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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
sltm1 sltm1 is offline
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Default Drive Chain Adjustment

Having no shop help, I'm thinking of a way to check it's adjustment with a floor stand, a yardstick mounted to it (just a piece of wood with a slot) and a length of wire to lift the chain up while sitting on it. Anyone have a better way?
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Find someone of similar weight and have them sit on the bike while you adjust . Or if you have long arms, like me, you can do it yourself .
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This is how I overcame the problem of adjusting the chain without a helper, makes it much easier I find:
You only need a helper with this once. Adjust until you are happy the chain is tensioned right with someone sitting on the bike.
Then have them get off the bike and measure what the up/down chain movement is with nobody sitting on the bike. That is the movement to adjust it from then on when you do it alone and there is no weight on the bike.
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Default

it was suggested to me when I first got my 82 sporty to use a long straight edge 10' to 15' long.

hold it up to the side/edge of rear tire with straight edge sticking out 2' or more past front wheel.

this will point exactly where the rear tire is pointing in the rear fork/frame going down the road.

then get the slack adjustment on the chain.

at first it was suggested to count threds on each side with a razor blade to get it straight/even side to side. then I noticed the OEM chrome end pieces were bent/uneven side to side...this is what got my tire out of alinement and cuased tire wobbled at speed/high tire wear.

I replaced the axle slide blocks and adjuster with some new heavy duty ones. got them dead even on thred count and rear tire alined with straight edge.

I run struts so no load needed while adjusting chain slack. the chain settled in and has not needed adjusting. high speed wobble gone and tracks nice and straight.

this was all well worth the effort to "just" adjust the chain slack.

also showed me how much off my KZ550 was even with axle adjustment indicators on the swing arm.
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I just use a tape measure to make sure the axle to swingarm pivot length is equal on both sides.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XLX View Post
I just use a tape measure to make sure the axle to swingarm pivot length is equal on both sides.
+1. My method too.
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