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clipped from bikepoint.com.au

Ever wondered how it should be done? Here's Australian Motorcycle Trader's guide to getting it right.

It's a grubby job and it has to be done - adjusting and lubricating the chain that is. The good news is that it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes once you have a handle on exactly what to do.

How you go about it will depend on the type of bike you own. Some use snail cam adjusters at the rear (so named because of their shape), others eccentrics (because of how they run in the swingarm), then there's the plain old screw adjuster in the end of the swingarm and finally you'll come across some single-sided variations on bikes such as VFR Hondas, T955 Triumphs and Ducati 916s.

In any case, the general principle remains the same: you want to take the excess slack out of the chain, without overdoing it, and make sure the back wheel remains more or less straight in the process. You also want to keep the chain lightly oiled, again without drowning it.

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clipped from bikepoint.com.au

You should check the chain tension with the bike on its wheels and preferably with someone sitting on it. You want the chain at maximum extension - or with the front sprocket, swingarm and rear sprocket all in line with each other.

It probably won't be lined up perfectly, but plonking yourself in the saddle and using your own weight (or that of a friend) is a good start. Wiggle the lower run of the chain as close as possible to the middle. You should have about 15-20mm of slack up and down.

Less and it's probably too tight; more and it's too loose.

Good question. A tight chain will place a lot of unnecessary strain on itself, the sprockets and even gearbox bearings. Keep running chains too tight and you can do a lot of expensive damage.

Have it too loose and you risk the chain thrashing around and causing increased sprocket wear or, in a worst case, throwing itself off the sprockets altogether and causing a crash.

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clipped from bikepoint.com.au

A well adjusted and lubricated chain transmits the power smoothly (you can actually see the difference on a dyno), lengthens the service life, smooths out your gear changes and makes the bike feel better to ride.

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