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I've read through some posts on the site re: chain adjustments and it seems clear the owners manual calls out using the side stand vs. center stand when adjusting the chain. Not sure if it calls out using the side stand since this is "standard" on all bikes or if it there is a technical reason why it should always be side stand. Either way, adjusted my chain on 2006 DL 650 using the hashmarks as a guide on either side but I am hearing a sound "catching sound" when the bike is in gear on the center stand where it catches for a split second everytime the chain makes one revolution. Taking off the cover near the front spocket, and watching the chain move around the rear spocket it clearly appears the chain is making that "catching sound" along the top of the chain just in front of the rear sprocket.

Also, I adjusted the chain whereas it has about 1" play in it within specs. When putting the bike in gear, then out of gear and rechecking the play of the chain sometimes it has the 1" play and other times it is tight as a snare drum.

Is this a classic "chain is out of alignment" case and go back to start and try again or am I missing something else? thanx
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Chains wear unevenly. The first thing to do is to establish the tightest position of the run. Then adjust the slack there. Highly variable chain runs mean the chain needs to be replaced.

Center isn't much different from the side but can loosen a bit more so stay on the wide end of spec if using the center stand. A too loose chain can be a bit noisy but a too tight chain causes faster wear, can be a problem for sprocket shaft bearings and can lead to chain failure. A broken chain while riding tends to break things, including engine cases.
 

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Greywolf, (if y'all don't mind me using this thread) would you explain how to adjust the chain on the centerstand? I saw your "how to" write-up in another thread awhile back but am damned if I can find it... even with using google Strom search.

Thanks much!

To add: I am barking with delight since I installed the SW Motech centerstand! I cleaned the chain last week and it was the easiest drive chain clean-up on any bike I've owned, street or dirt (none of the others had a centerstand). Go figure lol


:thumbup:
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I pretty much said it already. Put the bike on the center stand, rotate the rear wheel until you find the tightest part of the run. Adjust the chain for 1" or a little more of slack.
 

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Sorry GW. I didn't quite get it the first time. Like peoples names, I usually forget the first time, but ask once more and I'll remember it forever.

Thanks! It's now in my 'Strom log.

:)
 

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On the centerstand, I keep slack in my chain 'tween 1.5 - 2" ... oil level 1/2 to almost full in the window.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chains wear unevenly. The first thing to do is to establish the tightest position of the run. Then adjust the slack there. Highly variable chain runs mean the chain needs to be replaced.

Center isn't much different from the side but can loosen a bit more so stay on the wide end of spec if using the center stand. A too loose chain can be a bit noisy but a too tight chain causes faster wear, can be a problem for sprocket shaft bearings and can lead to chain failure. A broken chain while riding tends to break things, including engine cases.
Thank you Greywolf, much appreciated.
 

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On the centerstand, I keep slack in my chain 'tween 1.5 - 2" ... oil level 1/2 to almost full in the window.
Me also, 1 inch on the center stand is tight...even on the sidestand its tight. The center stand is easier but you need to add 1/4 inch to the adjustment. I set mine at 1.25 to 1.5 inches using side stand. Then readjust when it gets near 2 inches.

Its easy to check for 2 inches on the road. Just press up on lower run of chain in middle while parked on sidestand. If chain contacts bottom of swing arm you are very close to 2 inches of play. If it touches swingarm bottom and chain has a little play on top of swingarm at the slider it is over 2 inches loose.

As GW said, look for tightest spot and set chain play there. Too tight is bad for many reasons.
 

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And, don't trust the adjusting marks on the swing arm. Start with them, then sight down the chain to be sure the chain is running straight off the sprockets.
 

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And, don't trust the adjusting marks on the swing arm. Start with them, then sight down the chain to be sure the chain is running straight off the sprockets.
That's what I do... Another tip I also use is to check if the teeth on the rear sprocket (when spinning the wheel by hand) are not rubbing up against one or the other side plates of the chain... In other words the chain runs centre on the sprocket...
 

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If your chain is catching like that.... inspect it very carefully!!! That is classic for the rollers breaking off the chain and very dangerous. I would change the sprockets and the chain. But that is just me! I have broken chains many time any they are always very dangerous and damaging! Ask he how i know??

I could not find my picture of the chain but here is one i found.
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee18/ShamusMcFeeley/WornChain.jpg
 

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I am a certified chain/sprocket nut job! After chasing that super annoying chain tight/loose gremlin for some time, I decided to invest in not only a new chain/sprocket set, but also a laser alignment tool from Profi-Cat. I bought an RK X-ring chain with their chain riveter tool, a Sunstar aluminum rear sprocket and steel front. From this point on, I can attest that getting the chain/rear wheel alignment adjusted via the laser is the key to excellent chain/sprocket life along with rear wheel alignment and best possible handling. There is a common gripe that aluminum sprockets are not a good choice for this app. That's probably true if ridden offroad, but I avoid offroad like the plague so my app is strictly street and this is working for me very well. Keeping the chain lubed, aligned, tensioned, and clean is working very well in spite of the aluminum rear sprocket. It isn't wearing abnormally fast.
 

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BTW.....if you ride offroad, disregard what I said about the rear aluminum sprocket. Get a steel one.
 

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I am a certified chain/sprocket nut job! After chasing that super annoying chain tight/loose gremlin for some time, I decided to invest in not only a new chain/sprocket set, but also a laser alignment tool from Profi-Cat. I bought an RK X-ring chain with their chain riveter tool, a Sunstar aluminum rear sprocket and steel front. From this point on, I can attest that getting the chain/rear wheel alignment adjusted via the laser is the key to excellent chain/sprocket life .
...
How long do your chains last?

