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How to Tighten the Chain on a Yamaha Warrior

by Chris Gilliland

Yamaha Warrior all terrain vehicles (ATV) rely on a motorcycle-style drive chain for propulsion. The chain itself requires little maintenance, mostly in the form of regular tension adjustments. Constant use slowly stretches the chain's links, causing the chain to loosen and eventually slip from the rear wheel's sprocket. To compensate for this, tighten the chain using a set of tensioners positioned below the rear axle's pivoting hub. Yamaha recommends a chain adjustment every three months, but make adjustments earlier if the Warrior has been subjected to extreme riding conditions.

Step 1

Place a jack below the Warrior's motor to lift the rear wheels at least one inch above the floor.

Step 2

Grasp the lower portion of the chain at the midway point between the motor and the rear hub. Hold a ruler against the back of the chain and lift the chain until it is tight. Take note of the distance the chain has moved. Ideally, the chain should not move more than 1 1/2 inches. If the chain's slack allows more than 1 1/2 inches of travel, the chain is loose. Alternatively, if the chain has less than 1 3/16 inch of travel, it is too tight and requires loosening.

Step 3

Loosen the bolts on the top and bottom of the rear hub with a 14 mm socket and a socket wrench. There are two bolts above the hub and two below the hub. Do not remove the bolts.

Step 4

Slacken the lug nut on both of the chain tensioner's adjustment bolts, located below the rear hub, using a 12 mm wrench.

Step 5

Turn the chain tensioner's adjustment bolts evenly with a 12 mm wrench to adjust the chain. Turn the bolts clockwise to tighten the chain or counterclockwise to loosen the chain.

Step 6

Check the chain's travel again. Adjust the chain further, if the chain's tension is still less than 1 3/16 inches or greater than 1 1/2 inches. If the chain's tension is within the specified range, tighten each of the adjuster bolt's lock nuts against the tensioner body with the 12 mm wrench.

Tighten the rear hub's upper bolts to 72 foot-pounds and the lower bolts to 36 foot-pounds, using a 14 mm socket and a torque wrench. Remove the jack and lower the Yamaha Warrior's rear wheels to the floor.


  • Ensure that you rotate both chain adjusters an exact amount of turns to prevent misalignment of the rear axle and chain. The idea is to keep an even tension on the chain. An improperly aligned axle or chain creates excessive wear and may cause the chain to break.

Items you will need

  • Jack
  • Ruler
  • 14 mm socket
  • Socket wrench
  • Torque wrench

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

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