Correct chain tension for a GS500

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Q. I had a new chain fitted to my Suzuki GS500 by a bike shop and when I came to pick it up, there was 20mm of slack with the bike leaning on the sidestand.

That reduced to just 1-2mm when the suspension loaded up with my weight.

I rode it home, but wasn’t happy and rang the shop to discuss why it was like a bowstring.

After a long debate a mechanic said 1-2mm was fine for the first 2-500 miles, then I should adjust it for 15mm laden once it was “run-in”. Is this right?
Gary Gibbons, Yatton
 
A. If a new chain is overtensioned from the start it will accelerate the wear as well as putting extra stress on the drive train.

As for running in, a 10-mile run around the block will bed all those links and pins in and then you can tension it correctly.

On the GS it should have 20-30mm of chain slack at the tight spot when the bike is held upright off its sidestand so that the static suspension sag is taken up.

That should translate to 20mm with your weight sitting on it.

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MCN

By MCN

The voice of motorcycling since 1955