I adjusted a drive chain on my motorcycle to a correct slack (20-30mm), tightened axle nut and locked adjuster bolts, checked the chain slack again - everything is correct, then I do a test ride, just first-second gear. After that I checked the chain and it was tight as a drum, the set slack was gone. Ok, I do the procedure all over again and adjust to the correct slack. After I take the bike for a test ride again, I check the chain and it is now too loose. So it appears like the slack changes after the ride, even though adjusters didn't change position and remained on the same reference marks.

Why doesn't my bike keep the set chain slack, but changes it after a test ride.

  • I get you are having a problem ... could you please state exactly what you are asking, though? Jun 29, 2018 at 19:52
  • 1
    axle bolts loose, adjuster bolt threads stripped, chain damaged, sprockets worn, bearings worn - many possibilities....
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 29, 2018 at 22:23
  • When you adjusted the chain did you have someone sitting on it? The chain needs to have 20-30mm of travel with the bike loaded normally. The chain will tighten or loosen as the swingarm moves up and down. Jul 7, 2018 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


I am not a motorcycle guy however I do work on a lot of bicycles. I would bet your sprockets are worn and likely the chain also. Not only are they worn but worn unevenly. You essentially have an egg(s) shaped gear. I one position correct adjustment 90 degrees of rotation and it is out off adjustment.

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