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Discussion Starter #1
today I planned to ride some 50-100 miles. So I checked the tire pressure, raised the bike on the swing arm stand and checked the oil and then the chain slack. Now at 2,532 miles. I figure since I have only oiled the chain it should surely need adjusting to remove slack at this interval.

Honda says 1 to 1-3/8 inch slack if fine with 1-15/16 max.

I first measured 1.5 inches so out of spec but under max... THEN..
I rotated the wheel and tried another spot 1-1/4 within spec.

What I found that in 2500 miles my chain is not wearing evenly or is there another problem? I put a screw driver close to the sprocket and rotated the wheel. I think there could be slight run out in the rear sprocket but it was not an exact way to measure without a dial indicator. So maybe both are simply wearing unevenly. Very possible.

Now, back to the loose and tight chain spots. If the most loose place is under 1-15/16 and the tightest place over the 1 inch minimum mark. Things are really OK.

So I oiled it like I always do, Reset trip B for logging miles between chain lubes and off I went for a 75+ mile ride. Not a care in the world.
 
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I'm going to require help on my first slack check. This is my biggest point of stress of all about the bike up to this point. I'm @ 1200 miles, and I've done nothing more than simply checking the slack in a couple of spots while the rear wheel is off the ground during my lube and clean process. I've watched the videos and paid attention to Bill's posts about the procedure, but that's only made me even more wary about getting my hands dirty on this one; at least not without someone over seeing what I'm doing!

It's something that I eventually want to do myself, but it just seems so easy to mess up if one is not familiar with measuring, all the factors that affect the measurements, and ensuring the wheel is true after adjusting. It's not the adjusting procedure in itself that stresses me, but all the other steps and the knowledge required about how the whole set up works, to do this correctly.

I really appreciate Bill sharing what he's doing with respect to checking slack with us though. I'm learning alot. So far I've learned that it's over my head at this point.
 

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You're rear wheel could be installed a little cocked. Did you check the adjusters on both sides? Better still, measure from the center of swingarm bolt to the center of wheel bolt on both sides and make sure the measurements are the same.

I know this is my first post here (have to jump in some time) and this really isn't the place for an introduction but suffice it to say I'm researching the CTX as a replacement for my wife's 07 VLX. Oh, and my name is Charlie and I ride a 96 Magna.

Ride Safe!
 

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Good evening Gentlemen
I cannot give an educated opinion of the characteristics of a Honda with chain drive as the CTX is my first, nevertheless I can accurately state that with my extensive experience with pre-1965 chain drive motorcycles of various Marques, they all have a "tight spot". Any adjustments must be made from this tight spot.
I have always speculated that this is why chain tension specifications are givin within a "range". I suggest locating the tight spot and adjusting to the minimum dimension in the specified range. If the axles measure the same distance on each side with the wheels perfectly straight, all is well.
Happy Motoring
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know this is my first post here (have to jump in some time) and this really isn't the place for an introduction but suffice it to say I'm researching the CTX as a replacement for my wife's 07 VLX. Oh, and my name is Charlie and I ride a 96 Magna.

Ride Safe!
Hi LIRider, welcome to the forum. I had a 1988 VLX. 2007 is pretty new. I remember it was heavy, nice low seat, forward controls, could have used a 6th gear. Comfortable bike. Real Harley style hidden rear suspension and very reliable. The CTX will seem peppier around town and will be lighter when slow going or stopped or moving bike around garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gregsfc. don't worry be happy. No stress. Just common sense.

If you have felt you go down the road straight and rear axle is on the same marks on each side then Honda did their job of making the bike square and it runs true and straight enough. I wouldn't bother measuring the swing arm unless you need the exercise. It's a CTX not a race bike and unless assembled wrong you have a good stating point.

The biggest problem will be to support the bike and get the axle nut loose and tight again. torque wrenches are cheap. get one. Make sure you have a socket that will work and wrenches for the adjuster nuts.

if chain truly needs adjusted, loosen the large axle nut while bike is off stand so you don't have to twist on it hard while bike is up in the air. lift bike on whatever stand you have. Now loosed nut till free. Use two wrenches and unlock the adjuster nuts. screw the lock nut away from the adjuster nut so it is out of the way. Turn each side the same amount 1/4 turn at a time to keep it aligned on the same to the marks on each side. check the chain at it's tightest spot. when correct, tighten the axle nut firmly but not to spec. make sure the adjustor nut is snug against the end plate but not really tight or it may move the axle. then hold with wrench and lock in place with the lock nut. RECHECK chain. Take off stand, finish torqueing the axle nut to spec. Put back on stand and RECHECK chain. Nothing should have moved. The last recheck is for your stress and piece of mind going down the road.

the manual says to remove the end off the muffler so you can get at the axle. If you don't, you will probably grab a large cresent wrench to do the loosening and tightening but you wont have a torque reading to go by so unless you have great experience with hand tools and know what tight is, don't use a wrench on the axle nut.

Just one more rule... a loose chain is better than a tight chain and best is within spec.
 

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Thanks Bill.

Sounds like I can be happy using that procedure. The point of real stress for me was making sure the wheel is true beyond what is shown on the marks (Youtube videos make it seem as though you can't just go by the marks), but if I simply make sure I move both sides the same amount, torque everything down correctly, and keep safety in mind, i.e. loosening before raising the rear wheel, everything should be good.
 

