Chain adjustment - tools

I’m looking for some decent tools to do some DIY maintenance on the bike, mostly chain adjustment… I don’t want to break the bank either though…

Amazon has a Sealey torque wrench for sale right now for 30 quid:
Is this alright, with some a socket set, or should I be getting something else? Like this spanner set:


id pop down to halfords there tools are good thats what i mainly use done engine swaps and allsorts with em


You couldn’t run a workshop with them but they’re great for home use.
I’ve stripped down my ZXR with halfords tools…

For chain adjustments, you want spanners.
Sockets won’t hurt for general maintenance so a set of the two might be good.

Erm, I use the ones under my seat :cool:

It came with spanners that were useful? Holy ****!

My YBR came with 1 spanner. 10mm on one end, 12mm on the other which is pretty **** considering you need a 10 AND a 12 to adjust my chain…

The CBR seat isn’t even removable!

Don’t you need a 19mm to loosen the axle nut on the YBR as well? The tools on my YBR didn’t even manage to loosen the nuts after the garage tightened them, spanners are just too short and don’t provide enough leverage!

I just figured anything I can get at halfords, I can get better bang for buck online.

Also I didn’t want to break the threads on those nuts like I did on my YBR… Hence the torque wrench. Maybe I should pop down to the OMC and learn how to use the spanners properly? :stuck_out_tongue:

This is what I’ve got for the axle nut and chain adjustment…

I recently got myself the same torque wrench

Seally STW1011, note the maximum recommended working limits for standard ⅜" drive sockets are up to 19 mm nut/bolt head size with a torque limit of 87Nm/64 ft-lb, therefore I’d not recommend this one for tightening a rear axle which would typically require 100-130Nm/75-100 lb-ft.

As others have said chain adjustment can be carried out perfectly well with spanners. I adjust mine with a 19 mm combination spanner on the rear axle bolt head and a 15/16" AF open ended spanner (23.81 mm fits nicely on the 24 mm nut and no need to remove the exhaust) on the nut. An 8mm combination spanner adjusts/locks the adjuster bolts. I’ve never torqued the rear axle nut/bolt just make sure you put in as much effort to tighten it as you did to loosen it :wink:

The Draper spanner set looks to have a good range but it wouldn’t cover my rear axle nut which is 24 mm. I’m not sure of the quality although Draper do have a good reputation for DIY hand tools and I’ve have some Draper (West Germany) spanners that I’ve been using for over 40 years without a problem. A good indicator of spanner quality is how snugly the smaller spanner sizes (6-10 mm) fit, cheap spanner sets tend to be slightly under/over sized due to the manufacturers hit and miss forging, grinding and plating techniques, which can be a problem with the spanner jaws/rings failing or nut heads being rounded off due to poor spanner fitment.

My recommendation would be to go for the spanner set and supplement that with a larger combination spanner if required, then build up your tool kit as and when you progress onto the jobs that require additional tools. I’m not a fan of buying tools as kits because I think you end up with too many tools you don’t need or won’t use, buy what you need and as your tool kit grows get yourself a tool box where you can store it all in one useful place.

For quality tools at reasonable prices have a look in at your local motor factor.

It’s an amazing tool kit!8/10 open ender10/12 open enderSpark plug tool (much easier than using an actual workshop tool)/Holder for screwdriver bitStraight/Phillips screwdriver bitPliers4 or 5 allen keysSpanner for rear axle (with extension handle to give more torque)8/10 box spanner10/12 box spanner
I was very surprised the first time I looked under the seat! Not going to do a stripdown with it, but it’s got most of what you need at the side of the road

Yeah. Not included :confused:
Yamaha make some decent cheap bikes but the smaller details are where you notice the cost saving.

Pop down to the OMC today if you like. We usually get a few people down for a chat and one of my spankingly good cups of tea before we all ride off to BM.
For a chain adjustment, I’d say pop down for 4-4:30. A chain adjustment won’t take long at all but you’re almost guaranteed to find something else that will need adjusting.
You’ll also get a lesson in choosing the correct tool for the job and how to get the most out of that tool.

Give us a call if you need any advice :slight_smile:

KTM supply the best on Bike toolkit I have ever seen. Quality but lightweight kit and even a 10 mm ring key, bottle opener combination KTM branded haha

Thanks for all the advice guys!

I discovered that the axle bolt/nut measurements are 27 and 22/24mm so I’ll need those on top of the spanners. I’ll pop down to Halfords tomorrow to get the appropriate tools from their Professional range. That should be good enough for what I’m doing! I’ll save the torque wrench purchase for later.

Would love to pop down to the OMC but I can’t make it that early. Maybe some other time :slight_smile:

Take the bike with you and ask at the parts counter for them to check what size you need :wink:

edit: If don’t want to rely on the chain adjuster marks to align the rear wheel get a 12"/30cm steel rule

mode d’wotsit one
Place the rule flat across the top edge of the rear sprocket just below the chain pointing towards the front sprocket, adjust until the rule and chain are parrell. Paul explains it here, jump forward to 07:47. Although he uses a rod, block of wood and magnets the principal is the same :ermm:

mode d’wotsit two
Measure the distance between the chain adjuster bocks and the end of the swinging arm a la Delboy if you don’t want to watch the whole video jump forward to 12:07

Thanks for the videos Art!

I have re-adjusted the chain and it seems OK at first glance but when on the centre stand and in second gear, the wheel seems to ‘skip’ every so often and makes the whole bike wobble. I’m not sure if it did that before I messed around with it… Is there a kind mechanically skilled soul in SE1 that could possibly double check I did this OK?
Beverage of your choice at the next BM meetup is on me of course :slight_smile:

I’d inspect the chain

With bike on centre stand, gear in neutral, ignition off, engine NOT running.

Spin the rear wheel slowly and inspect the chain link by link, each link should be able to move up and down in relation to its adjacent link, what you’ll most probably find is that one or more links are seized and will not revolve around their pin. This video shows a seized link on a bicycle chain but the principal is the same

You may be lucky and find that cleaning and lubricating the chain will sort it out, next check the condition of the teeth on the front and rear sprockets, finally re-check wheel alignment and chain slack.

Any excessive wear and you’ll be looking at replacing both the the chain and sprockets, if in doubt find some time to pop into OMC.

With their expert range and a life time warrenty on them you could easily have them in a workshop as I’ve built two cars with the same set for £99 and trust me they have has some serious abuse.

Cheers Art, I’ll take a look at the chain and see if I can fix it!

whats a torque wrench??? :slight_smile:

As Art has indicated, it sounds like you have a stiff link somewhere. I had the same symptoms which you’ve described and while I was able to locate and lubricate the offending link, the problem only disappeared for a short time. In the end, I had to replace my chain and sprockets and now she’s running as smooth as before.