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Author Topic: Chain Wear and Issues  (Read 276 times)

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CDNRatMan

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Chain Wear and Issues
« on: September 02, 2017, 16:55:54 PM »

  So I feel pretty good about my ability to adjust the chain on my 800. I think I have been doing correctly since i followed the manual the first time. So 2 years ago I developed a noise in my chain, I was not sure why or what it was, I was on my way home from Pikeville and Drift In 15 at the time. I stopped at a H-D dealer and asked for some chain lube and the mechanic asked why and I old him, he suggested I just had a bit of dirt in a link, so he gave me a part tin of WD 40 and sold me a second can and told me to soak the chain with the WD-40 and hope that what ever was in the link would be forced out. This seemed to work and the noise was gone for the rest of the trip. Over the winter I replaced that chain.
  So this trip I got caught in a huge rain storm, I was on some really rural roads and had puddles that actually almost came over my floorboards at times. PEI has its own type of earth, and it is a red dirt that is not like normal dirt. Up to this point I have not had any issues with the chain, after this rain I was really surprised to hear some noise from the rear end and it was bad, I could feel it through the floor boards and my seat. So I checked the chain and it was a bit loose so I tightened it, but the noise persisted, on my ride from PEI the Antigonish it went away. Cool, then the morning MikeakaFred and I went to ride the Cabot Trail, it cqme back and with a vengeance, checked the chain it was with in tight specs. So after checking with a few people I decided to stop and buy a new chain. The noise is gone......500 kms later did an small adjustment to tighten it and now to ride home.
   So wondering if anyone can tell us what and why a chain gets tight spots, I did google that and had to much to read just want a simple answer.
    Is there a way to prevent a chain from getting tight spots?
   If not then how can we fix it if it is fixable.
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Troll

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 19:15:02 PM »

One of the reasons I don't use o ring chains
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CDNRatMan

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 20:55:44 PM »

  So are you saying that "O" and "X" chain are the only ones that develop tight spots? I am trying to understand all this....
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Tfrank59

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 23:46:51 PM »

So how many miles are you getting out of a chain? I've got 17K on my bike now, most of it mine, and as far as I know my chain and sprockets are OE.  Everything still looks brand new.  So here's a little confession, I have never done anything to my chain except clean it once in awhile and spray chain wax on it for Lube. It has never needed adjusting the slackness is within spec and it is smooth as can be. It is the most maintenance-free chain I've ever had on a motorcycle. Anyway I recommend using chainwax rather than WD-40 or some other chain Grease cuz I've had better performance and chain life with chainwax on my bikes, even off-road bikes (even going through water like you been doing) so I'm going to keep using it.
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Troll

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 07:28:32 AM »

  So are you saying that "O" and "X" chain are the only ones that develop tight spots? I am trying to understand all this....
  Any chain can develop tight spots, due to wear or intrusion of dirt, but "sealed" chains keep you from really flushing out any contaminants. I put a really expensive O ring chain on my '78 Superglide once..after about 6 mos, it started to get stiff in several places. I took it off and soaked it in oil for a couple of days (like I would have any other chain with the same problem) and it didn't get any better...
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Pete

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 07:46:39 AM »

Wotcha Ratman.
What sprockets have you got front & rear?
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OR Seedman

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 15:56:25 PM »

High quality chain wax is much better for O ring or X ring chains....it stays in place, coats nicely and prevents intrusion of contaminants such as dirt and water....penetrating solvents like WD40 actually remove the wax or oil coating and allow contaminants in...and don't do much as far as actual lubrication because they are too thin and don't stay in place....so, unless you are using an old style chain without seals, never use a penetrating "lubricant" like WD40....always use high quality chain wax.....and use a high quality chain cleaner before each wax application...my chain is OEM and has 9600 miles on it....still looks brand new with no wear and runs extremely quiet....I clean and wax it about every 3k miles.....
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CDNRatMan

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 17:58:21 PM »

  ok starting to sort out the info, and so any more info lets have it.

   Pete, I am running a 18T and a 38T sprockets, not sure of the manufacture at this time I can let you know once I am home.

   Troll, tfrank59 and OR, thanks, I only used the WD 40 when I ws trying to wash the containment out of the chain. I will have to check out this chain wax. I had one chain and it was a DID X ring that I had on going to Sparta and then to Billings MT and then home, I checked the chain every night and it never needed an adjustment, That was one awesome chain , but after 2 summers I changed it. Since then I have not found one I was happy with.
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Pete

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 03:19:27 AM »

Hi Ratman,
To even up chain wear it's best to run pairs of sprockets with teeth that are coprimes. Coprimes are pairs of numbers that only have 1 as a common factor.  Your sprockets have the common factors of 1 and 2.

