Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone - finally able to take the bike out again after a long winter. I have about 2700 miles (4500 km) on the bike and I've never done a chain adjustment. The chain looks pretty slack so I think it is time. I've read some posts on how to do this and also the manual. It seems pretty straight forward and basically sounds like whatever amount you turn on one side, you do to the other. My question is more about the cotter pin. The manual says to use a new one but the old one seems fine. It is a must that I get a new pin or can I use the existing one?

Also, what is worse? a chain that is too tight or too loose?

Thanks
Bike Noob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It would be a good excuse to get another ride in... to go to the hardware store and drop a dollar for a pak of new cotter pins. (maybe a lifetime supply for less than a couple bucks)

Too tight a chain is worse than too loose.
Thanks! For some reason I thought they were expensive...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
It would be a good excuse to get another ride in... to go to the hardware store and drop a dollar for a pak of new cotter pins. (maybe a lifetime supply for less than a couple bucks)

Too tight a chain is worse than too loose.
Yup. Pretty much this. TBH, I don't think you really need to replace the cotter pin, but they're so damn cheap why wouldn't you?

And yes, a little loose is better than a little tight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KawiCanuck

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yup. Pretty much this. TBH, I don't think you really need to replace the cotter pin, but they're so damn cheap why wouldn't you?

And yes, a little loose is better than a little tight.
Actually, I went to the hardware store and I'm having a hard time finding 4mm x 40mm cotter pins. I might end up using the old one this time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Actually, I went to the hardware store and I'm having a hard time finding 4mm x 40mm cotter pins. I might end up using the old one this time.
Bring the old one to the store with you. They don't have to be exactly the same. Just something close. I know I didn't use the exact size of the old one on my wife's KVS. Don't remember off the top of my head what size I used, but it was close enough and has worked well for many miles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JerryKVS

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, hard to find metric sizes unless you go to the dealer, and they over-charge for them. So a 5/32 x 2 will do the job.
Thanks. I did a conversion yesterday and what you said is roughly the same dimensions I came out with. The store only had 1" and not 2" in stock but will have some today. Fingers crossed.
 

·
Registered
2009 Vulcan 500
Joined
·
778 Posts
I wouldn't let that stop me from riding...stiff wire..bent nail...anything I could shove in there in the meantime.
Auto parts store will have large ones because of lower ball joints are big on some machines

Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't let that stop me from riding...stiff wire..bent nail...anything I could shove in there in the meantime.
Auto parts store will have large ones because of lower ball joints are big on some machines

Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
Well, I haven't removed the original one so I'm still riding it around. The chain isn't really sagging so I don't think it is overly loose. I just heard from a riding buddy that I was crazy for not having already adjusted the chain after 4000+ km...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Well, I haven't removed the original one so I'm still riding it around. The chain isn't really sagging so I don't think it is overly loose. I just heard from a riding buddy that I was crazy for not having already adjusted the chain after 4000+ km...
Eh. Crazy would be not even checking it. If you check it and it's still within spec, no need to adjust.
 
  • Like
Reactions: amie-j

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Everyone, just reopening this thread for a quick question. I tried my best to turn the adjusting nuts the same number of revolutions as possible. I didn't take a before picture (ugh) but after adjusting, I noticed that one side of the notch is not entirely at the same spot as the other side. I also note that the notches are the most super accurate way to tell.

I went for an hour ride after the adjustment and things felt fine but my question is, if it is slightly off, is that a huge deal?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
2009 Vulcan 500
Joined
·
778 Posts
Hi Everyone, just reopening this thread for a quick question. I tried my best to turn the adjusting nuts the same number of revolutions as possible. I didn't take a before picture (ugh) but after adjusting, I noticed that one side of the notch is not entirely at the same spot as the other side. I also note that the notches are the most super accurate way to tell.

I went for an hour ride after the adjustment and things felt fine but my question is, if it is slightly off, is that a huge deal?

Thanks!
Is it quiet?
Ideally you need a straight edge but probably have stuff in the way anyway.
To be sure get the bike level...back wheel off the ground...center the chain..spin the wheel it should take a few revolutions for the chain to crowd one side of the rear sprocket.


Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is it quiet?
Ideally you need a straight edge but probably have stuff in the way anyway.
To be sure get the bike level...back wheel off the ground...center the chain..spin the wheel it should take a few revolutions for the chain to crowd one side of the rear sprocket.


Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
It doesn't sound any noisier than usual. I'll spin the back wheel like you said and hopefully it is OK.
I would imagine that there's little bit of tolerance to chain alignment considering the notches are pretty crude. You can eyeball it from various angles and that alone can throw you off..
 

