A dirt bike chain should be tightened enough so that it doesn’t flap around, but not so tight that it’s difficult to turn the crankshaft.
You can use a torque wrench to tighten the chain, or you can simply use your hand to feel if the chain is too loose or too tight.
If you’re not sure how tight the chain should be, it’s best to err on the side of too loose rather than too tight, as a too-tight chain can cause damage to the bike. When you’re done riding, make sure to loosen the chain so that it’s not under any tension.
How Tight Should A Dirt Bike Chain Be
The correct answer is that 1.2–1.6 inches (30–40 mm) is for common street bikes, while dirt bike chains should be 1.4–2.0 inches (35–50 mm) of slack.
The chain should be tight enough to not come off, but loose enough so that there is no tension on it when you tug on it with your hand. The links of the chain of your dirt bike don’t have to fit together perfectly because there are other components that keep the chain together.
Dirt bike cogs are one of those components, which are what make up the sprockets on your dirt bike. Dirt Bike Chains can also come loose because of dirt bikes suspensions not being set up right, too much speed, rough-riding surfaces, or other circumstances.
Dirt biking is dangerous even with safety equipment and precautions, so always be sure to go through safety gear, check your height and all the other measurements before racing to avoid serious injury
When it comes to properly maintaining your dirt bike, there are a few things you need to pay attention to. One of those is the chain. If the chain is too tight, it can cause problems with the bike’s performance.
It can also wear out the chain and sprockets more quickly. If the chain is too loose, it can come off the sprocket and cause you to lose control of the bike. A chain that is too tight will also cause the clutch to drag.
A chain that is too loose can come off and cause you to lose control of the bike.
How Do I Know If My Dirt Bike Chain Is Too Tight?
There are a few signs that let you know your dirt bike chain is too tight.
The chain starts to get noisy (similar to drumming), and increases in noise as speed increases; ·
Your shifting becomes stiffer; ·
Your rear wheel (or front wheel) locks up and skids; ·
Your dirt bike chain is too tight if you feel the slack in your chain is excessive.
Shift the bike into neutral
Pull each side of your rear (or front) derailleur cage outward and release to see how it feels as you move your hand forward and backward.
A good dirt bike chain should have a little bit of movement in it, but not too much. In fact, if you try to fit your index finger between the side plates of your dirt bike chain, the distance from one side plate to another should be about 1/2″ to 3/4″. If there’s more space, the chain is too loose.
If there’s no space at all, you are definitely dealing with a tight dirt bike chain. If your dirt bike chain starts to get noisy (similar to drumming), and increases in noise as speed increases, it means that your dirt bike chain is too tight.
Likewise, if your shifting becomes stiffer, you are again dealing with a tight dirt bike chain. If your rear wheel (or front wheel) locks up and skids or your dirt bike chain is too tight if you feel the slack in your chain is excessive.
How to tighten my dirt bike chain: Shift the bike into neutral; Pull each side of your rear (or front) derailleur cage outward and release to check the tightness of your dirt bike chain;
Your dirt bike chain is too loose if there’s excessive movement in it.
If you find that your dirt bike chain is either too loose or too tight, adjust it on the loosening or tightening side so that there’s no movement allowing half inch to 3/4″ of space between your dirt bike chain on each side. Shift the bike into first gear, then check tightness again.
Lastly, shift the bike into neutral, turn off the engine and remove the spark plug cap from your engine. Start your engine and let it idle while you hold onto the handlebars.
Turn on your dirt bike and shift into first gear; With one hand on the throttle, use your other hand to pull outward on each side of your rear (or front) derailleur cage to see if there’s any movement.
Repeat the process in every gear. If your bike is new, check it in all gears to know that once you have adjusted your chain, it will remain the same throughout the various speeds and torques needed for each gear.
In other words, there should be no slack movement in any gear, including neutral.
Why Should The Dirt Bike Chain Be Tight
The dirt bike chain is considered to be a critical component of the motorcycle, it transfers power from the engine to this wheels . The dirt bike chain engages with both sprockets, one on the engine shaft and one on the rear wheel axle.
Under normal conditions, this engagement acts as an engine speed reducer, and more importantly it reduces the shock on the engine which is caused by the rear wheel as it slows down.
The dirt bike chain should be of the right size and tight enough so that there is no slack in its movement . This will ensure that power from the engine is transmitted precisely to this wheels without any kind of loss.
A loose dirt bike chain means that the rear wheel will not be driven by the power of the engine.
How To Tighten The Dirt Bike Chain
1. Clean the dirt bike chain and sprockets. You should use a clean, lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove all grease and oil. After cleaning and drying, apply a thin coat of special motorcycle lubricant.
Reinstall the freshly cleaned dirt bike chain onto the bike. Allow it to hang off by one side so that you can measure the slack.
2. Use a measuring device such as string, dental floss or a ruler to determine how much of the chain has slack and is not taut. It must be within manufacturers specifications for your dirt bike; if it is at either end of the measurement, move on to step three.
3. Place the dirt bike in a repair stand or use someone to assist you. The dirt bike should be propped up so that the wheel is about 18 inches off of the ground.
4. Turn the handlebars all of the way to one side, then remove the slack using your chain tensioner tool. You may have to turn it back and forth a few times before tension is removed from the chain.
5. Repeat step four on the other side, then check for slack again by pulling on it with your hand or measuring device. If you feel any degree of tension in the dirt bike chain, remove that using your tool and readjust to specifications.
6 .Working from one side to another, tighten the dirt bike chain by turning the tensioner clockwise until it clicks. Repeat this process at least eight times. After that, check your slack again. If your hand or measuring device feels no tension in the dirt bike chain, go on to step seven .
7 .Once you have removed all of the slack and feel no tension in the dirt bike chain, use your torque wrench to give it no more than one-half of a turn.
8 .Release pressure off of the dirt bike’s brakes. This is especially important if you’re using disc brakes, as they will release all of their pressure once you’ve removed the slack from the dirt bike chain.
9 .Check your slack once more by grasping the chain or using a measuring device. If you feel tension in the dirt bike chain, you must continue to readjust it until there is no tension.
10. Reinstall both of your brake pads and test out your newly tightened dirt bike chain.
11. Now that you have gotten rid of all of the slack within your dirt bike chain, it’s important to check it every few rides. If you do not maintain the tension of a dirt bike chain, it will quickly work its way loose and could even break while you’re riding.