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Discussion Starter #1
This morning I put the Wee up on the center stand to clean and lube the chain. Took a rag and some mineral spirits and would clean about ten inches at a time then roll the tire to get more.

Well I noticed that my chain would alternately feel tight then loose as I rotated the tire.

This is the original chain with just over 20K miles on it.

Do I have . . .

a. an out of round sprocket?
b. a chain stretched only in places?
c. a bent or misaligned axle?
d. some other condition?

How long has it been like this? I have no idea. I bought the bike with 10K on it and, until this last trip to Mammoth, it has been ridden only on the street so I've only cleaned the chain once or twice.
 

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Well I noticed that my chain would alternately feel tight then loose as I rotated the tire.
Clue ...

This is the original chain with just over 20K miles on it.
A-ha.

Do I have . . .

a. an out of round sprocket?
b. a chain stretched only in places?
c. a bent or misaligned axle?
d. some other condition?
Probably (d); specifically, I'd guess stiff links due to corrosion. At that mileage, it's time for a new one. Make sure you replace the sprockets, too; they should always be replaced as a set.

Cheers! -d
 

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Yes, agreed on the stiff/seized links. It takes only a tiny change in the angle of each link to make the chain tight.

This is an indication that there no longer is adequete lube in the roller and time to swap out the chain.

Cheers
 

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Splain to me gain Loosey.

While we're 'splainin:

I've got 16k miles on my 07's chain and sprockets. There's no noticable issue with how it moves around the sprockets, but I cannot get the damn thing to stay adjusted. It's been on the 3rd hash mark from the back since I got the bike. There was too much slack, so I adjusted it carefully with a pal sitting on the bike. I torqued the axle to the factory spec, but by the time I rode home from my friend's house, the axle was exactly where it started, and the chain was just as loose as it was before. The next weekend I did the same thing and got the same results. I never had this problem with 15 years worth of chains on my Harley. WTF am I doing wrong?
 

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While we're 'splainin:

I've got 16k miles on my 07's chain and sprockets. There's no noticable issue with how it moves around the sprockets, but I cannot get the damn thing to stay adjusted. It's been on the 3rd hash mark from the back since I got the bike. There was too much slack, so I adjusted it carefully with a pal sitting on the bike. I torqued the axle to the factory spec, but by the time I rode home from my friend's house, the axle was exactly where it started, and the chain was just as loose as it was before. The next weekend I did the same thing and got the same results. I never had this problem with 15 years worth of chains on my Harley. WTF am I doing wrong?
Ok first of all, if you move the adjusters, the axle can't go back where it was. It sounds like your chain needs replacing.

Is it possible your adjusters are stripped or not locked?
 

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Is it possible your adjusters are stripped or not locked?
Or, like me before I wised up, maybe it's you? I finally realized that I needed to be careful to make sure the conditions were identical each time I checked it: same suspension preload, same weight on the bike, and roll the bike back against the transmission so all the slack is on the bottom.

Once I did all that, weirdest thing happened: the chain stayed where I put it. :)
 

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While we're 'splainin:

I've got 16k miles on my 07's chain and sprockets. There's no noticable issue with how it moves around the sprockets, but I cannot get the damn thing to stay adjusted. It's been on the 3rd hash mark from the back since I got the bike. There was too much slack, so I adjusted it carefully with a pal sitting on the bike. I torqued the axle to the factory spec, but by the time I rode home from my friend's house, the axle was exactly where it started, and the chain was just as loose as it was before. The next weekend I did the same thing and got the same results. I never had this problem with 15 years worth of chains on my Harley. WTF am I doing wrong?
Check to make sure your adjusters are not worn. These are the parts that slide inside the ends of the swing arms. Also check your "plate washers". If they are "ovaled", you will need to replace them.
 

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I will guarantee each of you a "Sticky Bun", or "Poppy Seed Muffin" if you don't find tight spots in all of your chains. That includes brand new ones.

Put your bikes in neutral, roll them up on their centerstands and slowly rotate the rear wheel. You will find tight spots in all of your chains, including the new ones.

This is why I am an advocate of adjusting your chain while the bike is on its centerstand. The ONLY reason Suzuki doesn't say to do this in the service or owner's manual is that, the V-Strom does not come with a centerstand. So, they will have you adjust the chain on its sidestand.

When adjusting the chain, rotate the rear wheel until the tightest spot is found in the bottom section of the chain. Adjust to that point. Leave more slack then Suzuki suggests for adjusting on the sidestand. When you roll the bike back down off of its centerstand, the weight of the bike on its swingarm will tighten the chain to the appropriate amount.
 

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Took a rag and some mineral spirits and would clean about ten inches at a time then roll the tire to get more.
When you replace your chain, you should replace your chain cleaning method, too.

Use kerosene or diesel to clean your chain, mineral spirits can't be kind to the o-rings...





.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will guarantee each of you a "Sticky Bun", or "Poppy Seed Muffin" if you don't find tight spots in all of your chains. That includes brand new ones.

Put your bikes in neutral, roll them up on their centerstands and slowly rotate the rear wheel. You will find tight spots in all of your chains, including the new ones.

This is why I am an advocate of adjusting your chain while the bike is on its centerstand. The ONLY reason Suzuki doesn't say to do this in the service or owner's manual is that, the V-Strom does not come with a centerstand. So, they will have you adjust the chain on its sidestand.