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One more minor thought. I prefer to do chain adjustment using a rear stand rather than a center stand. Some bikes will change slack a little with the swing arm unloaded.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One more minor thought. I prefer to do chain adjustment using a rear stand rather than a center stand. Some bikes will change slack a little with the swing arm unloaded.

that is a good point. by using a swing arm stand the weight of the bike is still applied. Using the center stand lets the swing arm drop until shock is extended which is much lower than normal. Some times I have even had a similar weighted person sit on bike upright and get an idea of where the chain will run going down the road just for my own piece of mind. Hard to look while riding.
 

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One more question for knowledgeable, experienced members:

Can one properly check the slack just by lifting with a rear stand; finding the tight spot, measuring the slack, and measuring the slack in other spots to check for chain wear?

In other words, is it necessary to loosen the nuts first to accurately measure the slack? Can I check the slack, then, if I find it necessary to adjust, lower the bike, loosen the nut(s), raise the bike, and then make the necessary adjustments?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One more question for knowledgeable, experienced members:

Can one properly check the slack just by lifting with a rear stand; finding the tight spot, measuring the slack, and measuring the slack in other spots to check for chain wear?

In other words, is it necessary to loosen the nuts first to accurately measure the slack? Can I check the slack, then, if I find it necessary to adjust, lower the bike, loosen the nut(s), raise the bike, and then make the necessary adjustments?

yes, check before loosening anything. You can actually get the nut off with it raised but be careful as you apply great force to anything on the bike in any direction when it is lifted off the ground. Many of bike have fallen off the stands due to carelessness.
 

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Has anybody on the forum used the Scottoiler system for the chain on any of their bikes?
 

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When I took our CTX back to the dealer for the 600 mile check the service manager told me the chain had a tight spot that seemed excessive. He said Honda had recently changed brands of chains and he had seen other chains of the same brand that had issues. He said they put some different lube on it that should cure the problem but to keep an eye on it. At 3200 miles if I adjust the tight spot within limits (barely 1") it is really loose at some point when I rotate the wheel. I am thinking I already need a new chain.
 

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When I took our CTX back to the dealer for the 600 mile check the service manager told me the chain had a tight spot that seemed excessive. He said Honda had recently changed brands of chains and he had seen other chains of the same brand that had issues. He said they put some different lube on it that should cure the problem but to keep an eye on it. At 3200 miles if I adjust the tight spot within limits (barely 1") it is really loose at some point when I rotate the wheel. I am thinking I already need a new chain.
When we bought our 2014 CTXN we had to take it back to the dealer because the chain variance was so great. It was obvious something was out of sorts. I think they replaced the sprocket, etc and it still isn't uniform, but better than it was. Maybe it's just an inherent problem with this bike?
 

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I experienced the same tight spot issue at my 600 service. The dealer replaced the chain with another Honda chain and had the same results. He had 3 CTXs on the floor and 2 of them had tight spots. He told me that Honda did have a recall on chains a few years earlier and thought that be the issue. Next he puts on an aftermarket chain, same problem - tight spots. The next thing he did, and I couldn't believe it, he pulled the rear hub/sprocket off the 'good' showroom bike. Replace my hub/sprocket and it was much better. He called Honda while I was still there, they assured him there were no problems...right.
 

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Don't over think this. Any measurements on most equipment should be done with the equipment adjusted or set as it would be used. Unless the manufacturer specifically instructs you to do otherwise or you know how to compensate with some calculations.
The reason for tolerances is that nothing is perfect, even when you take the measurements you will be off due to parallax errors, temperature etc. Its just a ballpark figure to give you some room.

I would like to know if anyone has used any aftermarket chains and the type etc..

Could just be a bad run of something... Chains, sprockets, who knows.
 

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Proper rear wheel alignment and axle nut torque is not only critical to tire life but can also effect premature wear and failure on the chain, sprockets, output shaft seals and rear brakes. Over tightening the chain or a loose chain will also cause damage or premature wear resulting in failure.

When adjusting the chain, don't rely on the chain adjuster plate for an accurate measurement. I use a dial caliper to adjust mine but a metric steel square end ruler will also work. Once everything is adjusted and tightened up, remember to measure again since tightening can move the adjustments.

If you have your bike serviced and the chain adjusted by a service shop, double check the measurements and tension on the chain. Just because you paid to have it done doesn't mean it was done properly.
 

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please explain... not visualizing where taking measurements

jfc77320,
please explain what measuring against...gap or where checking for plumb with a square. Not visualizing it where to make more accurate measurements.LW

Proper rear wheel alignment and axle nut torque is not only critical to tire life but can also effect premature wear and failure on the chain, sprockets, output shaft seals and rear brakes. Over tightening the chain or a loose chain will also cause damage or premature wear resulting in failure.

When adjusting the chain, don't rely on the chain adjuster plate for an accurate measurement. I use a dial caliper to adjust mine but a metric steel square end ruler will also work. Once everything is adjusted and tightened up, remember to measure again since tightening can move the adjustments.

If you have your bike serviced and the chain adjusted by a service shop, double check the measurements and tension on the chain. Just because you paid to have it done doesn't mean it was done properly.
 
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