chain tightening - Page 2 - 2018 KTM 790 Duke Forum
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 05:32 PM
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For me, the past 20 years of riding motos, I find it's best to have the chain a tiny bit on the loose side, vs tight.

I've always kept at least a bit of play in the chain, (not to the point where it is straight up loose, and slapping against the swing-arm, but just a bit loose, under load), check out the specs in the manual.

Avoiding wheelies, burn-outs and launches, definitely creates less need to adjust the chain, haha.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:54 AM
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So while checking the manual for the required chain tension I noticed an interesting thing. In the manual for the 2018 version it simply says to check the distance between the chain and the swingarm (https://www.ktmshop.se/documents/18_3213749_en_OM.pdf, page 142), but in the manual for the 2019 (https://www.ktmshop.se/documents/19_3213925_en_OM.pdf, page 144) it specifies that the distance should be measured "from the flat part of the swingarm directly above the chain, not from the edge of the swingarm". It's a significant difference, because according to '18 manual my chain is loose, yet according to '19 it's just fine.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by L. S. View Post
So while checking the manual for the required chain tension I noticed an interesting thing. In the manual for the 2018 version it simply says to check the distance between the chain and the swingarm (https://www.ktmshop.se/documents/18_3213749_en_OM.pdf, page 142), but in the manual for the 2019 (https://www.ktmshop.se/documents/19_3213925_en_OM.pdf, page 144) it specifies that the distance should be measured "from the flat part of the swingarm directly above the chain, not from the edge of the swingarm". It's a significant difference, because according to '18 manual my chain is loose, yet according to '19 it's just fine.
That's interesting. Maybe that's KTMs "fix" for the leaky sprocket seals. That swingarm lip adds around 8mm in difference and KTMs spec (2-5mm tension) for each year is the same. I keep mine set to the 2019 instructions, leaning more to the looser spec.

2019 KTM 790 Duke
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 11:58 AM
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chain tightening - a couple of observations

First, I just realized that KTM's chain adjustment procedure is like dealing with left-handed threads. One has to reverse a lifetime of practice. On all other bikes, the tolerance range has the larger number the loosest. With KTM, the larger number is the tightest. It's hard to wrap your head around this and takes careful concentration to do the adjustment properly.

Second, the recent post comparing the 2018 and 2019 chain adjustment procedures caused me to recheck my bike's chain slack.

What I found was that using the 2018 method, the chain was quite loose; the chain touched the bottom of the wear piece. It shouldn't have even gotten to the swingarm.

Using the 2019 method, the distance from the chain to the swingarm was beyond the 5mm, about 3/16", specification which means it's too tight. This has left me totally confused. I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong but I can't figure out what it is.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 04:18 PM
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Here's a screenshot from the 2019 riders manual of how to set chain tension. It was described earlier but this is the official procedure.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 04:46 PM
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To be safe, I just set the rear preload to it's lowest setting.
Then sat on the bike to get the suspension to bottom out.
Then I adjusted the chain for a bit of play when the suspension is bottomed out,.
Then I just reset the preload (to 5 clicks for my weight) and everything seems fine.
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