Stiff rollers in chain - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Stiff rollers in chain

Haven't ridden bike in 2 weeks, and I noticed when moving it for alternate side a couple of rollers are notnrolling...light rust and she lives outside. Should I coat it with a thicker oil? Currently I'm using Dupont wax, which I love cause chain stayed clean all summer while I put 7k on her...

I will throw her in a garage if we get real snow, but indoor garages near me run almost 200 a month for a bike.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 09:15 AM
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Modern O- or X-ring chains come with grease inside the rollers. The O- or X-ring is intended to keep that grease in. If you're oiling or greasing the chain, all you do is keep the O- or X-rings lubricated, and prevent rust on the outside of the chain. But whatever you put on the chain does not (re-)lubricate the chain itself.

If your chain isn't moving anymore in spots, it means the grease inside the rollers has gone, and they have now seized. This eventually happens to every chain, but the better you maintain it, the more you can prolong the inevitable. But when it happens, the chain is end-of-life and should be replaced.

In fact, if you look carefully, there's a really high chance that some, if not most, of your O- or X-rings are missing now. Also, without grease inside, the internal parts of the rollers wear away which leads to apparent "stretching" of the chain. There is a test in the owners/service manual where you measure a certain number of links, and if their combined length exceeds a certain value, the chain should be written off.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 09:32 AM
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Stop using wax as it does nothing useful anyway.

In the short run get some tranny fluid and drop some lube on each link (this is a tip the @Heavy taught me years ago before I learned how to take care of a chain properly.). That should free up the links. If this doesn't free up the links buy a new chain. If the links now move more freely you are good to go. From now on get an oil based lube (I use Wurth HHS 2000) and lube the chain with every fill up and after every ride in the rain. I neve waste any time "cleaning" the chain since it does nothing useful anyway. (I'm sure no harm if you want to wipe it with a cloth that has kerosene on it.)

The OEM chain on my 2015 DL1000 was replaced at 76,180 km or about 47,300+ miles and was still usable (but was heading on a longish trip so proactively replaced it.) The replacement chain was from a factory kit and currently has 81,863 km/50,867 miles on it.


2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 195,000+ km, 121,000 miles.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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My 14 only has 17k on it, .tension is fine, there are no stiff links, but when I was pushing the bike I noticed that a couple rollers weren't turning when they made slight contact with the plastic guard on the swing arm. Chain is not spent, just looking at best way to protect it while out on cold. I bought the bike a year ago with 10k on it. Any wear has been and scratches have been put on it by me. Bought the bike of a rich guy who had his new multi strada sitting right next to it in his garage along with an old Chevelle and some Mercedes amg SUV that wasn't a gwagon...

Why tranny fluid as opposed to a thicker oil? What type of lube is the wurth? I worked on cycling industry for years and there were a hundred of brands of lube, but in reality there are like 4 types. How do you put so many miles on it living in Canada? Do you commute even in Winter?

Last edited by dakor82; 12-20-2018 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Can't read.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 10:07 AM
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Is the rust just surface rust on the roller surfaces? If so, that won't cause kinking but is a sign your chain lube isn't working well.

If you see "red" dust around the links/rollers, the chain is dead and needs replace soon!

You can have a new chain and it go bad well before its time. All it takes is one sealing o-ring to fail from incorrect installation or debris getting to it. Even some lubricants are hard on o-rings.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 10:28 AM
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All good advise! Show us a picture of the rust you see. Its likely a non issue unless it comes from between the link plates.

The wax is not effective and tends to build up a lot of crud around the countersprocket that may then cause further problems with the clutch slave cylinder and pushrod.

Use an oil based lubricant as per Tom's suggestion or get a chain oiler. Motorcycle chains are different than bicycle chains (they are not internally lubed!)

Some interesting reads:,7571.0.html

Blau1 2004 DL650-sold
Blau2 2014 DL1000A
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-20-2018, 04:17 PM
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Has anyone used TriFlow? My brother rides enduro on KTM 1190 and he swears by it. It's a light lubricant and seems to keep the o-rings fresh with no buildup.
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