When it comes to maintaining our Harley Davidson, one aspect that often comes under scrutiny is the choice of primary chain tensioner. Two popular options that often spark debate among bike owners are the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners. In this article, we will be exploring the factors that differentiate these two products and how they each perform on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Both Hayden vs Baker chain tensioner serve to provide smooth, reliable performance by maintaining optimal chain tension. However, their mechanisms for achieving this objective vary. It’s essential that we, as motorcycle owners, understand the pros and cons of each product to make an informed decision about which one is most suitable for our individual needs and preferences.
Through our discussions with bike owners, we have gathered valuable insights into the experiences of Harley Davidson owners who have used both the Hayden and Baker tensioners. Armed with this knowledge, we hope it’s easier for you to choose the right tensioner for your motorcycle, ensuring optimum performance and longevity.
Hayden and Baker Chain Tensioners
History and Background
We all understand the importance of proper chain tension for smoother rides and improved gear shifting. Over the years, two major players have emerged in the market for primary chain tensioners: Hayden and Baker.
Hayden Enterprises has been known for its M6 Primary Chain Tensioner, which provides constant and correct tension, reducing annoying vibrations and making for a smoother ride. Their tensioner is designed to extend the life of the primary chain and has become a popular choice among Harley Davidson owners.
On the other hand, Baker Drivetrain has developed a product called the Armored Attitude Adjuster. It is a manual chain tensioner, which allows riders to set the chain’s tension to the proper measurement, ensuring a well-maintained tension throughout the riding experience. According to their website, this product has received positive reviews and contributes to a smoother ride and reduced shifting noise.
When it comes to choosing between Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners, it is important to consider factors such as compatibility, ease of installation, and individual preferences. The following sections will delve into the features and benefits of both Hayden and Baker chain tensioners, helping you decide which one is the right choice for your motorcycle.
Design and Functionality
As we delve into the design and functionality of both the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioner, let’s first understand the key differences between these two popular options. The primary goal of a chain tensioner is to maintain constant tension on the drive chain, reducing wear and ensuring smooth operation.
Hayden Chain Tensioner
The Hayden chain tensioner is designed to work as an automatic tensioner that maintains consistent pressure on the chain. Featuring:
- Simple spring-loaded design
- Operates using constant pressure
- Precision-engineered components provide reliable operation
- Compatible with SE and Baker compensators
The straightforward design of the Hayden tensioner means that it can be adapted to work with a variety of setups, including the SE and Baker compensators. Users have reported no issues when running the Hayden tensioner in conjunction with these compensators.
Baker Chain Tensioner
On the other hand, the Baker chain tensioner, known as the Attitude Adjuster, offers a more adjustable method of maintaining chain tension:
- Provides easy tension adjustment
- Greater control over chain tension and wear
- Innovative ratcheting mechanism for precise tensioning
- Manual intervention may be required for proper adjustment
The Baker Attitude Adjuster allows riders to fine-tune the tension of their chains, offering them more control over their bike’s performance. This more advanced mechanism does require periodic manual adjustment but provides a more customized experience for those who seek it.
In summary, both the Hayden and Baker chain tensioners have unique features that cater to the needs of different riders. The Hayden tensioner’s automatic functionality and compatibility with various compensators make it a reliable and low-maintenance option, while the Baker Attitude Adjuster’s precise adjustability allows for greater control over chain tension and wear.
Installation and Maintenance
When it comes to installing the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners, both have their unique procedures. For the Hayden tensioner, we start by removing the existing factory tensioner, making sure to properly clean the area within the primary case. After ensuring a clean and smooth surface, we can proceed to install the new Hayden tensioner, paying close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal alignment and clearance.
In the case of the Baker Attitude Adjuster, we also begin by removing the factory tensioner and cleaning the primary case. Once we have a clean workspace, we follow the provided installation guide for the Baker product, paying close attention to details like setting the proper chain tension and securing the tensioner in place using the recommended hardware.
Regular maintenance of the chain tensioner is paramount for both Baker and Hayden products. After installation, we should check the chain tension periodically to ensure optimal performance and avoid strain on the compensator and clutch system. Please consider the following maintenance tips for each tensioner:
Hayden maintenance tips:
- Periodically inspect chain tension, particularly after long rides or heavy use.
- Keep an eye on the clearance between the tensioner and the primary case to ensure it remains within the specified limits.
- Consult the manufacturer’s guide for recommended maintenance intervals and procedures.
Baker maintenance tips:
- Perform regular inspections of chain tension and verify that it aligns with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Ensure the tensioner is securely fastened to the primary case with the appropriate hardware.
- Refer to the Baker Attitude Adjuster manual for maintenance intervals and any special care instructions.