When adjusting the chain, rotate the rear wheel until the tightest spot is found in the bottom section of the chain. Adjust to that point. Leave more slack then Suzuki suggests for adjusting on the sidestand. When you roll the bike back down off of its centerstand, the weight of the bike on its swingarm will tighten the chain to the appropriate amount.
This may explain those odd adjustments where sometimes it seemed I had loosened rather than tightened the chain.

I'll be changing this chain soon in any case (all I need is about $350 worth of tools) but I think I'll check my new chain and see if it does have a "tight spot". If so, I'll mark that spot and always make sure I adjust the chain in the tightest position.

Hmmm, chain breaker/riveter, torque wrench . . . still beats the dealer price,
 

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I will guarantee each of you a "Sticky Bun", or "Poppy Seed Muffin" if you don't find tight spots in all of your chains.
Please no poppy seed pastries for anyone subject to a drug screen on the job, condition of parole, or elsewhere.
http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/poppyseed.asp

Iam, remove the plastic side cover off the front sprocket and look at the shape of the teeth. If they're shark-fin shaped, or in any way have the teeth smaller and notches bigger than new, replace the sprockets. New chain on worn sprockets = more expense for another new chain soon. Be really sure you don't put the new chain on too tight. Take a look at the chain maintenance threads. I like Bel-Ray Super Clean Chain Lube...picks up less dirt, needs less cleaning, lubes well for long chain life. The chain makers recommend cleaning and lubing the chain every 350 miles for o-ring chain and half that for plain chain!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Please no poppy seed pastries for anyone subject to a drug screen on the job, condition of parole, or elsewhere.
http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/poppyseed.asp

Iam, remove the plastic side cover off the front sprocket and look at the shape of the teeth. If they're shark-fin shaped, or in any way have the teeth smaller and notches bigger than new, replace the sprockets. New chain on worn sprockets = more expense for another new chain soon. Be really sure you don't put the new chain on too tight. Take a look at the chain maintenance threads. I like Bel-Ray Super Clean Chain Lube...picks up less dirt, needs less cleaning, lubes well for long chain life. The chain makers recommend cleaning and lubing the chain every 350 miles for o-ring chain and half that for plain chain!
Oh, I intend to replace both sprockets along with the chain . . . Ate a brand new chain years ago that way.
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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This may explain those odd adjustments where sometimes it seemed I had loosened rather than tightened the chain.

I'll be changing this chain soon in any case (all I need is about $350 worth of tools) but I think I'll check my new chain and see if it does have a "tight spot". If so, I'll mark that spot and always make sure I adjust the chain in the tightest position.

Hmmm, chain breaker/riveter, torque wrench . . . still beats the dealer price,
You really don't have to mark the chain. Just rotate the rear wheel while the bike is in neutral and at the same time, keep checking chain tension on the bottom portion of the chain. At the tightest spot, adjust your chain.

Try to purchase your tools when you need them; or better, just before you need them, (I know, that is hard to do.). But, once you have them, you begin to build an arsenal of "weapons" that can save you money and down time.

There are many alternatives to breaking a chain, but I have found, that riveting a chain really necessitates a good quality tool. Usually, these better quality tools incorporate a chainbreaker within their product.

The countersprocket nut on a DL-650 is 1 1/4". Therefore, you will need at least a 1/2" drive torque wrench to torque the nut back down. You will probably also want a 6" extension to get you out away from the side of the bike. I don't torque anything else when changing sprockets and chain.

Eventually, you will also want a 3/8" drive torque wrench. One that is a little lighter weight then the 1/2" drive listed above. This wrench will let you get up inside your fairings to tighten up fork clamp bolts and other hard to reach areas, (rear shock and dog bones).

The only time I use the 1/2" torque wrench is when torquing the countersprocket nut and the 12mm front axle allen/socket. I use the 3/8" torque wrench for everything else.

Changing the sprockets and chain as a kit is really the best way to go as you have chosen to do. If you are pinched for cash, usually a steel rear sprocket will outlast a steel front sprocket by quite a bit. There's a lot of pressure and resulting wear on the little front sprocket. At the very least, when buying a new chain, also purchase a new front sprocket.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Black Lab I totally agree with the quality tool argument. I haven't wrenched on my own cars for years so I never replaced a lot of stuff that was stolen a decade or so ago but now, with the Wee it only makes sense (especially considering I just found the brand new spare chain that came with the bike).

I have traditionally adjusted the chain on the side stand so that is why I want to mark the rear sprocket at the tightest point.
 

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http://www.mikesxs.net/products-7.html

4/5ths of the way down the page. Inexpensive rivet tool. No need for a "breaker", a Dremel will make quick work of the old chain.
This is true but was glad my kit included a 'breaker' when I overtightened the side plate while masterlinking a new chain together. The breaker allowed me to cleanly remove the overtightened link and replace it.

Even if you don't include a 'breaker', I highly suggest that the rivet tool be able to press the plate on, or purchase the side plate press seperately. Aside from applying grease to the new masterlink pins, pressing the side plate correctly is the most critical step of installing the masterlink, moreso than riveting - IMO. Too loose and the O/X-rings might not seal properly. Too tight (like I did) and you'll have a kinked link.
 
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