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Old 03-21-2009, 07:27 PM
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2door 2door is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Littleton, Colorado
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Default Re: Chain Length/Tension Question

I'm still confused. How did you only remove one (1) link? Roller chain is designed in such a way that if you remove only one link you will end up with two male or two female (for want of a better term) ends to deal with. When you remove links you commonly remove two which will shorten the chain by that much. They do make what is called an 'offset ' or half link that will take care of your problem. I'm one of those who advise keeping the tensioner, especially if you're using the kit supplied #415 chain. It is usually poor quality and wears rather quickly requiring adjustment to keep the chain tension correct. I'd suggest replacing the kit chain with good quality #41 industrial grade chain but retain the tensioner. There is a lot of good information here on upgrades to the tensioner problems inherent with the 2 cycle kits. One that I would recommend is to attach the tensioner bracket to your chain stay with a screw or small bolt (I use a 10/32 cap screw, others use a self tapping screw) which will keep it from rotating into your spokes. It is critical that you get your chain/sprocket alignment correct before drilling and bolting the bracket to the frame however. As was suggested, moving the tensioner bracket toward the rear will tighten your chain. I suggest you get the tension close to right with the pully at or near the bottom of the adjustment slot which will give you room to adjust for more tension later when chain wear requires.
As for rolling the bike and seeing slack. The recommended method is to roll the bike forward (engine off, obviously) with the clutch engaged and shoot for about 3/4" slack on the upper portion of the chain. 1/2" to 3/4" is a good point to be at. Give this a try and get back to us if you're still having problems.
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