·
Registered
2009 Vulcan 500
Joined
·
778 Posts
It doesn't sound any noisier than usual. I'll spin the back wheel like you said and hopefully it is OK.
I would imagine that there's little bit of tolerance to chain alignment considering the notches are pretty crude. You can eyeball it from various angles and that alone can throw you off..
I wouldn't put to much faith in the notches...is a good starting place though.
Straight edge up against the rear sprocket ..aimed towards the front sprockets...want it just it barely touch the front sprocket...not sure about your bike..but sometimes there is to much in the way

Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Pick up a chain alignment tool, like this one. For 16 bucks, it's well worth the investment. I use mine all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I usually make some marks with a sharp object- such as a screw driver to see, where I was, lining up with the bolt. I always had a swing arm stand where I jacked the rear end up. if you then tighten, leave a slack roughly of the size of the thickness of your thumb (except you're Andre the Giant then half of it). Once you tightened it, push the chain all the way to the back onto the sprocket. rotate the tire a few times and the chain should center in the middle of the sprocket. if it does it, your wheel is straight. If not, repeat until you got it.
I would not give anything about the marks- somehow I believe, there are two guys- one on the left, one of the right, and they just been told, to make some marks there. does not necessarily line up. If you done it a few times, it's not a big deal anymore. I highly recommend a torque wrench and torque it to specs- tight does not equal tight.
Btw- if you lube your chain, do it right after riding, as long as it's warm. this lets the oil flow into the bearings inside the chain and prevents heating up too much- this way the chain does not get longer so quick anymore. On my old FZR I had a scott oiler- if you don't mind a little bit mess and wiping your rim off every once in a while, best thing I ever had. You can set the oiler drip frequency and it lubes the chain while riding. on long trips or dirty roads worth the money. Just stay away from dry lube.
Also- constant cleaning is the key for a long chain life. That's also what I did right after riding- rear wheel on stand, oil soaked rag and wheel turned while wiping off the goop. then oiling the chain and all is good. Is a bit work- but the side effect- if you clean your bike after every ride, you actually automatically inspect all the critical points and keep it in exceptional technical condition. I made it to a habit.

Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pick up a chain alignment tool, like this one. For 16 bucks, it's well worth the investment. I use mine all the time.
Thanks for this - I just ordered one off Amazon as revzilla doesn't ship that item to Canada.


I usually make some marks with a sharp object- such as a screw driver to see, where I was, lining up with the bolt. I always had a swing arm stand where I jacked the rear end up. if you then tighten, leave a slack roughly of the size of the thickness of your thumb (except you're Andre the Giant then half of it). Once you tightened it, push the chain all the way to the back onto the sprocket. rotate the tire a few times and the chain should center in the middle of the sprocket. if it does it, your wheel is straight. If not, repeat until you got it.
I would not give anything about the marks- somehow I believe, there are two guys- one on the left, one of the right, and they just been told, to make some marks there. does not necessarily line up. If you done it a few times, it's not a big deal anymore. I highly recommend a torque wrench and torque it to specs- tight does not equal tight.
Btw- if you lube your chain, do it right after riding, as long as it's warm. this lets the oil flow into the bearings inside the chain and prevents heating up too much- this way the chain does not get longer so quick anymore. On my old FZR I had a scott oiler- if you don't mind a little bit mess and wiping your rim off every once in a while, best thing I ever had. You can set the oiler drip frequency and it lubes the chain while riding. on long trips or dirty roads worth the money. Just stay away from dry lube.
Also- constant cleaning is the key for a long chain life. That's also what I did right after riding- rear wheel on stand, oil soaked rag and wheel turned while wiping off the goop. then oiling the chain and all is good. Is a bit work- but the side effect- if you clean your bike after every ride, you actually automatically inspect all the critical points and keep it in exceptional technical condition. I made it to a habit.

Good Luck.
Yes I use a torque wrench and torque it to 80 ft/lbs. I don't lube my chain after every ride because often times I only go for 30-60 minutes. I do clean the chain every 500-700 km and then put some chain wax on. It has been working fine. I don't think I'd be able to take this bike on super long trips as my butt starts to get numb after 1.5 hours.
 

·
Registered
2009 Vulcan 500
Joined
·
778 Posts
Thanks for this - I just ordered one off Amazon as revzilla doesn't ship that item to Canada.




Yes I use a torque wrench and torque it to 80 ft/lbs. I don't lube my chain after every ride because often times I only go for 30-60 minutes. I do clean the chain every 500-700 km and then put some chain wax on. It has been working fine. I don't think I'd be able to take this bike on super long trips as my butt starts to get numb after 1.5 hours.
I been thinking about chain wax my self...will it stick on a chain that has already been lubed ?

Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I been thinking about chain wax my self...will it stick on a chain that has already been lubed ?

Sent from my SM-A115U1 using Tapatalk
Chain wax sticks quite well. Lubed or not. It's all I use and it's great as it keeps the chain cleaner longer as well. Doesn't seem to pick up dirt and grime as quickly.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top