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New red '14 Strom 650. Got it on 7\10\14 & I have 358 miles on it. My chain is so stretched out of adjustment it is rubbing on the frame guard. It's getting black rubber bits all over but I thankfully don't see any metal on metal yet. The dealer said to bring it back for it's 1st service after 500 miles, but he's too far away to ride to in this condition. I'll have to adjust the chain myself. Anyone with advice on how to do this would be greatly appreciated. I have a few questions --- Is this normal? Anyone else have this happen to them? Was my Strom put together correctly? I'm a little cheesed, it's dark & my rear lift should be here 2morrow so I can hopefully fix it then.
 

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If you are going to fix it enough to take it back to the dealer, then I would take pictures of the offending chain. Just in case they do not believe you. Only 358 miles is ridiculous.
 

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Chain Alignment Tool (Motion Pro Tool)

New red '14 Strom 650. Got it on 7\10\14 & I have 358 miles on it. My chain is so stretched out of adjustment it is rubbing on the frame guard. It's getting black rubber bits all over but I thankfully don't see any metal on metal yet. The dealer said to bring it back for it's 1st service after 500 miles, but he's too far away to ride to in this condition. I'll have to adjust the chain myself. Anyone with advice on how to do this would be greatly appreciated. I have a few questions --- Is this normal? Anyone else have this happen to them? Was my Strom put together correctly? I'm a little cheesed, it's dark & my rear lift should be here 2morrow so I can hopefully fix it then.
On my 2012 Dl650 I have found I need to adjust the chain about every 600 miles for the first few thousand miles and then about 800 - 1000 miles. Could be the rain and salt in Florida coast line or me just being retired and looking for bike maintenance to do.

You may want to look into the Motion Pro Chain Alignment tool to ensure you have all aligned.

Motion Pro

Chain Alignment Tool | Motion Pro
 

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My chain grew like crazy till about 7k mi. and has since almost stopped. Dealer mechanic told me the stock chain was soft and this is normal.
 

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I've adjusted the chain slack just once (but just slightly) on my '13, at about 650 miles. I have just over 5700 miles on it now and have not had to adjust it again. That much slack at 358 miles certainly suggests that either the chain slack was not properly set to being with or that there is another problem.

For what it's worth, you don't need a rear lift to adjust the chain - the side stand is perfect for the task, esp. since you need to measure the slack while on the side stand.
 

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My chain grew like crazy till about 7k mi. and has since almost stopped. Dealer mechanic told me the stock chain was soft and this is normal.
I'll never cease to be amazed about what dealers and mechanics tell people. The stock chain is a pretty good quality name brand. All chains require more adjustments at the beginning and end of their lives as they wear in and wear out. Between those extremes, wear is minimal. As for the chain touching the plastic protector, that is normal and the reason the thing is there.

Do not try to tighten it so it won't touch. A loose chain is way better than a too tight one. Go for the loose end of the spec at the tightest point in the chain run. A chain that ever actually gets tight in any point of the run when the suspension is compressed to make the chain even tighter causes accelerated chain and sprocket wear, possibly even threatening the output shaft bearing. That would require splitting the engine cases to replace.
 

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23k km on mine and I adjusted it twice, once at the 1k km service and another time at 20k, and very minor at that.
 

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That sounds normal to me too - my first service there was a chain adjustment required, and after that nothing until about 36,000 km, which is getting to the end of the life of the chain anyhow.
 

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I'll never cease to be amazed about what dealers and mechanics tell people. The stock chain is a pretty good quality name brand. All chains require more adjustments at the beginning and end of their lives as they wear in and wear out. Between those extremes, wear is minimal. As for the chain touching the plastic protector, that is normal and the reason the thing is there.

Do not try to tighten it so it won't touch. A loose chain is way better than a too tight one. Go for the loose end of the spec at the tightest point in the chain run. A chain that ever actually gets tight in any point of the run when the suspension is compressed to make the chain even tighter causes accelerated chain and sprocket wear, possibly even threatening the output shaft bearing. That would require splitting the engine cases to replace.
I wondered if what the mechanic told was accurate. I also found the Vstrom chain needs to be at the loose end of specs. Thanks GW
 

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Better a little loose than a little tight, but if it's flopping around and hitting that guard so hard that bits of rubber are being chewed off that sounds WAY too loose, almost-ready-to-jump-off-the-sprocket loose, in fact. I would get it back in spec immediately. The procedure, as others have said, is very simple.
 

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I would double check that the rear axle has not moved.

My OEM chain might have required tightening at the first service (done probably at around 1,000 to 1,500 miles; I don't recall the exact mileage) but then was never adjusted until my front sprocket wore out at around 38,000 miles (61,700 km.)

BTW that chain was replaced a bit earlier than needed, which was around 41,000 miles (over 66,000 km.) It probably woudl have been find at 45,000 miles.

..Tom
 

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Dan, check two things and let us know what you find.

1--Measure the slack in the chain the way the owner's manual shows. With the bike on the sidestand, in the middle of the lower run of chain, lightly push it up & let it drop back down. Measure how far it pushes up with only easy effort. You must have some slack in the chain. As the rear suspension compresses the chain gets tighter, because the front sprocket is not in line with the swingarm pivot.

2--Sight down the chain from where it comes off the top of the rear sprocket. The chain needs to come straight off the sprocket. Don't count on the swingarm marks for alignment.

A rear wheel lift makes it easy to adjust the chain, but it cannot be properly measured when it is on the lift. The measurement must be on the sidestand. (If you adjust for, say, 25 to 30 mm vertical slack when lifted lightly and on the sidestand, then you can lift it with the rear lift and measure again to find your new measurement amount.)
 

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I've had enough negative experiences at the hands of dealerships to know that very rarely do things come out exactly right. My first big bike was a Suzuki Cavalcade back in 1988. It was a big bike and I felt every pound of it after coming from smaller motorcycles. I bought the thing new and had to get used to it, especially the slow handling. It felt ponderous and just did not want to go around curves! Like a dummy, I assumed that the dealer had correctly set it up. I should have checked my tire pressures right off, but didn't, and found that the poor handling was due to both tires only having 15 psi in them!!!! And there have been other minor things that, over the years, have led me to do most of my own maintenance on my bikes. I just wonder if your dealer simply didn't check the chain for proper slack/tightness before delivering it to you.

As a final note, I agree with GW, better to have the chain on the slack side than to tight, but not so slack your run the danger of it possible coming off the sprockets. A little loose is good, too loose is not.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll take measurements before I do any adjustments & post them. I need to clean the black rubber from the sprockets & chain. I think I'll try soapy water on a rag & maybe a toothbrush 1st. See if that gets the rubber off. The $39 shipped Venom lift works fine & will make cleaning easier. I'll try adjusting on lift, measuring & then re-measure on side stand to check the differences. Maybe I got a DID-not chain instead of a DID chain. ;)
 
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