Chain tension - KTM Duke 390 Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-27-2014, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Chain tension

Hi,
I think I need to tighten my chain. Do I need to have the rear wheel up on a paddock stand to do that ?

Cheers Rob
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-27-2014, 06:32 PM
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Its advised too but I dont.
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post #3 of 27 Old 04-27-2014, 09:43 PM
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No. Just loosen the wheel nut and wind the tensioner bolts (next to the rear axle bolt) out till you have 3-5mm chain slack (unloaded). The tool kit has everything you need.
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-29-2014, 03:57 AM
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Just make sure you move the wheel and check the tension at few points and not just one.
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-29-2014, 09:18 AM
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Just make sure you move the wheel and check the tension at few points and not just one.
^ this
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-11-2014, 04:34 AM
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The sticker and the owners manual give a low value for chain slack. If you use this value make sure you measure it with the suspension compressed. If you don't have someone to help you can either stand on the right hand side of the bike and put your weight across the saddle then reach down to the chain, or, if you're not that kind of contortionist, you can use a bike tie down strap ( the kind with self gripping buckles ) wrapped round the wheel rim and the seat to compress the suspension.

It is easier with a paddock stand, which you also need to apply chain lube easily.

Too tight is generally more harmful than too loose. A tight chain will wear itself and the sprockets and will eventually damage the gearbox bearing and seal.
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post #7 of 27 Old 05-11-2014, 12:36 PM
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I agree with roadster. I have adjusted my chain so that it has 15 mm slack loaded. I have found that this reduces the amount of chain slap, and provides smoother gear changes. If you want to follow the maintenance manual advice and set the slack at 5-7 mm, this should be done with the bike loaded by the rider.
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-01-2014, 07:17 AM
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I agree with roadster. I have adjusted my chain so that it has 15 mm slack loaded. I have found that this reduces the amount of chain slap, and provides smoother gear changes. If you want to follow the maintenance manual advice and set the slack at 5-7 mm, this should be done with the bike loaded by the rider.
The thing is, and I checked the sticker and manual to make sure, the quoted 5-7mm isn't for chain "slack", it is the distance between the swing arm and the chain when pushing the chain upwards. I realize this is not the usual way that required chain slack is indicated on motorcycles. Although it is somewhat easier to eyeball as it is a "static" measurement (push up, look at distance between chain and swingarm) vs. trying to gauge how much the chain is moving.

The arrows on the figure are pretty clear as to what the measurement is.
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post #9 of 27 Old 06-01-2014, 02:35 PM
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My EXC is the same mate, grab it at a certain point and lift. With both KTM's I use the same method, find one point and use that as my eye guide. Never experienced this chain slap that people have mentioned all over the forums.
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-01-2014, 06:07 PM
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My EXC is the same mate, grab it at a certain point and lift. With both KTM's I use the same method, find one point and use that as my eye guide. Never experienced this chain slap that people have mentioned all over the forums.
Yeah, looks like that's the "KTM way". It also means that a smaller number means more slack (able to push the chain closer to the swingarm).
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