I doubt that this is contributing much, if anything, to your problem, but next time you change the sprockets it would be worth choosing them for coprime teeth that give you close to the ratio you have now.
Regards
Pete
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kw-retrorider

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 06:46:10 AM »

Got 25k miles out of the original chain with original sprockets and the stock gearing. I have owned the bike with the last 15k miles on that set up. Near the end, the chain was noisy and had some obvious tight spots. Had my local dealer replace both sprockets and the chain. Their recommendations:
Chain: Sunstar 530 x 112 BMXR XRING
Sprocket: Sunstar 51117 530-17T
Sprocket: Sunstar 2-552640 530-40T

Have almost 5k miles on it now, have only adjusted it once after the first 1k miles, but have continued to check and lube it every 1k miles with chain wax. I like the chain wax too. Seems to hold on longer and keep the chain in better shape. Use it on my W650 with original chain as well.

On the tight spots. For what it's worth, here is my experience. Can't say my method of tacking measurements is absolutely accurate, but even during that first 1k adjustment on a new chain that I did not install, I took readings every 3 or 4 links because the chain had markings I could reference, for a total of 8 readings and found there was a range of measurements....not exactly a tight spot, but a minimum and a maximum.  5 of 8 were 1 7/8 inches; 3 of 8 were 2 inches. So I adjusted to a low of 1 1/8 and a high of 1 1/4. Book says slack should be 1-1.5 inches total. Will adjust again when the biggest measurement is over 1 1/2. Haven't had to do that yet. Chain is smooth with no noise.

Even the dealer would not put the Kawasaki parts on because of the cost. Know nothing about sunstar, but the dealer recommended that brand and would stand behind the install. No problems yet.

Good luck ratman...I'm sure you will sort it out. Keep us posted.
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CDNRatMan

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 15:19:45 PM »

 :o Pete  was never good with figures and so now I am really confused, never heard till of this and so now will have to figure out how to figure that out.
  The logic hat caused me to go to this sprocket set up other then being told by a few members is that in my riding it makes a huge difference on the highways.
 kw one of my sprockets is a Sunstar, never had an issue with them.

  Getting a bit of info here but still my question is really simple, what causes tight spots and is there a prevention to them.......

  this time the dealer installed a UMI "O" ring chain.
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OR Seedman

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 19:38:03 PM »

the only co-prime sprockets that would work are 17 front (oem) and either a 37 back or a 41 back.  A 17/37 combo is very close to the 18/38...but the 17/41 would gear the bike even lower than stock
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OR Seedman

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OR Seedman

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 19:58:29 PM »

and a 37 tooth rear is only available in aluminum alloy.....not advisable for longevity.... ;)
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kw-retrorider

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 03:54:21 AM »

Ratman....did you say how many miles were on this chain with the 18/38 sprockets?

Didn't know about this coprime thing....sometimes if it ain't broke.....just sayin'

Since those who have made the change have been very positive about the 18/38 set up...Anyone else with the 18/38 set up having chain issues? Can anyone with the 18/38 set up chime in on how long you've been running it?...just wondering...
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kw-retrorider

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 04:25:57 AM »

Last thought...don't want to hijack this thread, but OR...

Maybe you could explain this coprime thing....Don't quite see how the number of teeth in the sprockets have any relationship to chain wear....if the chain and the sprockets are standard dimensions. Seems you should be able to run any combination you want....
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OR Seedman

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Re: Chain Wear and Issues
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 10:49:54 AM »

has to do with which teeth wear on which link in the chain.....if you use a co-prime number of teeth on both the front and the back, the links will hit a different tooth every time, until you get through the total number of links times the total number of the front teeth times the total number of back teeth....in theory, this is suppose to make the chain and sprockets wear more evenly than any other type of combination...but I have my doubts on that.. ;)

regarding the 18/38 set up....I have been running that combination for about 5k miles.....I really like it and will not ever be going back to the stock 17/40 set up...I ride on open roads with 55+ mph speed limits a lot, and the bike runs at a much lower rpm at those speeds....It can feel a little sluggish in traffic, but the trade off is worth it to me.  I have not seen any abnormal wear on sprockets or chain (my original oem chain), but I thoroughly clean and wax about every 3k miles....I have not had to adjust tension since I went to the new setup...
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