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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know what a new DID525V8 chain has for a length over 21 pins (20 links). I would like to compare it to the service limit of 12.75" (319.4mm). My chain is currently at 12.5" (317.8mm) and I want to figure out what my rate of "degradation" is so I can estimate when I will rate the service limit. I currently have 8000 km (~5000 miles) on the chain.

Thanks!
VUR
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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It's a limit 12.57" with a new chain being 12.50". The service limit is rarely the reason for chain replacement. Links will usually kink as lubrication fails or O-rings will fail before wear causes the limit to be reached..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

I guess based on link wear alone (excluding O-ring failure and kinked links), I have a wear rate (given the environment I typically expose my chain to) of ~ 0.037 mm/1000km. So theoretically I would reach the service limit at ~50000 km. However, as you pointed out, other factors may be limiting....
 

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Crikey, you're overthinking this...

Firstly, the rate of chain deterioration accelerates dramatically as the chain nears the end of its safe service life. You can't make some graph and predict chain life with any hope of accuracy.

Secondly, chains do not wear evenly, so the measurement method is, to put it mildly, useless horseshit.

Chains are replaced based on what the chain is doing, not on some measurement found in the manual. The chain will warn you well before it's done -- it will get noisy, for one, and require far more frequent adjustment. You also may notice kinks, red debris (rust) and other signs of failed o-rings.

Ride happy, and worry less. Clean the chain sometimes, and order up a replacement chain and sprockets when they show signs of being worn out. After you go through six or eight chains, you'll have a rough idea of how long they last for you... :mrgreen:
 

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Chain wear

I agree with the other post but do have an additional question I have about 13K on my chain and sprockets now and while the sprockets look half worn the chain is shot. I have always bee told to replace all as a set any comments?:confused:
 

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A sprocket with room enough for a chain roller to move around will wear out a new chain in short order. Think about what you do to keep the chain lubed. That's low mileage for such wear.
 

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Chain mileage

FWIW - I have 37K miles on the original chain (2005 DL1000), but I am anal about cleaning and oiling the chain every couple of hundred miles with 80W-90 synthetic gear oil. One $6 bottle lasts over a year. On long rides (600-700 mile days), I oil it at the end of each day. Makes a heck of a mess on the lower side of the bike, but I believe regular oiling and cleaning, regular tension checks/adjustments, and semi-sane riding (no burnouts or wheelies) has helped. I asked the Suzuki mechanic at our local shop (a very good, honest family owned dealership!) to check and replace it at the last state inspection, and he said it was still well within limits and looked good. He could have easily sold me a $200 chain and sprocket set, so I believe him. I'm sure there are many riders who have more miles on their chains out there, too.
 

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More Chain Lub Info

Several months ago, I posted my experience with chain lub on a thread. Below is a repeat.

Presently, I have 124,000 miles on my 1974 Kawasaki Z900. I am on my third chain/sprocket set and it's nearing the end. Hence, I get about 40,000 miles/set. My only lubrication is most any 10W30 or 40 motor oil every 200 miles or so with very little cleaning. Keep in mind that my first 2 chains were not the modern new sealed O-ring chains.

I see no reason to spend excessive $$$$ on fancy teflon lubs. Yes, my rear wheel is somewhat coated with fling-off but, the good news is that the chrome on the rear wheel is still shiny after 36 years.
 

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...so the measurement method is, to put it mildly, useless horseshit.

Chains are replaced based on what the chain is doing, not on some measurement found in the manual...
OK. Resurrection of another older thread here.

I believe I've read that new chains have 21-pin measurements of 12.50 inches and worn-out chains have measurements of 12.57 inches or greater. That's only 0.07 inch difference.

Sure, a difference of 0.07 is easy enough to measure if an item's on a flat bench in a well-lighted area and if good measuring instruments are readily available, but it seems unreasonable to me to expect a person to kneel or lay beside their bike, try to hold an oily chain straight / tight, and then to get an accurate measurement between 21 pins.

Oh, and the 0.07 inch is the maximum number - as chains slowly (?) wear the values would be less than this already quite small 0.07 inch number.

I'm inclined to agree with bwringer's comments on this issue. Am I missing something obvious to everyone else? What measurement instruments and methods are being used to make this measurement?

By the way, I'm following VTom's advice and oiling (never cleaning) at each fuel fill-up. Gear oil.
 

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I have never measured chain stretch. Every chain I've replaced has first developed kinked links. If by some miracle I manage to get a chain that exceeds to wear limit without kinking, the good old "apply tension to the chain and see if the chain can be lifted away from the rear sprocket at 3 o'clock" is what I would trust to establish wear. Hooked sprocket teeth would be another reason.
 

