Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
All the tips for spotting a dying chain are good, and here's another...
Adjust it to spec: bike on the sidestand, 20 mm to 30 mm (0.8" to 1.2") of slack when you push up on the chain in the middle of it. Be sure the chain is running straight off the rear sprocket; don't trust the marks on the swingarm for alignment. Put a dab of antiseize paste on the axle nut and torque to 58 lbs-ft.
If you need to frequently re-adjust the chain to hold this spec, the chain is wearing rapidly and near death. The measurement along 21 pins (20 links) of chain should be less than 319.4 mm (12.57"), but this is tricky to measure right, and the other methods usually work better.
Unless the previous owner put on new sprockets, the old sprockets are worn. Maybe not enough for you to spot without a new one for comparison, but they are wear items.
A simple rule of thumb for lubing the chain is every other tank of gas, except every tank in the wet or in gritty conditions. There are a dozen or more favorite chain lubes--no consensus favorite.
"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.
"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Last edited by PTRider; 03-20-2014 at 12:18 PM.