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when adjusting your chain, is your preference to have the bike on its kickstand or do you use a rear/center stand? The manual recommends kickstand, but I think thats to ensure proper tension with the suspension loaded so as not over tighten.
 

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I agree with your assessment. I like to work on the bike while on a centerstand for convenience, but with chain tension the thing that matters is what the chain does under load.

After adjusting the chain, I get on the bike, bounce up and down on the pegs and roll it around a little to make sure the chain isn't binding and getting too tight. When the swingarm moves around all the geometry changes.

In my opinion it is better to error on the side of too loose rather than to error on the side of too tight.
 

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when adjusting your chain, is your preference to have the bike on its kickstand or do you use a rear/center stand? The manual recommends kickstand, but I think thats to ensure proper tension with the suspension loaded so as not over tighten.
The slack in the chain changes as the swingarm moves through it's arc. Technically you can choose any point in that arc to make the adjustment if you know what the appropriate slack is at the point.

The distance recommended by Ducati is based on the position of the swingarm with the unladen bike on its sidestand.

-don
 

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My own "sophisticated":rolleyes: technique to check tension is to sit on the bike and reach down and see if I can push the chain bottom up to the rubber guard on the bottom of the swingarm with a bit of effort. Roll bike and repeat several times to check the chain in 5-6 spots. Too easy to touch the guard and it's too loose. Real hard or can't touch at all - too tight.

To just do a quick visual inspection though, a properly tensioned chain will have a slight but noticeable sag when the bike is on the side stand, so if you see that you should be reasonably safe.

Pretty much everyone would agree with barfer though - if in doubt, err on the side of looseness.
 

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I put the bike in gear and roll it backward until compression stops it and all slack is on the bottom chain run, just like when it is under engine load. After adjusting I final check slack on the lower run with someone sitting on the bike.
 

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If you are going to use the slack measurement recommended by Ducati and printed on the swingarm, then you have to do it on the sidestand, as DucEditor says. The rear suspension has much less sag in it on the side stand than it does on a rear stand, because a lot of the weight is on the sidestand.
 

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there have been threads on this before - a search should yield plenty of wisdom.

ducati seattle did a demonstration workshop on chain maintenance, adjustment, removal and replacement. a startling thing i learned was that you can follow the spec printed on the swingarm and wind up with a chain that's too tight. the techs there showed us this and were very clear that they always check tension after adjustment by sitting on the bike and checking the slack with your hand.

a loose chain isn't gonna fall off your bike, but a chain that is too tight can put massive amounts of stress on your countershaft sprocket when the rear shock is compressed. you may not get this full compression unless you bottom out the shocks, in which case you're effectively using your countershaft to stop the swingarm from full motion.

whatever method you use to check/measure slack, just be sure that there's enough slack for the swingarm to move the full distance.

i do a lot of two-up riding, which tends to use a bit more of the shock travel - so after adjusting the chain i bounce on the bike to check the chain doesn't bind.
 

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One last tip. I always take it out for a short ride to bang a few gears and then recheck the chain freeplay. Often it has changed, maybe because of uneven chain wear, frozen links, loose adjusters, etc. and start over.
 

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One last tip. I always take it out for a short ride to bang a few gears and then recheck the chain freeplay. Often it has changed, maybe because of uneven chain wear, frozen links, loose adjusters, etc. and start over.
As a chain ages it becomes important to find the tighter sections and place them on the bottom run when checking slack.

They can be found by putting the bike on a stand and observing the chain while slowly rotating the wheel. Ideally slack will be even, but on an older chain the 'tight' sections will show as a jump in the chain.

-don
 

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What about using a rear stand? That should be very similar to having the bike under load, correct?
No. Be fore I understood the physics behind it, I set the slack while on the stand right before a track day. Got to tech inspection and was told my chain was on the borderline of being too tight. When I explained that I had just set it the night before, his first question was "on the kickstand or on a rear stand?" When I got home I rechecked it and slack was off by 10-15mm between side and rear stands. I now adjust it on the rear stand and put it down on the side stand to check slack. If it's not right, wash, lather, rinse, repeat til it is. My bike calls for 25mm (which meant my actual was 10-15mm that day), but I usually set it to 30.
 

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That makes no sense to me though. :( The weight of the bike is still resting on the swingarm, only the point of support is at the axel, vs. the wheel.

Does the flex in the rubber of the tire affect the geometry that much?

Please don't take this as "I think you're wrong." I'm just trying to understand it, and honestly don't see a big difference. I see the difference between the sidestand and a centerstand... just not a sidestand and a rear swingarm stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That makes no sense to me though. :( The weight of the bike is still resting on the swingarm, only the point of support is at the axel, vs. the wheel.

Does the flex in the rubber of the tire affect the geometry that much?

Please don't take this as "I think you're wrong." I'm just trying to understand it, and honestly don't see a big difference. I see the difference between the sidestand and a centerstand... just not a sidestand and a rear swingarm stand.
+1
 

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There are only two important points to remember. Adjust the chain with the bike sitting on the kick stand, As Don said. Take the bike out of gear so that the front sprocket revolves freely. That way, the tension (or slack) in the top run of the chain is only that which you applied with finger pressure when you wiggled the lower chain run.
 

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Another important rule

Regardless of what chain adjusting method you choose, if by the third time you're adjusting it you're still spending more than 20 minutes to do so, sell your Duc and buy a shaftie:D
 

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Tilt and Berm, I understand the problem you're having and share it as well. This string was started asking about sidestand vs. centerstand. It is very easy to understand that the centerstand would completely unload the suspension and result in the rear axle being closer to the front sprocket. HOWEVER, when on a rear stand, the suspension is actually slightly MORE compressed than on the sidestand (because of the weight that is resting on the sidestand), so it should actually make the axle slightly further from the front sprocket than when sitting on the sidestand, and thus closer to it's maximum distance. I always presumed that the rear stand was a better way to adjust the chain and that the Ducati spec choice was simply because the sidestand was the only way to hold up the bike that would be common to all owners, IOW, if everyone had a rearstand they would have set the spec for everyone to do it that way..
 

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Uh, you'd think, but centerstand could be the best if you knew the correct spec for that, because it always sits at exactly the same point. The others vary with load, fuel, spring preload, etc.. Obviously, for people who put different length shocks on the bike, the Ducati spec is no longer correct.

The perfect point would be if you could adjust it at the point where the chain is stretched the furthest, since that is the actual point we are trying to adjust for, but that would require removing the shocks - or strapping down the rear end like a drag bike. :p
 

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Yeah, the whole process the way we do it is a total "just get it good enough" process. All you're aiming for is that it not be too tight when at its tightest, and not sloppy loose. All the rest of this talk is pretty academic.
 
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