9K Oil Change + Chain Tensioning

I decided to do this service myself. It's my first oil change ever, and on a motorcycle as well. I also wanted to adjust the chain as it was sagging a bit. I only adjusted a chain once before, and that was on a rented vstrom on the side of the road somewhere in Colorado. The concept is the same across all chain driven bikes. After watching a few youtube videos, ordering some parts from amazon, and picking up some tools from auto zone and home depot, I was able to complete both, making me feel more connected to my bike.

Oil Change

Doing my bike maintenance in brooklyn really isn't enjoyable. I do it out on the sidwalk in front of my apartment. I'm soon moving to new jersey, with a 2 car garage. The day can not come soon enough. I had all my tools spread out around my bike ready to start the old change, and had to stop before i started. The first youtube video i watched was for an F800GS but it must have been an older model as it claimed the oil drain plug was a 24mm socket. The next video i watched was helpful, telling me i needed a  Hex 10,  but i had to run to home depot to get the right tool.

Tools needed for an oil change on an F700GS

  • Hex 10 to remove oil drain plug
  • oil filter wrench to remove oil filter 
  • oil pan for capturing and disposing of oil
  • oil filter, and 3 quarts of oil 
  • funnel 
  • replacement crush washer

I emptied out the oil in to the oil pan, waited for the flow to stop, and then removed the oil filter. The universal oil filter wrench i have is only good for removing old filters, as it damages the filter. The new filter i replaced it with was a K&N which works with standard sockets. I waited for the oil to drip out of the oil filter opening, used some of the old oil and lubricated the outer ring of the new oil filter before i installed it. I then used the funnel to pour the 3 quarts of oil in. I did not have the proper size crush washer to reinstall, so at the advice of others, i re-used it when re-inserting the oil drain plug. It was really really simple to do myself and I'm happy i did it. I grew closer to my bike, and saved some money.

Chain Tension Adjustment 

Again, after watching a few youtube videos (1, 2), i picked up the tools i needed and adjusted the chain. The axle nut is is 28mm nut, but at the recommendation of the video they said a 15/16 fit better. 

Tools needed to adjust the chain on an F700GS

  • Breaker Bar (Wrench)
  • 15/16 Socket for axle nut
  • 13mm wrench 
  • measuring tape

I loosened the axle nut with just a few turns on the chain side. I then used the 13mm wrench to loosen the small nuts near the adjuster nut on both sides (really need to watch the video). Then i measured the chain sad, it should have 1.2"-1.6" of play. I tightened the adjuster nuts on each side, 3 turns at a time, alternating between sides. Its important to make sure you adjust both sides evenly. I measured the chain sag after each set. If you tighten it too much, then you need to back the nuts out. Doing so wont bring the tire closer to the bike, you'll have to kick it a bit to make sure the tire moves forward. Once the slack was where we wanted it, i tightened everything back up. I then measured the distance between the axle nut and the nut that attaches the swing arm to the frame. I measured on both sides and got an equal measurement meaning my axle was straight.  After adjusting the chain, riding was so much smoother. It felt great and i should have done it sooner.

Having these two new skills under my belt will allow me to maintain my bike more confidently in the future. I don't think I'm ready for valve adjustments just yet, but the more i can do on my own the better. Not to save money (well yah that too), but to have a better understanding of how and why my bike does what it does.

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