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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,
I recently purchased my first V-strom 650. A well cared for 2005 with no issues. I've put a few hundred miles on her, and there is now a knocking. I am pretty sure it is chain slap. When the bie is not moving, the chain is resting on the chain guard (see pictures). It wasn't happening when I got the bike, and has gotten progressively worse. Any input, things to look for, how i might fix this?
Note: I did take it to a mechanic friend who confirmed that the noise is not engine, etc. I had my son watch as i slowly rode by and he confirmed that the chain was "bouncing".
I appreciate any input and solutions!

Thanks!
JP
 

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I would think that the chain either is too loose and needs adjusting or has stretched to the point of needing to be replaced. Also check for links that are stiff. This too will cause the noise, especially under acceleration. Another sign that the chain needs to be replaced. It is usually recommended to change the sprockets at the same time.
 

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The chain will normally run along the upper chain guide. Though i must admit i haven't looked at it while riding. How much slack is in your chain. 0n a 12 to 16 650 it should be between 20 and 30 mm. Inch to inch quarter. If it wont hold adjustment and stretches in a short time the chain is probably toast. Is rear nut properly torqued and the adjusters set properly?
 

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I have only ever experienced "chain slap" when the chain has been far too loose. Easy enough to check.
Here is a good video for those not familiar with the procedure. The official stated slack is 20-30mm however a little too loose is far better that a little too tight. 30-40mm for me. Also remember that as a chain wears the slack becomes uneven as some links wear more than others.
 

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It is normal that the chain slides on the upper plastic guide when not under tension (acceleration).

Chain slack needs to be measured when the bike is on the side stand (not the centerstand). Please report back how much movement you have in the middle of the lower rung.

Another test to see if the chain is worn out is to grab it at the rear sprocket at the 3 o'clock point. If you can lift it off the sprocket and see light coming through, its most likely toast.

The chain is exceptionally clean in your pictures. Did you clean it? If yes, how? There is a big debate about cleaning but those that have long chain life seem to just lube but not much cleaning it.

Do you ride with earplugs? If not use them and ignore most noises unless they are serious ones. These bikes make a bunch of noise that is best ignored.

And if you want to study the subject some more, read here: https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/425233-chain-lube.html >:)>:)>:)
 

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Put it up on a swingarm stand and rotate the wheel by hand while feeling for tight links. Tight links usually mean the chain needs to be lubed OR that the chain is done and needs to be replaced.

Good Luck :thumbup:
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys! The chain has 1 inch of "movement", which is right in the ballpark from what i'm reading. I will put it on the center stand and look for tight links next when it warms up a bit outside. Hoping this is it.
Also, I don't have a motorcycle shop in town here. Can you recommend a chain lube I might pick up at an auto parts store?
Thanks again,
JP
 

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Another test to see if the chain is worn out is to grab it at the rear sprocket at the 3 o'clock point. If you can lift it off the sprocket and see light coming through, its most likely toast. … Can you see light?

Read the link in my post about chain lube. All the answers you need and then some.
 

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Thanks guys! The chain has 1 inch of "movement", which is right in the ballpark from what i'm reading. I will put it on the center stand and look for tight links next when it warms up a bit outside. Hoping this is it.
Also, I don't have a motorcycle shop in town here. Can you recommend a chain lube I might pick up at an auto parts store?
Thanks again,
JP
This is what I use from NAPA. Apply it to a cloth and wipe it on the chain. The spray comes out really FAST!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I put the bike on the center stand and the chain seams fine. However, When I spin the rear wheel, the rear brake is rubbing. Perhaps the issue is with the rear calipers...Now to figure out how to adjust those. Again, input please?
Sorry for the wild goose chase. Newbie issues, from which I expect to learn. Your experience is appreciated.
JP
 

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As soon as I read your description of "knocking" I thought of a frozen link. It will "knock" or clunk with every rotation of the wheel. For your chain, 1" of movement is usually seen as being on the tight side...Stroms seem to prefer chains a bit looser.

Try applying 80w-90 gear oil every ride for several hundred miles and you may just get the chain to stop knocking. Otherwise, plan for a new chain and both front and rear sprockets. Then follow any one of the multitude of lube/oil/chain threads on Stromtrooper.

