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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Adjusting rear tire after chain ajustment

Disclaimer: I'm a total novice here just learning myself so there might be more info on this subject that I'm not aware of.


My CBR600 needed the chain adjusted so I was able to do this without a problem...just afterwards, I was wondering how to get the rear wheel aligned accurately--more than using the alignment marks at the axle which a lot of people complain is not accurate.

Googled a bunch of stuff, and found a method that made the most sense off of the 600rr.net forum( not talking about the initial method mentioned in that thread where the original poster uses string). Scroll down to post #11:
Wheel alignment **The secrets ** : Honda CBR 600RR Sportbike Forum : 600RR.Net

The tool here mentioned is a pair of rods that get inserted through the rear axle and swingarm. This tool is available from Quality Machine Company, Inc. - Savannah Georgia on this page: Quality Machine Company, Inc. - Savannah Georgia
titled Alignment Tool

I emailed asking about the total price including shipping, and was quoted $90 by Jimmy Chance of that company.

Googled Jimmy Chance to see who he was and it appears that his son races or raced sportbikes so he must know something about aligning rear wheels.

Found one web page about Jimmy's son:
James Chance

Anyway, the alignment tool makes sense since it is simple to use.
Wondering if anyone else knew of other ways to align the rear wheel?

my 2012 CBR600

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:43 PM
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the has marks are notoriously inaccurate

There's lots of methods, getting a tool is probably your best bet

Or get a Buell, and it's all adjusted automatically
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:37 PM
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I bought the Motion Pro chain alignment tool. It's under $20 and works reasonably well. You basically just clamp it onto the rear sprocket and then peer down the metal rod to see how well lined up to the chain it is. My only complaint is that the rod should be a bit longer, however, it does work fine the way it is. Before buying this tool, I was going by the marks on the swingarm, and I found I had to adjust one of the chain tensioner bolts about 3/4 of a turn to get it adjusted properly.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 10:30 PM
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I use a laser level on a jack stand. Set it up square to the swingarm and it will not only keep your rear wheel adjusted straight, it will show you when the sprocket or brake rotor start to warp

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 11:10 PM
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Geez, that sounds very complicated. Try this instead.

With the rear wheel off, put the axle back in the adjusters. Use a square or other right angle, or measure each end of the axle, enough to get a calibrated number for how far off the right side is from the left (or vice-versa, your preference), at either end of the adjustment range.

Then just interpolate when you adjust the chain from then on. It's not a critical value to a mm or so.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Adjusting the chain tension:

Read a bunch of posts on setting the correct chain tension, watched youtube videos as well:

My noob experience finding the correct tension after these:

Well, wanted to post this here voting for common sense--although while always following the manufacturer setting for the correct chain slack for your bike.

At first attempt to adjust the chain, thinking I'd adjusted the chain correctly--not, I was measuring wrong so it was way too tight( Luckily, before riding the bike with the chain tight, I re-adjusted the chain).

Second attempt:
Almost everyone knows what a tight chain feels like, right? I'm not talking about while you are riding, I'm talking about throwing a hand cloth over the chain and giving the chain a good shake.

Making a noob assumption here: If the chain feels too tight when you try an move it with your hand, then maybe it is too tight...so then I put the bike back on the rear wheel stand; loosened up the rear axle nut, loosed up the small adjusting nuts, then grabbed the chain with one hand using the other hand on the adjusting nut on the chain side. Loosened the nut while shaking the chain with one hand feeling it tighten then feeling it loosen.

It was real easy to tell when the chain was too tight while shaking it as changes were made to the adjusting nut...just felt really tight when it was. Same for the reverse, it was easy to tell when the chain felt too loose when trying to move it with the adjusting nut giving more slack.

This was what was funny: I continued to shake the chain with one hand while moving the adjusting screw until the chain "felt" like it was about the right tension. Then measured it and it was within the manufacturer tolerances although on the tighter side but still within the specs.

Measured the distance from the rear axle to the swingarm using using the alignment rods mentioned above, and tightened down everything and done.

I just wanted to post here cause of the self realization that just by using common sense of what defines a 'tight' chain or a 'loose' is something all of us already know. Just never thought about giving the chain a good shake to see if it felt tight or loose.

my 2012 CBR600

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 01:59 AM
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Did your common sense tell you that the rear wheel moves WRT the countershaft sprocket, and unless you weight the bike such that the axle is inline with the swingarm pivot and that sprocket, you have no idea what the chain tension will be like when you ride it?

