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Discussion Starter #1
Coming to a WeeStrom via a Road King Belt Drive and then a 2005 Concours Shaft Drive, I have no practical experience with chains. Anyone point me to an inclusive maintenance guide for my 09 ? Didn't get owners manual with the purchase.
Opinions on best lube for chain ?
How many miles should I expect from the OEM ? 5300 in place now.
Regards
Tom Maxey
 

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There are long threads here about this. Lots of opinions. I have a RK with a belt also.

I do not clean my chain. But I started with a new chain and use Bel-Ray super clean chain lube. I lube the chain every 600 miles or after the bike is washed....(hardly ever), or after I get rained on...more likely and how I usually "wash" my bike.

Some wash chains, some have auto oilers, some ignore them almost entirely.

The thing to know about an O ring chain is the real lube (special grease) is inside the O rings and lubing is really done to perserve the o ring integrity. The grease inside the rings is meant for the life of the chain.

My last chain and sprocket set went 30,000 miles and I should have changed it around 25,000.
 

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Chains are amazingly durable.

Just buy some stuff that is made for chains, and squirt some on every thousand kilometers or 600 miles. If I take great care, my chain lasts 22000 miles. If I am lazy and neglectful, it only lasts 22000 miles.

Does a chain waste energy? Yes, because everything wastes energy, but if a chain wasted as much energy as most people think it does, it would melt, and it would also melt the motorcycle. Chains are relatively efficient.

Your typical light bulb is about 30% efficient, making only heat from 70% of the energy you pay to shove through it. Chains transmit over 97% of the energy that the front sprocket receives.

I have ridden as far as from your home to the moon, almost all by chain drive, and no chain has ever broken beneath me or failed to bring me home. Just listen to your chain while moving slowly, and when it asks for help, give it some. When it won't stop asking, replace it and the front sprocket and maybe the rear one too. (Or you could turn the rear sprocket around, but I have told that tale too many times already.)

Belt drives are quiet and don't need much maintenance, but when a belt is
worn out, it breaks, and you may have a long walk at an inconvenient time.
Been there, but my walk was not very long.

Keith
 

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As has been mentioned the are a number of threads on the subject.

Your manual say clean with kerosene very 1000km/600 miles then lube. Minded that on my first two chains and got around 22,000 miles. Many people who do nothing get about the same mileage out of their chains.

My mechanic suggested cleans was highly over rated and suggested I forgo cleaning but lube the chain with Wurth HHS2000 with every tank of gas and after every ride in the rain.

The result was that the last chain I replaced (on my 2006 DL650) was replaced closer to 50,000 miles. The chain that replaced it is over 30,000 miles and is fine but it probably won't get much more as I am riding my new Strom.

..Tom
 

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Dupont Teflon Muti-use or chain saver is a good choice and can be found at Lowes
I have also used this lube on chains in the past and it seems to work as good as anything. It is a clean lube and doesn't make a mess like some of the bike chain lubes. Some guys just use WD40. I will sometimes use it to clean the chain after an offroad ride and then lube with the Teflon Multi lube.

I think I am going to try that HHS lubricant mentoined above.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks...how about tensioning the chain on the Wee?

Is there a step by step procedure on here somewhere ?
Including sprocket alignment for idiots ?
 

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Max,

There are people who are really anal about this and know all.

My advise is to listen to V-Tom. He has history and emprical knowledge. I am honestly thinking about on my next chain is to do nothing and see when its life is finished.

That is probably a really dumb move but all of the info is all over the scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, I've not expressed where I really need help...

Lubing the chain is something I intend to do, but I also need to adjust it very soon.
I don't think the PO did any maintenance at all...it's pretty loose and makes noise when underway.

Was wondering :
*What should play be when properly adjusted
*Should the suspension be compressed in order to have the swingarm horizontal when adjusting?
*How do you align the sprockets when adjusting ? A "trick" for it ?
*Is there a cheapskate but ingenious stand design or method for the owner not having a centerstand installed yet ?
Thanks !
 

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1) Proper play for stock chain and sprockets is 25-35mm.
2) Measure at the mid-point of the chain between front and rear sprocket WITH THE BIKE ON THE SIDE STAND
3) Eyeball the alignment. If you have the means, jack the back tire up (bike vertical) and spin the tire. Check to make sure the chain is aligned (running straight). For the most part, if it was good from the shop, then you shouldn't have to worry as long as you adjust the chain equally on both sides. Some build special alignment tools. You can do a search for those. Eyeball works good for me.
4) Best bet for a stand is getting a center stand. Any other stand (or combination of stands) will be about as much as a center stand. And the center stand will travel with you :)

Now for oiling/cleaning. Get an auto-oiler and don't worry about it. My stock chain lasted about 11,000-ish miles (memory is foggy on that). It was toast. I followed lubing procedures pretty religiously. Which was a pain. I'm lazy. Get an oiler.
 

