Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
If you see red rust dust coming from the rollers, replace the chain.
If you find some tight links, replace it.
If you can pull the chain away from the rear sprocket at the 3:00 position, replace it.
The specified max length of a section of chain due for replacement is valid, but tricky to measure precisely. If you are a helicopter technician, you'll be able to get an accurate measurement. And, it can measure OK but have seizing pins & bushings that are wearing excessively. The chains have five parts, side plates, pins, bushings, rollers, o-rings that hold lube in the pins & bushings. The pin & bushing wear is the so-called stretch.
If the chain has the specified slack, no tight links, no rust under the rollers, and is snug on the sprockets, I'd ride it. Check that the chain runs straight off the rear sprocket, don't rely on the swing arm marks for alignment. Never over tighten the chain--rapid chain wear results, and maybe more expensive problems.
Chains don't stretch. They wear inside the rollers, get longer & weaker. Your mileage and lube history suggest much more life remaining in that chain, but check. (I've seen a 6,000 mile chain with rust under the rollers and dying.)
The OEM chain and sprockets are very good, but so are many other brands. The top lines from DID, RK, EK, Renthal, JT are excellent. The U. S. wholesalers' brands may have less life but are good value at the price--Parts Unlimited, WPS, BikeMaster. I don't know who Canadian dealers use for aftermarket sources.
Sprocket size depends on your rpm range. If you want less buzz at high freeway speeds, go up to a 16 tooth front (but you don't have high speed freeways on the island, not like Calgary, or Spokane, or L.A.). If you want more grunt on trails or two-up on steep mountain roads, go 14 on the front. Front sprockets are cheap and easy to change. If you don't like your choice, it is easy to switch.
"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; 07-23-2014 at 01:00 PM.