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  #1  
Old 12-13-2012, 05:20 AM
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Default loose chain

Hi folks, well, I've come out from behind my fairing and built up the courage to open my strom discussion-account.

I have recently bought an 09 1000 and had a new (rear) Dunlop- Trailmax fitted approx 800 ks ago.

After covering about 200 ks on the new tyre (which incidentally feels great so far on both sealed and dirt surfaces) the chain loosened to the point that it was slapping around when I took off form a standing start. I spoke to the bike shop who fitted the tyre and they couldn't explain why the chain would loose so dramatically, so quickly.

Assuming they had just been slack and not tightened adjusters, lock nuts and axles nut properly, I readjusted the chain and all seemed well.
Another 300ks (mainly sealed but also approx 30 ks of quite rough, dirt fire-trails) later and I'm hearing the same chain-slap noise on take off and sure enough when I stopped to check the noise, the chain is super loose again.

Any suggestions fellow travellers?

Loving the bike so far (including the wrist straining engine -breaking).
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 06:17 AM
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The V-Strom requires more chain slack than most streetbikes. If you and/or the shop mistakenly set the chain slack as you would on any other street motorcycle, it's likely too tight and will bind while in use, causing the rapid wear. This could also bend the countershaft, so please look up the correct procedure and slack.

The rear wheel and axle components could have been reassembled improperly (leaving out or mixing up spacers is a common mistake), or the rear wheel could be misaligned. Tire monkey is lowest-paid, lowest-status position in the shop, so these sorts of mistakes are common.

Or, maybe the chain and sprockets are just worn out. You mentioned you bought the bike recently, and people who sell bikes are rarely motivated to replace chains and sprockets (or tires, for that matter) that are nearing the end of their service life. Chains also wear unevenly, so if chain slack was not set at the tightest point, it will bind as above.

A fourth possibility is that the previous owner installed low quality chain and/or sprockets -- eBay is full of cheap, dangerous low-rent chains and sprockets. Or perhaps they replaced the chain and not the sprockets, which would cause rapid wear.

Put the bike on the centerstand (if it has one) or on a rear stand and check it out thoroughly -- check the alignments, rotate the wheel and listen for problems with the bearings, see how much the sprocket carrier can move relative to the wheel, inspect the sprockets, look for tight spots in the chain, etc. and so on.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:00 AM
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Post above is all good advice. And definitely do not run tight, your counter sprocket bearing will not live very long.

With a new set of chain and sprockets the first adjust will come pretty quick then it should be fine for 1000's of miles. Toward the end of life...and I am there right now, adjustments will be required every 1000 miles or so and the set up will be due for complete replacement.

The manual recommends 0.8 to 1.2 inch freeplay with bike on the sidestand...which IMO is tight. I use 1.5 inches when resetting mine and adjust when it gets to 2.0 inches.

Always look for tightest spot in chain first.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer View Post

A fourth possibility is that the previous owner installed low quality chain and/or sprockets -- eBay is full of cheap, dangerous low-rent chains and sprockets. Or perhaps they replaced the chain and not the sprockets, which would cause rapid wear.
Wow, that sounds, well, dramatic. Would you mind expanding on your experience in this regard? Have you had a problem or do you know someone that has a problem with chain and sprockets purchased from eBay? Do tell, and thanks in advance. Spare no detail.

N.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:25 PM
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I bought a cheap chain ONCE!!!!! when I changed from belt to chain drive on one of my other bikes. (all the shop had at the time) had to adjust the wheel at minimium once a week sometimes every 3 days. Got rid of that piece of junk and havn't adjusted since! (about a year and a half)
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:51 PM
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I second (or third) the concern for cheap chains. My degree and profession is in mechanical power transmission system. But like many, I like a good deal on parts as well as anyone. Well, many years ago just before winter I thought I'd try a cheap chain. Come early spring a buddy talked me into shipping the bikes (mine a Kaw KLX650) to Death Valley for a week's dual sport trip in March. I forgot all about my chain test plans. That POS must have stretch through all the adjustment possible in that 1500 mile mixed terrain week. Oiled every gas stop and had to adjust every day. Couldn't wait to chuck that thing when I got home. No telling how much longer it would have lived.

I have purchased smaller cc "fixer" bikes that have obviously had chain breakage but still functional with minor parts. It happens and probably more than most think. So far I've been lucky to never experience a break myself. The thought of that at 85 mi/hr on the Vee is an uneasy feeling.

Of all people, I should know better than to go cheap on this part. In my business we only deal in the reputable quality chains for the industrial sector so my experience with cheap chains is limited to my one blunder. NEVER again. I can now write a book about the technical differences in chains.

I have over 12,000 miles on my XR650R with the original factory chain and rear sprocket. And those bikes (high torque thumpers) should each chains.

Just my wandering thoughts on the subject,
Gary
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:30 PM
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In an emergency I let a stealership in the middle of BF Kansas install a rear tire for me. The "technician" put the sprocket carrier spacer in a$$-backwards! I noticed that the chain tension was very inconsistent as I would rotate the rear tire. A little change in tension is normal, but this went from tight to very loose back to tight.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:55 AM
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Thanks to all comments so far....sounds like I need to have a good lie down on the garage floor and examine the chain as it passes over the sprockets. Any advice on how many miles (kilometers in my case) you should get from chain and sprockets on a 1000?
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:28 AM
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If set properly and the bikes sprocket alignment are correct (some Vees are not and need spacer modification) then normal for steel sprockets and quality O ring chain is around 25,000 miles. At this point the whole set up is done.

Some will get more, some less. My bike gets about 30,000 miles with no chain cleaning at all, 600 mile applications of Bel Ray clean lube, hard acceleration and mostly pavement riding in the dry. The last 2 sets of chain/sprockets have come from Blaine at SV and are high quality merchandise for a fair price....you can find cheaper but his stuff is worth the extra few bucks.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2012, 04:03 AM
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Default Thanks for chain feedback

Thanks guys ...I guess my next question has probably created earlier discussions but at the point that I renew chain and sprockets I have the opportunity to gear up or down with larger/smaller sprockets. In my case Id like 'Morris' to climb out of super steep climbing corners a little better in 2nd gear and also to take off in first a little easier when two-up.

Any advice on how much low down grunt is gained by adding one or two teeth to the rear sprocket?
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