Many members report over 25k miles on a chain. I am currently at 18k on my K9 Wee and they look good. Went back to using gear oil as it seems to work very well and is easy as well as inexpensive. On Blaustrom's recent thread there is a video that comes to that conclusion as well. Some really hate the oil fling to the rear wheel, front sprocket area, etc. but I find most can simply be wiped down regularly to keep reasonably clean.

Also, the legendary Greywolf pointed out many times that galling of the rear axle & nut could be avoided by applying anti-seize and reducing the rear axle nut spec to 58 ft. lbs. versus the higher figure quoted in the manual.
 

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The Disc brake is designed in a manner that it will drag slightly after use. There is no adjustment possible. If it's dragging in excess then the caliper is sticking and will need work.
 
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When I spin the rear wheel, the rear brake is rubbing.
Sorry for the wild goose chase. Newbie issues, from which I expect to learn. Your experience is appreciated.
JP
OK, JUST RIDE THE BIKE! There seems nothing wrong with it. Wear earplugs and put some miles on it. If there are really issues they will manifest themselves over time. The disc brakes are supposed to rub. That's how the pistons are being pushed back after applying the brake.
 

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Ok, I put the bike on the center stand and the chain seams fine. However, When I spin the rear wheel, the rear brake is rubbing. Perhaps the issue is with the rear calipers...Now to figure out how to adjust those. Again, input please?
Sorry for the wild goose chase. Newbie issues, from which I expect to learn. Your experience is appreciated.
JP
I would suggest that brake rubbing is not the source of the knocking sound. All disc brakes "rub" to a certain extent. Only the runout of the disc moves the pad away from the disc when the brakes are released. A slight rubbing sound is normal.
I would still bet a beer that you have a couple of tight chain links that are creating the sound.

ps - sorry for the duplicate information
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank very much everyone! I do appreciate your time and input. I just don't want to make any ignorant mistakes that end up being costly if unnecessary. A stuck chain link makes sense to me. I'll get appropriate lube and see if I can work that out. It concerned me because the bike was beautifully quiet and progressively got worse. If a chain link "seized" progressively, that would make sense.
Have a great 4th everyone!
JP
 

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I would put a light coat of ATF on your chain. it is the best thing you can put on O rings. it keeps them from drying out and softens up dry O rings. that is just me. there are a lot of lubes that are great for gears, bearings, and non O ring chains. those things don't have O rings. take care of your O rings and your chain will live longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE: Hey Guys, your input was right on. I got a lube that wouldn't dry out the O rings, soaked the chain, let it sit, re-soaked it, let it sit, dried it off and rode her. All good! The chain was clean, but dry. I assume a link or two were seized up. I'm grateful for the community here.
If any of you are looking to ride in the Tahoe area, please let me know. I'd love to ride some of our amazing mountain roads with you.
Happy 4th.
JP
 

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UPDATE:..... Hey Guys, your input was right on. I got a lube that wouldn't dry out the O rings, soaked the chain, let it sit, re-soaked it, let it sit, dried it off and rode her. All good! The chain was clean, but dry. I assume a link or two were seized up …..
Great Work :thumbup:
 
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I just replaced the original chain and sprockets on my 2014 Vstrom at 23,000 miles. It was making a slapping or knocking noise that worried me, so I looked on Stromtroopers for info on chain. The noise was worst in first gear, second and a little in third. The bike also developed a slight vibration. After changing chain and sprockets, the noise went away completely, the small vibration went away, and now it even seems to shift a lot smoother. I hope I remember this at about 45,000 miles.
 

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Chain lube recommendations are like motor oil...lots of opinions. Sounds like your chain may have see some neglect and your maintenance took care of the issue. Good for you on asking for help here!

Going forward there are lots of choices for chain lubes...most all are just fine. The 80/90w gear oil mentioned by K9 WEE is actually listed in many OEM owners manuals such as Kawasaki and some others. I used this for years on my KLR. Sure it can get a little messy but NEVER over do the oiling. I also use Maximum Chain Wax and it's stays on really well. Another I am trying is Liquid Wrench Chain Lube. Found this at Lowe. Testing this on my KLR and so far it seems to work fine and doesn't sling off too terribly.

Good luck.
 
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