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Hi Everybody,

Hope someone will be able to help me out. Been trying my own maintenance on my 2014 CBR 500R since all the shops are closed due to COVID. Tried a chain adjustment today, and more or less botched it. Loosened off the axle nut and adjusted both sides on the swingarm, but lost count. Loosened the axle nut enough that the wheel could easily be moved back and forth with my hand. Now I believe the rear wheel is off centre. anyone have any recommendations? Tighten both adjustment nuts all the way in and start over?

Thanks,

Brett
 

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When I adjust my chain I check the alignment with a piece of string, which has a knot at one end.

Make sure the swing arm ends, the bits the adjusting bolts stick out of, are pushed in then tighten the axel nut just enough so they do not move. This is also the time to check the slack is still within range as it will tighten a little after tightening the axel.

On the left side of the bike I place the knot in the centre of the swing arm pivot, which is just to the left of where the pegs are fastened. Holding it in place with my left hand, I pull the string taut and with my right hand I pinch the string, passing my nail int it where it meets the middle of the axel bolt.

Keeping my tight grip on that point of the string, I move to the right hand side of the bike and position my nail and sting in the middle of the pivot and, threading the string behind the exhaust, pull the string taut. If the wheel is aligned the knot should be in the middle of the axle bolt.

Then to double check I repeat the same procedure in reverse, with the knot on the axel bolt on the right side and comparing it with the left. Mainly because the exhaust does make it a bit awkward on the tight hand side so I like to double check.

I always do this, even if turning both adjustment nuts the same amount it is safer to be certain than just assume.

Another thing I like to do if I have doubts is just crouch down behind the bike so I can look along the chain and spin the wheel by hand to make sure the chain looks and stays straight relative to the guard.
 

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My procedure

The user manual (which you can find on-line) specifies using hard to see marks to check alignment, not the obvious notch above the axle that indicates chain wear. If you have lost all sense of the alignment, a string (watch out for stretch) or tape measure can get you in the ballpark, then use the marks. An experienced non-Honda shop mechanic once used a tape measure to do my chain alignment, checking it several times, but it was way off.

When you look at the axle from the side, there is a rectangular cutout with rounded corners in the swingarm - the axle passes through it. There are hard to see vertical marks, like a ruler, on the metal you can see through the cutout. Align these marks so they are the same distance to the rear edge of the opening on both sides. I need to use a flashlight and get my head close to the axle to see the alignment clearly. I find this is a fussy adjustment.

Hint
While adjusting, if you over-tighten the adjusters, loosen them a half turn. Place a piece of soft wood against the axle and hit the wood with a hammer to move the axle towards the front of the bike. You should have the axle nut tight enough that it takes a bit of force to move the axle. After you move the axle, the adjusters will be tight again. Go back to adjusting by tightening them.

Final Hint
use a torque wrench to tighten the rear axle nut (88 N-m, 65 ft lbs). The same shop mechanic was a huge guy, cranked the nut to well over 100 ft-lbs. I lost most of my rear braking. This problem is mentioned in the user and shop manuals. Fortunately backing the nut off and correctly torquing it restored the rear braking.
 

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I remove a bike's chain guard when checking chain adjustment. I push up on the lower race of the chain (to remove any slack from the upper race) and sight along the upper chain race from the rear sprocket as far forward as I can see on the chain. That tells me all I need to know. In 4400 miles, my bike's chain has needed no adjustment, being kept lubricated by the Scottoiler I always fit on chain-driven bikes. If a straight-edge would fit, I could place that alongside the top race of the chain to insure it's straight. Generally, just a visual scan is sufficient to detect any "bow" in the chain.
 
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