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Discussion Starter #1
Well I have read through just about every chain maintenance post there is. Yea we have a bike with a final drive chain, we live with it. No shaft? Oh well I have seen various problems with shafts on BMWs and MotoGuzzis. What about Japanese bikes. Shaft problems.

Well correct me if I am wrong. If a shaft goes, gears, ujoints etc. You are sunk right there until totally corrected. Expensive fix too, right?

Answer this on chain drives. It can be observed daily as to condition. Does anyone know of a chain/ sprockets that have been totally driven to shattering and left someone stranded who wasn't a total geek?

Right now I am not driving hundreds of miles weekly or taking long trips. When I work my way into that I will consider buying or making an automatic oiler. Will just go the wax route right now and do chain checks. Now at 2500 miles and have less than the 30mm slack from first service.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Houston357 said:
What about Japanese bikes. Shaft problems.
I disagree. I owned two Hondas, one Yamaha, and two Kawasakis with shaft drives. No Problems. No maintenance either, other than an infrequent check of the rear end lube level - which was always ok. I'll take a Japanese shaft drive over a chain drive anytime. Had to buy the V-Strom despite that, but it is my first chain drive bike in over 20 years - and probably my last.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry Pauljo. Meant to put a question mark behind the statement. Should have read. Japanese bikes with shaft drive. Problems?

Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Ahh... Reads differently. :wink:

Seriously, I think the Japanese shaft drives are typically good for the life of the bike. I don't know about Moto Guzzi, but I do know that the BMWs fail. They are a totally different design. Handle a little better, wear a lot worse, require more maintenance (annual spline lubing) - and yes, a buddy of mine had his replaced to the tune of about $2000. That was on a K75 at fairly high mileage (75K or 80K I think).

A chain and sprockets have a limited lifespan no matter what you do. Replacement will come at intervals of 12,000 to 18,000 miles typically depending on usage and care. They need frequent lubing, occasional cleaning, and periodic adjustment - all stuff I didn't have to deal with for 20+ years - and didn't miss. Chains do transmit power a more efficiently. They are lighter. You can alter drive ratio with different sprockets. They have a more neutral effect on handling. I know all that, but I still prefer the maintenance free aspect of shaft drive.

And yes, I've read of one incident where a chain broke on a DL1000 and trashed the engine case in the process. They also tend to gunk up the clutch servo which sits right behind the chain, causing eventual contamination or even loss of clutch fluid.

For me it boiled down to having to accept chain drive as part of the package. I love the way my V-Strom performs. There wasn't a non-chain drive bike in the price range that I liked as well. After 40 years of riding, I can say there are no perfect bikes. Just some very good ones. And the V-Strom is very enjoyable to ride.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Pauljo

Any idea on the particulars of the chain failure mentioned? I guess closest bike fitting the shaft drive criteria price wise would be the Kawasaki Concours. Have read of other dislikes with this bike. Buzzy engine, ergos etc. Still has its following. Be nice if suzuki came out with dedicated sport tourer with the V-twin/ shaft, upright ergos etc. I guess not much of a market.

Like you said no perfect bike, only good ones.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
By the way, was thinking about trying one of those wheel brushes availabel at wally world to use cleaning the chain. Any one tried this?
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Houston357 said:
Pauljo

Any idea on the particulars of the chain failure mentioned? I guess closest bike fitting the shaft drive criteria price wise would be the Kawasaki Concours. Have read of other dislikes with this bike. Buzzy engine, ergos etc. Still has its following.
As I recall, the chain slapped that clutch servo mechanism right off, tearing a chunk out of the case at the same time. I think the post was on this forum, but I couldn't find it when I searched.

My last bike was a Kawi Concours, which I owned for 6 years and 66,000 miles. Good bike. My engine really only buzzed at high rpm under full throttle. Machines varied - and it had something to do with engine counter balancer adjustment. 2005 will be its 20th year of production. Yes, it does have its fans.

I like the V-Strom engine and transmission much better. And it is newer technology throughout. And it's yellow. Had to buy the V-Strom this time around.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
As I recall, the chain slapped that clutch servo mechanism right off, tearing a chunk out of the case at the same time. I think the post was on this forum, but I couldn't find it when I searched.
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I think this must be reerring to the guy who was riding the Ironbutt.

He damaged the cahin riding very rough road but didn't realize it. Once back out on the highway he rode another 5k miles or more and it broke.

When it broke it took out the side case and he lost fluids.

Extreem case
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I just fitted a Loobman chain oiler - I'm hoping that will compensate for my lack of dedication to the art of chain maintenance (I'm a lazy s.o.b. but I can remember to squeeze the Loobman bottle before I ride).

On the Loobman site he makes impressive claims for increased chain life (of course, he would, wouldn't he). But what he says seems to make sense...
 

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I just wanted to make a point I made earlier once in another discussion re chains. You do not need to replace sprockets when you replace a chain if the chain was properly maintained and you replaced it when it got to the factory specification of too stretched. If you do such chain care, then the sprockets are always running within perfect spec and last a very long time.

The downside of chains is the hassle of good maintenance. On older bikes (pre o-ring), it was not that unusual to hear stories of poorly maintained chains breaking and smacking a hole right through the crankcase. I hate to admit it, but I almost did that myself on a Triumph Bonneville back when I was 18 years old, a long time ago now. Luckily, I noticed the chain link starting to come apart before it actually did.

Bob
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I have thought about automatic chain oilers, including loobman. Not riding at all right now due to broken foot. Want to do some long rides and would probably place oiler before then.

I might get the loobman for the delivery device and tubing. What do you think of this. The RC airplane hobby has electrical and hand driven fuel pumps for refueling. What about using a larger (8 oz or more) fuel tank under the seat connected to a pump, placed at angled part of frame the passenger pegs are attached to to deliver to the loobman delivery device. Couple of cranks on the pump to feed every once in a while. Also what about an on/off valve just before the delivery device to minimize dripping when parked for any length of time. Thoughts?
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I Used a Hawke oiler. It has an electric pump and a push button so I guess it is "semiautomatic".

Few pushed going in for gas, a few pushes coming out. Seems to work well and I've got almost 20k miles on the chain
 
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