How to MT 07 chain adjustment

Propper maintenance on your motorcycle is essential to having a safe road-worthy motorbike. In this post, we will be going over the steps involved in doing a Yamaha 2016-2023 MT 07 or FZ 07 chain adjustment.

The Yamaha workshop manual says that you should check the chain slack every 500 mi (800 km). You should also check the chain slack after washing the motorcycle or riding in the rain. Dirt can build up or be washed away on the sprockets this is why chain slack should be checked after washing.

Tools Required

  • Torque wrench 3/8 drive
  • 27mm socket
  • Tape measure
  • 12mm open-end spanners
  • Wire brush
  • Rags
  • Nitrile gloves to keep your hands clean.

MT-07 Chain Tension Procedure

How to measure chain slack

How to measure chain slack on a motorcycle MT07
MT 07 chain adjustment measurement
  1. The first thing to do is to work out if your chain needs tightening. The correct distance from the swing arm to the center of the drive chain should be between 51-56mm or 2-2.2 inches. This is for the Yamaha MT07 using the side stand.
  2. To measure chain slack place your motorcycle on a level surface on the side stand. It is best if you get someone to help you hold the motorcycle upright. There should be no extra weight on the motorcycle so don’t sit on it. You can use a rear paddock stand for the MT07. but there are different measurements. See below.
  3. Drive chain slack (Maintenance stand) 56.0-61.0 mm (2.20-2.40 inches). This is from the center of the chain to the top of the plastic guide rail under the swing arm.
  4. Drive chain slack (Using the side stand) 51.0-56.0 mm (2.01-2.20 inches)
  5. Engage the transmission into neutral on the MT07.
  6. Push down in the middle of the drive chain with a force of 15N or 1.5kg.
  7. Measure the distance between the plastic chain guide and the center of the chain using a tape measure. The correct slack should be between 51-56mm or 2-2.2 inches.

How to adjust the chain slack.

How to adjust the chain slack Yamaha MT07
  1. Clean the axle nut threads and lubricate them before removing the axle locknut.
  2. Loosen the lock nut on each end of the swingarm. (The MT07 only has one locknut)
  3. Loosen the axle nut on the lefthand side of the MT07 using a 27mm socket. Do not fully remove the axle nut.
  4. To tighten the chain turn the 12mm drive chain slack adjustment nut clockwise. To loosen the chain turn the drive chain slack adjustment nut anticlockwise then push the rear wheel forward.
  5. Check the chain slack after every 1 full revolution of the tension nut.
  6. Adjust the chain evenly on both sides of the swingarm. Use the measurement alignment marks on each side of the swingarm as a reference.
  7. Tighten the 27mm axle nut to 105Nm (76 ft.lbs)
  8. Tighten the two small 12mm locknuts to 16Nm (12 ft.lbs)
  9. Check the chain tension again.

How to adjust motorcycle chain without stand

The only way to tighten a motorcycle chain without a stand safely is to get someone else to help hold the motorcycle upright. Measure the chain slack in the upright position. Loosen the axle nut and adjust the chain slack nuts to the correct tension. Tighten up the axle nut and recheck the chain slack.

Many motocross bikes and race motorcycles don’t have a side stand so adjusting the chain correctly can be difficult without some help.

Rear wheel center alignment and chain angle

Rear wheel centre alignment measurement on a Yamaha MT 07

It is important to get the rear wheel in the center of the swingarm. An easy way to do this is to check the marks on the rear of the swing arm that they are the same on each side.

Failure to center the rear wheel will cause wear on the chain and sprockets. Your chain could also come off the sprocket due to misalignment.

Motorcycle chain loose symptoms

The following symptoms will be present with an excessively loose motorcycle chain.

  • Chain noise is known as chain slap.
  • Excessive wear on the chain and sprockets.
  • Chain jumping over the sprocket teeth.
  • Comming off the sproket.
  • Uneven transmission of power to the wheel jerky.
  • Chain lash and slapping on the swingarm.

Problems with incorrect chain slack

If your drive chain is too slack it can cause damage to the swingarm, frame, and sprockets, and the chain could even come off.

A chain that is too tight can overload the engine, or even break. It will also cause premature wear on the chain and sprockets and sometimes cause the chain to fail completely.

I like to check my drive chain slack every 3 months or 1000km whichever comes first. Brand-new chains will stretch a lot on the first 1000km, after that, they settle down to minimal stretching.

MT07 2015-2019
STOCK SIZES: Chain – 108 Links / 525 Pitch
Front Sprocket – 16 Tooth | Rear Sprocket – 43 Tooth

Motorcycle Chain Cleaning.

Motorcycle Chain Cleaning. and tensioning MT07

I like to clean my motorcycle chain every month. I have the motorcycle chain scrubber that makes it so much easy to clean.

Use the rear paddock stand to lift the MT07 rear wheel off the ground. This will make cleaning and lubricating the chain so much easy.

You can clean the chain scrubber in a bucket of hot soapy water or petrol also works well.

I used to take the chain off for cleaning but this is a much faster solution.

Lubrication of your chain.

Lubrication of your motorcycle chain. MT07

Now a correctly lubricated chain will last longer than an unlubricated chain. It is just a fact of life. So go get a can of your favorite chain lube and give it a squirt. My favorite is Motul 102984 Chain Paste and Penrite chain lube comes in at 2nd place.

I like to use the Wefoo chain cleaning brush first once a month to clean the chain before lubrication. It seems to get rid of a lot of the dirt and road muck.

If you ever see rust or shiny spots on the chain it means that it is not lubricated enough.

Don’t be concerned about the excess chain lube that gets thrown off the chain. It will often coat the rear rim with a lubrication few spots that can be quickly wiped off.

If there is dirt on the chain before you lubricate it this will cause the dirt to get trapped and cause premature wear on the chain and sprockets.

Remember a dirty well-lubricated chain is better than a dry rusty clean chain.

MT07 Axle nut stuck problem.

MT07 Axle nut stuck problem Yamaha
Yamaha MT07 chain after cleaning and slack adjustment. Don’t forget to clean the axle nut threads before removal.

The correct axle nut for the MT07 is an 18mm – 1.5mm pitch. It is a Fuji-style nut that is designed to lock up if they start to unwind. The problem is dirt can get in between the fine threads of the axle bolt and bind up these fuji-style nuts.

There are many reports of people completely destroying their axle bolts and nuts because they can’t undo them.

This is why I always use a wire brush to clean the threads and some lubrication before I loosen the axle nut. Failure to clean or over-torque your axle bolt nut will cause a stuck nut and stripped threads.

If the motorcycle axle bolt and nut are really stuck on tight you may even have to grind off the nut. More info on this problem found here.

Check out some of the cool Yamaha MT 07 modifications I have done to my motorcycle in the video below.


So there you have the correct procedure for MT 07 chain adjustment. If you take care of your motorcycle it should take care of you.

This is a very easy procedure as long as you have the correct tools. Save yourself a few hundred dollars and do this preventative service maintenance yourself.

Correct motorcycle chain slack is important so remember to check it often. When you change the oil on Yamaha MT07 check and adjust your chain slack.

Ride Safe.

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