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The adjustment specs in the manual are 0.8 in to 1.2 in freeplay for a VEE (check if 650 is the same), center of lower run of chain (half way between front and rear sprockets), with the bike on the factory sidestand, not a center stand.

Too tight is much worse than too loose. I think 0.8 in is too tight and run mine at 1.25 to 1.5 inches slack and tighten it when it gets to 1.75 in. This measurement is taken at the tightest point along the chain. To find the tightest point I just keep checking the chain by pulling on it while turning the tire on the centerstand, but you could just roll it around and keep checking until you find the right spot.

On my bike the witness marks on the swing arm are true but not precise enough, so I use a digital caliper and mesure from the axle to the rear of the swing arm on each side....its anal I know, and the witness marks are close enough I'm sure.
 

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I think the solvent based cleaners like kerosene are not really good for the rubber O rings....

I use Clear silicone lube or teflon spray....

nothing with a picture of a motorcycle on it....they charge too much for that shit...

I spray and wipe anytime it gets wet....
 

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The thing to know about an O ring chain is the real lube (special grease) is inside the O rings and lubing is really done to preserve the o ring integrity.
Well, yes, and....

Look at this diagram from EK chain:


The o-ring or x-ring seals in the lube between the pin and the bushing, but the bushing and roller need lube between them as well. This is what added chain lube is protecting, as well as the rings.

Lube every tank or two of gas. If you're running in dry weather and not in gritty conditions, every coupl'a tanks of gas is OK. If you're in the wet or in the grit, lube much more often.

Tom, chains stretch for only the first couple of hours of riding. After they they do not stretch. If lubed properly, the chain very rarely needs adjusting. After 20k or 30k miles, and the chain is getting loose, it is because it is starting to wear, and it'll wear rapidly after this point. If the chain is continually getting longer, or if it has stiff links, or if you see rust coming from the rollers, or if you can manually pull the chain away from the sprocket at the 3 o'clock position, the chain is near dead. Expect to replace both sprockets at the same time. It is a good idea to periodically remove the side cover over the front sprocket, clean out the accumulated gunk, and inspect everything, maybe clean and inspect every oil change.

A visual alignment of the rear wheel is better than trusting the marks on the sides of the swingarm. Use the marks to get started, then sight down the chain to get it straight. Put a dab of antiseize on the axle threads, and tighten to about 58 lbs-ft. As said above, a slightly loose chain is better than a tight chain. As the rear wheel rises in the frame the chain tightens, so too tight is bad.
 

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I spray the hell out of my chain with a juicy lube, some of which runs off taking some of the dirt with it. What does not run off sets up to a sticky finish. That is how I clean and lube my chains about every 500 miles. I bought a grunge brush, but that was a pain in the ass and may even damage the o rings. Put a piece of cardboard next to your tire to keep the overspray off the rubber.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a copy of the service manual. I bought a manual from my dealer for about $75. They may cost a little more now.
 

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P.S. on the axle nut torque. The manual states 72 LBS. If you use anti seize, loctite, grease, etc. torque to only 58 LBS.
 

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"The o-ring or x-ring seals in the lube between the pin and the bushing, but the bushing and roller need lube between them as well. This is what added chain lube is protecting, as well as the rings."

As usual, I stand slightly corrected. How about most of the lube protects the O rings :yesnod:

The amount of lube is not a easy question to answer. The reason I say this is the extra lube...beside getting flung all over the bike, is collecting dirt and building up around the countersprocket area and coating the clutch pushrod...on a VEE anyway. The last chain I ran lasted as long as the sprocket set (30,000 mi) and was lubed every 600 miles. Which I track using the second odometer. I pulled my counter sprocket cover once in 30,000 mi and the lube I used created only a modest amount of collected crud, the consistency of which easily came off the pushrod.

There is more to using less chain lube than laziness, unless you want to periodically dissassemble the CS cover :beatnik:

I just want to ride not wrench.
 
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The adjustment specs in the manual are 0.8 in to 1.2 in freeplay for a VEE (check if 650 is the same), center of lower run of chain (half way between front and rear sprockets), with the bike on the factory sidestand, not a center stand.

Too tight is much worse than too loose.
Last weekend I was passed by an elderly gentleman on a CB400 Honda. His drive chain was so slack it was sawing his centre stand in half.
The chain was making a terrible din but the old fellow didn't seem to mind.
 

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Last weekend I was passed by an elderly gentleman on a CB400 Honda. His drive chain was so slack it was sawing his centre stand in half.
The chain was making a terrible din but the old fellow didn't seem to mind.
Not fun getting old, your hearing goes and you can forget things like maintenance.
 
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Not fun getting old, your hearing goes and you can forget things like maintenance.
I still splash oil my my chain from time to time. That's good right ?
My sons haven't taken the keys to the Wee so I'm thinking I must be ok on some level.
 
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