..Tom
 

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How long do your chains last?

..Tom

It's too soon to accurately answer your question. I have about 5k miles on the RK chain with the aluminum rear sprocket combo. I took a close look at the aluminum sprocket this morning and it still looks to be in excellent shape with no signs of hooking on the teeth. The choice of this rear sprocket was based on my decision to NOT ride on dirt at all. When this set needs replacing, I'm going with the D.I.D ZVM-X chain and Sprox rear that has the aluminum carrier but the actual toothed section is steel so I can save a little on the unsprung weight.
 

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Here is how they wear and lengthen the chain from the inside. Maybe a little too much. :yesnod:

Thats typical wear for the non O ring chains. Very severe example. Or one where the O rings failed in some links or were not fitted correctly at the soft link. Often identified by the chain having stretched. And the chain can be lifted away from the rear sprocket making a gap at 3 'O'clock. Wear like this allows it to bend in the direction its not supposed to bend once off the bike.

Common these days is the bearing surface between the Bushing and the Roller wears. All part of why you still need to lubricate a sealed O ring chain. See in the diagram this bearing surface is not sealed!!! Lubricant sealed in the gap between Pin and Bushing by the O ring. No seal between roller and bush. In fact this manufacturer sketch looks as if it does not even have a gap. But is does.

When the chain moves onto the sprocket, the rollers roll onto each tooth it meets. As it leaves the sprocket it then rolls back off the tooth. The load of the rolling action is heavy between the inside of the Roller and outside of the Bushing. Heavier than on the outside of the roller where we spray and check our lubrication so religiously. A worn inside of a roller causes extra load on the neigbouring rollers and it becomes a problem round the complete chain. Chain can also be lifted off the rear sprocket at 3 Oclock but not by as much as earlier chains. This wear still changes the effective pitch of your chain slightly.

More about this for the thinkers
An O ring chain can be very worn and make loads of noise without showing any signs of stretch. These roller to bushing "bearings" can also wear more in some sections than others. If this bearing is left dry then it can creak and somtimes click as the chain moves on and off the sprocket.
Tension chains when the bike is stood as the manufacturer shows in the book. Watch the tightening of the spindle nut does not change the tension. It does in most cases because the spindle is seldom a good fit in the adjuster. And always check the chain in as many different places as you can by rotating the wheel a few times so it has the correct free play only at its tightest point (that does make sense if you think it through). Manufacturers have not thought through their instructions if they expect you to do this on a bike with only a side stand. Perhaps why we get failed or even broken chains and failed rear sprocket carrier bearings.

Part lubricating the chain by allowing the sprockets to spread the lube onto the outside of all the rollers as it runs (so it looks well lubricated) might be one problem. A section of chain where lube does not enter between roller and bush is left.

Washing the bike is probably the other cause. One section of chain can get more exposure to the wash and any degreaser used (particularly high pressure wahsers) and the rinsing water than another section.

After all this I still find chains wear out. Worst single cause is riding in the wet. This coats the complete chain in more debris than just dry use. These bikes don't have sufficient rear mudguards or protection for the chains. Watch how water carried round with the rear wheel pounds down onto the top run of the chain just before going onto the front sprocket. And how water thrown up from front and rear wheel contact patches soaks the lower run of the chain as it reaches the rear sprocket. The same is going on when used on a dry day but its only the dust without the visible water.

This road water also has fine particles of stone and other debris carried within it. After a good distance any lubricant in the gap between roller and bushing is washed out by the waters "pumping action" of the roller sliding a little on the bush. The chain holds onto this "grinding paste" when it dries and perhaps adds a little rust for good measure. We lubricate the chain after the ride which then adds to the paste. Anyone comes up with a design to completely clean this bit of the chain out will make a fortune.

Best would be something that prevented the water and dust getting near the chain like the full chain guards on those smaller early Hondas. The roller to bushings pumping action then only has air or oil mist to pump through the crucial bearings. Note how even the most budget bikes used in countrires where a new chain every year would break the bank still have these full chain guards.

A VStrom with a full chain guard might look a bit utilitarian (bet I spelt that wrong) but it would be so cost effective against a shaft drive bike. And far more so than new chains every 10 to 20 k miles. Big plus for us all might be not riding for half the bikes life knowing the chain is half finished. Who does that puttng off the inevitable? Lubing and adjusting the chain once a season at the same time the rear tyre is being changed - heaven. No oil flung on the bike or the lady on the back. I might even be first in the line to buy.
 

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It's too soon to accurately answer your question. I have about 5k miles on the RK chain with the aluminum rear sprocket combo. I took a close look at the aluminum sprocket this morning and it still looks to be in excellent shape with no signs of hooking on the teeth. The choice of this rear sprocket was based on my decision to NOT ride on dirt at all. When this set needs replacing, I'm going with the D.I.D ZVM-X chain and Sprox rear that has the aluminum carrier but the actual toothed section is steel so I can save a little on the unsprung weight.
Okay so when you said this you were speculating:

Boit4852 said:
I can attest that getting the chain/rear wheel alignment adjusted via the laser is the key to excellent chain/sprocket life
I thought you had some experience with chain life that might help my chains last longer. The last chain I replaced had 74,845 km (or 46,404 miles) on it.

..Tom
 
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