Is a Motion Pro Chain Alignment Tool the Missing Link in Your Toolbox?

An inexpensive tool that ensures smooth sailing.

Proper final-drive maintenance is key to ensuring your motorcycle operates smoothly and safely. Many of us keep a watchful eye on chain lubrication and tension but overlook rear wheel/sprocket alignment—a recipe for excess chain, sprocket, and countershaft-bearing wear.

Most thinking holds that lining up axle adjusters with indicators on the swingarm is "good enough." Those graduated marks aren't meant for finite adjustments, however, and there's a chance they're not identical from side to side. What's needed is a remarkably accurate tool you already have and an extra frame of reference—that's where your eyes and the Motion Pro Chain Alignment Tool comes into play. The device slips over the rear sprocket and clamps against its face, a nylon thumb screw holding it firmly in place. Your eye does the heavy lifting from there.

Motion Pro Chain Alignment ToolBrody Cox

The tool holds a sighting rod perfectly aligned to the sprocket, creating an accurate visual representation of the angle at which the sprocket meshes with the chain. If your rear wheel (and your sprocket along with it) is not perfectly in line with your chain, the deviation of the sighting rod will be easy for your eye to see. Once set, tighten the rear axle nut with the appropriate amount of torque and be on your way. Using the alignment tool might require the removal and replacement of your chain guard, but that’s usually a simple process.

The Chain Alignment Tool is designed well; the body is made of aluminum with an anodized finish, and both small thumb screws are plastic—sensible considering they’ll only ever be finger-tight. The sighting rod is made from steel for increased durability, but we wish the tool came with a carrying case to mitigate damage or bending in a busy toolbox. Still, the Motion Pro Chain Alignment Tool has become a go-to among the Motorcyclist staff, especially at the racetrack where we’ll make multiple adjustments throughout the day. Inexpensive, well made, and simple to use—it doesn’t get any better than that.

Price: $14
MC Grade: A
Summary: Cheap insurance, that's really what it comes down to. We just wish it came with a box for safe storage.