JC Whitney X-Ring Chain - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-04-2014, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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JC Whitney X-Ring Chain

On all street riding, the original stock DID525V8 chain lasted 41,116 miles on my '09 Wee. The Moto520105 X-ring chain I chose for a replacement only lasted 3369 miles before it wore beyond Suzuki's 319.4mm/12.575" length limit for 20 links (21 pins) and it also lost over 1/3 of its X-rings. I did not ride off-road. I did care for the chain the same as the stock chain using Maxima Chain Wax every few hundred miles, except after 1000 miles, I noticed 8 missing X-rings and starting lubing with 75W-90 gear oil, thinking that now that there are no seals holding grease between the pins and rollers, I had better supply the right viscosity oil. That did not help. I still had to adjust the chain slack every few hundred miles, just like I would on a very old chain when it was wearing quickly. This JC Whitney chain cost $47, which is about 1/5th the cost of a new DID525V8 chain. Sadly, I only got less than 1/10th the life out of that chain.

I was able to replace the replacement chain with a new DID525VXG chain for $96 + $12 S&H. I hope I have a lot better luck with this new chain.

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Last edited by FredRider; 09-04-2014 at 01:27 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-04-2014, 03:11 PM
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You didn't mention sprockets

Did you replace the sprockets? Putting a new chain on used sprockets will greatly accelerate the wear.
I've found O.E. sprockets are the longest lasting, YMMV.
DID is my preference, also.

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post #3 of 15 Old 09-04-2014, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo View Post
Did you replace the sprockets? Putting a new chain on used sprockets will greatly accelerate the wear.
I've found O.E. sprockets are the longest lasting, YMMV.
DID is my preference, also.
I did not replace the sprockets this time. They were not visibly worn.

I would have replaced the front sprocket if I were able to get the existing one off, but since it did not show any signs of wear, I installed the JC Whitney chain over both existing sprockets.

I am thinking that the JC Whitney chain must be defective. The original chain did not lose any X-rings, even with those same sprockets.

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post #4 of 15 Old 09-05-2014, 10:30 AM
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44,000 miles and there's "no visible wear" on the sprockets?

Rrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Get some glasses.

Or get some new sprockets and take a few close-up photos comparing the old with the new.



Still, the sprockets are not what killed the JCW chain -- that was just JCW's famous crappy quality.

However, the worn sprockets will definitely make your new DID chain wear out a lot faster. There's not a mysterious sprocket cabal trying to make you spend money -- this really does happen.

You already got your money's worth and then some -- most people don't get 40K miles out of a chain. Replace the sprockets and enjoy another 40K out of your new chain.

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-05-2014, 10:50 AM
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Some JC Whitless stuff is good, other stuff maybe not so hot. I paid about $200 for known name stuff from a Vance Hiney shop. Hopefully it will last much long time.
I had a dealer put a less expensive chain on and it didn't last too long.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-08-2014, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
44,000 miles and there's "no visible wear" on the sprockets?...take a few close-up photos comparing the old with the new.
Still, the sprockets are not what killed the JCW chain -- that was just JCW's famous crappy quality. However, the worn sprockets will definitely make your new DID chain wear out a lot faster. You already got your money's worth and then some -- most people don't get 40K miles out of a chain. Replace the sprockets and enjoy another 40K out of your new chain.
I took your advice and took some close up pictures. When I said I could not see any visible wear I was talking about scalloping of the sprocket teeth. There is some wear on the sides both sprockets from the chain rubbing against the sprocket sides that can easily be seen with the naked eye, or with corrective glasses. Even with the close up photos, scalloping of the rear sprocket teeth is just faintly visible, as shown below.



After cleaning off the front sprocket, scalloping was clearly visible to the naked eye.



I also noticed that the washer behind the front sprocket retaining nut had been bent over over 60 of it. I thought that may have prevented me from removing the nut a few months ago when I replaced the original chain. After bending back the "tab", I still cannot get the nut to turn. What is the trick to removing that nut?


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Last edited by FredRider; 09-08-2014 at 05:54 AM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-08-2014, 11:53 PM
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Yep, that front sprocket is roached.

To remove it, you have to use a hammer and a blunt punch (or a big screwdriver you don't care about) to fold the locking washer back so it's flat against the sprocket.

