your bike in tip top condition, and for a variety of reasons for different riders.

Racers and track day bikers will want to optimise the power output of their bikes, while commuters will want to minimise wear to prolong the life of the chain. Of course, all riders will want to ensure that their bike is safe to ride.

Check it with a Chain Monkey

Our Chain Monkey, the world’s first motorcycle chain tensioning tool, can be used to set tension and check it.

*Before starting, it’s important to find the tight spot of your chain, and examine the rest of the chain tension in comparison. It should not be wildly different

  • Hook the Chain Monkey onto the chain
  • Measure the size of your chain and use the table below to identify your required Chain Monkey Setting
  • Align the bottom of the domed nut to the required setting line, and adjust the circular stop until it touches the orange base.
  • Undo the Chain Monkey and hook onto the chain, then tighten the centre bolt until the circular stop touches the orange base.
    1. If you are unable to tighten the chain monkey to this setting, your chain is too tight!
  • Check the chain slack while the Chain Monkey is in place. If there is still slack present in the chain, your chain is too loose and you will need to adjust and align your wheel until the slack is removed.
  • Remove the Chain Monkey.

When should I check my motorcycle chain tension?

We strongly advise checking your chain tension every 2 or 3 times you refuel, or every 500 miles, whichever comes first.

As your chain gets older, you’ll notice that it gets looser, quicker. Eventually, you’ll get a feel for how your chain wears on your bike. Ultimately, you should check it whenever you can – you should be cleaning and oiling your chain every 200-300 miles.

When should I replace my chain and sprockets?

There is no definitive answer to this question in terms of miles or kilometres, as it will largely depend on your riding style and how well you have maintained your bike. We’ve written a comprehensive guide that will help you check for chain and sprocket wear.

Read more:

> Chain Monkey Reviews

> How to clean a motorcycle chain

2017-02-16T13:34:32+00:00