Question about 1987 Yamaha FZR 1000
The first step is to find the tightest part of the chain. Unless it's a brand new chain it will have a tight spot somewhere on it. It's easiest to do this with the bike on a race stand if you have it. Rotate the wheel and observe the lower part of the chain and watch it lift up when you hit tight spots. The spot where the chain lifts highest is the tightest part of the chain. Once you have found this spot, grab the chain on the low side under the swingarm and move it up and down. It should move up and down around 30-35mm or so, or an inch and a bit if you're an imperialist :) If the chain moves more or less than this then it needs to be adjusted.
To adjust the chain, you need to loosen the axle first. Don't take the nut off but it has to be loose enough to undo by hand. Using 2 spanners, unlock the lock nuts on the end of the swingarm and wind the nut in or out until you get the correct amount of chain slack. always do the sprocket side (left side) first, then repeat the same on the other side. Check the chain adjuster marks to make sure that the adjusters are equal on both sides, this will make sure your rear wheel is aligned properly.
Once you have adjusted the chain, tighten the rear axle and check again. The chain slack will change slightly after you tighten the axle, it might go tighter, it might go looser. Depends on the bike. But the chain slack must be correct with the axle tightened. A bit of practise here and you will be able to guess the correct amount before tightening the rear axle.
Once you have the slack set correctly and the axle is tight, make sure to tighten the adjusters. Tighten the front nut first against the swingarm plate so it can't move. Do it tight but not crazy tight. Then holding the first nut so it can't move tighten the locknut against the first nut. Repeat this on both sides.
If you are not quite sure if the chain is right, always err on the side of making it too loose rather than too tight. Running your chain too tight can destroy your output shaft bearing. It's only about $30 or so for a new one but your engine needs to be completely stripped down to replace it, it's not a fun job. I have seen a lot of FZs and FZRs have this problem because people ran chains too tight. If your chain really is too loose then it will start making your gear changes harder to do, that's the sign you need to tighten it.
Posted on Feb 22, 2011
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