Leave the chain installed, then use an air impact to spin the nut off. If you don't have an impact, get a looooong breaker bar, hold the rear brake, and pull very hard. That nut is pretty dang tight.

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post #8 of 15 Old 09-09-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
Yep, that front sprocket is roached.

To remove it, you have to use a hammer and a blunt punch (or a big screwdriver you don't care about) to fold the locking washer back so it's flat against the sprocket.

Leave the chain installed, then use an air impact to spin the nut off. If you don't have an impact, get a looooong breaker bar, hold the rear brake, and pull very hard. That nut is pretty dang tight.
I was able to get the washer flat over the weekend. Before I installed the JC Whitney chain I tried getting the nut free. The old chain was in place. I did not have a long breaker bar, or an impact wrench. I did not try holding the rear brake. Chocks in front of both wheels did not keep the tires from climbing up the chocks when I tried to unscrew the 32mm nut. I probably will buy an impact wrench and try that next, along with standing on the rear brake. Thanks for the guidance.

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-21-2014, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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I was able to get the front sprocket nut off in about 2 seconds using the 1/2" drive, 230 lbf-ft electric impact wrench I bought from Harbor Freight last weekend for $37. So, on the third try I was finally able to replace the scalloped 16 tooth front sprocket with the new 16 tooth front sprocket I have had for many months. It feels good to have my bike back functioning with good sprockets and a good chain again.

Now, that I have been successfully through this process of replacing the front sprocket, I have to say that if I were grading Suzuki on this design I would have to give them an A+ for making sure the sprocket nut is not going to come loose, but a D+ to C- for requiring a belt and three sets of suspenders. What I mean by that is Suzuki put a 20mm external thread on the transmission output shaft which requires a preload of somewhere between 200 and 400 lbf-ft of tightening torque to keep the nut from coming loose depending on what material the output shaft is made of and whether it is dry or lubricated. That much torque is unreasonable for either home mechanics or authorized mechanics to have to apply using common tools, so since they could not specify a preload that produces a thread stress of 67% to 90% of the ultimate tensile strength of the material to keep the nut from loosening during operation they did 3 things. They used a 32mm nut with two locking tabs. a washer with a bent over locking tab and they specified thread locker. Three methods of preventing that nut from coming loose may seem excessive, but so is specifying so much tightening torque (105 lbf-ft) that the wheel has to be locked or an impact wrench has to be used to either loosen or tighten the 32mm nut.

What is the alternative? Instead of a 20mm external thread, how about a 10mm internal thread for a bolt requiring just 29 lbf-ft of torque to obtain the 67% to 90% of the bolt material's ultimate tensile and prevent it from coming loose? That little torque does not require either locking the rear wheel or an impact wrench, nor does it require a locknut, a lockwasher or thread locker. All it really needs is a plain washer under the bolt head. That is what Honda did with their 1991-2003 CB750 Nighthawk. I had a 2002 NH. I replaced the chain twice and the sprockets once. The NH's front sprocket bolt was easy to break loose and to re-tighten to the specified 29 lbf-ft of torque. I think that Suzuki could learn something from Honda here. After all, based on dynamometer readings, the NH has slightly more HP and slightly more peak torque.

On the other hand, although I am bashing Suzuki's design for securing the front sprocket and feel justified doing so since I am a mechanical design engineer with 40 years of working experience, the reason that I have a Wee-Strom now and no longer have a 2002 Nighthawk is the Wee is way more fun with its torque engine, plus the six-speed transmission helps keep the vibrations down and the gas mileage up. In addition, I could never get a NH battery to last more than one or two years. I think it is because I ride all winter and trying to figure out how much choke and what throttle position is required to get the carburetors in a position to start the inline four cylinder engine on cold winter mornings runs down the battery too much. In contrast, the fuel injected Wee starts very quickly no matter how cold it is, thus saving the battery from ever getting too low. I still have the original battery in my Wee-Strom. It is over six years old now. I very much appreciate how fun and reliable my Wee-Strom is and expect to have it a long, long time.

Thanks for your help finding a solution that works. I appreciate your input.

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post #10 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 12:21 AM
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The common way to break it loose is to put a board through the rear wheel turn it until the board is tight against the swingarm. Then use the impact wrench. Much easier than blocking the wheels.

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