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Most of the play is from the chain with the V-Strom (or any chain drive bike). I learned long ago that adjusting a chain too tight causes it to stretch and wear out prematurely. I keep it within spec. I've only had to adjust it once - a very small amount at about 5,000 miles. The dealer also adjusted it at the 7,500 mile service. I had checked it a couple of weeks prior to the service and it was right at the loose end of spec.

A shaft drive also has some play - probably as much or more than the gear drive on the Burgman 650. I think that the belt final drive bikes would have almost none. I don't think there is any slack at all in the belt, so any play would be directly from the transmission gears.

Except for the chain drive bike, I don't worry much about this. Even with the chain drive I just check the slack once in a while. Chains and sprockets do wear out, usually within 18,000 miles. Shaft/Gear drive systems should be good for well over 100,000 miles (except for some of the BMWs, which have had some problems with spline wear).
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