KeS


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure what you mean. Sorry don't understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
Did your common sense tell you that the rear wheel moves WRT the countershaft sprocket, and unless you weight the bike such that the axle is inline with the swingarm pivot and that sprocket, you have no idea what the chain tension will be like when you ride it?

KeS
Not sure what you mean. Sorry don't understand.

I did use the alignment rods mentioned above:
One rod goes through the rear axle and the other rod goes through the swingarm pivot point allowing a measurement to be taken from both sides of the bike rear axle so used this to make sure the wheel was aligned.

my 2012 CBR600

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Think I finally understand what you mentioned...had to google WRT( with regard to).

Yeah, heard about this part when googling but how can I test this properly by myself?
I can leave the bike on the stand and sit on it, but I guess I'd have to get someone to measure the chain slack with me sitting on it.

I guess my orginal chain adjustment comments were aimed at riders who are more beginners than experienced riders who know exactly how to adjust the proper chain tension. Seemed liked there were some rider stories when googling where the riders had the chain way too tight and caused rear wheel bearing problems because of this.

Anyway, I have the chain adjusted to about 35mm which is pretty much right in the middle of the range of 30-40mm that Honda specs for the CBR600...the first time I was measuring wrong and had the chain too tight which was easy to tell by trying to move it with my hand. After getting the correct adjustment settings, the chain felt about the right tension when trying to move with my hand.

my 2012 CBR600

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 01:07 PM
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Mine is automatic, including the belt tension.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F4sSprintST View Post
Mine is automatic, including the belt tension.
You can get away with that on those slower american made sport bikes

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
You can get away with that on those slower american made sport bikes

Rotax baby
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBROldMan View Post
Think I finally understand what you mentioned...had to google WRT( with regard to).

Yeah, heard about this part when googling but how can I test this properly by myself?
I can leave the bike on the stand and sit on it, but I guess I'd have to get someone to measure the chain slack with me sitting on it.

I guess my orginal chain adjustment comments were aimed at riders who are more beginners than experienced riders who know exactly how to adjust the proper chain tension. Seemed liked there were some rider stories when googling where the riders had the chain way too tight and caused rear wheel bearing problems because of this.

Anyway, I have the chain adjusted to about 35mm which is pretty much right in the middle of the range of 30-40mm that Honda specs for the CBR600...the first time I was measuring wrong and had the chain too tight which was easy to tell by trying to move it with my hand. After getting the correct adjustment settings, the chain felt about the right tension when trying to move with my hand.
I responded because in my experience, saying something is "common sense" is shorthand for "I don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm going to have an opinion anyway".

The point is, deflecting the chain with the bike on a stand will tell you if the chain is way too tight, but it won't tell you if it's loose enough. It doesn't matter operationally what the tension is in sitting on the stand, it matters what it is at the tightest point in the normal suspension travel under road conditions with a rider on it. If, as you say, you can't test that point readily by yourself, you're best off following the manufacturer's instructions.

It's all well and good that your "common sense" approach ended up where it was supposed to, but that's happenstantial, not an endorsement of your technique. On, for example, a Suzuki TL1000S, that approach would have left your chain way too tight. On one of the dirtbikes engineered with coaxial countershaft sprockets and swingarm pivots, it would have left your chain too loose. On one of the dirtbikes engineering without coaxial countershaft sprockets and swingarm pivots, it would have left your chain way too tight. Etc., etc.

And btw - the primary indication that your chain is too tight is not bearing wear; it's that the rear suspension stops working. The primary indicator that your chain is too loose is that it comes off the rear sprocket and locks the rear wheel at whatever speed you happen to be going.

If you don't know what you're doing, start by following the manufacturer's directions. THAT'S just common sense.

KeS


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
You can get away with that on those slower american made sport bikes
Until one of the tensioner mount bolts backs out into the tensioner itself, locking it solid and starting a massive cloud of smoke as the belt drags across the tensioner on its way to rapid and fiery destruction.

Not that that ever happened to me on the Pacific Coast Highway on my 1125CR or anything.

KeS


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
Until one of the tensioner mount bolts backs out into the tensioner itself, locking it solid and starting a massive cloud of smoke as the belt drags across the tensioner on its way to rapid and fiery destruction.

Not that that ever happened to me on the Pacific Coast Highway on my 1125CR or anything.

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