disclaimer: my comments here refer to the 650. I don't know how the 1000 might differ.
Ok, so the time has come for me to replace the original chain on my 1000. I am trying to do this both the cheapest and easiest that I can. My initial thought is to get an OEM endless chain and sprockets because 1. dont have to buy a chain tool, and 2. seems stronger to me & 3. I got 20,000 miles out of the original.
Which means removing the swingarm. So who has done it? How bad was it? Any other opinions out there for best way to go about it?
There are very good reasons to remove the swingarm at the same time that you replace the chain. It gives you an opportunity to lube the cushion rod bearings and swingarm pivot bearings. Failing to do so will eventually make you sad. I recommend getting the special tools you need (the swingarm locknut tool, and a hex key to fit the other side) and doing it for that reason.
That said, it's sort of a pain, the biggest hassle being the need to remove the exhaust, and the biggest challenge being finding a way to get the rear end of the bike off the ground. You can't use a swingarm stand, obviously, and I've read that a centerstand interferes with at least one of the bolts that you need to remove (I don't have a centerstand, so cannot confirm or refute this).
My solution: http://www.flyingjoke.org/motorcycle...sc/tiedown.jpg
The jack is under the centerstand lug. It worked fine for me. Read the manual, take your time, and it shouldn't be more than an afternoon. I can do it in just a couple of hours now, having been through it a couple of times.
if you do get a chain with a master link, you can then do all the bearings without removing the stoopid exhaust. That only needs to come off to give the swingarm room enough to move far enough to let the chain past. You can reach all the bolts for lubing purposes without going to that trouble.