How To Measure Chain Slack On A Motorcycle

Checking the slack in your motorcycle’s chain is a crucial step in regular maintenance. Keeping the chain at the right tension promotes seamless performance, minimizes degradation, and helps avoid damage to the motorcycle’s parts. In this article, we’ll walk you through the procedure for assessing the slack in your motorcycle’s chain.


Before measuring chain slack, it is important to prepare your motorcycle. Start by parking your bike on a flat surface and ensuring that the engine is turned off. Remove any dirt or debris from the chain and surrounding areas to ensure accurate measurements.

Measuring Chain Slack

To measure chain slack, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the chain adjusters on your motorcycle. These are typically found at the rear wheel or swingarm.
  2. Loosen the locknuts on the chain adjusters to allow for movement.
  3. Move the chain up and down by hand to find the point where it is loose enough to move but not so loose that it is flopping around. This is the ideal tension point.
  4. Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the distance between the bottom of one chain link and the top of the next link at the midpoint of the chain. This measurement should be taken with the chain in its loosest position.
  5. Compare your measurement to the manufacturer’s recommended chain slack specification for your motorcycle model. Adjust the chain tension accordingly by tightening or loosening the chain adjusters until you reach the desired measurement.


Measuring and maintaining proper chain slack on your motorcycle is crucial for its performance and longevity. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your bike’s chain is properly tensioned and functioning optimally.