Honda CBR 600 Chain Adjustment & Cleaning

As a motorcycle chain ages and wears, it stretches and loosens between the sprockets. To determine how worn your bike’s chain is, you’ll have to measure the play in the chain and adjust it accordingly. 

Watch the video above and follow the steps below to learn how to adjust and clean a Honda CBR 600 chain. 

NOTE: We adjusted and cleaned the chain on a Honda CBR600RR, but the steps are the same or similar for all Honda motorcycle makes and models. 

Tools and Supplies – Honda CBR600 Chain Adjustment & Cleaning


Buy Motion Pro Slacksetter chain slack tool

Buy Maxima Ultimate Chain Care Kit


Measuring Honda CBR600RR Chain Wear

Step 1. Lift the rear end of the motorcycle off the ground with a stand.

Honda CBR600RR chain adjustment

PRO TIP: If you don’t own a set of motorcycle stands, now is a good time to invest in a pair. They make working on your bike much easier, and are perfect for storing your bike during winter without flat-spotting the tires.

Step 2. Using a chain slack tool or measuring tape, measure the play in the chain beneath the swingarm, halfway between the front and rear drive sprockets. 

Honda CBR 600 RR chain adjustment

NOTE: The CBR 600 should have about 1 3/8th inches of slack in the chain. Any more than that and you’ll need to adjust it.  

Adjusting a Honda CBR 600 Chain

Step 3. Loosen the axle nut on the right side of the wheel with a 32mm socket and breaker bar. 

Honda CBR 600RR chain adjustment

NOTE: You don’t need to remove the nut, just loosen it a couple of turns so there’s still some pressure on the swingarms but the axle can move.

Step 4. Loosen the 12mm locking nuts securing the axle adjustment bolts on either side of the swingarms. 

Honda CBR 600RR motorcycle chain adjustment

Step 5. Starting on the left side of the swingarm, turn the 10mm axle adjustment bolt until the chain play is at 1 3/8th inches and tighten the 12mm locking nut.

Step 6. Once the left side is adjusted, note the position of the axle on the measuring scale etched into the swingarm beneath the axle. Adjust the axle on the right side of the swingarm to the exact same point on the etched scale. This ensures the rear wheel is correctly aligned and will track perfectly straight.

Honda CBR600 motorcycle chain adjustment

NOTE: Above the adjustment bolt on the swingarm is a marker showing at which point the chain needs to be replaced. If the adjustment you made is within the marker’s tolerance, the chain still has enough wear in it, but if the adjustment goes beyond the tolerance, you’ll need to replace the chain with a new one.

Step 7. Measure the chain slack again to ensure it’s correct now that the axle has been adjusted. Readjust the axle if necessary until the chain play is correct.

Honda CBR600RR motorcycle chain adjustment

Step 8. Torque the axle bolt to 83 foot-pounds.

Honda CBR 600 motorcycle chain slack

Having adjusted the chain, you should now clean and lube it to minimize wear and maximize the life of the chain and sprockets.

Honda CBR 600 Chain Cleaning and Lubing 

Step 9. Spray the chain with chain cleaner while you rotate the rear wheel to coat the entire chain. Let the cleaner sit for a minute, then use a nylon brush to remove the built-up dirt from the chain, again rotating the rear wheel to access the entire chain. Rinse off the chain cleaner with water and dry the chain with a rag. 

Honda CBR600 motorcycle chain cleaning

Step 10. Spray the chain with chain lube while rotating the rear wheel, making sure you get the lube in between the chain links and you’re done.


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