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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
This is my first post here and I hope someone has had this experience or can offer some suggestions:

My wife rides a 2007 Monster 695 which we purchased new at the local dealer. When the Service Department at the dealership adjusts the chain to Ducati specs (25-27mm slack while on side stand) the chain is tight as a banjo string with a rider in the saddle and rolling down the road. My wife is not a big girl and the bike is not being overloaded.

From my vast experience with motorcycles I find this to be a less than satisfactory or acceptable situation. The dealer says they just 'Do it by the book' (without regard to what may or may not be logical). I understand they need to cover their butts but...

Logic tells me that it's more important to have the chain adjusted correctly with the load on the bike because that's when it really matters. I believe that a chain which has no slack during operation, and is in fact tight enough to cause rolling resistance, is a recipe for disaster. I think that it will be the cause for premature wear and tear of all involved parts including, but not limited to, chain, sprockets, bearings, bushings, etc. And furthermore, I think this condition could lead to a crash which could cause injury or death to the rider if any of these parts fails.

Thank you in advance for any (polite) suggestions you may have.
 

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Hi,
This is my first post here and I hope someone has had this experience or can offer some suggestions:

My wife rides a 2007 Monster 695 which we purchased new at the local dealer. When the Service Department at the dealership adjusts the chain to Ducati specs (25-27mm slack while on side stand) the chain is tight as a banjo string with a rider in the saddle and rolling down the road. My wife is not a big girl and the bike is not being overloaded.

From my vast experience with motorcycles I find this to be a less than satisfactory or acceptable situation. The dealer says they just 'Do it by the book' (without regard to what may or may not be logical). I understand they need to cover their butts but...

Logic tells me that it's more important to have the chain adjusted correctly with the load on the bike because that's when it really matters. I believe that a chain which has no slack during operation, and is in fact tight enough to cause rolling resistance, is a recipe for disaster. I think that it will be the cause for premature wear and tear of all involved parts including, but not limited to, chain, sprockets, bearings, bushings, etc. And furthermore, I think this condition could lead to a crash which could cause injury or death to the rider if any of these parts fails.

Thank you in advance for any (polite) suggestions you may have.
I ran into the same problem myself. It's best to have her sit on the bike in the standard position, and you check the tension and do the adjustment then. I also found the chain tension changed when I raise or lower the ride height.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the concurring opinion, Steve.

I think my biggest concern is for people who don't know the difference and the dealer tells them everything is A-OK. The owner of the dealership wrote an email to Ducati today asking if they are aware of this situation and to alert them that it exists. If they are going 'by the book' perhaps the instructions should be ammended.
 

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I also agree, you're actually safer if the chain is slightly looser than spec as opposed to tight as you described. Having a chain that tight can cause all of the issues you mentioned.

Sometimes I just don't understand the logic of the dealer.
 

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If possible align the front sprocket center so you can draw an imaginary line from it, through the swing arm pivot, and finally to the center of the rear sprocket. At this point there should be a very slight tension as this represents the tightest it's going to get. After you are done,note the slack measurement of the unloaded bike for the future.
 

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It could be that your chain is worn and the tech only checked it in one position.

As a chain wears it stretches and gets longer, but it doesn’t necessarily stretch the same amount at each and every link. So, in order to adjust the chain freeplay you first need to find the portion of the chain that has worn and stretched the LEAST. You need to rotate the chain and check its slack in at least three different sections.

Ducati's specification of ONE INCH MINIMUM is directed at preventing the chain side-loading the transmission output shaft bearings when the swingarm moves upwards during the bike’s acceleration, or after hitting a bump.

The chain is as tight as it can get when the centers of the front sprocket, swingarm pivot, and rear axle are all in a straight line. This only occurs when the bike is dynamically or heavily statically-loaded. The slack adjustment spec on the swingarm plate assumes that the bike is unloaded.

Even at one inch it’ll still be tighter than many other manufacturers' recommendations. Note that Ducati doesn’t specify a maximum distance, so a 1-1/2 inch droop here would not be excessive. Not having enough freeplay is a recipe for chain failure.
 

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It's also useful when adjusting the chain to rotate the wheel through 60 degrees or so at a time and check to see if the tension changes. If so you likely have a worn-out sprocket.
 

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I totally agree with MontDuc. Looser is almost always better. I learned this on my st, could actually feel the rear end tightening up under shock compression. This can actually inflict bearing wear or worse on the engine and cases by transferring loads in through the counter shaft.

Also note the 1100 needs a pretty large amount of slack as per the sticker.

Mark
 

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Bikes are designed with an expected rider weight of about 160-170 lbs. If you weigh more, and particularly if you carry a passenger (no matter how petite), you will need to dial in additional spring preload to compensate. If your preload is not correct, this could be the source of your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the input. I think we all agree how much tension and/ or slack should be on the chain. My frustration is that the Ducati manual, the swingarm plate, and the service department at the dealer all seem to be disagree with us.
My wife is much less than the 'normal' weight that the bike was supposedly designed to carry, the chain was adjusted at the tightest point, and it was all done to spec.
I've owned many bikes of many makes but this is the first Ducati we've had. I thought we'd get exceptional quality and service. If we can't trust the official Ducati manual and the official Ducati service department to get such a simple thing right, how can we trust them with anything else?
If I have to bring the bike home from the dealer and re-adjust what they've done, why do I take it there at all? And, how many bikes are out on the road whose owners don't know or don't question why things are the way they are? They just trust Ducati and their service department to do the right thing.
 

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If you want it done right its always best to do it yourself :) . its just ashame that this is the way it is with having work done by most dealers.
 
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