Maintaining both Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners by following the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure the longevity and optimal performance of these components, ultimately benefiting the overall health of our motorcycle’s drivetrain.
Reliability and Longevity
When comparing the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners, both have proven to be reliable and long-lasting. In our experience, we found that the Hayden tensioner is often used by riders who have had it installed for 2-3 years without any issues. Similarly, the Baker tensioner has been praised for its reliable performance when installed.
While there isn’t a significant difference in terms of reliability between the two tensioners, each has its unique features that cater to different preferences. For example, the Baker Attitude Adjuster offers a more adjustable chain tension, while the Hayden tensioner typically maintains a tighter chain tension, which some riders prefer.
Noise reduction is another important factor to consider in the performance comparison between the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners. Although both tensioners aim to reduce chain-related noise, they achieve it through different means.
The Baker Attitude Adjuster allows for a looser chain tension, which can help to reduce noise caused by a tight chain. On the other hand, the Hayden tensioner consistently maintains a tighter chain tension, which might not be as effective at reducing noise for some users who prefer a slightly looser chain.
Ultimately, the choice between the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners comes down to personal preference and riding style. Both tensioners have their merits and have satisfied users in terms of reliability, longevity, and noise reduction.
Price and Availability
When it comes to price, there is a difference between the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners. The Hayden M6 chain tensioner is generally more affordable, with a suggested retail price of $130, as mentioned on their official website. On the other hand, Baker’s Attitude Adjuster, a manual tensioner, tends to be priced higher, often starting around $299 or more, depending on the model and retailer.
As for availability, both Hayden and Baker chain tensioners can be purchased online through their respective websites or through authorized dealers. They may also be available at local motorcycle shops or specialty retailers that carry aftermarket Harley Davidson parts. It is always recommended to check with your preferred retailer for stock and pricing information.
In terms of compatibility, both Hayden and Baker have designed their chain tensioners to work with specific Harley-Davidson models. It’s essential to verify that the tensioner you choose will fit your motorcycle model and year. You may find compatibility information on each company’s website or by consulting with an authorized dealer or technician.
Features to consider when comparing Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners include the materials used, ease of installation, and any additional benefits they may offer, such as reduced vibration or improved shifting. With these differences in mind, it is essential for riders to assess their budget, preferences, and specific model requirements to determine which chain tensioner is the best fit for their motorcycle.
User Experiences and Reviews
In our research, we found that users generally have differing opinions when it comes to the Hayden M6 and Baker chain tensioners. We will discuss some of the user experiences and reviews for each of these products to help give you a clearer understanding of their performance.
Many users who have installed the Hayden M6 primary tensioner in their Harleys have reported positive experiences. They mentioned that it led to quieter, smoother gear changes and less clunking. One user even described it as a “good upgrade” that was worth the money.
|Hayden M6 Tensioner||Baker Tensioner|
– Smoother gear changes
– Less clunking
|– No notable performance issues|
– Longevity of the chain
– Good compatibility with other upgrades
On the other hand, users who have tried the Baker chain tensioner also had a positive experience. They reported that alongside the Baker manual tensioner, their primary chain demonstrated better longevity and worked well with other upgrades, such as the SE compensator.
It’s worth mentioning that some of these users had both the Hayden and the Baker tensioners installed in their motorcycles at different times and didn’t encounter any issues with either tensioner.
It’s important to note that a select few users have reported issues with either tensioner, such as damaged teeth or skipping notches when adjusting. However, these cases appear to be rare, and many users were happy with their tensioners’ performance.
Final Decision On Hayden vs Baker Chain Tensioners
In our comparison of the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners, we found both products to offer improvements over the stock auto-tensioners. Each of these aftermarket options has its own set of advantages, and riders may choose one over the other based on their specific needs and preferences.
The Hayden M6 Primary Tensioner is reported by users to provide a smoother ride, reduce vibrations, and improve gear shifts with less clunking. It also maintains a constant and correct chain tension, eliminating concerns of over-tightening by the stock tensioner. Many riders have found the Hayden M6 to be a good upgrade, worth the investment.
On the other hand, the Baker tensioner seems to offer increased durability and a more precise fit with the bike, allowing for the proper 3/8″ clearance necessary when using the SE or Baker compensator. However, some riders have reported difficulty fitting the Hayden tensioner with the Baker compensator, resulting in a smaller-than-desired gap at the heel of the tensioner.
Ultimately, the choice between the Hayden vs Baker chain tensioners comes down to personal preferences and individual requirements. Both options provide valuable performance enhancements and would serve as worthwhile upgrades over the stock auto-tensioners.