Replacing A Worn Front Chain

Since the front chain is automatically lubricated by running in oil, little service will be required other than checking chain adjustment every 2000 miles. However, if through hard usage the front chain does become worn, it is essential to replace chain rather than trying to repair it. This will avert chain breakage and possible damage to the crankcases. To remove front chain, see "Disassembling Clutch," Section 4B.


The rear chain should be checked every 1000 miles for correct adjustment. A correctly adjusted rear chain should have 1/2 in. free up-and-down movement midway between mainshaft and rear wheel sprocket. As chains stretch and wear in service, they will run tighter at one point on the sprockets than another; therefore always rotate rear wheel and check adjustment at tightest point of chain.

To adjust rear chain, loosen axle nut (1) on right side of motorcycle. Loosen lock nut (2) from adjusting nut (3), on both sides of motorcycle. Turn adjusting nut (3) clockwise to move rear wheel back, tightening chain; turn adjusting nut (3) counterclockwise, and at the same time, tap each end of the axle to move the wheel forward, loosening the chain. Turn adjusting nut (3) on either side exactly the same number of turns to maintain alignment of wheel. With lock nut (2) tight against adjusting nut (3), the distance from lock nut to outer end of adjusting stud (4) should be the same on both sides. Check correct alignment of wheel by observing that tire runs about midway between rear frame tubes and rear wheel sprocket runs centrally in the chain. When readjustment is completed, be sure to securely retighten rear axle nut (1) and rear wheel adjusting stud lock nut (2).

After adjusting rear chain, the rear brake may be too tight. Readjust brake rod, if necessary, as described in "Adjusting Rear Wheel Brake," Section 2G.


At regular service intervals (1000 miles) make a close inspection of rear chain. If it does not appear to be getting sufficient lubrication, or if there is evidence of an over-supply of oil, adjust rear chain oiler.

To adjust rear chain oiler, proceed as follows. Loosen lock nut (2) and turn screw (1) outward for more oil, and inward for less oil. Turn screw only a fraction of a turn at a time; lock adjusting screw in place with lock nut.

Figure 2B-3. Front Chain Tensioner Adjustment

1. Drive chain 4. Support bracket bolts (2)

2. Chain adjuster 5. Support bracket brace shoe (XLH)

3. Support bracket 6. Brace bolt (XLH)

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