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How To Adjust A Motorcycle Chain
Jun 27, 2016 - 3:52 PM - by

Walk around at any motorcycle gathering and count the bikes with limp, sagging chains. Often, the worst examples also are bone dry with rust and/or crud built up on them. Since you’re a MO reader and regularly clean/lube your chain, you’re ahead of the game. However, you still need to make sure that the chain’s slack is within specifications. If you lube your chain regularly, you will probably not need to adjust it every time you return from a ride, but as a chain nears the end of its usable life, you will need to adjust the slack more and more frequently.

Although a rear stand is not required to adjust your chain, it will make the process much easier. When your chain is cold, measure the slack halfway between the sprockets by moving the chain up and down. Press down on the chain slightly to make sure it is at its lowest point. To get an accurate reading, hold a tape measure in front of the chain and look across the top of the links. Adjust your line of sight until the tops of both sides of the chain line up, which assures your eyes are perpendicular to the chain and parallel with the top of the links.

Next, move the tape measure so that one of the inch markings aligns with the top of the chain. Now, press the chain up until it is tight, and, bringing your vision up to align the top of the chain again, note the measurement. A little math will tell you if you if the slack is within your bike’s recommended specifications. Since chains don’t always wear evenly, check the slack measurement in a couple of places. If you need to adjust the chain, set the chain tension to accommodate the tightest point. Also, if the chain is dramatically tighter in one place, consider replacing it.
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0 Replies | 31 Views
Top 10 Moto Innovations Of The Last 30 Years
Jun 21, 2016 - 12:02 PM - by

Looking back 30 years at things auto- and moto-motive is like stumbling into those caves in France with the caveman art. I remember my dad’s Volare wagon with the slant-Six and the newfangled emission controls on the carburetor that ensured it ran like crap when it ran at all… Actually Japanese motorcycles were way ahead of cars at the time, but the miracle of modern electronics and the computer chip has rendered everything of that era antique. And the rate of progression of the last decade or so, if it keeps up, makes it impossible for my Cro-Magnon brain to even imagine what lies ahead. I tried anyway.
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California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee
Jun 06, 2016 - 5:11 PM - by

Here at MO, we are strong proponents of lane splitting. Not a day goes by in which we don’t filter between the lines of slower moving or stopped cars. In the process, we’re also easing congestion and protecting ourselves from being rear-ended by distracted drivers. So, naturally, we were excited last year when we heard of California bill AB 51 was making the rounds in an effort to codify the act of lane splitting by giving it a set of clear rules for riders to follow. One of the primary benefits of the rules would be that they would make it possible to educate the driving public about lane splitting.

Unfortunately, the bill was pulled last July at the request of its author, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk, because of fears that it would not pass. Since that time, Quirk has worked on changing the language of the bill to a form that will improve its chance of passing. According to, an organization devoted to promoting lane splitting, the wording has changed to a much less specific recipe for legal lane splitting to a more generalized one. The result is a bill that maintains lane splitting’s legality by virtue of not being explicitly illegal while giving the CHP the option of developing and distributing educational guidelines for riders and the driving public to better understand safe lane splitting.

In a mockup of the amended version of AB 51 produced by, the specifics of the top speed and the speed differential between the motorcycle and other traffic have been removed. In their place, the mandate for CHP to create guidelines to educate the public is inserted: 'The California Department of Highway Patrol may develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of the motorcyclist and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.'

Additionally, the agencies that the CHP is to consult in developing the guidelines includes not only the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Traffic Safety, but it also lists the requirement of consulting with a 'motorcycle organization focused on motorcyclist safety.' So, we assume the organization selected would be either the AMA or the MSF, giving actual motorcyclists an active say in the development of lane splitting guidelines – which is very good news!

These changes were scheduled to be submitted to committee yesterday, May 31, 2016, but at the time of publication, the bill’s page on the California Legislative Information website had not been updated. Interested parties can track the progress of the bill there. California residents who want to contact their representative can search here. Those who want to contact Assemblyman Quirk’s office can visit his web site.
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Father’s Day Buyer’s Guide 2016 – $100 Plus
May 27, 2016 - 11:33 AM - by

So, Father’s Day is here, again, and when I complained to my wife about how I’d made a list of my ideas for motorcycle-related gifts only to discover that it almost exactly mimicked last year’s list, she said, 'Remember, you’re providing a service. As a non-rider, I have no idea what to give you for Father’s Day.' My response to her was a simple, 'You’re willing to spend more than $100 on me for Father’s Day!' Clearly, this buyer’s guide just became much more important.

So, what follows in an attempt to address – in alphabetical order – the varied needs of male motorcyclists with offspring – though they really apply to all riders, regardless of which bathroom they choose to relieve themselves in or whether they’ve successfully combined chromosomes with another human. Yes, there will be some overlap with previous lists of this type. Motorcyclists have simple needs…
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0 Replies | 95 Views
MO Tested: Cornering ABS
May 24, 2016 - 11:36 AM - by

If your occupation is testing motorcycles there’s a certain measure of accepted risk that comes with the job. When cornering ABS (C-ABS) arrived a couple years ago, the general consensus among the motojournos was, Hey that’s awesome, we’ll take your word for it working as described, because no matter how professional we try to be, grabbing a fistful of front brake mid-corner to evaluate this new technology is a line few were willing to cross. Just thinking of the action conjures images of impacting asphalt at a rate approaching lightspeed.

Attending the International Driver & Rider Training Symposium provided Kevin Duke and I the opportunity to safely explore C-ABS and all the mid-corner braking performance the technology promises to deliver. The result? Confirmation that we were not being lied to, and an elevated respect for the engineers and test riders who perfect this technology prior to making it available to OEMs for inclusion on the latest and greatest two-wheelers.

With a KTM 1190 Adventure outfitted with Cedergrens’ Skidbike contraption, Duke and I set to the task of crashing. Repeatedly, we failed. Grabbing a fistful of brakes while leaned over with the C-ABS functioning resulted with a rapidly decelerating motorcycle, and – once the initial I-shouldn’t-be-doing-this gag reflex was muted – no drama. Switching off C-ABS and replicating the act resulted as you’d expect, with the front wheel washing away, but minus the crash due to Skidbike’s outriggers catching our falls.
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53 Replies | 564 Views
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