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I have never measured chain stretch. Every chain I've replaced has first developed kinked links.......Hooked sprocket teeth would be another reason.
Thanks very much for the information GW. I think I'll just try to pay close attention to the condition of the chain when I lube it. I do have a couple other questions:

1. Regarding "kinked" links, are these fairly obvious? Everyone's probably going to think I'm nuts (probably already think that) but I lube my chain shortly after each fueling, and to do this I remove the rear chain cover bolt, pivot the chain cover up and out of the way (pivoting on the front chain cover bolt), then pour / "squirt" gear oil on the chain, thoroughly soaking the upper-right quadrant (as viewed from the chain side of the bike) of the chain - roll the bike enough to present a new quadrant - and soak that area (applying oil only to the portion of the chain lying on the easily-accessible (upper right quadrant) part of rear sproket. I say all this to emphasize the fact that I get a GOOD LOOK at the chain every ~280 miles or so. Is it reasonable to expect that chain kinks would be visually obvious during this process ?

2. With my bike approaching 15K miles, I'd sort-of like to check the condition of the front sproket. I did some quick searching, and it appears that on Wees the front sproket cover is an item that's easy and quick to remove - just remove bolts and pull-off the cover. Is this true? Nothing unusual to be on the lookout for?

Again, I appreciate your comments and helpfulness.
 

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Here's a pic of a kinked link. It's an indication the lube sealed between the pin and bushing is gone and those parts are starting to gall. It's time to stop shopping for a new chain. Even if lube could be gotten past the seals, the interface is no longer smooth. Breaking a chain can lock up the rear wheel when riding or put a hole in the engine case so it's a bad idea to try to eke more mileage out of the piece of toast that was recently a drive chain.



 

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Here's a pic of a kinked link...
Wow, that's not much of a kink! Thanks a bunch for posting the photo. I'd imagined a much more severe and visually obvious kink. I'll have to look a lot closer at my chain to detect small kinks such as this.

Again, thanks.
 

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The maximum kink angle is the determined by the front sprocket. There are no forces involved that will kink it more. Since the front radius is smaller than the rear, any kink will be more visible on the lower chain run.
 

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OK. More good info. Things I hadn't thought of.

Thanks.
 

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Wipe the lower section of chain with a rag up high to the max of its slack and see if it flexes easy over your hand and flexes easy back into its normal position. If there are any stiff links you are getting the kinks.

Gear oil is great for chain lube but messy. It contains extreme pressure additives in addition to anti wear additives. Try making a home brew mixing gear oil with some chain saw bar oil to get the tackifier for less sling-off.

Did you know that 90 wt gear oil is very close in viscosity to 40 wt engine oil? They use different viscosity grade scales. Any viscosity grade of 70 or higher is a gear oil for easy identification. If engine oil and gear oil used the same viscosity grade numbers, somebody would screw it up with the wrong oil in the wrong place.
 

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Thanks a bunch for commenting PTRider.

Good suggestion for method of checking for chain "stiffness". I'll start using that method at next fill-up / chain lube.

A good idea too of mixing oils. I use a chainsaw from time to time and always have chainsaw chain lubricating oil in my garage or barns. Mixing will be easy...

Finally, I was clueless about the similarity of viscosity between the two oil types you mention. I'd just always assumed gear oil was a higher viscosity oil based on the number and the "gear oil" name. When I was young I'd use whatever motor oil was handy to lube my bicycle chains, then continued that practice into mini-bikes and off-road motorcycles. Sounds like that was probably OK. It wasn't until I began reading this forum, which might have guided me to my Wee's owners manual, that I began specifically buying gear oil for the chain.

Again, thanks.
 

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One other thing to mention is that many chains that are new or nearly new will appear kinked when not under tension, simply because the internal grease is a bit stiff and there's a bit of friction between the sealing rings and the side plates. If you grab the link it will move smoothly and easily.

A true kink in a worn out chain is pretty stiff, and if you can get it to move at all by hand, it feels very gritty.


Also, since this thread seems to be the home of Overthinker's Anonymous, I'll just mention that a "(slightly) slappy chain is a happy chain". In other words, don't run your chain too tight or you will cause very expensive damage. And bear in mind (especially if someone else works on your bike) that the V-Strom has a lot more suspension travel than most streetbikes, so it needs a good bit more chain slack than your average sportybike. Always err on the side of "looser", and be aware that a warm chain will expand and look a little looser at the gas station or when you first get home.

Modern chains are amazing -- it's quite common to go 10,000 to 15,000 miles or more before any adjustments are needed.

Don't worry so much...
 

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Personal experience only:bom_beatnik:
From non O ring (conventional chain) with regular lubing, I would get between 5-10000km, lube would be a gear oil or STP chain spray.
:thumbup:
From O ring chains I have not actually that I remember gone by distance, it was more of a hmmmm, that chain has been on there a long time, give it a once over and check the sprockets and maybe replace the set. I would normally find a tight spot (uneven wear) that would be why it would be replaced, when this happens your sprocket wears faster.
Don't worry about it as a factor of distance, go on actual points for replacement:yesnod:
 

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